Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday morning, April 29.

Yesterday, went to the press screening at the Tribeca Film Festival of Li Yu's "Lost in Beijing". A startling movie that deserves really serious analysis. However, in terms of a social event, it was also amazing....

Got there and ran into Wendy Sax... and then, Chris Cooper came in with Marianne Leone! I haven't seen them in... Marianne and i figured it must have been around 1980. That's 27 years! One thing i will always remember is that Marianne once said that, in terms of her professional destiny, there was some TV series out there just waiting for her. And there has been: she's played Michael Imperioli's mother on "The Sopranos" for the last five years. It's so strange... 27 years! We were young then, and full of promise, and i was really doing a lot of work. (In an aside: i checked and Patrick Byrnes directed two short plays in Dublin within the last few months, and Matthew Conlon played Prospero in an off-off-Broadway production of "The Tempest" two months ago. I wonder where Francis Parkman and Markus Wishmeyer are now.)

Wendy and i had a long talk about the situation of independent film, and the problem of finding places that really work on behalf of filmmakers.

Ok. So on Wednesday i had my tooth pulled. That knocked out that day. (Having my tooth oulled reminded me of Markus, who was always having problems with his teeth.) On Thursday, i went in to see the shorts program "Archiving Reality", a program which consisted of Jem Cohen's "NYC Weights and Measures", Mark Street's "A Year", Bill Morrison's "Who By Water", Kristin Nutile's "Loss" and Lynn Sachs's "The Small Ones". An excellent program, with Jem Cohen's piece being particularly poignant and poetic... and Bill Morrison's piece being a mistake. A mistake in the sense that the editing of the found footage was very delicate, but the music score was too bombastic and practically obliterated the imagery.

On Friday, saw all or parts of five movies: "Lady Chatterley", "Eye of the Dolphin", "Fireworks Wednesday", "On the Downlow" and "A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory". The last i went to in order to pay tribute to Jim Lyons, since that film was one of the last he worked on. I was surprised by "On the Downlow"... on the press screening schedule it was listed as "Coming Out" but there was no program with that particular title listed. Turns out it's being used as the title of the two hour-long docs, "On the Downlow" and "The Polymath, Or The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delaney, Gentleman". But i got to see "On the Downlow" and then rushed to see "A Walk Into the Sea", so it worked out perfectly.

A lot of thoughts on all of these films, but have to rush to more screenings.


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