The city's cultural life is represented in documentaries about the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the legendary theater director Joe Papp, the PS22 chorus from Staten Island, and the comeback story of a Brooklyn-born musician and former inmate. What follows is a list of feature films in this year's Tribeca Film Festival that prominently showcase New York. Several short films also make ample use of the city.
For information about schedules, theater locations, and tickets, please visit the official website at www.tribecafilm.com/festival/. The festival, which offers a wealth of films and programming beyond the local fare mentioned here, continues through April 29, 2012.
NEW YORK FEATURE FILMS
• 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK
2 DAYS IN NEW YORK
Caption: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock and Dylan Baker in 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Directed and written by Julie Delpy. (France) – New York Premiere, Narrative. In this follow-up to 2 DAYS IN PARIS, Marion (Delpy) is living in New York with her hipster boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock!), and their two young children from prior relationships. Marion’s zany family arrives from Paris to meet Mingus, and comedy ensues. In English, French with subtitles. A Magnolia Pictures release.
Lena (Yainis Ynoa)
Photo by Ryan Muir
Directed and written by Macdara Vallely. (Ireland, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Bronx teenager Lena witnesses her mother's life with a series of men. When her mother's latest boyfriend starts making advances, she sets out to expose him. The plan takes an unexpected turn. Note: BABYGIRL will also be available for online viewing as part of the Tribeca Online Film Festival (official site) on Thursday 4/19 at 9 pm.
Directed by Michael Sládek (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Behind-the-scenes look at the past and present of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) with footage of recent performances and interviews with artists, including Laurie Anderson and Robert Wilson. Will this documentary have that BAM-and-then-it-hits-you moment?
• FIRST WINTER
Paul Manza (Paul)
Credit: Adam Newport-Berra
Directed and written by Benjamin Dickinson. (USA) – World Premiere. Debut film finds a group of Brooklyn hipsters stranded in a remote country farmhouse during winter with few resources. A tale of survivor of the hipster fittest.
• JACK AND DIANE
|JACK AND DIANE|
Juno Temple and Riley Keough in JACK AND DIANE, a Magnolia Pictures Release
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Directed and written by Bradley Rust Gray. (USA) – World Premiere. This summertime first-love love story set in New York City includes elements of the horror genre. A Magnolia Pictures release.
• JOE PAPP IN FIVE ACTS
JOE PAPP IN FIVE ACTS
Director: Karen Thorsen
Directed by Tracie Holder and Karen Thorsen. (USA) – World Premiere. Co-produced with American Masters and featuring Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Kevin Kline, James Earl Jones, and more, this documentary follows Papp's quest to democratize theater and the often stormy personal dramas involved in his life and art.
• LOLA VERSUS
Directed by Daryl Wein. Script by Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein. World Premiere. Narrative. Greta Gerwig stars as Lola, a New Yorker who gets dumped a few weeks before the wedding. Her friends Henry (Hamish Linklater) and Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones) help her in finding a clearer path to the age of 30.
• (Tribeca Talks event) ONCE IN A LULLABY: THE PS 22 CHORUS STORY
ONCE IN A LULLABY: THE PS 22 CHORUS STORY
Choir director Gregg Breinberg (left), chorus member Denise Bestmen (center) and chorus member Azaria Chamorro during an Improv session.
Photo by Jonathan Kalafer
SUN 4/29 3:00 PM SVA-1. Directed by Jonathan Kalafer. World Premiere. Documentary. USA. The PS22 chorus from Staten Island gained fame from You Tube. This documentary follows the dramatic developments of the new chorus stars as they make their way to the 2011 Academy Awards. 89 min followed by a 45 minute conversation.
• THE RUSSIAN WINTER
THE RUSSIAN WINTER
Photo by Ian McAlpin
Directed by Petter Ringbom. World Premiere. Documentary. English, Russian. John Forté, a native of Brownsville, Brooklyn, was a member of the Haitian-American hip hop band The Fugees at the age of 21. He subsequently went to federal prison on drug charges. When his prison sentence was commuted in 2008, Forté resumed his career. The documentary chronicles his concert tour across Russia. Note: THE RUSSIAN WINTER will also be available for online viewing as part of the Tribeca Online Film Festival on Friday, 4/20 at 8:30.
• SEXY BABY
Winnifred, 13, on the right, poses in her bedroom for her friend Olivia. The two later post the images to Facebook.
photo courtesy of Sexy Baby
Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. A look at the effects of our pervasive sex-centered media, including advertising and mobile technologies, as seen through the lives of different women.
• STONES IN THE SUN (WOCH NAN SOLEY)
STONES IN THE SUN (WOCH NAN SOLEY)
Caption: Vita (Patricia Rhinvil) with a box.
Photo by Will Serber
Directed and written by P. Benoit. (USA, Haiti) – World Premiere, Narrative. Haitian director P. Benoit follows the interwoven lives of Haitian immigrants after they arrive in New York following the political upheaval in their country. In English, Haitian Creole with subtitles.
• SUPPORTING CHARACTERS
Liana (Melonie Diaz) and Darryl Wiggins (Tarik Lowe)
Photo by Richard Ulivella
Directed by Daniel Schechter, written by Tarik Lowe and Daniel Schechter. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. A pair of film editors try to rework a troubled movie in crisis as they deal with their own problems.
• Also worth noting: While his movie was shot on location in Los Angeles, James Franco is a frequent player in the New York scene. His experimental film, FRANCOPHRENIA (or: Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is), in collaboration with filmmaker and editor Ian Olds, takes repurposed footage of Franco and his gig on General Hospital to spin a psychological thriller.
The Tribeca Film Festival takes place in several neighborhoods below 34th Street, including the home neighborhood (BMCC Tribeca PAC, Tribeca Cinemas), the East Village (AMC VIllage VII), and Chelsea (SVA Theatre, Chelsea Clearview Cinemas). The festival has teamed up with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin for a rewards system on Foursquare. Check in on Foursquare for the Tribeca Film Festival Badge. See more at the Tribeca Film Festival Map.
Walking Off the Big Apple has covered the Tribeca Film Festival since 2008. By the way, if attending a screening at the BMCC Tribeca PAC, be sure to stop on the entrance steps and take in the view downtown.
All images courtesy Tribeca Film Festival and Getty Image's image.net.