The Iverson documentary premieres Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York:
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Ticket film critic Piers Marchant shares his favorite flicks as he takes them in at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City:
A brutal but thoroughly enthralling prison film from England, directed by David MacKenzie (Young Adam, Spread). It is highlighted by its performances, and none more so than lead Jack O'Connell, who plays an angry, hyper-violent troubled youth with the perfect amount of swag and pathos. The film does lean toward some of the clichés of the genre (Rupert Friend plays the obligatory therapist who sees some hope in the kid), but with this strong showing from O'Connell and company, you don't mind so terribly much.
Chinese director Yi'nan Diao brings us this celebrated jet-black noir from his homeland, which won top prize at last year's Berlin Film Festival, but you will certainly need to be prepared for its tonal peculiarities. The story involves a detective who gets caught up in a baffling case involving body parts being strewn all over the countryside, and the mysterious femme fatale who may or may not have something to do with it, but along the way, there's bouts of strange comic violence, a long-discussed dry cleaning accident, and a lot of ice skating.
An important doc from James Spione about the disturbing trend under the Obama administration to issue forth charges under the Espionage Act against government whistleblowers. (Only 11 Americans have ever been charged under it, and 8 of them have been under the current administration). The film focuses on two of these individuals — one, a former CIA agent who spoke out against the "enhanced interrogation techniques" utilized by field agents, and suffered a complete career derailment as a result; the other, a former high-ranking official at the NSA, who called attention to the illegal wiretapping of Americans, and paid an extremely heavy price. You don't have to be partisan to be appalled at the government's methods of punishing those who speak out against its moral effrontery and reckless disregard of the Constitution.
A moving Georgian film about a young wife having to make hard choices when her husband is sent to jail on a long sentence. Tinatin Kajrishvili's portrait of a complicated woman forced to weigh her competing impulses of caring for her new husband and finding her own physical joy with others never takes the easy or obvious path, and as a result, the film carries a good deal more heft than it might have. The long closing scene, which involves a conjugal visit that is a good deal more sweet and caring than carnal, feels absolutely perfect.
A mostly winning military comedy from Israeli director Talya Lavie about an administration unit of young Israeli female soldiers and their various conflicts and conundrums along the way of their two-year conscription. With its penchant for outrageous characters, long-suffering CO's and slapstick farce, it plays a bit like a '70s Hollywood comedy, with just enough verve and inventiveness to stay interesting. Consider it a kind of Private Ben-Jamon.
Extra reading: Highlights from Tribeca, Part 1: Equal Parts Mad, Creative Genius
Last week I reported that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will reunite on the big screen again, playing sisters in the Jason Moore-helmed comedy The Nest.
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In a recent interview Neighbors director Nicholas Stoller leaked that he may soon be working on a new “buddy comedy” starring Philly’s Kevin Hart and Seth Rogen. Here’s what he said in an interview with Slashfilm:
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Enjoying the somewhat peculiar charms of the Tribeca Film Festival, I’ve taken in a host of films on my first two days. Here are some of the highlights.
A thoroughly charming film from writer/director Angus MacLachian (Junebug) about an amiable married man named Otto (Paul Schneider) whose wife (Melanie Lynskey) suddenly blindsides him with a separation, leaving him and his relationship to his young daughter in a sort of limbo. It's something of a comedy (part of the film's conceit concerns the various nutty women Otto gets tangled up with as a newly single man) but with the skillful touch of its celebrated director, it's also able to shift into heartfelt drama. Some of the female characters are pretty much stuck on single-note keys (including that of his ex-wife, to the film's detriment), but there are enough dazzlingly realized moments between both genders that it works quite well, anyway.
Beguiling and witty, this doc from a trio of directors (Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker) concerns the curious case of Mark Landis, a skilled artistic mimic whose shtick involves forging a well-known artist's work and then "donating" the piece to a museum as the real thing. The film follows both Landis, at work on his elaborate deceptions (one of the guises he uses to donate the works is as of a priest), and Matthew Leininger, a former museum registrar Landis once duped, who is hot on his trail. Somehow, the film allows you to pull for both of them.
A showcase for the considerable chops of Rory Culkin — yes, finally, we are at the youngest of the Culkin brood — who plays the titular character, a sweet, somewhat mentally unbalanced young man who, shortly after being released from the hospital after being committed, goes on an ill-advised, shaggy dog quest to find a girlfriend from some years ago in hopes that she will give his ever more unhinged life distinct meaning. Lou Howe's film starts with Gabriel as a distant cypher but deftly spins his audience ever more deeply into his mindspace.
A must-see doc about an infamous break-in into an FBI regional field office in Media, Pa., by a grassroots group of operatives known only as the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, and their subsequent releasing of those incriminating documents to newspapers and media outlets all over the country. Never caught, the group has only recently come out of hiding and admitted to the crime — a game-changing event that eventually forced the formerly all-powerful FBI into serious reform. The film doesn't make the connection overtly, but the echoes of the current Snowden affair are absolutely unmistakable.
Another enchanting doc about an eccentric man doing something slightly extraordinary. Ed Perkins captures the whimsical joy and sadness of his protagonist, Garnet Frost, as he goes on yet another madcap adventure to return to the particular spot in the Scottish highlands where he almost died 20 years before while on a search for buried treasure. Garnet is a fascinating character, equal parts mad, creative genius and tragically lonely.
In January we interviewed Lambertville author James McBride, who had just won the National Book Award for his novel The Good Lord Bird. When we asked if the book would be made into a movie like his previous work Miracle at St. Anna, he responded that, ”No one’s called … But look, if you write a book because you want someone to turn it into a film, you’re making a mistake.”
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Our weekly round-up of new releases, ranked for your viewing pleasure, by their indispensability and watchability. Yes, we made up that word.
The weekend’s new movie rankings after the jump
Evan Jonigkeit looking none too pretty as Toad in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn’t open in the U.S. until May 2, but an early release in the U.K. has fans abuzz — not because of the film’s, but because a mysterious post-credits scene features a sequence from the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.
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Filmmaker Mike Flanagan has an all-too-appropriate hometown. The horror director, whose previous film Absentia, about a missing husband and an eerie tunnel, earned numerous awards on the festival circuit, spent a good deal of his seminal years in Salem, Mass., home of the infamous witch trials. His new film, Oculus, concerns an evil antique mirror and a pair of terrified siblings who have sworn to destroy it after it laid waste to their family. He recently met with Ticket, along with co-producers Trevor Macy and Jason Blum, to discuss the film, and the nature of things that go bump into the night.
Our Q&A with Mike Flanagan after the jump
British actor Nick Frost is best known as Simon Pegg’s co-pilot in director Edgar Wright’s “Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy,” consisting of the eccentric comedies Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and, most recently, The World’s End. Having completed this project, the two have gone on to new horizons. Pegg was cast as Scotty in J.J. Abrams Star Trek franchise, while Frost, on a peculiar whim, pitched a film to his producer about a heavy-set bloke having to dance on stage.
The result is Cuban Fury, a comedy about a heavy-set bloke who, as a young lad, has a real passion for salsa dancing until it’s brutally beaten out of him by some young thugs the night of a huge dance contest. Years later, he comes to salsa again, this time in order to woo the woman of his dreams (Rashida Jones).
The genial actor met with Ticket to discuss his annoyance at TV chefs, how to properly chop garlic, and a couple of his more OCD preoccupations.
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