|One of the standout documentaries at New Directors/New Films is Stevan Riley's Listen to Me Marlon.|
ND/NF features art house cinema at its very best—a quirky, eclectic mix of films by young or newly minted filmmakers from around the world. While the $16 per screening “rack rate” may not appear to be a bargain, there are member rates, discounted student tickets and 4-movie package rates, as well as VIP tickets that include events and opening and closing night screenings. Both venues, Titus 1 at MoMA, and FSLC’s Walter Reade, are terrific theaters with stadium seating and good sound systems. From March 18th to the 26th, twenty-six features and sixteen shorts will screen at ND/NF by filmmakers who represent over a dozen countries including India, Israel, Japan, Georgia, Tunisia, Canada and the United States.
|Nellina, one of the stars of an excellent documentary-narrative hybrid, Simone Rapisarda Casanova's The Creation of Meaning.|
|This is a still of Pacifico, the Tuscan shepherd at the center of The Creation of Meaning. In a quick shot of Pacifico's kitchen there is a snapshot of Nellina as a foal.|
Now in its 44th year, ND/NF screens narrative and documentary films, and quite often, movies that meld these forms. This year’s hybrid is The Creation of Meaning, Simone Rapisarda Casanova’s delightfully contemplative tale of a Tuscan shepherd whose livelihood is threatened when his grazing meadows are included in an estate sale. From the sublime to the sanguineous, ND/NF’s horror films include Shim Sung-bo’s Haemoo, and Viktoria Franz and Severin Fiala’s Goodnight, Mommy. Haemoo is not about the eponymous girl, but rather a psychopathic sea captain. Goodnight, Mommy, follows two boys who fear that their mother’s reconstruction surgery has altered more than her face. Sci-fi movies are also on ND/NF’s slate this year, including Kornél Mundruczó’s White God which, despite its glacial narrative, picked up the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, and Yohei Suzuki’s Ow, about a dark, hovering ball that hypnotizes everyone who gazes at it.
While ND/NF features an impressive number of women filmmakers, none of their movies are meaningful stories about women’s lives. Laura Citarella and Verónica Llinás’s fly-on-the-wall documentary, Dog Lady, is about a woman who lives rough, although we never learn why. Sarah Leonor’s The Great Man is a well-acted, but predictable story of immigrants who hope to gain French citizenship by joining the Foreign Legion. Britni West’s Tired Moonlight meanders through the lives of Montana residents in search of something they cannot find among the ubiquitous goatherds, and Salomé Alexi’s Line of Credit reveals the effects of a new capitalist society on small business owners in the former Soviet state of Georgia. Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl is about a young woman who decides to have her first love affair with an older man, her mother’s boyfriend.
|Nira stands ready to record the spoken poetry of her young student poet in Nadav Lapid's The Kindergarten Teacher.|
http://www.biography.com/news/listen-to-me-marlon-brando-documentary) A delight for Brando fans, it is also a study in biographical documentary, a genre that too often lionizes its subjects. While Riley does some of that, he lets Marlon do all the talking.