What a treat to spend the weekend in New York checking out the Tribeca Film Festival. Brightcove is working with the Tribeca Film Festival on their broadband video initiatives such as enabling users to watch movie trailers and, most recently, streaming selected short films. Pretty slick Player experience, huh?
Back to the film festival. The Tribeca Film Festival has something for everybody — from documentaries and foreign films to animated and family friendly films, from movies about suicide and terrorism to romantic comedies, and star-studded events like the MI:3 premiere to events like the Drive-in for any and all to see. It takes place at a great time of year to be in New York — smack in the middle of spring with everyone in a good mood and dressed to impress (before the dog days of summer make being a slave to fashion decidedly uncomfortable).
-I went to the world premiere of Tell Me Do You Miss Me, the documentary on the last tour of my favorite band, Luna, including lots of footage from their last show ever. It was great to see the band in attendance. From my seat, I could see Dean and Britta’s reactions as the movie played — mostly Dean was squirming. The movie was fascinating. I’ll admit I’m biased, but it was really interesting to see the dynamics of how a band operates, and a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a top indie band that are just popular enough to be full-time musicians. As you can imagine, it’s not as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be. You can see them flying coach to Europe and Japan, loading their luggage and packing up after shows. At one point, Sean Eden, the guitarist remarks on how they basically break even on their touring and make money only by selling merchandise. Being in a band is like few other partnerships — you need an emotional connection to have the chemistry needed to make great music, but you’re also in business with your fellow bandmates and need to figure out how to govern yourselves. The movie highlights the emotional and creative tension between Dean Wareham and Sean Eden, which exists in any great partnership. The director, Matthew Buzzell and the band did a Q&A at the end, as with most of the films in the Festival. Great stuff.
-We then saw I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, written, directed and starring Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame. My wife and I both gave it 1 Thumbs-up. It had its moments, both funny and poignant, but it fell flat or tired in other places. Jeff Garlin introduced the film in a very humble and personal way and then ended up sitting the row behind us….I must say it’s kind of awkward to watch a movie knowing that its director is sitting right behind you scrutinizing every reaction by the audience. That said, it must be so much more nerve-wracking to be in his shoes watching the audience and wondering if they’ll like it.
-Yesterday, we went to a taping of Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio hosted by James Lipton with Tom Hanks as his guest. They were of course late in opening the doors and getting the show going. Unlike the formats of evening talk shows that have maybe 5 minutes of time for the guest, this show has an extended format in which the host delves deep into the guest’s past work and tradecraft using this huge stack of blue cards that he has his questions written on. Tom Hanks is as you would expect — intelligent, articulate and congenial. James Lipton went over the films Hanks had done since he last appeared on the show in ’99, and Hanks had witty stories and astute observations about each one. We saw clips of the upcoming Da Vinci Code, which I’m looking forward to watching. James Lipton clearly researches his subjects very deeply and has an almost encylcopedic knowledge of film. Unfortunately, he can also be a bit pompous, which both my wife and I commented on. The taping lasted for almost 2 and a half hours and Hanks was personable and interesting throughout. Afterwards, we ate a late dinner at Nam in Tribeca.
It was a good weekend.