Saturday, April 28, 2007

2007 Tribeca Film Festival

Notes from the red carpet
I arranged to meet C. early for what I found out was the sold-out second premiere film of the '07 Tribeca Film Festival, Zak Penn's "The Grand." Shooed away (signage would've been nice, people) from the main entrance (Tribeca Performing Arts center, part of the Borough of Manhattan Community College) I found the actual entrance (around the corner on the Westside Hwy) for the world premiere of The Grand, starring Woody Harrelson and others.

The Movie
Funny stuff, especially considering it was, I believe, mostly improvised. And I'm not a huge fan of improv for improv's sake, believe me. (Flashback to "improvising" Blanche Dubois in film school - yeesh.) The poker tournament mockumentary boasted a great cast of character actors: Cheryl "Oh, Larry" Hines, Woody Harrelson, a scene-stealing Gabe Kaplan (!), Werner Herzog (impeccably creepy and hilarious as a murderous bunny-holding German lunatic), David Cross (who makes you laugh just looking at him -- and I don't mean that in a bad way), Ray Romano (not a fan before, but the guy grows on you), the wonderfully oily Dennis Farina and Chris Parnell (ex-SNL). Mainstream blockbuster? Probably not. I would imagine it'll be be a must-see for the poker-crazed Vegas-addled and fans of movies like "Best in Show."

Confusion at the door .. and on the floor
Tickets weren't really tickets until you trade in the "tickets" you bought for a totally different-looking... ticket. OK, oh well. A large man tried to turn back a huge swath of ticket-holders but C. adroitly slipped by him and I followed. We found seat in the auditorium after some frustration (way too many seats reserved for ESPN people. Whatever.) Also, the survey takers were a little too in your face and for some reason they were handing out yucky Zone bars or something that immediately made you thirsty.

Read more from the Village Voice

Is it a film marketplace, a supersized studio junket, a hip downtown international cinephile convention, a pan-borough plug for greater Gotham?
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