Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tribeca Film Fest - Sunday, April 29

Saw three films. Blue State was the first narrative that I've seen this year. It's about a liberal guy, played by Breckin Meyer, who moves to Canada when GWB wins the 2004 election. Anna Paquin joins him on his road trip, and they proceed to have a wacky romantic-comedy adventure, with politics. Now, I wouldn't have minded that so much, if the politics were expressed through the course of the story. Instead, it kind of feels like there are things going on, and every once in a while we take a break from the romance and the comedy so that the characters can sit there and discuss their political views. Interesting premise, great performances, even a lot of funny situations, but the script needed better integration of action and ideas.

Then I saw a program of shorts called Taken to Extremes. These were all documentaries, mostly about people who have kind of extreme interests or lifestyles. One of the highlights was Piece by Piece, about "speedcubers" - several of whom describe their hobby of solving the rubik's cube as an addiction! There were 5 other short films, and actually all of them were really interesting and well done.

Last I saw A Slim Peace, a documentary about a weight loss group in Jerusalem that included women who were Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish American settlers, Bedouin. Some were secular some were religious, and of course they had conflicting politics. I think the idea was to see whether they would overcome these differences and find a common ground. And to some degree they did, but the premise still makes me sort of uncomfortable. Are our personal insecurities the key to transcending deeply-rooted, seemingly insurmountable religious, national, and cultural conflicts? (Well, the answer seems to be No.)

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