I'd never heard of "Tropfest," a festival of short films that began years ago in Australia, but tonight it came to the Nethermead under a gorgeous moonrise.
Parts of the Nethermead are still recovering from Googa-Mooga-induced wounds. Mercifully, this was a less hyped and frantically overcrowded event than Googa, and had more compelling content than flights of bacon (although a line of food trucks served up trendy chow; I idiotically waited for 45 minutes for a burger with, yes, bacon).
Liev Schrieber (whom I've seen only as the angry older brother in "Defiance") was a gracious and engaging host. He and his gal Naomi Watts were mobbed by pro/am camera-wielders. Malcolm Gladwell and Leonard Lopate were present as judges.
We could stay for only the first half of the program, enjoyed all the films we saw, but loved a super-brief, spooky one called "Capture" about an encounter with a strange camera on the Brooklyn Bridge. (Each film had to include some manner of "bridge" motif.) It did not capture one of the top prizes, however.
This dog captured a chunk of food right out of the hands of an unsuspecting group of picnickers who had been heedlessly chatting in Chinese. He managed to swallow it before his owner, a beleaguered dad with an infant and preschooler in tow, could pry it out of his mouth. I love it when a dog wins once in a while.