The Tribeca Film Festival opened last night with a short-film program dedicated to global warming. SOS (Save Our Selves), the campaign behind the Live Earth concerts, sponsored seven eco-themed films. The Festival was founded by Robert DeNiro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff to revitalize Lower Manhattan after 9-11, and I think it’s great to see that the Festival is forward-thinking with the global warming movement.
Ecorazzi got a spot on the red carpet for the much-anticipated Opening Gala. Bobby DeNiro, in his trademark fashion, breezed right by the press, looking amazing! (I love him). Also snubbing interviews were Adrian Grenier, Chris Cooper, Jimmy Fallon (cute!), Petra Nemcova, Christie Brinkley, Josh Lucas, Freddy Rodriguez, Diego Luna, Damon Dash, a dashing Tom Brokaw and the magnificent Martin Scorsese. (Obviously I have a crush on most of these people.)
Green beauty Shalom Harlow chatted up the press, explaining that even though thinking about the global warming crisis can be “overwhelming,” she tries to help by making little changes in her life. Edie Falco, most recently seen stumping for Riverkeeper, also made her presence known as a supporter of the SOS program.
Jesse Bradford, most recently of Flags of Our Fathers, was also quite chatty.
I asked him what he thought about Ecorazzi and the current hipness of green:
“I think that if [global warming awareness] could actually take over the way the way that trucker hats did two years ago, then that would be great! Trendy is only as valuable as the thing that becomes trendy. If something as beneficial as this could become trendy somehow, then we’d be in good shape.” Well put, Jesse. P.S. You’re cute.
Jon Bon Jovi arrived in amidst a flurry of excitement, and while he declined to talk to the press on the red carpet, he performed three songs at the end of the film program. He shared his thoughts on stage: “I’m up here as a father, a husband, and as a citizen of this country and the world.” Al Gore introduced him by saying that Bon Jovi was the first musician to sign up for the Live Earth U.S. concert! Bon Jovi sang a really (surprisingly) pretty acoustic version of “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and it made me choke up a little.
As the host of the evening, Vice President Gore pointed to the arts as a way to challenge our moral imaginations, beyond the scientific facts: “We have the capacity to feel what is true. We need to call upon the creativity of the artists of SOS and Live Earth.”
And the film program? I think that there’s no way around being a bit heavy-handed with a theme like global warming. The films were beautifully shot, but nearly all of them relied on images set to music, interspersed with text giving us all the grim statistics. Sunny Day showed peaceful, serene shots of clothes drying on a line, juxtaposed with loud, crazed industrial shots of clothes dryers whirring. Another film showed peaceful, serene shots of people riding bikes, juxtaposed with loud, crazed industrial shots of cars driving. Et cetera!
The gem of the evening was a film showing Spinal Tap‘s efforts to reunite for the London Live Earth concert. The film followed Rob Reiner‘s character, Marty Debergi, contacting each member of the group. As singer David St. Hubbins (played by Michael McKean) says, “I’ve always been against devastation so…” Count him in! Turns out Rob Reiner has been involved with the Natural Resources Defense Council for over 20 years! It was refreshing to see some humor mixed in with earnest efforts to affect positive change…
All the while I thought of Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro sitting in the auditorium, and what they must think of the SOS films. I hope eco-films will become more diverse and interesting as the environment becomes as ubiquitous a movie theme as love and war. If anyone can achieve this, I bet Leo can!
The Tribeca Film Festival is a sprawling event, with more information than this blogger can possibly convey. To learn about all the events and read up on the films, be sure to visit their website.