April 13, 2010

Mighty TriBeCa: Plasta-siezed Portrait

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By Wendy McHale, Publisher

Who knows if some day mighty TriBeCa will replace the United Nations and Madison Avenue as the logical setting for progress in communicating with each other in the 21st century? In our new era of blackberries, trios, and sweaty palms, TriBeCa is reassuringly simple.

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These insideous-tituions have become celluloid heroes of another era. Too much information. They have as much energy as the Might Titanic, after the bartender poured a shot of scotch on the rocks.

What happened? What's happening? Ours has is a now pre-packaged world, and the modern person (as opposed to "un-modern?) looks in the mirror and tweaks our Plasta-siezed portrait. Shhhhhhht, we're outta milk.

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Who's calling? Take a message.....TriBeCa is just the opposite. The medium is that message.

The energy there simply can't sit still. TriBeCa can ultimately advance both the unification and commercialization of the business of ideas and relationships in the next era of the 21st century. "Let's have lunch. What's your calendar look like? Hmmm, how's never, does never work for you?"

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Already its a virtual and physical place that connects art with commerce, sitting smack dab in the middle between Wall Street, (the perpetual and powerful financial marketplace) and the West Village, (the power-house artist and bohemian marketplace.) Both known for their slavish addiction to economic and artistic freedom, TriBeCa is the Mecca for everyone in the jet-set hemisphere.

We are slaves to the coming attractions. Text messaging our boss with the back-story for the next pitch. Heavy-up on that fake "butter" on the popcorn.

So what. Is TriBeCa's solution in search of a problem? An if so, what is it? Too much vacillation.

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It has Uma on the cover. Just look at this month's Vogue object d'art homage to "Safe," Todd Haynes's dystopian plot on our suburban malaise. Check out these pictures photographed by Steven Meisel and a TMAJ editor.

... Spell check it. Let's order out. Ping me your g-mail. Cut and paste it. Put it in the dishwasher.

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Released in 1995, a full 10+ years ago, Safe has been described as a "horror movie of the soul", a description that Haynes relishes. Rent it, buy it. Steal it. Haynes's "Safe" 1995 was anything but safe.


Genetically, the rise of video art was fertilized long before MTV. By the time we invented the title of VJ and met Martha Quinn we were already well into way of the absurdity of America's funniest home videos.

So what. So, why is TriBeCa our redemption? The festival. The festival of lights, camera, action. The TriBeCa film festival. In the age of YouTube, IM, online dating services and Desperate Housewives, we are now senseless. That is, we've taken our senses offline. Walter Cronkite and Katy Couric: our 20th/21st censure-y American idols.

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Need a wake-up call. Spend a few worth-the-time hours to review this years' TriBeCa site, as well as the AMEX 15 second clips site to see how the most talented and inspired communicators have burned their ideas onto video and film.

TriBeCa can awake you. You'll find it all there. Hysterical "shorts", like last week's "Clip Pics" reviews by Jennifer Nastu. She covers her favorite TriBeCa AMEX 15 second short. Or intimidatingly serious "Longs", like this week's reviews by Kurt Brokaw's review's of three very serious film subjects,The Bridge and United 93 Bettie and The Notorious Bettie Page films, that make us question and values.

Food for thought, for sure. TriBeCa has become the communications platform for serious and some not-so serious film and video messengers. It's also fun, a key ingredient. It attracts the "beautiful people" and the people who have something beautiful and meaningful to say.

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By the looks of things, few would argue that the UN and MadAve could use a little competition.

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