Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Contractually Obligated Tribeca 2024 Curtain Raiser Or Steve explains the up coming flood of coverage

Wednesday the great and wonderful Tribeca Film Festival happens and the film world will be waiting to see what goodies are uncovered.

Largely filled with World Premieres the festival is a grand pile of wrapped presents where no one knows what anything really is or how good the films are. Where with most other fests there is some idea what the films are, either via having played somewhere else or because of the filmmaker, that's not the case with Tribeca which year after year pulls unexpected cinematic goodies out of its hat. Its the not knowing what is going to be the next great film that keeps me coming back year after year simply because almost none of the films have been talked to death on social media.

This year there will be three of us on the ground, Ariela, Wendy and myself. Plus  we'll be stealing things from Liz Whittemore, plus we just made an  agreement to share coverage with Austin Belzer, and as always I have some other plans in the works so look for lots of stuff.

Look for reports from all sorts of events music, film and talks because I have a bunch of tickets for public screenings.

The festival will be blending with DeNiro Con in the final weekend, but I don't think we will have much coverage since you need a special badge to cover as press or pay the admission prices. Having splurged for a  large number of new films at Tribeca proper I can not afford to pay for the con films. ( I didn't realize my badge did not give me access to DeNiro)

It should be noted that where in years past the festival did  a huge selection of pre-fest screenings, this year there were a couple over three days so I am a good number of films behind and trying to see what my actual festival dance card will be.

I need to say that I will be dropping coverage as close to embargo as possible- but with so many film playing I can't drop reviews for everything all at once because the reviews will get lost. Coverage will go up as close to the embargo as I can manage and in the order I saw the films. 

What am I looking forward to? Seeing my friends. I'm not going to lie, Tribeca is a social occasion for me so the chance to see old friends and make new ones is what makes it special. This year I'm also going to a screening with my niece so that's a huge plus.

With some of the most insane images ever put on screen SHE LOVED BLOSSOMS will show you wondrous things

As this posts I have seen well over 40 films, both features and shorts. As I do every year I'm going to give you a list of the films I highly recommend. These are the ones you should make an effort to see:

TREASURE- Stephen Fry plays Lena Dunham's father in a true-ish tale of a father and daughter who go to Poland so she can learn but her family's life before the concentration camps. Fry is fantastic, as is Dunham, who normally is not a favored actress.

S/HE IS STILL HER/E - The Official Genesis P-Orridge Documentary- Portrait of the late great musician and writer in his own words. While not for all tastes this exploration of one person's quest to grow will delight anyone who can click with it

WITCHES- a stunning look at witches, motherhood, feminism, and other subjects in culture as focused through the director's life. This is  one of 2024' best films.

RUTHLESS BLADE - an animated short martial arts film which may change how we see martial arts cinema. It's as good an animated film as you will see all year and a stunning story which goes unexpectedly.  This is as high as cinema gets.

JANE AUSTIN'S PERIOD FILM- glorious short comedy that is exactly what the title says. It's an absolute delight.

THE DAMNED- See this on  a big screen. A remote whaling station in the 19th century has to decide whether to save those on a sinking hip or not. What happens is the film. It's a nail biting thriller made glorious by some of the best cinematography of the year.

REBEL COUNTRY- a look at the new rebels in country music makes clear that the only way to rebel is to be yourself. A great primer on the genre, it makes clear that anyone claiming these folk aren't country don't know their history

MY BEST FRIEND- one of the great shorts of the fest needs to be turned into a feature because I've never seen a film more truthful exploration about what happens when best friends sleep together and the complications that arise and there is more to tell.

CHECKPOINT ZOO- is the story of a zoo in Ukraine in direct line of the Russian invasion and the people fighting to keep the 5000 animals alive. Its an amazing and hopeful tale and one of the best of the fest

1-800-ON-HER-OWN is an amazing look at Ani DiFranco. If you want to get to know the woman this film is for you. If you want a hits laden puff piece look elsewhere. This is Ani touring and creating and its wonderful.

HONGFU HOTEL is one of the best films of the year. It heralds the arrival of Tian Xu who uses a ghost tale to inform us about life, loss and moving on. He says infinitely more in 20 minutes than most directors say in a career (An interview soon)

CATHARSIS is an arresting tale about a dancer with issues who goes to a weird's an off kilter masterpiece that appears to have been made by one of David Lynch's spiritual children.

NEW WAVE is film I need to put on your radar. It's a look at the New Wave music that took root in the Vietnamese community in America that morphs into the story of the director who was abandoned by her mom who was too busy to raise her. It's not what you think and so much more.

JAZZY the final line of my review of Morrisa Maltz's coming of age film reads: "a stunning and grand achievement that is destined to be the big and most talked about film at this years festival." Buy your ticket now before it sells out and wins every award under the sun.

I am including BITTERROOT here because it needs to find its audience and may get swallowed by Tribeca.  It is a low key film moving at the speed of life, character study of a man in Montana taking care of his mom who wants him to find a nice girl and settle down and who is stung by life. You need to be patient and you can't mind silences.

A note: I will not be reviewing music videos. While videos such as Six Feet Deep are good. It's hard to say enough about them other than they are good to fill a post.

Okay, back to the darkness I have film to watch.

For more details and tickets go here.

For more coverage go to Liz Whittemore's REEL NEWS DAILY and for reviews and mind blowing interviews go to Austin Belzer's AUSTIN B MEDIA

The moving and true UNDER THE GREY SKY is worth your time.

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