Our reviewer in Tribeca…Live From New York (2015)

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Maysa Moncao has been hitting the film festival circuit hard, this time at Tribeca. She sends back this account of an interview with Star Wars genius George Lucas. Check out her LinkedIn profile for more and contact details.

The opening gala night movie at Tribeca Film Festival was Live from New York!, that documents 40 years of the TV show Saturday Night Live, a remarkable and very North-American institution.

“It is the fourth power”, says Orson Welles. “There is nothing wrong with tradition”, says Alec Baldwin.

SNL is a TV show which was born in an age where comedy appeared to be banned from TV, possibly due to the War in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal.

But at that time New York was an avante-garde island of creativy, especially if one talks about comedy. Think about Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks and John Belushi. They were all hosts or comedians who would write sketches about politics, or mock the news of the week — something that is pretty common nowadays — or present musicians from The Rolling Stones and Sinead O’Connor. And everything was live, which means more freedom and less censorship.

The basic guideline to select what would be part of this documentary was to show historical moments or events in America, like 9/11, and how the show responded to it. So, in the producer’s words: “Saturday Night Live would be a clip in a time capsule that would represent North-American society”. And I should add, for good and bad, as the TV show still reflects some current problems in USA, such as racism and sexism.

Looking back 14 years ago when Tribeca Film Festival was created in order to boost the culture of Manhattan and Tribeca in particular, we agree that the opening night movie choice still follows those guidelines. Tribeca is metalinguistically talking about itself and its life style.

Maysa Moncao

LIVE FROM NEW YORK!

☆☆☆

USA, DOCUMENTARY, 2015, 84 MIN

DIRECTED BY BAO NGUYEN

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