The Festival Experience: One Blogger, One Day @ Tribeca

by Shala · May 7, 2013 · Articles, Featured, Features · 1 Comment

As a collaboration project between fans of film and film bloggers attending this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, I (with the input from others) had a thought of documenting personal experiences, constructing a diary of sorts to chronicle the festival from the perspective of one person for one day. This may include fun things done around NYC, the film(s) screened and the impressions from them, or participation in all the special events associated with Tribeca that make this film festival experience unique. Here is the opening and closing weekends of Tribeca 2013 through the eyes of four different people (Erica, Iba, Linda, and myself… thank you, ladies!):

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2013
Iba (@iluvcinema) from I Luv Cinema

I like to think of today as ILC’s Panel Day. First, I stopped by the Barnes and Noble @ Union Square for an interesting discussion about the role of women in today’s film industry (part of the Tribeca “Pen to Paper” series). What I found most fascinating was that most of the filmmakers in-paneled were documentary directors – only one woman on the panel was a feature filmmaker. Moderated by Abigail Disney (yeah), it was a lively and engaging talk, that unfortunately for me, was cut short because I had to head over to Chelsea (and the SVA Theater).

PACING and PATIENCE are not just words for me – they are a way of life. That said, trying to get from Union Square to the SVA is really no joke – especially on foot. And I was hungry (ILC not happy when she is hungry). But I did get an early enough start and managed to grab an egg salad sandwich on my trek from Union Square to Chelsea (#FilmFestivalDietPlan). I got to SVA with time to spare and was one of the earlier entrants on the ticket holder line.

Once the house opened, I was handed a one-sheet for the event, and I was immediately disappointed to not see Anna Deveare Smith’s name appear on the list of panelists (as was previously promoted in other materials). But I know how these things work late minutes circumstances and all. Besides, this was not my sole reason for attending the Tribeca Talks event. The initial letdown was soon evaporated as I was taken in by the spirited and impactful debate whose subject was about underrepresented populations in the world of film. There were many illuminating moments as the discussion went from film to television and ultimately internet (YouTube). After about an your of listening to the likes of writer Nelson George, producer and filmmaker, I had to move again …

… I immediately made a beeline across 23rd Street to the Clearview Cinema Chelsea, to round out a day of events by catching an actual film. If I am to be honest, my expectations for Adultworld were a nice shade of ambivalent at best. What I experienced was a film that managed to be  quirky without being annoying. In particular, I quite enjoyed the interplay and relationship between John Cusack and Emma Roberts.

And with that my first day at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival drew to a wonderful close. 

–> Check out my blog in the coming days for more detailed analysis of the film Adultworld
–> Watch a clip from Adultworld here


SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2013
Shala (@shalathomas) from Life Between Films

Day two of my 2013 Tribeca Film Festival experience found me and my friend meeting up with some of her friends for Sunday brunch at Southern Hospitality, the BBQ place co-owned by none other than Justin Timberlake. You know with the resurgence of JT the performer (I choose to forgot that period of time there when he tried to act) it’s time to really care about him again. So I wanted to care about him while eating some good old BBQ brisket hash… and drinking mimosas (I’m grown). With the aid of alittle salt, it was actually really really good. And the eatery has a cool Southern BBQ joint feel to it. I do highly recommend it stopping in if you ever find yourself in Hell’s Kitchen.

I do admit I had alittle too much to drink (taking part in “bottomless” anything can be brutal; especially having the low tolerance for alcohol that I have) but after some needed time, coffee and some street fair perusal, I was in good enough shape enough to head into the late evening and night with two more film festival selections:

Some Velvet Morning. I have alittle experience with the work of the screenwriter/ playwright/ director Neil LaBute. I remember coming to New York five years or so ago and seeing his excellent stage play reasons to be pretty starring Marin Ireland (28 Hotel Rooms) as well as seeing his really underappreciated film The Shape of Things, starringRachel Weisz and Paul Rudd and originally performed as a play. I have come to love this transition between the two mediums of stage plays and independent films in working with one location/limited actors. He has a knack for this and it shows in some of his better works (trust me; he has had some really bad movies when he veers too far from this). This drew me to seeing Some Velvet Morning, that and the combination of premise (a man shows up on the doorstep of his former mistress after four years, begging her to take him back) and the dapper Mr. Stanley Tucci. Things are not always what they seem in this film, one fact that I really enjoyed about this movie. As it moves to an emotional conclusion, the last few moments causes a quick and brilliant transition of emotions from shock to relief to realizing that the circumstances may be different than you first thought but the characters’ true nature remains as you have come to know them. Tucci and Eve create an onscreen dynamic that cinephiles everywhere dream of discussing.

A Case of You. I don’t think I’ve seen a Justin Long movie since Going the Distance where he starred with then girlfriend Drew Barrymore. It was a kinda cute rom-com that (somehow) made its way into my small collection of DVDs (okay, I bought it). Outside of that movie, I’ve always come to think of Justin Long in sidekick terms. When I saw that he actually took to co-writing a rom-com of his own to star in, my interest was alittle peaked. Though I didn’t really expect to be too impressed, I was interested to see what he could accomplish on screen in this creative capacity. Also, the movie had a strange cast of characters – Sam Rockwell (interestingly, that guy that passed me on the sidewalk earlier that day that looked alot like Rockwell… well, it was in fact, the awesome Sam Rockwell), Busy Phillips, Vince Vaughn, Brendan Fraser (yes, random), and Peter Dinklage. Could this crew pull off rom-com that covers new ground where others fail? Not really. The film quickly conforms to all the same rom-com cliches. In the post-screening panel, Long said that the impetus of writing the movie came from a recent breakup (we ALL knew who he was referring to) and that it took him and his writing partners four years to write this (I was little embarrassed for him on that one). Movie MVP goes to Peter Dinklage for stealing every scene he found himself in.

–> Check out a more detailed review of these movies and a recap of my entire five days at the festival here

SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2013
Linda (@momlovesfilm) from Is This Seat Taken?

On Saturday of Tribeca Film Festival I headed out to BMCC to see the documentary Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story. it was to be followed by a talk with Clint Eastwood and Darren Aronofsky. I am a huge fan of Eastwood’s work both on the screen and behind the camera. The opportunity to see the man in person was too good to pass up. The film was a lot of people Eastwood has worked with giving their views on working with the man. Clips from his films and behind the scenes stills and footage was interspersed. It was an interesting film. 

After the film Eastwood and Aronofsky took the stage for a conversation. When Eastwood directed the standing crowd to sit, they did. Immediately. All I could think was, when Eastwood directs, people listen. Aronofsky admitted to being nervous in the presence of the man. Eastwood chuckled and set the man at ease by saying, “what a thrill.” For the next 40 minutes the men talked a little about Eastwood’s career and the influence of Sergio Leone on his work, but for the most part they talked about his process. Eastwood said, “just tell the story.” He also spoke to putting the actors and crew in a place where you get the most out of them. He compared it to having a “criminal mentality, be sneaky.” He feels that making a film is collaborative, it works as an ensemble. Within the process, Eastwood talked about having realistic expectations.  He said, “if something doesn’t work, just try it again.” When asked if there was a benefit to being the director and actor on a film, he replied that he thought that actors like to work for an actor. On getting a specific performance out of an actor he said that sometimes you have to be an amateur psychiatrist. He gave examples of appealing to an actor’s ego and keeping things calm to get that great scene. It was interesting to learn that he doesn’t use the words “action” or “cut” very much, especially with kids and horses. Makes them nervous. He also likes to leave the camera rolling when the actors think the scene is over, “that’s where you get more natural performances.” When he was asked which of his films were his favorites, I was surprised to hear him say two of his most recent, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. As for the future? He said he is often looking at this next project while working on the current one. As to how long he’ll make movies, he replied “Wouldn’t it be great to be 105 and still making films?” It sure would.

Thanks to Tribeca Film Festival for this event and to Mr. Eastwood for his generosity and candor. What an amazing afternoon!

–> Start here to see clips from the Tribeca Talks Director Series: Eastwood with Aronofsky

SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2013
Erica (@theNYCfilmchick)

I will be the first to admit that I was really pathetic when it came to this year’s festivities at the 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival. Last year I was so ahead of the game and had already purchased my ticket before the festival. This year, however, I wasn’t so prepared and found myself trying to find time to see even one movie. Luckily, the second week of the festival was good to me and I did catch several films including one on the last day called G.B.F. I had heard a lot about the film and I was eager to see it 

The film centers around a kid named Tanner, a wallflower who spends his time reading comics and hanging with his friends (which includes his flamboyantly gay friend, Brent Van Camp.) Around this time the 3 most popular girls in school are on the prowl for a G.B.F., the perfect Gay Best Friend. Tanner, who is gay himself, has no plans to come out of the closet, until a series of events forces him to reveal who he truly is. Tanner is soon whisked into the world of fashion and drama as he climbs the social ladder and is taught how to be a “real gay.” 

G.B.F. isn’t going to win any major awards. It’s the ultimate teen comedy full of bright colors, poppy songs, and cultural references that will make you groan or laugh out loud. Where G.B.F. lacks in depth, it makes up for in sweetness and charm. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, which allows the audience to relax and enjoy. Though some of the acting was pretty one note and nothing to rave about, Megan Mullally, who plays the mother, Ms. Van Camp, delivers a strong performance and steals every scene she’s in.

Long story short, if you come in expecting well-developed characters and a deep, poignant story about self-discovery and acceptance then you’re going to be disappointed. The movie is pure fluff. Sugary, cotton candy, fluff. G.B.F. has the components of a great cult film (or something you would find in the Gay & Lesbian section on Netflix.) The movie delivers a strong message, which, I think will spark a lot of discussion and debate among people. The film is different and I think it is worth a watch if you’re looking for something fun and campy.

–> Check out the recently released trailer for G.B.F.

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I hope to continue this ‘One Blogger, One Day’ collaboration series across a number of film festivals so if you are planning on attending a major festival in 2013, please contact me at lifebetweenfilms@gmail.com or hit me up on twitter (@shalathomas). I would love to help share your experiences with everyone!

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One Response to The Festival Experience: One Blogger, One Day @ Tribeca

  1. […] I could not let any more time without giving a narrative assessment of my time at last month’s Tribeca Film Festival. For a diarist’s take on my first day at TFF, I draw your attention to my coverage as part of the LAMB’s One Day, One Blogger @Tribeca event. […]

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