The eleventh annual Tribeca Film Festival got off to a running start this week, and there’s still time for you to get in on the action (tickets are available via their website). Tribeca has made a real effort to make the festival accessible to those outside of NYC with an online festival of short films and four features, as well as several titles available to rent on iTunes.
Festivities kicked off Wednesday with an opening party held by Vanity Fair at the State Supreme Courthouse in lower Manhattan. Worth celebrating was Tribeca’s brand new fine art initiative in partnership with CHANEL, the Artists Awards Program, which commissioned a group of incredible artists to produce an original artwork for each of the Tribeca Film Winners. The artists include Peter Dayton, Walton Ford, Stephen Hannock, JR, Kim Keever, Clifford Ross, Nathan Sawaya, Cindy Sherman, Hugo Tillman, Kara Walker, and Stanley Whitney. This short video from Scott Thrift offers sneak peak at the Artists Awards Program.
With 132 films screened over 12 days, there is plenty to see. Remember when James Franco declared his General Hospital stint a performance art piece? Well, the art piece has arrived, and it’s got a great name, so we are willing to be optimistic. Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is) repurposes footage shot for the infamous soap.
Step onto any sidewalk in lower Manhattan and it’s easy to see that male grooming is having another moment with handlebars, horseshoes, and mountain man bush flourishing side by side. Of course Morgan Spurlock’s exploration of masculine beauty care, Mansome, is going to be great, especially given the participation of Zach Galifianakis, Paul Rudd, and Judd Apatow.
On the documentary front, ‘80s rock band Journey fuels the sort of too-absurd-to-be-true narrative that you have to see to believe. Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey shows how Journey discovered the talents of a homeless kid from Manila on YouTube and made him their front man, thrusting him on stage with the iconic Steve Perry. Fame High and Side By Side both offer glimpses of the blood, sweat, and tears required to succeed in today’s saturated entertainment marketplace.
As for films about art or artists? Artist angst is quite a thème du jour. Three flicks feature artist protagonists: Death of a Superhero, Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal, and Julie Delphies’ 2 Days In New York. Whether grappling with cancer, cannibalism, or a crisis of conscience, all three navigate a blurred boundary between their art and their personal lives.
Lastly, the film we’re most excited about? Hysteria. Who doesn’t want to see Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal garbed in full Victorian regalia and talking about vibrators?
If you do make it to the festival this weekend, report back! We want to know what you saw and what you liked and will be discussing on Facebook.
Ten films to look forward to from the Tribeca Film Festival:
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey directed by Ramona S. Diaz
It sounds like a dream: a charismatic Filipino singer from the slums of Manila posts videos of his cover band to YouTube, and soon he’s fronting iconic rock band Journey. Cast: Journey bandmembers – Arnel Pineda, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, Deen Castronovo. (World Premiere)
Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal directed by Boris Rodriguez
Masterfully balances its quirky humor and its cartoonish eruptions of grotesque violence as Lars, a frustrated artist, finds himself torn between duty to his friend and duty to his work. Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Dylan Smith, Georgina Reilly, Alian Goulem, Paul Braunstein, and Stephen McHattie. (North American Premiere)
Fame High directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy
Follow-up to the Oscar-nominated The Garden. Captures the drama, competition, heartbreak, and triumph among a group of struggling students at the LA County High School for the Arts. (World Premiere)
"Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby
Is) directed by Ian Olds and James Franco
Repurposed Franco’s behind-the-scenes General Hospital footage into an experimental psychological thriller set amid the spectacle of a celebrity’s escalating paranoia, creating a “mind-bending” exploration of identity. Cast: James Franco, Kalup Linzy, Owen Renfroe, Steve Burton, Dominic Zamprogna, Julie Berman, and Vince Jolivette. (North American Premiere)
Free Samples directed by Jay Gammill
With a raging hangover, in the midst of a complete quarter-life crisis, recent Stanford Law dropout Jillian finds herself stuck for a day in an ice cream truck doling out samples—and a good dose of sass—to oddball Angelenos. Cast: Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Halley Feiffer, and Tippi Hedren. (World Premiere)
Mansome directed by Morgan Spurlock
In the age of manscaping, metrosexuals, and grooming products galore, what does it mean to be a man? Cast: Morgan Spurlock, Zach Galifianakis, Will Arnett, Paul Rudd, Jason Bateman, Judd Apatow. (World Premiere)
Death of a Superhero directed by Ian Fitzgibbon
Donald is a teenager with extraordinary talents as an artist of fantastical graphic novels. But when Donald discovers that a very real enemy is trying to kill him, an unorthodox psychologist tries to help him find the light in an otherwise dark world. Cast: Andy Serkis , Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aisling Loftus, Michael McElhatton, Sharon Horgan, Jessica Schwarz. (US Premiere)
Side by Side directed by Chris Kenneally
Through interviews with masters like 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. (North American Premiere)
Hysteria directed by Tanya Wexler
Set in nineteenth century London at the peak of Victorian prudishness, this racy romantic comedy tells the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator. Cast: Hugh Dancy , Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett. (US Premiere)
2 Days in New York directed by Julie Delpy
Deliriously witty follow-up to 2 Days in Paris. A riotous comedy of cultural errors ensues when Marion’s (writer/director Julie Delpy) totally unhinged, gleefully unfiltered family arrives from Paris to meet her live-in-boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock). Cast: Julie Delpy , Chris Rock, Brady Smith, Vincent Gallo, Kate Burton, Dylan Baker, Malinda Williams, Alexandre Nahon, Alex Manette. (NYC Premiere)
For showtimes and more details, check out the Tribeca Film Festival’s website.