The Tribeca Film Festival 2014 My Picks and Must Sees
The Tribeca Film Festival has come of age. Birthed literally in the wreckage of 9/11, it rose like a phoenix spirit to say that NYC was alive and well if shattered and bruised mere months after the attack. Like any festival in the spotlight, it had to grow up in public. Robert De Niro,like Robert Redford at Sundance was how most people thought of TFF. However, a team effort was at work from the beginning. At first, its programing seemed like the template of an urban supermarket trying to please every palate and pocketbook by concentrating on the diversity of storytelling in programming and making community life; as in revitalization, a distinct signifier of TFF identity.
The New York Film Festival had established itself as a plucking ground of the world’s best films after all the major international festival had shown their discoveries. New Yorkers have a best of the best festival with engaged and rigorous intellectual debate surrounding the programing. And it was uptown
The Tribeca Film Festival was downtown and it knew that it mattered in terms of energy, programming, and community involvement.
When Geoff Gilmore, the former Executive Director of Sundance, was brought in to revamp and tighten up the now becoming adolescent Festival child, it took a couple of years to see the changes being put in place. This year, the evidence of his and the entire programming staff work is excitingly present.
The many things that are about film, creativity, and community are vividly on display and the attempt to seduce couch potatoes into interactive and physical participation is clearly evident.
The free events include: the Tribeca Drive-In on the waterfront plaza at Brookfield Place, (April 17-19), Family Festival Street Fair (April 26),Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day (April 26) Tribeca Family Screenings (April 26 and 27). + screenings on Friday, April 25 will be FREE (funded by AT&T) All of these events are FREE!
The big surprise this year is the expansion of the Interactive week April 21-26, which will include Future of Film Live Series (April 21 – 24), with Aaron Sorkin, 11th Annual Games for Change Festival (April 22 – 24 & 26) gaming and social practice, Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards (April 25), TFI Interactive (April 26). The TED-like day of intellectual exchange will include innovators of merit to exploring storytelling in the digital age.
For me, the most significant move forward is the core of any festival; the films programed. This year, Tribeca’s slate is almost as almost as strong as Sundance. The Guide is live at their website. http://tribecafilm.com/filmguide
Here are my first look choices that I suggest you buy a ticket as soon as they go on sale . They are not the only ones of merit, but I think they will be gone in a flash.
1971 40 years before WikiLeaks and the NSA scandal, there was Media, Pennsylvania. Eight Catholic activists plotted an intricate break-in to the local FBI offices to leak stolen documents and expose the illegal surveillance of ordinary Americans in an era of anti-war activism; role models for Manning and Snowden.
All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State An unmissable documentary for any political junkie and with Wendy Davis in the run for Governor a timely insight.
Art and Craft Is a forger an artist or a copy cat ? Where does creativity and mental illness intersect? How money drives critical curatorial choices are just some of the questions this provocative documentary raises ,
Bad Hair (Pelo Malo): 9-year-old boy wants to straighten his hair and all hell breaks loose because of heightened suspicions about sexual orientation and gender expression. A needed parable about youth and parents and a look at why poor people in Venezuela supported Hugo Chavez
Dior and I (D'or et moi): One enters the storied world that is the House of Christian Dior and meets the hands of who actually does the work. As beautiful to watch as to wear Dior couture.
Black Coal, Thin Ice From China comes a thriller mystery with a detective only Chinese imagination could dream up.
Compared To What: The Improbable Journey Of Barney Frank: He was smart and aggressive enough to have been President but he was gay.
Garnet’s Gold:Kudos to Tribeca for remain committed to showing experimental film. I am not sure what Garnet’s Gold is really about. But go and give reward toi your eyes and nerve endings . Lucious !
Keep On Keepin’On: 89-year-old trumpeting legend Clark Terry has mentored jazz wonders like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones but Terry’s most unlikely friendship is with Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano player with uncanny talent, but debilitating nerves.
Five Star Keith Miller’s Welcome to Pine Hill was hailed as an authentic look at black maleness under identity crisis, Five Star leaps forward with a complex look of how insidious drug money has saturated the black poor community and runs parallel to traditional family and community values . Insightful
The Newburgh Sting: Just 60 miles north of New York City sits the poverty-stricken town of Newburgh, where, in 2009, four men were arrested for a plan to bomb two Jewish centers in the Bronx. The real story will shock and hopefully anger you.
The Overnighters: After hydraulic fracturing uncovers a rich oil field in North Dakota, a small conservative town is tested as hordes of unemployed men chasing the “American Dream” pour into its borders.
Mala Mala: Finally a complex film on what has been called TRANSGENDER which does not dumb down the audience into love me or you are transphobic. We have had a deluge of first person advocacy films that have not ever challenge any of the stereotypes of transgender.Christine Vachon has produced a thought provoking documentary that shows the range of diversity which begins to give meaning to a word that is so vague it almost means nothing. Cautionary note while the film fails at language definitions held in common it remains Highly recommended
Night Moves: Directed and written by Kelly Reichardt. Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard star as radical activists surreptitiously plotting to blow up Oregon’s Green Peter Dam in an act of environmental sabotage. Eco-terrorism and it's personal and political consequences. Reichardt and Richard Linklater are considered the two best indie directors in American working today.
Manos Sucias:In a festival drenched in drug related films Manos Sucias stands head and shoulders above all the others . Not since Miss Bala have we seen a film that skips the tabloid level and goes deep into how drug money has is fundamentally destroying cultural and ethical values everywhere in the world. . With perfect tone, stunning cinematography and two of the best performances of the year marks this as perhaps the Tribeca Film Festival’s movie discovery of the year!
Silenced: Only 11 Americans have ever been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 eight of them since President Obama took office. The film shows the lengths to which the government has gone to keep its most damning secrets quiet. Executive produced by Susan Sarandon.
Something Must Break Genderqueer finally gets a welcome narrative story that will give further dimension to transgressing the boundaries of acceptable gender expression .Exploring attraction and erotic desire in conflict with social norms. With an unforgettable taunt that leaps off the screen into the real life conflicts for many gender variant men : “Why don’t you just get a pussy.” hurled at the lead character by a man who is smitten but conflicted because of the same sex context Something Must Break is a breakthrough film that demands to be seen by anyone who is trying to figure out identity and those who love or hate them. Bravo!
Regarding Susan Sontag: Hungry for life and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political, and feminist icons of her generation. A nuanced investigation into the life of a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, and terrorism still give insight and cause controversy.
Third Person: Screenwriter and director Paul Haggis (Crash/ In the Valley of Elah) brings to the screen a calculated vision of the drama of love. Three stories set in cities known for romance—New York, Rome, and Paris.
Time is Illmatic : Nas is and has been one of the few successful rap voices that has risen above the bling consciousness and not resorted to violence and misogyny to role model social consciousness and black male identity and family in America .
Tomorrow We Disappear Gentrification is happening everywhere , call it slum clearing call it culture/community erasure. The beauty and sadness of this reality is captured perfectly in this insightful, beautiful , overflowing with humanity and growth vs community conflict set in the colony of puppeteers in Delhi India. A family film with very serious idea at play
Traitors: Malika is the lead singer of an all-female punk band and sees music as a means to escape a dull and conservative life in Tangier. Breaking with tradition means she has to take a huge amount of risks. As a punk drama it works even if it seems very rooted in western not Muslin values And yes drugs are the social lubricant
Venus in Fur: Roman Polanski’s masterful take on Broadway's steamiest tango of sexual tensions in an erotic dance between a man and a woman .
Virunga: The battle to preserve the National Wildlife Refuge in the Congo home to the few remaining Mountain Gorillas is not only desperate in its fight against political corruption but stunning visually as the Gorillas are fore grounded and in fact tell their own story in visual and non- verbal language.
X/Y A character-driven drama centered around four restless New Yorkers and their shifting sexual and romantic relationships as they search for a sense of intimacy and self-identity.
Go to http://tribecafilm.com/filmguide" for information about the films, community events and how to purchase tickets And remember that for each showing that may say sold out a few tickets are held for the day of performance..and waiting in line is speed dating at it urban best!
(cc Jim Fouratt's reel Deal: Movies that Matter)c jim fouratt’s Reel Deal Movies That Matter)