Tribeca Film Festial (2013) “Six Acts” and “What Richard Did”
I have been attending this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which, conveniently, has been taking place, at least partially, in our neighborhood. Many of the screenings are at the AMC Loews Village 7, at 66 Third Avenue.
When attending film festivals, I usually stick with the documentaries. In my experience, the documentaries are almost always very good. The narrative (fiction) films tend to be uneven. Some are good, while some are not. In either category it can be hard to tell which films are worthwhile seeing. The reason for this is that, at film festivals, viewers are always dealing with untested commodities – new films, many of which do not yet have distribution.
While I still adhere to my “documentaries only” strategy, as a rule, I am nothing if not open-minded. As a result, this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, now through April 28, has thrown me two very different, thought provoking exceptions to my documentary-centric point of view. Each of these films involves teenagers dealing with choices and both have stayed with me.
From Israel, first time feature film director Jonathan Gurfinkel’s gritty, searing drama, “Six Acts,” concerns Gili, a teen aged girl at a new school trying to fit in with a certain group of boys. Gili is a naïve, co-dependent girl, played with a convincing sense of desperation and vulnerability by Sivan Levy. Gili desperately seeks acceptance and has no compunctions about using her sexuality to get it. She is essentially passed around, having various encounters with different boys in her circle, while desperately seeking the approval and acceptance of one, Omri (Eviator Mov), in particuslar. The more permissive Gili is, the less the boys respect her. As her encounters become more and more extreme, the line of consent begins to become less and less clear. “Six Acts” is a dark and harrowing look at a young girl’s sexual awakening, very well acted and frighteningly portrayed.
From Ireland, “What Richard Did” is an involving, low key drama about a group of friends spending the summer together before going off to college. James (Jack Reynor) is popular and good looking, with his bright future ahead of him. “You’ve got everything worked out,” Lara, James’ new girlfriend, tells him. Then an incident happens that could put everything in jeopardy.
“What Richard Did” is a quiet tale about ethics, guilt, choices, impulsiveness and families. Reynor’s performance, as the golden boy who may have blown it all, is genuine and understated.
My only criticism concerns the casts’ Irish accents which, at quite a few points, rendered the dialogue difficult to understand. It would have been a help for the film to have had English language subtitles. On the plus side though, the acting in “What Richard Did” is so strong that the meaning came across even if I could not always make out what the characters were saying.
For information on the Tribeca Film Festival visit http://www.tribeca.com.
Posted on April 23, 2013, in New and tagged AMC Loews Village 7, Eviator Mov, Jack Raynor, Jonathan Gurfinkel, Sivan Levy, Six Acts, Tribeca Film Festival, What Richard Did. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.