Tuesday, May 09, 2006

So much has happened in the last few days: the Tribeca Film Festival finally ended (because of the pre-festival press screenings, it seemed to go on forever... but i saw the very first press screening, and i saw the very last press screening, which turned out to be a Bill Plympton-curated program of animated shorts, of which several i had seen in other contexts), went to the press preview of the Eva Hesse exhibition at the Jewish Museum (phenomenal show) and (finally) caught the David Smith exhibition at the Guggenheim (another terrific show). Went to the press screening for "Refuge" the doc about Buddhism written and narrated by Les Levine; ran into Coleen Fitzgibbon and Tom Otterness at the screening. Rushed home so that i could finish looking at the DVDs from the Asian-American/Asian Research Institute, and e.mailed my ballot. Some good work this year. On Saturday, spent an hour talking on the phone with Annette Michelson, telling her about the woes of Wooster Street; we both expressed a nostalgia for the way the city had been. Larry and i went to a special screening of "Poseidon" and then to the party afterwards at Barney's; the party was enjoyable enough, we tried to stand someplace where it wasn't so crowded, and we succeeded in being in one of the spots where the waitstaff came out; at one point, Emmy Rossum came through, wearing the red gown she wears in the movie. A lot of thoughts....

Got an e.mail from Jeff Yang, who has a blog (http://instantyang.blogspot.com); he's writing one of those think pieces, this one about what the term "Asian" means in the context of "Asian-America". After watching more than 2 hours of student films expressing their "Asian-ness", i was a little more than irritated. I think it's because these questions (what does Asian mean to you? Do you regard yourself as Asian? etc.) have been around since the 1970s. Enough already! So i'm afraid my answers were a little rude.

Got a call from Wendy Sax, so, yes, once again, i'm on board to help with the IFFM. Which is interesting, since the whole prognosis for the "independent" film scene continues to be bleak.

When checking out Michael Lucas's blog, i wound up going to the blog of Spencer Quest. I think it's an amazing site (http://www.spencerquest.com) because this is someone who really is trying to deal with the way that gay men regard sexuality, and he's quite articulate.

Gary Tooze suggests that i do a little roundup, the way Jonathan Rosenbaum has done (his 10 favorite off-beat musicals, his 10 favorite underrated film noirs). One problem is that so many films just aren't on DVD. For example, if you take something like Pre-Code films (a favorite among DVD Beaver's readers), there are just so many of those films which are not on DVD. And the same remains true of film noir: when is Nicholas Ray's "They Live By Night" ever going to come to DVD? Or Fritz Lang's "The Woman in the Window"? But i'm thinking about this.

Anyway, would like to try to sum up something about the Tribeca Film Festival... it's such a megalith, it's so huge, it sprawls and takes over everything... yet there are always interesting and worthwhile films, even something as surprisingly entertaining as the ESPN-doc "Once in a Lifetime" which details the attempt by Steve Ross to make soccer a mainstream American sport, and the rise and fall of the New York Cosmos.

Isotta Ingrid Rossellini went on record in a press release, denouncing her twin sister's film "My Dad is 100 Years Old" because she thinks that Isabella is being disrepectful to the memory of their father. I also saw Gil Rossellini's documentary about his recent illness, "Kill Gil, Volume 1". Both Ingrid and Isabella appear....


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