Category | Danny Peary on Film

Camilla Nielsson Films History As It Happens in Zimbabwe in “Democrats”

Posted on 07 May 2015

Democrats fits my category Movies That Should Play in Sag Harbor. Now it is playing at the San Francisco Film Festival, following strong receptions at the Tribeca Film Festival and Hot Docs in Toronto. I was pleased it was chosen Best Documentary at Tribeca because it was my favorite film at the festival.

TFF: Alexis Alexiou’s Gangster Film, “Wednesday 04:45″

Posted on 04 May 2015

The title of Greek director-writer Alexis Alexiou’s visually striking Wednesday 04:45, which made its world premiere at the recent Tribeca Film Festival, refers to the time Athens jazz club owner, Stelios (Stelios Mainas), must pay off his debt to a ruthless Romanian gangster or face the consequences. As the seemingly doomed man tries to change his sorry destiny, he deals with his demons from a life that was not always well-spent.

TFF: Australian Tony McNamara’s American Film, “Ashby”

Posted on 01 May 2015

One of the most fan-friendly films at the recent Tribeca Film Festival was Ashby, an amiable mix of comedy and drama, the conventional and the quirky, good guys and villains that is set in Virginia but was written and directed by an Aussie, Tony McNamara.

Felix Thompson’s King Jack Is Crowned TFF’s Favorite Film

Posted on 27 April 2015

King Jack fits my category Movies That Should Play in Sag Harbor. I believe writer-director Felix Thompson’s tough-but-affectionate ode to boyhood will get theatrical distribution because on Saturday it received the Tribeca Film Festival’s Audience Award as the most popular narrative film.

Director Luke LoCurcio Speaks About Aphasia, the Hit Short at TFF

Posted on 23 April 2015

If you’re a movie fan and anywhere near New York City this weekend, I highly recommend that you make time to see René Clement’s exquisite, heart-wrenching, Oscar-winning French classic Forbidden Games (a beautiful recently restored print with new subtitles!), at the Film Forum beginning Friday–AND at least one shorts program at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Chris Messina Had Two Roles Making “Alex of Venice”

Posted on 16 April 2015

Just as the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival is underway comes the theatrical release of a film from last year’s festival. You can see Alex of Venice beginning Friday in New York. Chris Messina, a native of Newport, has been all over the place as an actor–from television’s The Mindy Project and The Newsroom to major films like Argo, Manglehorn, Cake and Vicky, Christina Barcelona to such TFF flicks as Fairhaven and The Giant Mechanical Man–and you can see him in Alex of Venice, too, but it is also his directorial debut. And he has done a super job, particularly with his fine cast.

All About “About Elly”

Posted on 09 April 2015

About Elly fits my category Movies That Should Play in Sag Harbor. I’m delighted that this marvelous Iranian masterwork, a mix of mystery and societal issues, finally made its New York debut this Wednesday at the Film Forum (where you should see it before April 21) because it was made six years ago. In fact it was made two years before the next collaboration of director Asghar Farhadi and brilliant actor Payman Maadi/Peyman Moaadi), A Separation, and that extraordinary film played in New York, Hollywood, and around the world, capturing the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Should We All Celebrate “The Sound of Music” 50 Years Later?

Posted on 14 March 2015

Following a Julie Andrews-Lady Gaga tribute at the Oscars, Twentieth-Century Fox is launching a year-long campaign to celebrate The Sound of Music’s 50th Anniversary. A highlight will be the theatrical release of a restored version of the film on April 19 and 22. Also, four new books and a themed Princess Cruise are scheduled. But before any of that comes the home entertainment release this week.

Margot Robbie in “Focus”

Posted on 05 March 2015

I found it interesting that Margot Robbie, an Australian actress with few screen credits but fantastic looks and diverse acting talents, was entrusted to do almost as much media as superstar Will Smith to promote Focus, a mischievous mix of suspense and romantic comedy that is playing at the UA East Hampton 6. And that the movie’s trailer was filled with (sexy) images of her. I think it’s because everyone involved with the movie believed her multifaceted portrayal of a young woman who is eager for Smith’s dapper conman to make her his partner in his trade and his life will launch her into instant stardom.

Whiplash’s Director Damien Chazelle on His First Jazz Movie and Himself

Posted on 28 February 2015

I could write a book about how much I usually disagree with Academy Award selections—wait, I already did!—but I must say I was delighted that writer-direct Damien Chazelle’s riveting semiautobiographical Whiplash sneaked off with three Oscars (it was nominated five times).) The biggest one was for supporting actor J.K. Simmons as the smiling martinet jazz band leader who makes life miserable for but, perhaps inadventently, pushes defiant young drummer Miles Teller to greatness.