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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Soderbergh, Ramis, Kong Confirmed For 'Tribeca Talks' Series

Today’s big Tribeca announcement graciously spares us any Greengrass platitudes in exchange for the more clinical pleasures of the Tribeca Talks series. While none of the discussions or panels scheduled for 2006 bear the pulse-accelerating potential of past festivals (remember the Martin Scorsese/Jay Cocks/Richard Price panel on New York cinema in ’02?), you cannot possibly fuck up a mockumentary chat featuring Michael McKean, Lewis Lapham, Jeff Goldblum and Bob Balaban.
Other events include Lisa Robinson querying T-Bone Burnett about cornering the market on hick-music soundtracks, Harold Ramis discussing his influence on the comedy of rebellion, and a self-explanatory evaluation of “The Biology of King Kong.” Perhaps best of all, Steven Sodebergh and his 2929 Entertainment colleague Todd Wagner will go toe-to-toe with MPAA kingpin Dan Glickman over the vialbility of movie downloads. I will save you a seat in the Soderbergh/Wagner cheering section.
Of course, the full list of panels can be found after the jump.

T-Bone Burnett has made a habit of broadening the rock, country and blues sensibility of music fans by working with artists from Bob Dylan to Reese Witherspoon. His most notable recent films — the Grammy winning O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the Oscar winning Walk the Line re-introduced America to its musical canon. Join us for a special panel discussion with the man behind these spectacular soundtracks. Vanity Fair’s Lisa Robinson moderates.
Date: Friday, April 28, 2006
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
–TOGA, TOGA, TOGA! What the Industry Learned at Faber College
Through films such as Animal House, Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, Harold Ramis has influenced a cottage industry of subversive comedies that takes aim at the American mainstream with a cast of rebels and outsiders. Join us for a conversation with Ramis and his heirs in American-comedy film as they discuss smart comedy, big ideas and sticking it to the man.
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2006
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
Hosted by The Hollywood Reporter
Some argue that legal downloads saved the music industry, so could the same hold true for the film industry? Director Steven Soderbergh, 2929 Entertainment’s Todd Wagner & MPAA Chairman & CEO Dan Glickman join us for a conversation about the changing distribution platforms that are revolutionizing the movie industry faster than you can say Multiplex.
Moderator: Georg Szalai (The Hollywood Reporter)
Date: Monday, May 1, 2006
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
–ADALANTE MUJERES: Latina Women at the Helm
Latin women have become prolific in American culture, ascending to the top of the pop charts, box office and the Nielsen ratings. As their influence grows and expectations increase, how will Latin women balance the expectations of their ethnic culture with the demands of the marketplace? Rosie Perez (Just Like the Son, Fearless), Mia Maestro (Poseidon, Alias) and others join us to discuss.
Date: Thursday, May 4, 2006
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
What Oprah does for books, Alexandra Patsavas and the other music junkies at the collective think tank known as the Chop Shop do for indie bands. Get an inside look at Patsavas’ collaborative, hit-making process with The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz as they take you from listening to weekly packages of up to 500 CDs to the big moment when a song hits TV…and inevitably becomes a hit. Up next for the duo? The big screen.
Date: Friday, May 5, 2006
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
The religious product market is an $8 billion a year business so it’s no wonder that following the blockbuster success of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Hollywood began to mine the Christian market for some new ideas with hopes that the faithful would follow. And they have. In a movement that mixes spirituality with economics studios are embracing a future of filmmaking that includes having a little faith…in faith.
Date: TBA
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
–Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Presents: THE BIOLOGY OF KING KONG
Peter Jackson’s special-effects extravaganza presents one of the most realistic movie monsters in cinematic history, but could a giant gorilla like Kong really exist? Well, yes. But feeding him could prove a bit challenging. 2006 Academy Award winner Joe Letteri (Special Effects, King Kong), world-renowned animal behaviorist Roger Fouts, biologist Amy Vedder and others discuss creating authentic creatures for the big screen.
Moderator: Robert Krulwich (ABC News & NPR)
Date: Saturday, May 6, 2006
Time: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
Hosted by TIME
Straddling the line between truth and fiction, mockumentaries often reveal more about their subject than the films that claim to document them. It’s funny because it’s so true. As reality television and documentaries dominate American popular culture they ripen for satire and social commentary. From celebrity to dog shows to politics…nothing is safe from ridicule.
Panelists: Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap), Lewis Lapham (Harper’s), Jeff Goldblum (Pittsburgh, The Fly), and Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind)
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2006
Time: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2
–TRULY EMBEDDED: Candid Cameras & the Secret Lives of Soldiers
Hosted by TIME
Since the time of Homer, artists have struggled with how to describe the indescribable experience of war. In modern times, the tools of storytelling have hindered proximity, both physical and personal, to war. But new, ultra-mobile and barely noticeable cameras are making it possible to put soldiers both in front of and behind the lens to capture images and sounds of unprecedented vitality. How do their narratives—several of which are illuminated in 2006 Festival films—alter our perception of war, and what will be the long-term results of these new perspectives?
Moderator: Christopher Isham (ABC News)
Panelists: Deborah Scranton (The War Tapes), Anthony Swofford (Jarhead)
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2006
Time: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater 2

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One Response to “Soderbergh, Ramis, Kong Confirmed For 'Tribeca Talks' Series”

  1. Saba Moghadampour says:

    The initial architect of the TriBeCa Film Festival, Nicole Bartelme, commented that the idea of the festival was to attract and support independent works globally, especially documentary and Middle Eastern films. Bartelme said, “ Iran’s cinematic industry is still culturally guarded- as a result Iranian story telling through film has different sensibilities both visually and metaphorically. It’s a frontier, or a time capsule, still untainted by commercialism. Slowly, what’s beginning to emerge is a new generation of filmmakers able to release images that go beyond government restrictions. Imagine if the United States government created a committee required to approve film scripts before shooting starts; where the final product is subject to further censorship? This is Iran’s biggest challenge for independently created films – films that need support beyond the Chicago and TriBeCa Film Festivals. Directors like Dieter Kosslick of the Berlin Festival, will be commended for the 2007 Fest to present works that go beyond the current Tehran regime for propaganda purposes. For 2006, just showing Iranian films-gov’t approved moves the process forward, as Haghighi’s film demonstrates.
    Haghighi, who was Kiarostami’s former assistant, reminds me of how Tarantino references American film culture to tell his story. In Haghighi’s screenplay, the Iranian film culture is referenced to add inside jokes. The beauty unfolds for many Americans, if they’re not familiar with Iranian films, they’re hearing the joke for the first time.”

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon