Twitch At Tribeca 2010: A preview

Ben Umstead, East Coast Editor
Yes boys and girls we're just a few days out from the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival here in New York City, which I will be attending all by my lonesome. If there are any New York readers who happen to attend a film and would like to contribute to the coverage, than drop me a line at: benumstead@gmail.com


On the evening of Wednesday, April 21st, things kick off with the world premiere of... uh... SHREK FOREVER AFTER. Yeah, OK... while that may not be totally twitch inducing, the fest has some eclectic offerings from April 22nd - May 2nd, that I'm sure will float yer boats.
From established fest successes making one last hurrah before release, like Neil Jordan's latest fairy tale twist, ONDINE, and J Blakeson's Isle of Man set thriller THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED, to premieres like longtime Shane Meadows' collaborator Paul Fraser's debut, MY BROTHERS, and Kim Chapiron's troubled youth tale DOG POUND, here is a preview of the selection.

CINEMANIA
This category offers what is sure to be a slew of titles a majority of you have an interest in. CLASH is martial arts mayhem from Vietnam, which reteams THE REBEL's Johnny Tri Nguyen and Ngo Thanh Van. Josie Ho is finally ready to invest in her DREAM HOME, only things don't go as according to plan in Pang Ho-Cheung's urban spin on Guignol horror. You probably don't need to know anything but the title for this next one: TICKED-OFF TRANNIES WITH KNIVES... its a revenge story in what appears to be a new genre of sorts; transploitation. POSSESSED is the K-horror debut from Lee Yong-Ju, a tale which centers around an apartment complex and its strange inhabitants, namely a teenage girl who very well could be a demon or the new messiah. 
And then there is ZONAD, about an extraterrestrial man who crash lands in a small Irish hamlet. At least he appears to be from outer space, I mean he's got a visor and can consume mass quantities of black beer. The Carney Brother's nutty love letter to 50s B-movie madness stars Simon Delaney and is sure to be a crowd favorite.

DISCOVERY 
Proving to be the most wide ranging category - and thus making the term "category" near obsolete - we've got a lot of ground to cover: ARIAS WITH A TWIST: THE DOCUFANTASY explores the relationship between downtown drag artists Joey Arias and Basil Twist. BEWARE THE GONZO is Bryan Goluboff's first feature, which tells the story of Eddie "Gonzo" Gillman whose quest to cover the truth for the school newspaper gets him kicked off the staff by his arch-nemesis, resulting in his start up of a radical underground paper made up of fellow outcasts.  Ashley Horner's BRILLIANTLOVE paints a dangerous picture of passion and art between two young lovers in a never ending summer. Highly anticipated at Twitch is Thomas Ikimi's LEGACY starring THE WIRE's Idris Elba as a recovering black ops agent who gets caught in the middle of a dirty political struggle. Front man for progressive rock band The Mars Volta, Omar Rodriguez Lopez does it all from starring, directing and scoring his feature debut, THE SENTIMENTAL ENGINE SLAYER.

WORLD NARRATIVE COMPETITION
Films competing in this category are up for the big league prizes - best film, best new filmmaker, and best actor/actress. Coming up to bat is the Bosnia/Herzegovnia film BURIED LAND, a docudrama about an American film crew disrupting life in a small Bosnian village after rumors of pyramids older than Egypt's, being discovered in the hills near by, spread around the globe. Park Chan-Ok made some headway at Tribcea in '03 with her first feature, JEALOUS IS MY MIDDLE NAME, and now she premieres PAJU, the story of on-the-lam Joongshik who takes refuge in the village of Paju where he finds a kindred spirit and the sister who sees him as trouble. Drawing from Iranian myth and fable, THE WHITE MEADOWS looks to be a moody, visually haunting piece on the dangers of conformity, while in Jay Anania's WILLIAM VINCENT,  James Franco stars as the titular fringe dweller who plays in the shadows of lower Manhattan, saving waitresses and stealing from businessmen.

WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Tribcea is certainly a doc heavy fest this year, with 30 docs spanning across several categories. In competition are Alex Mar's AMERICAN MYSTIC about alternative faiths in America, Clio Barnard's THE ARBOR chronicling British playwright's Andrea Dunbar's relationship with the housing project she grew up in, and BUDRUS about a village caught in the path of the wall being built between Israel and Palestine. Sure to turn some heads with this title, there's the world premiere of FEATHERED COCAINE, about the illegal and profitable trade of falcons ($25,000 - $ 1 million per bird). FREETIME MACHOS documents an amateur rugby team in Finland, while comic book artist turned filmmaker, Joann Sfar strings together the tale of legendary singer Sergei Gainsbourg in GAINSBOURG, JE T'AIME... MOI NON PLUS.

And that my friends is just a taste. Head on over to the Trbeca film guide for a full listing of films, spread across several more categories, including the uniquely animated dystopian tale METROPIA, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's MICMACS, the North American premiere of TETSUO THE BULLET MAN, Dorothee van den Berghe's MY QUEEN KARO, and Chuck Workman's doc on avant-garde cinema and Jonas Mekas, VISIONARIES.

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