Sunday, April 26, 2015

Abigail Disney's ARMOR of LIGHT a path to ending gun violence with Rob Schrenck and Lucy MsBride . A different kind of reaching across the aisle Tribeca Festival Review

 Abigail Disney's' directing debut which premiered at the Tibeca Film Festival is a riveting look at how to stop gun violence . Focusing on two Christians: one the  mother of Troy Davis the black teenager killed in a "Stand your ground" shooting into a car filled with four black unarmed  teenagers in Atlanta, GA   and the other  an Evangelical Pastor who works as a Christian lobbyist in Washington D.C.  as well as being the the President of the National Church Council.. He lobbies for "Christian Values" including right to life measures which will limit a woman's right to control their bodies. Both want to stop gun violence.  The Reverent Rob Schenck, raised in the Jewish religion was converted in to Christianity at the age of 17. He is troubled by the shooting deaths of pro-choice doctors by Christian activists citing Jesus as their inspiration. Lucy McBride wants to stop the shooting of any child so no parent has to experience what she has gone through with the loss of her only child. Ms.McBride is the daughter of an NAACP activist and a devout Christian who does not believe in abortion but does support the right of every woman to control her own body. The film reflects their journey through differences  to a common goal. Each listens to the other, She hears his concern about the '80's meshing together under Ronald Reagan of Evangelicals and the NRA, leading to gun support and joining the Republican Party. Disney looks at how change is possible when people decide to actually listen to each other and find not what they disagree about but what they have in common.  Disney, best know as a producer of Academy Award/Spirit Award nominated documentaries like Pray the Devil Back to Hell  and The Invisible War with the help of   her co-director Kathleen Hughes has certainly learned how to make a non-preachy documentary on a very serious subject. All the craft aspects are beautifully done especially the editing and the music. Armor of Light shows a path to bridging the political gap between people of conscience.

World Premier post screening QandA at  Tribeca Film Festival 2015

Among the people in the audience were the Mayor of New York and his wife.

Last day of Tribeca Film Festival and a last chance to see films I highly recommend

Last day of Tribeca Film Festival  and a last chance to see films I highly recommend Do check the Tribeca Film Festival website to confirm time and theater and to buy tickets ...

1: The Diplomat

Regal   3: 30PM ,  9:30 PM 

A father/son story played out against a background of world  crisis, Richard Holbrooke who negotiated peace agreements in what were thought to be hopeless conflicts like Bosnia. Holbrooke was a career diplomat with  an ego and a passion for peace. His son David says he made the film to find his father who was absent from the family a lot of time as he made the world safe for other families  it plays today : at 3:00 P in theater 6 at the Regal in Battery Park City

Post -world premier screening at Tribeca Film Festival a panel moderated by Katie Couric discuss the film w/David Holbrooke, Rowan Farrow, Roger Cohen and Stacy Reiss   This was the best Q&A I saw at this year's Tribeca Film Fesitval

2: Transfatty Lives  director Patrick O'Brien (Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award Winner)

Regal 3:40, 9:30
 transfatty lives trailer

No it is not about a pre-op, overweight person! It is about a young DJ (DJ Transfatty) and film maker, Patrick O'Brien who is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig disease (ALS) .. (please don't turn away .. I know I almost did was too close to the death of my friend Richard Glazer who co-directed (or so they said ) Still  Alice and passed a couple of days after Julianne Moore won her Oscar). I am so glad the publicist David Magdael  insisted I see this film . It is about human spirit and artistic vision that trumps physical disability, Transfatty Lives  is about a dying man leaving a cinematic message to his son. Transfatty Lives is about family and about the ability of humans to find humor (trust me there are a lot of laughs )  in the worse of times. DO see it,... and yes after seeing this documentary I realized that in fact Wash Westmoreland was telling the truth when he said Richard Glazer  co-directed Still Alice.

Transfatty lives world premier post screening Q&A w/dir Patrick O'Brien

3: Requiem for the American Dream  co-directors: Jared P. Scott, Peter Hutchinson, Kelly Nyk
TRAILER   5; 40  Regal

The Emperor's New Clothes director Michael Winterbottom 
2:30 SVA (23rd st theater)

Two films take on how to save both American Democracy and the world from the triumph of capital.  Requiem features excerpts from a series of conversations with Noam Chomsky with almost perfect graphics that excite the eye with their direct illustration of the words of Chomsky . Emperor's New Clothes is comedian and self-named public intellectual Russell Brand doing a Michael Moore "I am the center of this film" imitation  in a whirlwind of actions and insights as he  travels back in forth between Wall Street and  London's Fenchurch Street, Whittenbotton edits with the manic energy  of Brand and the occupy movement. Both are essential but Requiem because it is Chomsky soars ahead with his clarity of language and grounded response to crisis. But as serious as Brand is, he is also halarious!

4: Sworn Virgin director Laura Bispuri 
Regal 2:30 , 8:30
Lila (Flonja Kodheli) with Mark (Alba Rohrwacher): "We have two different ways for women to react to be free."

Insightful look at how misogyny traps women in no exit roles. Set in Albanian village and centered on two women  and how they escape the roles they are expected to play . One swears to remain a virgin to the village Elders and is treated as if she is a celibate man,  the other flees from an arranged marriage. Sworn Virgin is not just asimple feminist polemic.Director Laura Bispuri brings a formal eye to a landscape cold and beautiful and allows the land and the people to inform her story. Indelible performances.

Anne Katrin Titze revealing interview with actress Fionie Kodheh

5;  Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman
Regal 5 PM

Cartel Land clip first seen in Time Magazine

Cartel Land looks at both sides of the boarder and how citizens rather than government are fighting the cartel drug smuggling Mexico has a charismatic Che-like Doctor and Arizona has ex-military patrolling the border. Vigilantes? heroes? you decide.
Sundance post screening Q&A

6: Among the Believers  co-directors  Hemal Trivedi  and Mohammed Ali Naqvi
  • i
  • BOWTIE 3:45 PM 

True believers and religion is an extremely dangerous mix . When children are indoctrinated at an early age when as is said in Among the Believers "they are malleable" they become the soldiers of hate. Be they be trained in the Red Mosque schools in Pakistan or the Settlements in Gaza.  Among the Believers follows  one boy and one girl  who the Red Mosque have taken in from their improvised families . Necessary viewing

6: King Jack director  Felix Thompson 
Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award Winner Narrative Film

Regal 3:15. 9:15

CLIP King Jack clip

Australian ex-pat and NYU Film School Grad Felix Thompson has managed to tell the story of a kid who is sensitive,not gay just different and how teenage bullies operate. How to stand up for yourself even when it hurts. Star making roles for two  of the young actors the lead Charlie Plummer (Jack)   and the principal bully, Danny Flaherty (Shane) who was so good in his role that the audience booed at the screening I attended,. He is a regular on the cable series THE AMERICANS

  • 7: The Adderall Diares director Pamela RomanowskyOT
  • Bowtie theater: 9PM 

  • Ed Harris and Kjames Franco tense father and son scene 

  • Just when I was hopping  I would not have to see another James Franco film for at least six month arrives The Adderall Diares based on Stephen Elliots best seller. It is Franco best work in years and made me remember why he becasme a star .His no holds barred perfomace is riviting. And his not the only performace that rises above the sometimes cliche story of a dot com executive accused of killing his wife. Ed Harris gets to let hsi menance show full throttle and Amber Head 

  • Amber Head and James Franco

  • agains proves she is the best young actress to come along in the last five years. Christian Slatter plays the Dot commer on trials and is perfectly cast . No small taks to get these nauacnced performaces from her cast but newbie director Pamala Romanosky  shows she knows how to corral talent and stil be in charge. Franco bought the rigths to the book four years ago .. and was to direct . Wisely he let someone else hold those reigns and he could deliver. He does ...including in the kinky sm seccens he appears to relish, 

    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    Tribeca Film Festival must see ALERT Cartel Land

    TFF ALERT: Cartel Land the buzz doc from Sundance plays TFF this week. See it and decide for yourself about the right way to fight drug cartels and illegal immigration ,. Vigilantism on both sides of the border ,,, One a Che like leader the other a vet bringing the war home. This is a teaser clip about the US side of the boarder .. it was on my top five list of Sundance Docs this year