Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Talking Tribeca: Fishtail

I’ve had the pleasure this year of screening a number of selections from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 16th-27th.

Directed by Andrew Renzi
Festival Screenings

It’s not often you have the chance to see a calf being born on screen. “Fishtail,” the sixty-one-minute documentary from director Andrew Renzi, is not a typical film. Described as “a portrait of the modern cowboy,” it follows a family on a ranch in Montana during calving season. Plot is far from central to the film, which can be seen as a meditation on landscapes and art. A peculiar score serves as the soundtrack, and Harry Dean Stanton narrates the film. There is certainly something to be said for a film that manages to make watching two ranchers herd cattle in preparation for calving. It’s good that the film lasts just one hour, especially since its subjects are less characters than purposeful players in its story. Its setting creates food for thought, and its appeal comes from the way in which its visuals are captured.

See it or skip it? It’s hardly a must-see, especially if you aren’t keen on seeing a cow give birth.

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