J’adore L’amour fou
I will say that The Perfect Family, which premiered at Tribeca, had an unfair advantage given that I would show up, eagerly, to watch (and listen to) Kathleen Turner read the phone book, and in addition to being a consummate film actor, she is also an outspoken advocate of Planned Parenthood. But advantages aside, The Perfect Family is a darling of American independent cinema. Turner plays Eileen Cleary, nominated for Catholic Woman of the Year (but in close running with her childhood nemesis). Her priest tells her she’s going to win by a mile since she has a perfect family, a successful lawyer lesbian daughter (living partially in the closet and about to marry her partner), a son who is having an affair, and her own struggling marriage to a recovering alcoholic. The film doesn’t rely on quirkiness, but is instead populated by very real characters, both due to wonderful performances and excellent dialogue. When I found out the screenwriter Claire V. Riley was a first time screenwriter, I about died of shock, not only because of her gift at crafting her characters, but also because the arc of the film is so well designed. When she told me she came from a background in Social Anthropology, I understood.
Ms. Riley is a storyteller who studied families (lesbian partners and their families), and thus understands familial dynamics. She got right to the core and made it incredibly amusing and moving to watch. I laughed (a lot); I cried. I will post a trailer for the film as soon as it is released.
One of the benefits of breaking three ribs and missing the world premiere of Turn Me On, Godammit at the Tribeca Film Festival is that then you get sent a screener of the film, and then you get to watch it multiple times! Huzzah!
This incredibly funny, honest and unique look at coming of age (in the best possible sense of the term) won Best Screenplay at festival, and it’s no wonder. However, I was equally transfixed with Norwegian writer/director Jannicke Jacobson’s compositions and renderings of small town life on the fjord. The cinematics and the storyline work in lockstep from the moody opening shots set to our heroine’s wry voice over.
While many in this country championed last years teen comedy Easy A (and yes, Emma Stone delivers a great performance), the film irked me because no one was actually having sex or wanting to have sex, and while it did portray how high school rumor mills can be as unreliable as they are damaging, it wasn’t a very honest, or worthwhile, approach to teenage sexuality. Turn Me On, Godammit shows how rumors harm, how a woman’s reputation can be both subject to judgemental whims and the property of the those doing the judgement, but it never apologizes for its young heroines sex drive. In fact it celebrates it in the most wondrous and humorous manner. The film doesn’t preach these ideas to the viewer, the story is much more sophisticated in it’s simple approach of Alma,15 and horny, her confounded mother, and Artur, the object of her affections. And then there’s her best friend, Sarahlou, who writes letters to prisoners on Texas’ Death Row, in one of my favorite subplots in recent and not-so recent memory. All the young actor’s in this film are first time film actors, and they deliver wonderful, believable performances, free of caricature.
I really, really adored this film.
Across from Tribeca Cinemas, April 9th after I saw the pre-festival screening of the The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. I hope to have the rest/last of my Tribeca Film Festival coverage
up by the end of the weekend before I return to work on Wednesday. Ribs and I seem to being healing nicely. Not the festival I expected to have, but a wonderful, memorable one nonetheless.
And Drew (from Rubenstein), if you’re out there, thanks for chasing down a cab (that had my tickets in it), so I could see a couple of films in the theaters. If Tribeca is Christmaskuh, that makes you Santa.
Told you the Tribeca Film Festival is like Christmakuh.
(Trailer park bar across from the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas)
Me to my blog: “We’ve come a long, long, way together.”
The trailer for the Mexican film Artificial Paradises, which won the Best Cinematography Award at the festival. This lovely and melancholic poem to addiction, escapism, and harsh, beautiful realities had a female Director of Photography! Congratulations Luisa Tillinger!
Directed by Yulene Olaizola, Written by Yulene Olaizola and Fernando del Razo. (Female Filmmakers!!!)
The trailer for the hilarious, subversive, yet full of heart (but not for the faint of heart) Rid of Me, currently having its world premier at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film’s tag line bluntly and knowlingly states “Kids can be mean…adults can be meaner,” and I think many of us know that to be true.
Written and directed by James Westby, who is more than capable of capturing the female voice, the film stars Katie O’Grady, as Meris, who gives such an awkward, wall-petal performance, that it made it almost impossible to believe I was meeting her when I chatted with a beautiful, articulate, and friendly blond at the film’s after party. Grady’s performance, which is also a transformation, is complimented by the magnetic Orianna Herrmann, as Trudy, a punk chick whose f**K the world and then some attitude helps Meris loses herself (again) in order to find herself. This is a film for anyone who has ever been the victim of mean kids (raises hand), anyone who’s ever had their heart broken (raises hand), and anyone who’s ever wondered how they got where they are and hasn’t a clue how to find their way back (raises hand again).
And did I mention the film and filmmakers come out of Portland, Oregon? Whatever it is they put in the water there, the city really is producing wonderful, different, and daring independent film and television.