Tribeca Report: Is Michael Moore following us?
GILBERT CRUZ Three more days! Three more days! For some reason, I hear the crazy Cajun voice of James Carville from that Clinton documentary screaming inside my head. Three more days and Tribeca’s done! I don’t know from other festivals, Missy. You’ve been to Sundance and Cannes, etc. Are they this long? Are they this hectic? Are they all this exhausting? I went to see this Julia Roberts-narrated documentary Wednesday â?? Three Days in September, about that massacre in Beslan where all those kids died. It was an intense movie, really intense. The lady in front of me was blowing her nose the entire time. The chubby guy behind me was sniffling for half of it (it may have been allergies). And me? I fell asleep? Does that make me an awful person? Do film festivals bring out the worst in people?
MISSY SCHWARTZ I can hardly fault anyone for falling asleep in movies, Gilbert. As you know, I am a repeat offender of the crime of snoozing despite myself in a dark theater. I’ve dozed a couple of times this fest, but since my nodding-off rarely, if ever, is a reflection of my enjoyment of the movie (it’s dark! the air is stale! the seats are comfy! I’m tired!), I won’t tell you which films. All of this to say that yes, festivals are a lot of fun, but grueling beasts all the same. Neither Sundance, Cannes, nor Toronto are as long as Tribeca, but at least we don’t have to get on an airplane to cover this one. We’ll leave the planes, trains, and automobiles (helicopters, speedboats, and fire trucks…) to Tom Cruise, who blew through town on Wednesday for the hyper-hyped MI:3 premiere that, apparently, Paramount didn’t want us to cover. While fans were screaming for Tommy uptown at the Ziegfeld that night, I was down in the East Village for a screening of Jesus Camp, a doc about Evangelicalism that thoroughly spooked me. Your friend, Michael Moore, was there, but he didn’t ask me for directions to Theater No. 11 like he did you last week. Nor did he ask for my help last night, when we both returned to watch Claude Chabrol’s latest flick with the divine Isabelle Huppert, The Comedy of Power. What gives? Is Michael Moore stalking me, Gilbert?
GILBERT CRUZ You know what? Say what you will about Michael Moore — he’s talentless, he makes propaganda, or whatever. The man genuinely loves film, so much that he’ll saunter about among the great unwashed (possibly greatly unwashed himself) and plop down and watch movies with the rest of us. Big ups to that. But in addition to the movies, there’s been a big music component this year at Tribeca, much more so than in fests past. This week, they featured performances by John Mayer, Patty Griffin, Elvis Costello, and Allan Toussaint. I saw Nellie McKay play the other day and she is wacky and I love her for it. She went from banging on the piano to playing a tiny guitar (possibly a ukelele) to screaming songs to whispering ballads all in approximately 27 minutes. I love her. If she and Amy Sedaris ever did something together, my mind would explode and implode simultaneously. More music tonight. There’s an awesome indie-rock concert with Ted Leo and Nada Surf and the Mates of State and Matt Pond PA. My prediction: In seven years, this thing’s going to be the Tribeca Film and Music Festival. It’ll be like South by Southwest, but better. Poseidon premiere this weekend, Missy. I can’t wait to see me some drownin’. What’s on your plate?
MISSY SCHWARTZ I’m a little scared of my Saturday schedule, Gilbert, only because it requires hanging out on 34th Street all day. Not only is 34th street not in Tribeca (it’s about, oh, 44 blocks north), but have you been to 34th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues lately?! What a pit. Anyway, I guess it’ll be worth it to see a bunch of movies, including Russell Simmons’ Lockdown USA, about New York State’s harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws, and that French movie that got picked up, Backstage. It’s about a teen gal obsessed with a pop idol (Emmanuelle Seigner, a.k.a. Mrs. Roman Polanski) — I do love me a twisted drama about celebrity culture. If my eyeballs are still in my sockets by dinner time, I’ll be heading back downtown to snarf down some dim-sum at the end-of-fest awards show in Chinatown… which is also not in Tribeca. Huh. Think I’ll run into Michael Moore?