Even as Chinese dissidents like Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and artist Ai Weiwei suffer physical imprisonment, hundreds of millions of their fellow Chinese citizens are suffering a form of mental imprisonment thanks to their nation's system of internet censorship.
A great film should change lives. While typically cinematic masterpieces are able to change the outlook of their audiences, in the case of Safinez Bousbia's documentary El Gusto, the film managed to dramatically change the existence of its subjects and its filmmaker.
"Capitalism is not natural, it's just brainwashed into us," Antonino D'Ambrosio, director and producer of Let Fury Have The Hour, tells me. Political art impacts our consciousness, it can change our votes. It redirects anger.
I never imagined that a film about a painting, a portrait of a woman with haunting eyes and copper hair, would be as full of life, love, passion and betrayal as Andrew Shea's Portrait of Wally.
Staying real, true to the culture and history, can hurt the commercial potential of a cop-action film, disappoint the fans' expected "one-up" from the latest genre hit. But director Alberto Rodriguez seems okay with that.
I would like to go on the record saying that Monday night in N.Y.C. is officially underrated. While some people are just reading the newspapers they threw to the side on Sunday, I hit four different parties -- not bad for what is typically a somber evening.
As the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival closed with several successful fan-funded films, we can only expect to see an increase of crowdfunded films at next year's festival.
Is a war over the day the president proclaims it's over, or when the very last man comes home? Those were the contrasting principles I found myself silently debating while I watched Beth Murphy's latest film The List at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.
Ultimately, The Virgin, the Copts and Me is about what it portrays but also what it conveys. Each audience member at that screening came away with a very personal feeling. Mine was a resolve to continue to believe in the magical power of cinema.
What Antonino D'Ambrosio has done with Let Fury Have the Hour is making me rethink everything I took for granted in my life.
Tomorrow the Tribeca Film Festival is hosting the Third Annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards.
"In the process of making this film, Jenna [Fischer] and I fell in love and got married."
Ivana Mladenovic's Turn Off the Lights is a tribute to the resilience of the Roma people. I caught up with Mladenovic during the and asked her about growing up in Serbia during the war and her inspirations as a filmmaker.
The good news: several of this year's standout films at the Tribeca Film Festival are by women. The bad news: some of the fest's worst misfires are also by women.
Let Fury Have the Hour is a social history told not through war and conquest but through street art, literature, music, film, science, labor, public service or what I call creative-response.
Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Headshot begins as a curious twist on the crime thriller, and proceeds from there to delve into questions of morality, redemption, and spirituality. And it still kicks ass, which is cool.