Tuesday, April 29, 2008

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL: A TIMELY SELECTION


NEW YORK, New York -- A web celebrity making his big screen debut, a pioneer of internet-based film marketing who keeps making small movies, and two remarkably original animated features that only their radical creators could think up: Such are the joys of the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. After opening last Wednesday with Baby Mama, the massive New York City gathering premiered dozens of tiny independent titles, many of which arrived with the sort of unlikely back stories you'll never find in Hollywood fare.

Bart Got a Room tells an amusing if familiar coming-of-age story, sporting strong performances from William H. Macy, Cheryl Hines and newcomer Steven Kaplan--but YouTube star Brandon Hardesty steals the show in a supporting role. Daniel Myrick, already in history books as co-director of The Blair Witch Project, continues working on an independent scale with his supernatural thriller The Objective. Famed indie animator Bill Plympton has ventured into deeply complicated morality issues with his painstakingly rendered noir Idiots and Angels, while cartoonist Nina Paley brings years of Flash experience to fruition in her provocative feature Sita Sings the Blues. I won't try to argue that any of these projects share similar themes, because they don't. However, fitting the standard for a well-programmed festival, this quartet bears the fruits of individual efforts and unflagging, singular ambition.


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