For audiences, the frantic exchanges between cockpit personnel start off tense and quickly turn horrifying. Some are seeing the experimental work for the first time as a movie. Others are returning after first catching Charlie Victor Romeo some 15 years ago as an acclaimed stage production at Collective: Unconscious, a venue originally located in a storefront at 145 Ludlow.
PARK CITY, Utah — It feels slightly unfair to label the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, which wrapped Sunday after a ten-day stint, flat and underwhelming due to a lack of a breakout, buzzing, hit movie along the lines of last year’s Fruitvale Station or the preceding’s Beasts of the Southern Wild.
CINCINNATI — Tim Jenison is an imaging software engineer who talks like Oracle founder Larry Ellison but looks like artist Chuck Close. Jenison believes he has solved one of the greatest mysteries in art: how did 17th-century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography?
CINCINNATI — The play begins with color sketch markers stuffed into an acrylic wall rack adjacent to artist Joshua Davis’s room-sized mural. There are no instructions other than a brief warning about the markers’ potential for staining clothes, but every visitor to the ON! Handcrafted Digital Playgrounds exhibition at Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center knows what to do. They grab a favorite color and hit the wall, looking for a crevice of remaining white space to make their painterly contribution to Davis’s artwork, part of a two-piece installation titled “The Lightning Storm.”
CINCINNATI — The Village at the Lift publicity tent has massive, thick walls of white canvas rising high enough to support a second floor balcony. Normally used for large parties, the tent was eerily empty despite it being the opening Friday of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
CINCINNATI — The trending wardrobe of choice for aspiring female protest artists consists of Day-Glo leotards and matching ski masks. Credit the young punk rock performers known as Pussy Riot, feminist activists who led late 2011 civilian protests in Moscow following Vladimir Putin’s controversial reelection as Russia’s president.
CINCINNATI — Some say bartenders are artists for the way they slowly pour their homemade grenadine into a glass creating layers of alternating colors. Others insist they’re craftsmen and craftswomen; choosing the label of “mixologist” in recognition of their recipe skills.
CINCINNATI — In the narrow hallway outside the Park City Library Center, a school auditorium–turned–Sundance Film Festival screening venue, self-taught filmmaker duo David Siegel and Scott McGehee pace the floor while an audience watches an early screening of their sophomore movie The Deep End, a mother-son thriller starring Tilda Swinton. It’s nearly impossible to walk through the crowd, but Siegel and McGehee manage to do so while straining to hear noises from inside the auditorium. I head in after a quick break, glancing back at Siegel and McGehee in the process. They remain too nervous to sit.
The partygoers entered the large, black fabric cave in single file, balancing their drinks in hand and squatting low in order to sit at the computer inside. They typed away, sharing stories about sleepless nights for “A Journal of Insomnia,” a cloud-based, digital art project produced by Hugues Sweeney, head of French-language interactive media at the National Film Board of Canada.
They come in waves — family from Colorado, friends from Brooklyn, loyal producers, all passing through the door of a Toronto hotel room to share congratulations with filmmaker Derek Cianfrance on the debut of his third feature film, the highly-anticipated and acclaimed working-class drama The Place Beyond the Pines. The film stars Ryan Gosling as a circus stunt motorcycle rider who takes to bank robberies in order to provide for his infant son and Bradley Cooper as the Schenectady, NY, cop who aims to stop his string of robberies.
Michelangelo Frammartino’s “Alberi” at MoMA PS1, a video installation presented in cooperation with the Tribeca Film Festival, is equal parts landscape movie, culture documentary, and experimental film, and unfolds with the easy rhythm of everyday village life.
PARK CITY, Utah — Close your eyes and picture America’s most famous ad man, the fictional Don Draper of the cable TV hit Mad Men. Now push aside your favorite scenes of Don’s bedroom antics, bourbon-fueled lunches, and persuasive client pitches and think: over five seasons of storytelling, what has the dashing ladies’ man done that’s truly made an impact on the world outside his agency office suite?