Dropping on the Isle of Manhattan on 4/20 is the 10th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival. This is the hippest of New York’s chance to see some of the best of the past few fests and, as demonstrated by this program, catch the premieres of a whole hell of a lot of new films. Here is a look at what caught my eye.
EVERYTHING MUST GO
Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, and Laura Dern star in Dan Rush’s feature debut about one man’s epic breakdown.
Tony Kaye has directed four films since 1998′s American History X but all have failed to really break through. Maybe this film which stars Adrien Brody as an influential substitute teacher will finally bring out the audiences.
A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY
Jason Sudeikis stars along with Will Forte and Nick Kroll in Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory’s debut feature about, well…
THE BANG BANG CLUB
Ryan Phillippe stars in Steven Silver’s dramatization of a group of photographers risking their lives during the violence of the first elections of post-Apartheid South Africa. The film opens concurrently in LA at Laemmle’s Sunset 5.
Billy Corban tackled the Miami drug world in his 2006 docu Cocaine Cowboys. Here he turns his attention to the destination of all the smuggled coke – the 1980s New York club scene. The film particularly focuses on the rise and fall of now deported club owner Peter Gatien against the backdrop of a maturing Manhattan.
REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR
Chris Paine is back with a follow up to his hit 2006 docu Who Killed the Electric Car. Keep an eye out for his 2014 doc, The Electric Car: Refueled!
Alex Gibney’s second film this year (after Sundance Kesey doc Magic Trip) is an ESPN 30 for 30 that focuses on the Steve Bartman and the Chicago Cubs inability to ever, ever win a World Series.
Cameron Crowe’s first film since the 2005 bomb Elizabethtown is a documentary about the collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russel. The film is being shown for free as the opening night gala with a concert afterwards by Elton John.
Take a Japanese softcore porn musical monster movie and put long time favorite cinematographer Christopher Doyle behind the lens and you have what might be the most outrageous sounding arthouse film of the year. I can’t wait.
LET THE BULLETS FLY
Last year it was Fang Xiaogang’s heart heavy Aftershock that was touted as China’s highest domestic grossing film of all time. It seems we might be seeing that every year now as China’s domestic market continues to grow. This year the new honor belongs to actor/director Jiang Wen’s (Warriors of Heaven and Earth) 1920s comic Western. The film stars Wen alongside Chow-Yun Fat and none other than Fang Xiaogang.
DETECTIVE DEE AND THE MYSTERY OF THE PHANTOM FLAME
Tsui Hark may be one of the most famous HK action directors of all time, but the title of his latest film sounds like a Harry Potter reject. The “fantastical steampunk version of ancient China” might help bring out an audience from Williamsburg.
If this high octane action crime thriller ends up as good as the trailer suggests, people might just start calling director Paco Cabezas the Spanish Guy Ritchie. [However it appears that may not be the case.]
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI
For the love of the fish! This competition documentary about an 85 year-old sushi master looks to be some seriously raw food porn.
FIRE IN BABYLON
Call this the most exciting cricket documentary of the year. Stevan Riley’s film explores the wildly successful West Indies team who dominated the sport through the national liberation and Black Power movements of the 70s and 80s that saw the international press represent the team as brutal terrorists.
This incredible looking doc from first time director Adam Pesce takes you behind the scenes with the contestants in the inaugural Papua New Guinea surf championship. Check out the trailer and you’ll probably want to add this one to your list.
THE JOURNALS OF MUSAN
This interesting looking doc by first-timer Jungbum Park follows a North Korean defector as he tries to make a life on the streets of Seoul.
This docu screening in competition follows the story of a four year-old boy as he is groomed to become India’s greatest marathon runner.
From the looks of this competition doc’s trailer, this verite exploration of the communities struggling to survive along Southern California’s Salton Sea is going to be stunning.
Alex Rotaru’s docu lets us watch as a bunch of high school drama nerds try to put their tumultuous pasts behind them to fight for the crown of biggest drama nerds in Southern California
A MATTER OF TASTE
This SXSW holdover docu by first timer Sally Rowe follows haute cuisine chef Paul Liebrandt as he fights to regain a place in New York’s cooking elite.
TALIHINA SKY: THE STORY OF KINGS OF LEON
Kings of Leon get a bad rap for being radio friendly but from the looks of this docu’s trailer, the story of three brothers and cousin that break free of a heavy religious upbringing as evangelical gypsies to become rock stars might just make a worthwhile film.
THE SWELL SEASON
This docu tracks real life stars of Once Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard as they navigate love, music and fame after the release of their hit film.
BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW
There isn’t much info out there on Panos Cosmatos, but from the looks of the trailer for his directorial debut, he’s got a lot of style. Set in a dystopian 1983, the film “is a Reagan-era fever dream inspired by hazy childhood memories of midnight movies and Saturday morning cartoons.” Sign me up.
Abre Los Ojos, Vanilla Sky and The Sea Inside screenwriter Mateo Gil’s second directorial feature stars Sam Shepard as an elder Butch Cassidy adventuring in 1920s Bolivia.
Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington star in this New York City romantic drama that premieres at the fest before opening from Miramax on May 5th.
Michael Cuesta made a splash in 2001 with his controversial ultra indie L.I.E. which marked the arrival of Paul Dano and won both Cuesta and Dano Indie Spirits. Cuesta returns to features after much success directing for cable (Six Feet Under, Dexter, True Blood) with this film about a roadie returning home after 20 years touring with Blue Oyster Cult. The film stars Ron Eldard and co-stars new fave Bobby Cannavale (Win Win).
Michael Winterbottom has compressed his 6 part BBC mini-series following Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon around the English countryside down to a more palatable 100 minute feature for us easily distracted yanks.
Mumblecore stalwarts Sean Nelson and Steven Schardt team up to co-direct their first feature which is probably about some sort of mundane part of real life with an ironic twist (just guessing). The film co-stars mumblecore stalwarts Josh Leonard, Ross Partridge, Katie Aselton, and the not so stalwart John Hodgman.
Other festival circuit notables making a repeat performance at Tribeca include Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground, and Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle Sundance fave The Guard.