The Very Best of TV/Film
The Tribeca Film Festival, The Reel Venus Festival and more!
The Tribeca Film Festival is back from Apr 22 to May 3. This year’s festival boasts six films with an LGBT slant, including a free screening of The Boys in the Band, the seminal film about a troubled, emotional gathering of gay friends on the Upper East Side. This film is being shown in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and will be the companion piece to Making the Boys, a work-in-progress documentary featuring many of the people involved with the original stage play of Boys. Also showing is The Fish Child, Lucía Puenzo’s follow up film to her Cannes winner XXY. The film is a love story about an upper-class Argentine girl’s affair with her family’s Paraguyan maid. Likened to an Argentine Thelma and Louise, the two make a risky plan to run away together, ending with one of them in jail and the other desperate to rescue her. John Hurt returns to a familiar role in An Englishman in New York, the story of the gay icon’s life. Hurt previously portrayed Crisp in 1975 in Crisp’s autobiographical The Naked Civil Servant. (Buzz around the festival says that Hurt’s performance in the new film is astounding.) Two documentaries to note are, Outrage, a scathing critique on the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who actively campaign against the gay community, and Off and Running, which follows the story of an adopted Brooklyn runner in search of her roots while living in a multi-racial home with lesbian parents.
For two weeks, beginning Apr 14, the Museum of Modern Art will honor film director Mike Nichols with a retrospective of seventeen films that span four decades, the likes of which have been nominated for and received a list of awards for both the director and his stars. The series features some of Nichols’ best-known films, such as The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? as well as some of his HBO films, Angels in America, Parts 1&2 and Wit. Also worth noting are screenings of Working Girl, The Birdcage and Silkwood. There is a special event on Apr 18 with Nichols and a group of his closest acting and writing collaborators to discuss the films and celebrate the exhibition.
Back by popular demand at the Film Forum is Masaki Kobayashi’s epic anti-war masterpiece, The Human Condition. Starting Apr 8 and showing for nine days, the film tells the story of a well-intentioned labor boss named Kaji (portrayed by Japanese icon Tatsuya Nakadai) who oversees a Manchurian prison camp during WWII and is pitted between his own humanity and the brutality of Imperial Army life. The film launched both director and actor into superstardom in Japan, and features a long list of important players in Japanese cinema. Broken into three parts—each of which is suitable as stand-alone film—the full feature spans nearly ten hours. There will be marathon screenings of all three parts on Apr 11, 12 and 16.
From the ladies who bring you the Reel Venus Film Festival (reelvenus.com for more information) comes a new quarterly lecture series, Double Vision. Featuring women directors, photographers, photojournalists and multimedia producers the series will explore films such as Katrina’s Children, directed by Laura Belsey. The feature-length documentary tells the story of nineteen children from various New Orleans neighborhoods. Told from the children’s point of view, it explores ways in which the hurricane affected their lives.