Tribeca Film Festival, which ended last week, showed particularly strong documentary features this year. Three not to be missed hot docs are making it to movie theaters soon; “The Wolfpack” and “Live from New York!” June 12, while “T (Error)” is showing at the Montclair Film Festival in NJ starting tomorrow, May 2.
“The Wolfpack” by Crystal Moselle, in theaters June 12
You just don't know what's going on behind closed doors. “The Wolfpack” is the story of one Manhattan family, with an omnipotent father set out to create and rule his own tribe. How? By having many children and not exposing them to outside influences. The father, his wife and their seven children (he had names for ten but age caught up) spent their days huddled up together in an apartment on the Lower East Side. Not believing in labour, the father drinks and watches TV, living off what appears to be his wife's wages from home schooling the children. They, in turn, to get a sense of what life outside is like, watches and reenacts movies like Tarantino's “Reservoir Dogs”. But everything comes to an end when one of the children ventures outside on his own wearing a mask, and apparently behaves so oddly even for New York that he gets arrested. That marks the beginning of a new era of going to therapy and discovering the outside world. Ironically, the sight of the grown children walking down the street dressed in Reservoir Dogs style suits and sunglasses, with their waist-long hair in ponytails, is as if confirming the father's success of creating a tribe of his own. Did anyone see “Dogtooth” by Yorgos Lanthimos? This is the real life version. Don't miss it!
“Live from New York!” by Bao Nguyen, limited run in theaters June 12
This is a truly entertaining piece of New York television history through the years of Saturday Night Live, an experiment that began with a young Lorne Michaels and his cast of unknowns. The show became an instant hit from the start, and is now a comedy institution. Big names such as Eddie Murphy, Alec Baldwin, James Belushi, Candice Bergen, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Will Ferrell, John Goodman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Steve Martin, just to begin a long, long list of stars, have all started out with or passed through SNL. Archival footage of the comedy acts spanning from American politics, media, tragedy, to popular culture is mixed with interviews of the SNL legends. “Live From New York!” manages to translate the TV-formate to the big screen beautifully, and with many laughs along the way.
“(T) Error” by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, Montclair Film Festival May 2
In this Sundance-winner, the filmmakers follow an informant during an FBI counterterrorism operation in an unprecedented way, without FBI's knowledge. The informant is a Black revolutionary in his 60's called Shariff, who's trying to create a better life for his son while serving his country. However, the film soon challenges our perception of right and wrong, as we learn that informants are often recruited criminals. The muslim target's peaceful manners sharply contrast those of Shariff, and when the filmteam starts filming his side of the story too, without Shariff nor FBI knowing, they add new twists and turns to the already complicated situation. Prepare to re-evaluate your beliefs!