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Fort Tilden Movie Review

Title: Fort Tilden

Director: Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers

Starring: Bridey Elliott, Clare McNulty, Griffin Newman, Jeffrey Scaperrotta, Neil Casey, Alyssia Reiner, Will Hines, Peter Vack.

We all know that road trips are never about the destination, but about the journey. Naturally the one of self-discovery; even when the trip is a simple route from Brooklyn to the Rockaway Peninsula, that becomes crazed for the mishaps that happen along the way. This is how writer-directors Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers decide to make their protagonists Allie (Clare McNulty) and Harper (Bridey Elliott) confront their life standpoints.

In the midst of their respective quarter-life crises, Allie procrastinates preparing for her forthcoming ill-advised stint in the Peace Corps, while Harper awaits cheques from her father to fund her vague artistic dreams. But the two friends quickly snub their responsibilities for the day, when they insinuate themselves into the planned Fort Tilden afternoon of a pair of cute guys they met at a party. As the two young women board their bicycles and embark on a wildly complicated trek to the beach, they quickly realise that they neither know where they’re going, nor how they plan to get there. Needless to say that this metaphorically enhances their confusing transitioning lives.

‘Fort Tilden’ surely takes viewers on a darkly comedic voyage through the outer boroughs, with a bittersweet satirical voice.  Bliss and Rogers’ feature film debut maintains a delicate touch in delivering the most ruthless critique on the radical-chic couple of sisterly friends, who are utterly naive in their ditziness and are therefore truly amiable. The zany beginning gradually gets sucked up by the existential oppression, that comes as an aversive awakening for Allie and Harper.

Technical: C+

Acting: B-

Story: B-

Overall: B-

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Fort Tilden Movie

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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