Skip to main content

Starring New York: New York Films at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

For those who enjoy depictions of New York on film, several movies in this year's Tribeca Film Festival (April 22-May 3, 2009) give New York a featured role. Though not surprising for a festival that was created to reinvigorate lower Manhattan in the wake of 9/11, the festival's New York-centered films sprawl out across the five boroughs. Glamorous Manhattan is still the backdrop for Steven Soderberg's The Girlfriend Experience, and Wall Street and the East and West Villages get their star turns. But other films include City Island, set in the Bronx, The Exploding Girl and Off and Running, set in Brooklyn, and Entre Nos, with Queens as the setting. And yes, Staten Island features in a spooky real-life tale with the film Cropsey.

Features


Blank City. Encounters. Feature Documentary, 2009, 106 min. Directed by: Celine Danhier. East Village art scene of the 1970s with everything-goes film movements such as "No Wave Cinema" and "Cinema of Transgression."

Burning Down the House: The Story of CBGB. Discovery. Feature Documentary, 2009, 90 min
Directed by: Mandy Stein. The "Country Bluegrass Blues" club on the Bowery, founded by Hilly Kristal, becomes a punk, new wave heaven. Vintage performances by Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Television, Bad Brains, and The Ramones.

City Island. Encounters. Feature Narrative, 2009, 100 min. Directed by: Raymond De Felitta. Story of a dysfunctional family living on a little-known island in the Bronx

Con Artist. Discovery. Feature Documentary, 2009, 80 min. Directed by: Michael Sládek. Traces the rise and hard gall of Mark Kostabi, a star during the 1980s New York art world. A docu-comedy.

Cropsey. Midnight. Feature Documentary, 2008, 84 min. Directed by: Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman. A spooky Staten Island tale of missing children and a real-life bogeyman.

An Englishman in New York. Encounters. Narrative. 74 min. With John Hurt as the aging Quentin Crisp, living in New York. Also a portrait of a new sensibility as the gay community in the early 1980s first confronts AIDS.

Entre nos. Discovery. Feature Narrative, 2009, 80 min. Directed by: Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte. After her husband abandons her, a mother must fend for herself and care for her children in the unfamiliar new world of Queens, New York. She finds a future in the city's recycling program.

The Exploding Girl. World Narrative Feature Competition. Feature Narrative, 2009, 79 min. Directed by: Bradley Rust Gray. A maturation story of a college student returning home to Brooklyn for summer break with her longtime guy friend.

The Girlfriend Experience. Spotlight. Feature Narrative, 2009, 77 min. Directed by: Steven Soderbergh. Five days in the life of a $2,000-an-hour Manhattan call girl, with adult film star Sasha Grey in the lead. Filmed with advanced digital technology.

The Good Guy. Encounters. Feature Narrative, 2009, 90 min. Directed by: Julio DePietro. Story of a Wall Street star, his budding romance, and his mentoring of a new guy in the ways of "the street."

Here and There. World Narrative Feature Competition. Feature Narrative, 2009, 90 min. Directed by: Darko Lungulov. A story of the competing cultures and climate of his home country of Serbia and his adopted New York.

Off and Running. Discovery. Feature Documentary, 2009, 78 min. Directed by: Nicole Opper. Story of Avery, a typical Brooklyn teen, adopted by white Jewish lesbians, with a younger Korean brother and an older brother is mixed-race. Avery is black and grows curious about her biological African-American roots.

P-Star Rising. Discovery. Feature Documentary, 2009, 83 min. Directed by: Gabriel Noble. Jesse Diaz, a rising star in the hip-hop world in the '80s, finds himself a broke single father in Harlem with two children to support. He puts his faith in his nine-year-old daughter, a talented rapper.

Partly Private. World Documentary Feature Competition. Feature Documentary, 2009, 84 min. Directed by: Danae Elon. Circumcision story features locations around the world, including New York.

Variety. Restored/Rediscovered. Feature Narrative, 1984, 97 min. Directed by: Bette Gordon. Bette Gordon's pioneering indie narrative about a young woman working as a ticket taker in a porn theater. A product of the downtown artist scene from the early 1980s, Variety credits include composer John Lurie, cinematographer Tom DeCillo, writer Kathy Acker, photographer Nan Goldin, and actor Spalding Gray. Shot on location in New York City at the lost landmarks of the Variety Theatre, Fulton Fish Market, Yankee Stadium, and a funkier Times Square. Preservation by Women's Film Preservation Fund of NYWIFT.

Whatever Works. Feature Narrative, 2009, 92 min. Directed by: Woody Allen. The film will have its world premiere on the opening night of the film festival, April 22. New Yorker played by Larry David - not that there's anything wrong with that - abandons his upper-class life - hmmm - for bohemia - welcome to Greenwich Village. He meets a young girl from the South - uh-oh - and her family - double uh-oh. A Woody Allen movie, with many scenes filmed on location in bohemia, i.e. Greenwich Village, USA.

Shorts

Camera Roll (for Taylor). Shorts in Competition: Documentary. Short Documentary, 2008, 3 min. Directed by: Joel Schlemowitz and Joel Schlemowitz. A city cine-poem, filmed in Brooklyn in the vicinity of the Gowanus Canal, shot on a single roll of 16mm film.

Deadline. Shorts in Competition: Narrative. Short Narrative, 2008, 17 min. Directed by: Joseph Bakhash. A psychological drama of a tortured ex-convict meeting his prison guard in a diner.

Nueva York. Shorts in Competition: Narrative. Short Narrative, 2008, 8 min. Directed by: Manolo Celi. Multiple stories of Latino life in New York.

Images from Empire Fulton Ferry State Park on April 16, 2009 by Walking Off the Big Apple. Starting next week look for my coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival on Reframe, a project of the Tribeca Film Institute.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Museums in New York Open on Mondays

Please see this post for current announcements of reopenings . Please consult the museum websites for changes in days and hours. UPDATED September 23, 2020 Advance tickets required for many museum reopenings. Please check museum websites for details. • The  Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)  reopened to the public on  August 27 , with new hours for the first month, through September 27: from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to the public; and from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  on Mondays for MoMA members on ly. Admission will be free to all visitors Tuesday through Sunday, through September 27, made possible by UNIQLO. See this  new post on WOTBA for a sense of the experience attending the museum . •  New-York Historical Society  reopened on  August 14  with an outdoor exhibition, "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” in the rear courtyard. The exhibit by activist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman will highlight how New Yorkers weathered the quarantine

25 Things To Do Near the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

(updated 2016) The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) at 11 W. 53rd Street is near many other New York City attractions, so before or after a trip to the museum, a short walk in any direction could easily take in additional experiences. Drawing a square on a map with the museum at the center, a shape bounded by 58th Street to the north and 48th Street to the south, with 7th Avenue to the west and Park Avenue to the east, proves the point of the area's cultural richness. (A map follows the list below.) While well-known sightseeing stops fall with these boundaries, most notably Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the great swath of famous Fifth Avenue stores, cultural visitors may also want to check out places such as the Austrian Cultural Forum, the 57th Street galleries, the Onassis Cultural Center, and the Municipal Art Society. The image above shows an intriguing glimpse of the tops of two Beaux-Arts buildings through an opening of the wall inside MoMA's scu

Taking a Constitutional Walk

A long time ago individuals going out for a walk, especially to get fresh air and exercise, often referred to the activity as "taking a constitutional walk." The word "constitutional" refers to one's constitution or physical makeup, so a constitutional walk was considered beneficial to one's overall wellbeing. (Or, as some would prefer to call it, "wellness.") The phrase is more common in British literature than in American letters. As early as the mid-nineteenth century, many American commentators expressed concern that their countrymen were falling into lazy and unhealthy habits. Newspaper columnists and editorial writers urged their readers to take up the practice of the "constitutional" walk. One such essay, " Walking as an Exercise," originally printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and reprinted in New England Farmer , Volume 11, 1859, urges the people of farm areas to take up walking. City dwellers seemed to have the

25 Things to Do Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

(updated) Sitting on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of those iconic things to do in New York City. On a sunny day, the wide steps can become crowded with the young and old, the tourist and the resident. It's tempting to stay awhile and soak in the sun and the sights. Everyone has reasons for lingering there, with one being the shared pleasure of people watching along this expansive stretch of Fifth Avenue, a painting come to life. Certainly, just getting off one's feet for a moment is welcome, especially if the previous hours involved walking through the entirety of art history from prehistoric to the contemporary. The entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be a singular pilgrimage, uninterrupted by feeble attempts to take in more exhibitions along Museum Mile. Pity the poor visitor who tries "to do" multiple museum exhibitions in one day, albeit ambitious, noble, and uplift

25 Things to Do Near the American Museum of Natural History

After visiting the American Museum of Natural History, explore attractions on the Upper West Side or in Central Park. Visitors to New York often run around from one major tourist site to the next, sometimes from one side of the city to the other, and in the process, exhaust themselves thoroughly. Ambitious itineraries often include something like coffee in the Village in the morning, lunch near MoMA, a couple of hours in the museum, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry in the afternoon, cocktails at the midtown hotel, a quick dinner, and then a Broadway show. It's a wonder people don't pass out at the theater. While sitting on the steps of the American Museum of History, consider exploring the Upper West Side and nearby sites of interest in Central Park. There's a better way to plan a New York trip. Consider grouping attractions together geographically. Several posts on this site address this recommended approach. The Wild West of the Tecumseh Playground Groupin

A New York Spring Calendar: Blooming Times and Seasonal Events

See the UPDATED 2018 CALENDAR HERE . Updated for 2017 . At this time of year, thoughts turn to spring. Let's spring forward to blooming times, the best locations for witnessing spring's beginnings, and springtime events in the big city. While the occasional snow could blow through the city, we're just weeks now from callery pears in bloom and opening day at the ballpark. In The Ramble, Central Park. mid-April Blooming Times •  Central Park Conservancy's website  lists blooming times within the park. During the month of March we begin to see crocus, daffodils, forsythia, snowdrops, witch-hazel, and hellebores. Species tulips will emerge in several places, but the Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory Garden are particularly good places to catch the beginning of Spring blooms. Central Park near E. 72nd St., saucer magnolia, typically end of March. •  Citywide Blooming Calendar from New York City Department of Parks & Recreation April is u

25 Radical Things to Do in Greenwich Village

A list of 25 things to Do in Greenwich Village with history of protest, old cafes, and signs of change. Hipstamatic iPhone images of contemporary Greenwich Village by Walking Off the Big Apple (Revised and updated.) Flipping through  Greenwich Village: A Photographic Guide by Edmund T. Delaney and Charles Lockwood with photographs by George Roos, a second, revised edition published in 1976, it’s easy to compare the black and white images with the look of today’s neighborhood and see how much the Village has changed. A long shot photograph of Washington Square taken up high from an apartment north of the park, and with the looming two towers of the World Trade Center off to the distant south in the background, reveals a different landscape than what we would encounter today.    On the north side of the park, an empty lot and two small buildings have since given way to NYU’s Kimmel Center and a new NYU Center for Academic and Spiritual Center Life. The Judson Memorial Church

At the New Moynihan Train Hall, and the Zen of Going Nowhere

After slowly wandering around the Moynihan Train Hall , opened earlier this year in the James A. Farley Post Office Building across from Penn Station, an Amtrak worker approached me and asked if he could help with directions. “No,” I replied, “I’m just here to look at the station.”  Moynihan Train Hall, between Eighth Avenue, Ninth Avenue, 31st Street, and 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan I wasn’t taking a train anywhere, not an Amtrak train to Philadelphia or to Boston. I was here to look at this impressive, even enlightening building. The architectural design is somewhat restrained and serious. Bright signage at the Moynihan Train Hall At a time when the idea of actual travel is just picking up, for some New Yorkers like myself, just the novelty of seeing a new transportation project in the city seems to suffice. It’s like mental preparation for taking an actual trip.  Looking up I remember catching Amtrak trains at the old Penn Station, not the beautiful and monumental edifice that

A Walk in NoLita, Sometimes Speaking French

To get to the New Museum of Contemporary Art on the Bowery from where I live in the Village I walk through the precious neighborhood of NoLita. I say "precious," because this neighborhood No rth of L ittle Ita ly is home to many attractive small boutiques and stylish bistros, and it feels like it could be bottled and sold for a large price. In fact, that's happening. The prices for several new condos in the neighborhood's attractive renovated Victorian-era buildings start in the six- and seven-million dollar range. And the proximity of the New Museum solidifies NoLita's stature as a hot neighborhood, with galleries, shoe boutiques and other art-friendly places popping up here and there. Walking along Prince or Spring toward the museum, I have several old and new, ecclesiastical and secular, places to note along the way: Buildings: The St. Patrick's Old Cathedral at Mott and Prince, served as the Roman Catholic Cathedral until the big St. Patrick's was

Traversing Manhattan: An Afternoon Trip to the Battery and Back Again

  Wherein the vaccinated sightseer from Northern Manhattan travels to the southern end of the island by means of the express bus, the MTA subway, and the NYC ferry, with a little sauntering on foot In Battery Park, during the first blushes of spring in New York. View of One World Trade Center Residents of the far north and far south of Manhattan are the ones most keenly aware that they live on an island. The north end of the borough tapers to a relatively small area of land, bounded by the confluence of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers and the waters of Spuyten Duyvil. The land is hilly and green, with an old growth forest. The Battery sits on the southern end, a land where the geography is defined by the meeting of the East River, the Hudson River, and the vast New York Harbor. Manhattan stretches a little over 13 miles on the long side and just 2.3, more or less, at its width. On 42nd Street, approaching Grand Central Terminal. A resident of the hilly northern terrain may sometimes long