Tribeca Movie Review: The Optimists

The following film was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

The Optimists

The Optimists (Optimisti)
Spotlight, Narrative
2006, Serbia
Dir: Goran Paskaljevic

Everything’s good and getting better, or so the characters in The Optimists think. With a vivid sense of humor, irony, and sadness, director Goran Paskaljevic creates five stories of people struggling to overcome their harsh realities, while fighting to see the good in their endeavors. Paskaljevic presents a crew of confused individuals, blinded by their hopes of prevailing, that continue to get stuck in unfortunate situations. With a magnificent performance by Lazar Ristovski, from Kusturica’s Underground, the film is able to transmit tales of twisted, amusing episodes contrasted with sorrowful experiences. The persons within the film have something going against them, and they either confront this reality with humor or despondency.
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The following film was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

Born and Bred (Nacido y Criado)

Born and Bred (Nacido y Criado)
World Narrative Competition
2006, Argentina
Dir: Pablo Trapero

When the man who has it all suddenly loses it all, his life can make such an unforeseen shift that not even he is prepared for the outcome. In Pablo Trapero’s Born and Bred, the man in this case is Santiago, played with painful resignation by Guillermo Pfening. Santiago, a successful interior designer, is married to Milli, a sleek beauty with a striking onscreen presence. Together, they have a daughter and live a secure life within the decorated walls of their safe haven in Buenos Aires.
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The following movie was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

The Power of The Game

The Power of The Game
Spotlight, Documentary
2007, U.S.A.
Dir: Michael Apted

The joy of football. The world’s sport. The greatest game on Earth. Football is the most played sport on the planet and every four years the greatest sporting competition takes place, the FIFA World Cup. Director Michael Apted transcends his love for the sport and decides to tackle an immense project in The Power of The Game.
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Tribeca Movie Review: You Kill Me

The following movie was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

You Kill Me

You Kill Me
Spotlight, Narrative
2007, U.S.A.
Dir: John Dahl

What happens when you get an alcoholic hit man who can’t seem to perform his duties well enough? You get the premise to You Kill Me, a moronic “indie” comedy disguised as a smart drama, about what, exactly, is not easily discernable. Ben Kingsley plays Frank. Frank is a killer. Frank is a man who knows no boundaries. Frank is bad at his job. Its quite unfortunate to see a genius actor such as Ben Kingsley be demoted to the lackluster position of portraying such a one-dimensional character.
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Tribeca Movie Review: This Is England

The following movie was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

This Is England

This Is England
Spotlight, Narrative
2006, U.K.
Dir: Shane Meadows

An unlikely band of brothers comes to grips with the crisis ravaging their beloved homeland in This Is England. The film centers on a lonely outsider that goes by the name of Shaun. Shaun gets picked on constantly at school and has no friends to play with. One day, he runs into a group of skinheads. But not to worry, these are friendly skinheads. The head of the bunch, Woody, takes him under his wing and protects him with unexpected authority.

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The following film was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

Razzle Dazzle

Razzle Dazzle
Spotlight, Narrative
2007, U.S.A.
Dir: Ken Jacobs

With his new installment, noted experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs aims to distort his images to such extreme length, as to reconceptualize them and give them a whole new meaning. The tool of choice for him is repetition, repetition, repetition. Jacobs takes what seems like the ordinary, the sublime, the mundane, and turns it into something altogether haunting. Akin to other fringe filmmakers such as Hollis Frampton, Bruce Baillie, and Chris Marker, the work of Jacobs has influenced the likes of Harmony Korine, and to a lesser degree, Michel Gondry. His various works, including Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son (1969) and Star Spangled to Death (2004), are considered important pieces within the world of avant-garde cinema.
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Tribeca Movie Review: The Premonition

The following movie was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

The Premonition

The Premonition (Le Pressentiment)
Discovery, Narrative
2006, France
Dir: Jean-Pierre Darroussin

A beautiful piece from actor Jean-Pierre Darroussin, who makes his first attempt at directing with this wonderful adaptation of Emmanuel Bove’s novel of the same title, The Premonition casts a striking look at modern day France and the perils its beastly class system projects upon its citizens. Darroussin brilliantly portrays Charles Bénesteau, a wealthy Parisian lawyer who has made the decision of abandoning his cushy, bourgeois lifestyle and moves into a blue-collared neighborhood with a predominantly immigrant population.
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Tribeca Movie Review: Brando

The following movie was screened at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

Brando

Brando
Special Event, Documentary
2007, U.S.A.
Dir: Leslie Greif, Mimi Friedman

It’s hard to believe that a man who established such a resonant and respected legacy within the world of film has been gone for three years already. Marlon Brando was the benchmark for acting in his lifetime. There was acting before Brando and there was acting after Brando. His influence can be seen in the actors considered to be his peers, spanning all the way to the actors getting work today. No one is safe from Brando’s awesome dominion.
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