Thursday, June 8, 2023

Brief thoughts on some of the classic films Tribeca is playing this year

Tribeca is running  a bunch of classics  and in order to fill some space until the embargoes on the ew films drop I’ve put together  some quick notes on the films they are screening

The closing night film is a special screening Festival founder Robert DeNiro’s only directorial debut A BRONX TALE. Based on Chaz Palminteri’s  one man show which is based on his experiences growing up, it’s a good film. It’s a film that quietly influenced a lot of films that followed it. It also spawned a Broadway musical  which was directed by DeNiro as well.

NEW JACK CITY is one of the gritty action films that changed the films that followed it.  While not a huge huge hit when it was in theaters the film gained a massive following on home video where many people would watch it over and over again. It’s a kind of companion to DePalma’s SCARFACE.

REANIMATOR is Stuart Gordon’s classic reinvention of an HP Lovecraft film that put Barbra Crampton into focus for several generation of film lovers. A perfect mix of comedy and horror it’s a film that has survived the test of time. Screening as a related film at the Nighthawk in Brooklyn, this is a must see film for anyone who wants to see a film that changed horror as we know it. (It also spawned this year’s Midnight entry SUITABLE FLESH which is another Lovecraft film this time produced by ms Crampton.)

ENTER THE DRAGON is the martial arts film that is the dividing line in screen action. It’s a cultural touchstone that change the whole universe, not just the cinematic one. Sure there were martial arts films before it, but this is the film that made everyone aware of them. It’s a film that opened people up to Bruce Lee and his philosophy. The film altered everyone and everything that followed in its wake. And while it may not seem as groundbreaking now in the 1970’s it was. If you never saw it you have to.

The Japan Society is doing a special screening of DESTROY ALL MONSTERS the kaiju battle royal that brought every Toho monster together in a film that blew the mind of every little kid who saw it. None of us were ever the same. I’m going to the screening and will report beck but if you want to see the film where Godzilla destroys the UN in a building next to the UN then you have to go.

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