Break Dancing, Drag Queens, Afghanistan, and Childbirth All At Tribeca!

Just got my tickets for Tribeca Film Festival (my first few anyway), which I’ve gone to every year since it’s inception, post 9/11. My dad is a big film buff (and kind of a frustrated filmmaker himself) and has gone to every major film festival in the world. But this is the first film festival I’ve ever gone to. It’s special for me since I work a block and a half from the World Trade Center and was strongly affected by 9/11 and its aftermath, along with the rest of DeNiro’s beloved neighborhood.

Anyway, being the dance fan that I am, I’m particularly excited about the showing of the above film, called PLANET B-BOY, a documentary about the global resurgence of break-dancing which culminates in a World-Cup-esque global break dancing competition. It’s showing at the Tribeca Drive-In, located at the World Financial Center Plaza (which means it’s FREE!! — but likely will be hugely crowded) on Saturday, April 28th at 8:00 p.m. I’m hoping to get a bunch of friends together — should be lots of fun! (Also, in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of DIRTY DANCING, that film will be shown on the WFC Plaza on April 26th.

I’m also seeing ALEXIS ARQUETTE: SHE’S MY BROTHER, a documentary about sex, celebrity, and transgender life filled with drag queens and Hollywood glitterati (just my thing :) ), and AUTISM: THE MUSICAL, which is, as it sounds, a documentary following a year in the lives of five austistic children as they write, rehearse and perform in their own full-length musical. That one’s almost sold out, so if it sounds interesting, hurry up and get tickets.

I highly recommend this festival to anyone who’s never been. Every year I’m exposed to something new, out-of-the-ordinary, and completely eye-opening. My advice though: DON’T get tickets to something big and Hollywoody that looks like it’s going to get mass distribution (for example, SURBURBAN GIRL, based on the Melissa Bank novel, GIRLS GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING, and starring Sarah Michelle Geller and Alec Baldwin) — stuff like that is going to hit every theater on the planet, and why pay more now (Tribeca FF tickets are a whopping $18 this year, up from $12 last). Go see the small, foreign or American indie stuff that may or may not get a distributor and expose yourself to true originality.

Other stuff that struck my eye, that I’ll probably try to see: THE WORKSHOP (because, clearly, I’m a sexaholic :) ), WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL ME IT WOULD BECOME THIS BAD IN AFGHANISTAN (film shot on location entirely with a cell phone!), THE POWER OF THE GAME (kind of a MAD HOT BALLROOM but about soccer), ON THE DOWNLOW (about coming out as a gay black man in Cleveland), THE MAN OF TWO HAVANAS (documentary about a former friend of Castro’s who lives in Miami and opposes the embargo, thus becoming a CIA target and recipient of death threats, etc.), THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN (produced by Rikki Lake and about varying childbirth practices that actually looks quite interesting), THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (inside look at Darfur genocide), BOMB IT (documentary about the art of graffiti around the world that assures “you will never look at public space the same way”), and short film series ARCHIVING IDENTITY, MOOD ENHANCER, and PORTRAITS OF WOMEN. I’d see it all if I had the time and money! There’s just so much; go here to check it all out for yourself.

Finally, for people who really really love NYC, the OUR CITY, MY STORY is a very sweet little treat. It’s a collection of shorts made by NYC students and youth, and last year, I saw a short in that collection that, to this day, I can’t get out of my mind.

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