The Hands of Bresson

Sundry observations on the art of cinema and world film culture

Archive for the ‘Tribeca Film Festival 2009’ Category

Tribeca ’09: Yodok Stories

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Anyone who keeps up with international news (or even the haranguing cable-TV misfits purporting to practice “journalism”) probably knows that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, home to the last remaining Stalinist-style dictatorship and the most isolated nation-state on earth, is a place of almost unfathomable misery. While psycho despot Kim Jong-il plays brinksmanship politics with his ballistic missile program, food shortages and mass starvation afflict the countryside. State terror, dictatorial decrees, and indifference to basic human rights are a fact of life there as well. Foreigners and press are mostly barred from entering the country, and sometimes from leaving, as in the case of two female American journalists from Current TV who sneaked across the border in March and are now being held captive somewhere inside the “hermit kingdom,” as 60 Minutes dubbed it, despite diplomatic efforts to free them. Sealed off from the outside world—independent media are nonexistent, ditto for the Internet and credit cards—citizens are fed a constant diet of propaganda and inculcated in the cult of personality of their sociopathic and nuke-obsessed Dear Leader. Read the rest of this entry »


Tribeca ’09: The Exploding Girl, Still Walking

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Bradley Rust Grey's The Exploding Girl

Quiet, no-nonsense naturalism appears to be in vogue for a lot of younger, gifted Amerindie filmmakers these days, from Aaron Katz and Ramin Bahrani to Kelly Reichardt and Sugar duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, all of whom, coincidentally or not, hail from New York City. Why so many urban writer-directors are gravitating toward a style of filmmaking we associate with a state of repose and reflective distance, and with a specifically East Asian emphasis on time and formalism, while a previous generation of renegade Gotham filmmakers drew on Euro-arthouse dystopia and the anarchic energy of a big, teeming metropolis, has been the subject of very little discussion or sociopolitical analysis in cinema circles. (More on that in a future post.) Add to this unofficial school of poetic minimalism Bradley Rust Gray (Salt), whose second film, The Exploding Girl, debuted in the Berlinale Forum and screened Friday for the press at Tribeca. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by eyemaster

April 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm