Friday, May 2, 2008

Tribeca Film Festival - Wednesday, April 30

Tonight's film was Milky Way Liberation Front. I was super tired, and I don't feel like I can say that much about this odd Korean movie. There were definitely some funny moments, but I guess I expected it to be more absurd wackiness, and less surreal romantic comedy.

Tribeca Film Festival - Tuesday, April 29

I saw a single film on Tuesday - Guest of Cindy Sherman. The thing that it's important to know about this documentary is that it's not primarily about Cindy Sherman. It's mainly about a guy named Paul H-O (also the co-director) who used to have a public access TV show about the NY art scene. He met Cindy and for some reason the notoriously private and press-shy artist agreed to let him tape a series of interviews as she worked on her next show.

They end up dating, and even live together for several years. By all accounts she seems to be a fabulous girlfriend, but she becomes more and more famous and the art world took on a sort of celebrity and fame aspect, and his ego couldn't handle being the accessory to her growing success. His frustration culminates in an event (a dinner in her honor, if I remember correctly) where he is shunted off to a distant table, with a name card that simply says "Guest of Cindy Sherman."

It's sort of interesting and sort of disheartening. Paul wants to be in the art world, more than he wants to be an artist. And above all he seems to want attention. You get the sense that the relationship couldn't survive because he couldn't tolerate living in her shadow. But the title of the film, ostensibly a reference to the offending name card, is also an admission that the thing Paul H-O is most famous for is having been Cindy Sherman's boyfriend, and if he doesn't invoke her name, a lot fewer people would go see it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tribcea Film Festival - Sunday, April 27 (part 2)

The third film I saw on Sunday was called Trucker. It stars Michelle Monaghan as a truck driver whose 11-year-old son from a very early marriage pops back into her life. She's used to being kind of solitary, and really isn't prepared for this. The director, James Mottern, told us beforehand that Michelle couldn't be here, but she really wanted us to know that she did drive the trucks herself. She didn't even have a regular driver's license at the time, but she went to school to learn how to drive the big rigs.

Nathan Fillion plays yet another character that you can't help but fall in love with. Not a bad thing to be typecast as! The actor (Jimmy Bennett) who played the little kid was very subtle for a child actor. I asked about him during the Q&A and Mottern said "Yeah, he's really a 40 year old man." Pretty amazing.

The last question came from Michelle's brother, who said she made him promise not to embarrass her, but that didn't stop him from asking "Did she have to stop every half hour and take a piss, liks she did on family vacations?" Apparently he was ok with breaking his promise.

My final movie of the day was Idiots and Angels, a kind of film noirish Bill Plympton feature. It's about a bastard-y guy who grows wings and they somehow make him start to be a better person. Very interesting look. I liked the film a lot, but I was too tired by that point to be able to form any coherent thoughts about it.