Documentaries spotlight familiar faces at Tribeca festival

Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:41pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A world heavyweight champion, a brassy Broadway legend, ground- breaking comics, an Oscar-winning director and a four-legged Internet star are among subjects documentary filmmakers have trained their lenses on at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

Organizers say the two-week festival, which opened on Wednesday and includes nearly 100 features, has historically comprised nearly as many documentaries as narrative films, which often prove to be among its most popular offerings.

This year the documentary roster includes a number of subjects boasting bold-face names, from pioneering comedian Richard Pryor to writer Gore Vidal and boxing great Muhammad Ali.

"We're excited about showing how creative documentary filmmakers are," said Genna Terranova, the festival's vice president of programming. "While all these subjects are great, not everybody can make a great documentary about a great person."

This year's offerings include "Shoot Me," an intimate look at the life and career of Broadway (and "30 Rock") star Elaine Stritch featuring interviews with Tina Fey and Nathan Lane.

In "Michael H. Profession: Director," the camera lens turns on the sometimes controversial filmmaker Michael Haneke, who won the best foreign language film Oscar in February for "Amour".

Well-known for such films "The White Ribbon" and "The Piano Teacher," the Austrian director "has typically been a little cagey, a little resistant to people penetrating his psyche," says Terranova.

"But Yves Montmayeur has been around him for a very long time, and gained access and trust like no one else really has," she said of the French journalist and filmmaker who directed the documentary.   Continued...

U.S. author Gore Vidal poses at his home in Ravello, southern Italy May 9, 2001. REUTERS