Yesterday was the start of the 9th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. The opening film this year was the newest installment in the Shrek franchise, Shrek Forever After. I didn’t attend this event. My press clearance wasn’t high enough for me to get into this kind of exclusive screening. (I use the word “kind of” because, it was technically open to the public if you bought a ticket.)
Although the official start was on April 21st, my first day was on the 22nd with the first day of Press & Industry screenings. Understand, I have been screening films for the festival since April 3rd. Tribeca has pre-screenings of practically all the movies being showcased for local New York press. I believe they do this as a courtesy and to properly highlight and schmooze local press.
My day of movie screenings started at 9:30am with Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs (micmacs Ã tire-larigot). This is a wonderful addition to his already impressive catalog. This is a bright, funny, whimsical and magical satire of war and terrorism. Highly recommended to any film lover.
The way press screenings work at Tribeca was very different than my previous experience at Sundance. Instead of leaving the theater and checking-in with a festival volunteer after a movie screening, I was free to simply go to another theater and get scanned in at the door. Once you check-in at the theater, you are officially checked-in all day. Every film you see, you get scanned at the door and that info is sent to the check in desk. I was very surprised and impressed how smoothly this process went. Albeit, Tribeca is a much smaller film festival than Sundance and maybe this way only works for the size of Tribeca.
After Micmacs, I watched Thieves By Law, a film not really worth talking about because I didn’t stay for the whole screening. I was incredibly bored by this documentary and I don’t think it’s fair to write a review for a half of a film I’ve seen. And really, I was only in the screening room to kill time between movies.
The film I was waiting to see was a film from Chan-Ok Park, Paju. This film is about a painful string of events that bring together and (later) tear apart a small family migrating from Seoul, South Korea to a small town called Paju. The thing about this film is the pace, which is slow but engaging every step of the way. This film is more of a character study then a proper narrative and it’s fascinating. A proper review is on its way but for right now, I can say that this is my favorite narrative of the whole film festival.
Below is a YouTube video I made after my screenings. I will say, I love covering the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s the people I have met so far and how helpful the festival staff and volunteers have been. Also, I don’t have to leave home to experience a wonderful film festival.