5 Films To Watch From The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival is now a mainstay on the New York film calendar, and it’s difficult to believe it was only launched in 2002. Created after September 11th to revive the city and bring some business back to downtown, the tickets are sought after and notoriously sell out at lightning speed. Most people only know it as “Robert DeNiro’s film festival”, but it’s so much more and has launched so many careers and debuted many an Indie flick. Luckily we set our alarms in our trusty datebooks and sent a trusted Pitusa rep to watch a bunch of the most buzzed about films–we did some of the culture vulture legwork for you!

 

A Thousand Junkies

This is a road-trip movie with out the road trip. It’s the story of three buddies whose main objective is to score drugs. They’re down on their luck and grappling at straws to survive. When their dealer doesn’t show up they are forced to wander all over LA in search of what they need. From the writer of “Cool Runnings”, Tommy Swerdlow, this looks at heroin addiction from a different perspective, and with no lack of humor. It doesn’t give us the redemption story we are so used to—that of redemption in rehab or the ugly descent into drug addiction, we see what the day to day is of a junkie – what their job is, how they shape their day around the chase and the absolute—and often hilarious—insanity that accompanies it.

Image Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Release date: April 2017

The Trip To Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back, in the third installment of their road trip comedy, and this time they travel through Spain. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, it’s a mouth-watering watch – considering Spain has some of the best restaurants in the world, matched only by delight in witnessing the pair’s quick-witted and meandering conversations. This go-round it’s clear that the two are aging and they continuously revisit the big themes of getting older, kids, companionship and fame. Despite these sometimes melancholy topics they touch upon – they are still uproariously funny, providing the audience with celebrity impressions, historical anecdotes and approaching one another with a dry-wit that only the British could pull off – no punches pulled.

                                                                                         Image Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Release date: April 2017

Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock

Last year, Standing Rock North Dakota became the focal point of many-a-conscious human being, watching on in horror as sacred land continued to be encroached upon by big industry and big oil. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe peacefully resisted and the world was enraptured by their fight. Even as large media outlets continued to ignore the situation, the story ripped through social media networks and many news outlets were forced to pay attention. The Native Tribe were and continue to be an inspiration in the way they led the fight — even in the face of violent oppression, they remained peaceful. The world would do well to learn from these self described “water protectors”. This documentary is an important watch for all of us at this time in the world — to be aware of how the unbelievably formidable and resilient tribe galvanized to protect the environment and clean water. It captures an important and very prescient story of the 21st century.

                                                                                              Image Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Release date: April 2017

Rock N Roll

Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet reunite onscreen in a film that is very close to their own reality – or so it seems. The last time they appeared on-screen together was in Love Me If You Dare in 2004. They are a couple in real life and play themselves in Rock N Roll, albeit souped up charicatures of themselves. Guillaume happens to be the slightly lesser known of the two and after a comment from a co-star about him not being “rock’n’roll” anymore, he becomes fixated on proving her wrong. What they have come up with is a satirical comedy on fame, the absurdity of it, aging and their own lives. What it turns into as the story goes on is an increasingly absurd avant-grade piece about what it means to be in the public eye – and the astoundingly unpleasant truths that accompany it. It’s a sometimes frightening but always entertaining commentary on our celebrity obsessed culture  that only the French could pull off.

                                                                                              Image Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Release date: April 2017

Keep The Change

About people on the autism spectrum from first-time director Sarah Israel, this film won Best US Narrative Prize at the festival. It’s a unique but universal story about the difficult road people have to navigate in order to come to terms with their disability, even if said disability may be seemingly “invisible”. David is a high functioning and charming man with autism. As fate would have it, he is court order to attend a support group for adults with disabilities where he needs to face his autism head-on despite his abounding resentments regarding the idea that he might be “different”.

David meets his polar opposite in the support group and they forge a friendship – she is optimistic and comfortable in her own skin, and although at first he is annoyed by her it eventually pushes him to confront and also appreciate his own “otherness” as an asset and not a deficit. This film is a beautiful, funny and understated story about the complicated nature of relationships representing a group we don’t often see on screen in a wonderfully authentic way. It’s no surprise that it won the top prize this year at the festival.

Brandon Polansky as David Cohen and Samantha Elisofon as Sarah Silverstein in KEEP THE CHANGE. Photographer: Giacomo Belletti. Image Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

 

Release date: April 2017


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