Thursday, July 31, 2008

Films to Looks for in NYC

A few films I've seen already to note have been released in New York City that I'd like to bring attention to.

The first is the Duplass Brothers excellent "Baghead," which I saw at the Tribeca Film Festival a few months ago. Billed as a horror comedy, this is more of a relationship comedy, and is more proof that the Duplass Brothers (and actress Greta Gerwig) are the only two worthy things in this so called "mumblecore" film making movement-but then again, I don't really count the Duplass' as mumblecore film makers.

Here's the review for the film.
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Also out is the entertaining documentary "Man on Wire," about Phillipe Petite, who decided to string a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center and balance on them. Here is what I wrote on it after seeing it at Sundance at BAM last May.

""Man on Wire" is a consistently entertaining and even fascinating documentary which won a few prizes at the Sundance Festival earlier in the year. It's one of those stories that comes along every once in a while that really does just show that the best stories cannot be made up. And much like the main subject of "Grizzly Man," or "Deep Water," "Man on Wire" has such a fascinating main character-in this case we follow Philippe Petit, a tightrope walker who, in the 70's, attached a wire across the two World Trade Center towers and walked back and forth a few times, eventually getting arrested. Doing a mix of interviews with the actually people involved in the incident, and a reenactment, Marsh crafts a very entertaining and thoughtful story, which is even also quite intense. Although I will admit that I would have liked some more after the incident-it even hints at how Petit changed after the event and after he started getting famous, but it doesn't explore that. And I would have been curious how Petit would have felt after 9/11 occurred, with the towers being a different kind of symbol than it was for others."
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Lastly being released on Friday is "Frozen River," the next one in the endless list of films about illegal immigrant smuggling that I've seen in the last few months. Headed by a terrific performance by Melissa Leo, "Frozen River" is a tense and powerful drama, about a woman who resorts to nearly anything to provide for her family. I don't have any material written on "Frozen River" to direct you to, but I can recommend it.
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Also been released in New York is the awful "American Teen," which I was surprised at the somewhat low box office take for its first release-I was certain it would have been a big hit that I would have declared overrated for years to come. But several other critics were able to see past this cliche ridden documentary that had many obviously staged moments and situations. Here's what I wrote about it when I saw it in May.

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