Friday, May 2, 2008

Happenings: Tribeca Film Festival - Part 1

I'm a day late with this post, but my love and enthusiasm for Eduoardo Coutinho's "Playing (Jogo de Cena)" is unabated. I know it's a cliche, but the film did make me both laugh and cry, and I think that's a difficult thing for a film to do. More importantly, the film is so deeply human, and you walk away feeling more connected the beauty of the prosaic, especially in your own life.

You sit there and listen to a series of real women tell Coutinho their stories of love, losing children, unwanted pregnancies, bad marriages, complicated relationships with their children, the pursuit of their dreams, and you are reminded of what amazing stories every human being has. But then, the director challenges you even more by editing in footage of actresses "mimicking"(though that word suggests parody, and these actresses actually stay brutally faithful to the real woman she's playing) the same words the real women used in a kind of "staging" of the real woman's interview, and because sometimes Coutinho has the actress telling the story first, and then the real woman, and sometimes vice versa, it's a strange effect - very often it's sometimes impossible to tell who's the real woman and who's the actress.

What's the point, you ask? For me, I think it was a reminder of how real life can have the magic of fiction and how fiction can carry the weight of reality, a thread of humanity--either way, we're moved. I'm grateful for the Tribeca Film Festival for bringing films like this into my life.

One other thing: before the screening, I loved watching the clever, beautiful, striking animations done by the School of Visual Arts students (see photo).

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