Tribeca 2012: Preview
The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival officially kicks off tonight with a screening of THE FIVE- YEAR ENGAGEMENT. That of course means my TFF experience officially starts tomorrow with the first of many early morning press screenings. I currently have a temporary schedule consisting of 15 films spread across 5 days. I also plan to check out some online screenings, as well as a few festival events. Since most interview opportunities seem to be falling on days when I will not be at the fest, I’ve decided to play it by ear much like last year. Also like last year, you will be able to see my Tribeca experience unfold in real-time by following @GetStuck on Twitter.
For now, here are some of the films we are most looking forward to this year:
2 DAYS IN NEW YORK
This deliriously witty follow-up to 2 DAYS IN PARIS finds Marion (writer/director Julie Delpy) living a comfortable life in New York with her latest hipster boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock, brilliantly playing it straight), and their two young kids from prior relationships. A riotous comedy of cultural errors ensues when Marion’s totally unhinged, gleefully unfiltered family arrives from Paris to meet Mingus for the first time.
In the wintry countryside near Canada, a smooth-talking heist man and his femme fatale sister are on the run with a bag full of cash. With a deadly blizzard swirling around them, they split up to make a desperate dash for the border, but a twist of fate puts them on a collision course with a troubled ex-con and his family. Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Sissy Spacek, and Kris Kristofferson highlight the ace cast in this icy thriller.
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ : EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY
A charismatic Filipino singer from the slums of Manila posts videos to YouTube, and soon he’s fronting an iconic rock band. Sounds crazy, but it’s the real-life rock-and-roll fairy tale that Arnel Pineda is living as the new lead singer of Journey. The pressure’s on Pineda as this rockin’ doc follows Journey’s dizzying world tour—can a man who has already overcome so many obstacles deal with the demands of his newfound fame?
EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL
Onetime art star Lars Olafssen is all washed up. Unable to paint without inspiration, he accepts a teaching stint at a small-time art school in podunk Koda Lake, Canada, and along with it the guardianship of the offbeat town’s neighborhood weirdo, Eddie. As their unlikely friendship evolves, Lars uncovers a dark and violent secret about Eddie’s nocturnal impulses, and finds himself torn between his duty to his friend and his duty to his art.
THE FOURTH DIMENSION
A motivational speaker named Val Kilmer (played by Val Kilmer) delivers a sermon at a roller rink. A Russian scientist builds a time machine in his apartment. Four friends tumble upon an abandoned village in the Polish countryside. All are searching for the fourth dimension—whether they know it or not. Weird, ominous, cool, compelling: These three short films could only be inspired by the vision of Harmony Korine and Vice Media’s Eddy Moretti.
James Franco stunned the film world when he committed to a regular gig on General Hospital, but the actor had a clever trick up his sleeve. While shooting a key GH episode, Franco brought along a film crew. TFF award winner Ian Olds (Fixer, 2009) repurposed Franco’s behind-the-scenes footage into this experimental psychological thriller set amid the spectacle of a celebrity’s escalating paranoia, creating a mind-bending exploration of identity.
Jillian is having a bad day. She’s got a raging hangover, she’s starting to think dropping out of Stanford Law to become an artist wasn’t the best career move, and things are weird with her faraway fiancé. Can spending the day parked in an ice cream truck doling out samples—and a good dose of sass—to oddball Angelenos shake her out of her quarter-life crisis? Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jason Ritter star in this quirky comedy.
A return to the crime genre for celebrated Thai auteur Pen-ek Ratanaruang (6ixtynin9, Last Life in the Universe), HEADSHOT is a noir-laced thriller centered on Tul, a hit man who is shot in the head and wakes up to find that he sees everything upside down. Working backwards (and often upside down) to tell a brooding and complex tale of underworld double dealings, this is an unexpected and artful take on the action thriller from a genre master.
Terrified, bloodied, and gripping a shotgun, Oscar Svendsen wakes up in what used to be a respectable strip joint, surrounded by eight corpses and with a gun pointed at him by a detective with the National Criminal Investigation Service. Naturally, Oscar is taken into custody, and during his interrogation a bloody and darkly comic story of betrayal, murder, and lottery winnings emerges—but is this the whole story?
THE GIANT MECHANICAL MAN
Thirtysomethings Janice (Jenna Fischer) and Tim (Chris Messina) haven’t learned how to navigate adulthood. Tim is a street performer whose talents as a “living statue” don’t exactly pay the bills. Janice is out of work and under pressure by her sister (Malin Akerman) to date an egotistical self-help guru (Topher Grace). In this charming comedic romance, two strangers help each other to realize it only takes one person to make you feel important.
JOURNEY TO PLANET X
By day Eric and Troy are a couple of mild-mannered, middle- aged desk jockeys from Florida, but their wildest dreams come to life after hours when they make fantastical sci-fi movies with the help of a green screen, amateur actors, and retro-futuristic computer graphics. As they embark on their most ambitious production yet, this hip and heartwarming doc shows how boundless imagination can hilariously stretch the limits of DIY moviemaking.
In the age of manscaping, metrosexuals, and grooming products galore—what does it mean to be a man? Oscar® nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and executive producers Ben Silverman, Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman present a delightfully entertaining doc featuring candid interviews from Arnett, Bateman, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, and everyday people weighing in on everything from the obsession with facial hair to body dysmorphic disorder.
Following the death of their young daughter, the Hughes family decide to escape to their upscale vacation home in the woods. But their attempt to get some quality time is violently interrupted when a neighboring family with a hidden agenda drops by for dinner. First-time director Jeremy Regimbal builds tension to a calculated and brutal crescendo in this home-invasion thriller. Starring Selma Blair, Joshua Close, James D’Arcy, and Rachel Miner.
Michael is committed to getting his best friend Chris to sober up and put his life back on track. But what begins as an attempt to save his friend’s life quickly takes an unexpected turn as the two friends confront personal demons, the consequences of past actions, and forces beyond their control. Expertly balancing dark humor, heart, and thrills, RESOLUTION is an utterly unique cinematic experience that defies genre classification.
SIDE BY SIDE
Over the past two decades, digital technology has created an evolution in cinema, challenging film as the standard format for motion pictures. Through interviews with Danny Boyle, James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Lars Von Trier, and many more, producer Keanu Reeves takes us on a tour of the past and future of the moviemaking process in this in-depth doc.
In this funny and authentic take on modern relationships, best friends Darryl (Tarik Lowe) and Nick (Alex Karpovsky) are a film-editing duo hired to rework a movie in crisis, only to find themselves increasingly consumed with reworking their own personal lives. While Nick begins to question his stable relationship after receiving attentions from the film’s flirtatious starlet, Darryl finds himself falling hard for tempestuous dancer Liana (Melonie Diaz).
TAKE THIS WALTZ
Margot (Michelle Williams) and Lou (Seth Rogen) are happily married. Their life is thrown out of order when Margot falls for another man and is forced to choose between the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of the unknown. Writer/director Sarah Polley’s follow-up to her acclaimed film Away From Her is a quirky, uncommonly heartfelt look at the evolving nature of love and the difficulty of sustaining a relationship over time.
All film descriptions come from the official Tribeca program. I won’t be able to watch them all but be sure to check back for coverage of the films I do get to see!