Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tribeca Film Fest - Saturday, April 28

Originally uploaded by Bomb It - The Movie.

Tonight I saw a film called Bomb It, a documentary about international graffiti art.

It started out with Philadelphia and New York, but the most interesting parts were about graffiti artists around the world. Some people do street art primarily because it's dangerous and illegal, but a lot of people do it because they have something to express, and they want/need to do it in a public way. It's a very social, political, and personal art form. So, in different countries you find that people are driven to make different social and political statements. Plus the cultural attitude towards public spaces and street art varies, and that also contributes to different dynamics around the globe.

My only complaint about the film is that some really interesting topics were touched on so briefly - I wish I could have seen more. Apparently they had many hundreds of hours of footage, but of course in editing it down to a feature length doc, there's only so much they can include. I think this would actually work really well as a series, so I hope they get to do more with it!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Tribeca Film Festival 2007 - Thurs, April 26

Heckler Q&A
Originally uploaded by Mirka23.

On the first full day of the Tribeca Film Festival, I saw two films.

The first was Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist and I loved it. It's amazing to see how much this one man did for the medium of comics, which is now a pretty major player in the entertainment industry. Not only did he invent the graphic novel (which I kind of already knew), but he pretty much came up with the model for the modern comic book in the first place. AND he innovated using comics as a more accessible way to teach people - first in the army, and then with kids. Pretty amazing.

The film was also really well put together, with lots of interviews and lots of dynamic, detailed views of some really incredible artwork.

The second film I saw was also a documentary. I didn't mean for it to work out that way, but it wasn't a bad thing. The film was called Heckler, made by Jamie Kennedy and director Michael Addis (pictured above). It seems that they set out to make a tour film, and Jamie was getting heckled a lot. Around the same time, Son of the Mask came out and it was getting panned - both by traditional critics and by pretty much anyone with a blog and an opinion.

So, the film turned into this thing where they were exploring the phenomenon of hecklers, and then critics. They interviewed a bunch of comedians and filmmakers, a few hecklers and (in some hilariously uncomfortable sequences) some of the critics who panned Kennedy's film. It definitely has the feeling of being a sort of therapeutic exercise, but it's also hilarious and pretty brave, I think.

The proliferation of online communities and publications has made the practice of criticism available to everyone, and the perceived anonymity of the internet makes people feel comfortable being vicious, especially if they can look clever while doing it. Sure, they have the right to say whatever they want, but online it's also way too easy to ignore how your words are going to affect people. The film presents the perspective of those people that are the targets, and I can definitively say that I would not want to go through what they go through.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Craig Ferguson errand

Oops, I completely forgot to mention that I had a second reason for following Craig Ferguson around last week (aside from the fact that I think he's hilarious). See, my friend Scott Phillips made a movie called The Stink of Flesh, and a few months ago he asked me to give a copy of it to Ferguson (for reasons that are explained below). I have to say, this seemed like a strange request, since I live on the opposite side of the country from the guy, and it's not like we hang out together or anything. But, maybe this wasn't such a crazy request, because I did give him a copy, after the book reading/signing.

I wasn't able to take a photo of him accepting this gift, because Barnes & Noble wasn't allowing people to take pictures while we were on the stage, but the conversation went something like this:

Me: I wanted to give you this DVD. My friend wrote and directed this movie.
Craig: Is it a zombie movie?
Me: It is.
Craig: I love zombie movies!
Me: I know! And apparently you had someone on the show and you were talking about zombie poop...
Craig: About whether zombies poop?
Me: Yes! And this movie has zombie poop in it!
Craig: Well thank you for that. And thank you for culturally elevating the evening.

Then he smiled like he was kind of teasing me, but he also seemed sincerely pleased about it. I don't even remember what I said next. I hope I said "I hope you enjoy it" or "You're welcome" but I probably said something kind of nonsensical like "thank you." I was so nervous I forgot to tell him I think he's hilarious!

Craig Ferguson Week

Craig Ferguson
Originally uploaded by Mirka23.

Last week there was a lot of Craig Ferguson in NYC. First I saw him perform at Comix on Friday, April 13th. The show was hilarious - very autobiographical, very personal, much like his monologues on The Late, Late Show, but with more swearing! He cracks me up.

Some women came to the show in full-on kilts and gear.

The following Wednesday, Craig was doing a book signing for the paperback version of his novel, Between the Bridge and the River. He read a few passages, answered some questions, and joked that he'd be back next year to promote the book on tape. Then he signed copies of the book of course.

In between, he seemed to keep himself pretty busy appearing on lots of New York based talk shows.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Tribeca Film Festival 2007 tickets

It's the first day tickets are on sale for the Tribeca Film Festival. I went down to the box office and, after 3 hours of waiting (2.5 of which were outside in the freezing cold) I got almost all of the ones that I wanted. In honor of this, I brought over all my posts from 2005 from some other long-neglected blog. Most of them are about the films that I saw at the Tribeca Film festival that year.

People always ask me what I recommend. Well, here's what I'm going to see:
Blue State
Bomb It
Gardener of Eden
The Grand
Planet B-Boy
The Power of the Game
Rise: Blood Hunter
A Slim Peace
Suburban Girl
Taken To Extremes
Watching the Detectives
West 32nd
Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist

Plus, I've got tickets to see the Narrative Emerging Filmmaker Award Winner and World Narrative Award Winner.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Checkered cab
Originally uploaded by Mirka23.
Today I was at the New York Auto Show. Saw lots of cool stuff, but I don't think I can talk about it yet.

At the end, Rohanna and I wandered into the "Future of the Taxi" exhibit. Lots of cool taxi models. I think some of them were historical vehicles, some were new models, and some were prototypes or proposed designs. Pretty cool.

There was a bar, and we had drinks in glasses that were glued to toy cars - the kind that rev up when you put it on a surface and pull it back. Very cool looking, but I think attaching a heavy glass to something that not only rolls but accelerates is an accident waiting to happen.