On Reframe: Screens Big and Small, and Quentin Crisp's New York

I wanted to remind readers of Walking Off the Big Apple that this week and next I'm writing about aspects of the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival (now in progress through May 3) for the website, Reframe, an online project of the Tribeca Film Institute. As I write this, I have two new posts in progress - an interview with Austrian filmmaker Gustav Deutsch about his film, FILM IST. a girl & a gun, as well as a report on a special screening of Stanley Kramer's Inherit the Wind. Look for those shortly. I've already posted two essays that may interest readers. Following is a preview, with links to the remainder of the posts on Reframe.

The Tribeca Film Festival and Reframe: Screens Big and Small
At the opening press conference for the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, a reporter asked Spike Lee to explain what having two of his films in the festival (Passing Strange, Kobe Doin' Work) meant for him. He responded by simply saying, "Film needs a venue." On the surface, that seems like an obvious thing to say, but the reality is that many films, old and new, still sit on the shelf. Moving images need to be seen in a place, running through a projector and projected on a screen, on a television with a DVD or digital service, or, as I’ll discuss, somewhere online. I could almost see the noted director thinking a moment after he uttered these remarks, perhaps realizing the audience members would like more on the topic. He then expanded on the idea, explaining that young people, especially graduates of film schools, desperately need a venue in order to share their work. It's the nature of the art.
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An Anachronist in New York: Quentin Crisp, a Changing Gay Culture, and the Power of Words and Images
In an early sequence of An Englishman in New York, a film receiving its North American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, we see Quentin Crisp (John Hurt) walking - well, more like floating, placing one foot in front of another as a ballet dancer on a tightrope, along MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. The year is 1981. As he turns and walks west down the charming and colorfully decorated Minetta Lane, it's possible to spot a chronological oddity in the background. In just a glimpse, a relatively new cupcake shop, opened in a small storefront in 2007 or 2008, appears on the shot of MacDougal. The shop, a cultural artifact of a later time, specifically Sex and the City, a cupcake-generating TV phenomenon of the straight girl's sexual revolution, might appear as an anachronism for some viewers.
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Image: Minetta Lane, by Walking Off the Big Apple


Pascale said...

for some reason, I really don't like that Magnolia bakery...

Anton Deque said...

I am very much enjoying reading your reviews (and asides) on the Tribeca Film Festival, to which I send my best wishes. I hope those in the driving seat understand the connection between "young filmmakers" looking for some where to screen their films and the leading role creative people have played in achieving new life for many inner city districts.

Qunitin Crisp came (once only) to model for an afternoon at my college. I can see his blue hair as I write this. He certainly stood out in the crowd, even in 1967. But he was not a man who sought to be either a 'gay icon' or less still public campaigner. Hence I suspect the disappointment with him among a later more politicised gay movement he simply did not seem to understand.

Mr John Hurt is a wonderful actor and a very nice man.

Smadraji said...

Nice Posting