So here we are with another batch. We no longer have any press screenings, so there are a few public screenings to go to for stuff with no press or those I missed.
A Stadium Story: The Battle for New York's Last Frontier (U.S.A.) World Premiere.
A documentary Directed by
Jevon Roush and Benjamin Rosen
Local doesn't always mean that it's interesting. The Olympic stadium controversy was something that was best forgotten.
Why the hell did we in New York need the Olympics anyway? The games are a waste of time, the IOC is one of the most corrupt organizations in the world, and we weren't going to get it anyway.
One of the things that the filmmakers forgot was that the City hosted Ted Turner's “Goodwill Games” a sort of counter-Olympics to protest Jimmy Carter's boycott of the 1980 Moscow games, in 1998, and that pretty much killed them.
But the problem here is that there doesn't seem to be a bad guy. Both sides are seen to be on the side of the angels, and we sympathize with both the pro- and anti-stadium sides.
With no real negatives set out for one argument or the other, we get lots of interviews with the principles and clips from vintage movies as golden oldies play in the background.
Meanwhile, nothing has been done with the Hudson yards site. Unless you are into NYC politics, then this is basically a waste of time, albeit a well done one.
The Architect (USA) - World Premiere
Written and Directed
by Matt Tauber
Families in crisis always make for good drama. What we've got are the usual good people suffering for little or no reason, and for some audiences, that's always forefends a rollicking good time.
So we've got two families: one rich living in the suburbs, one poor living in a certain public housing block that is so bad people commit suicide rather than continue living there.
So we begin with Martin Waters(Sebastian Stan) coming home after dropping out of his college the middle of his first semester. His father, Leo(Anthony LaPaglia), the architect of the title, doesn't seem all that much concerned, although he's glad to see the young man in one piece. His mother Julia(Isabella Rossellini) and sister Christina(Hayden Panettiere) don't seem that concerned, although they're clearly aware of the situation. Typical suburban angst, of which we've seen all too much before, Is there a divorce in the offing? Why not?
The other family is in that housing block which, of course, Leo designed. Tonya Neeley(Viola Davis) is trying to have the whole development torn down and thus end the living hell that it is. In fact her sone killed himself by jumping off the roof several years back and she had her younger daughter Cammie(Serena Reeder) sent off to some rich people in the suburbs, much to the shagrin of her older sister, who's now an unwed mother. She wants Leo to sign a petition demanding the developments demolition, which Leo won't do because he's still proud of it.
Which brings us to the question: Is Martin really gay? The “recruitment” of him by a black fellow named Shawn(Paul James) is entirely gratuitous. Do we really need sexual awakening to bring any more angst than we already have? Does Christina's shagging a truck driver Joe(Walton Goggins) add anything to the main plot about architecture and the lives of ordinary people?
Holiday Makers (Ucastnici Zajezdu) (Czech Republic) - World Premiere.
Written and Directed
by Jiri Vejdelek
Literal translation sometimes doesn't cut the mustard. What this should have been called is “Vacation,” “The Trip” or maybe just “Holiday,” It's a very cute film and the English title is clunky.
The movie itself isn't clunky. However, the film is a bit on the tame side. A bunch of people have paid for a vacation in the Croatian side of the Adriatic sea. It's the standard bunch of people, some gays, some homophobic parents with a possible gay son, some horny teenagers, a middle aged couple who's sick of each other, their horny daughter and a a possible perv.
This is all pretty tame, and not only that, it's been done before. But that doesn't mean that it's not entertaining. It's a cute little comedy, which proves that those government-funded movie commissions can do Hollywood-type comedies if they wanted to.