By Lauren Clarke-Bennett
& Taylor Bennett
2014 has brought yet another spectacular Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) to our vibrant city. New York a hell of a town brimming with culture has long been recognized for its outstanding contribution to theater but as of late it has become synonymous with film. Home to significant and high quality sound studios and production houses, the Big Apple is giving Hollywood a run for its money.
So what better place to throw a film festival but on these welcoming shores. Birthed after the 9-11 tragedy by Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal, The Tribeca Film Festival is more than fulfilling its mission to re-gentrify the down town area devastated by the collapsing Twin Towers and the carnage left behind.
Now NYC celebrates its re-growth in many ways but the presence of the TFF is in direct response to those who wish to destroy America; never will our tenacious spirit be dampened and we will only exist in a state of freedom.
To celebrate an extraordinary lineup this year, join us on the red carpet and inside the theaters as we explore some of the films that graced the silver screen and the people who made them come to life:
Super Duper Alice Cooper, a wonderful film chronicling the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise again of Alice Cooper, the 70s and 80s rock phenom. So well done, its style and content is a testament to the directors Sam Dunn, Reginald, Harkema and Scott McFayden. With a huge thank you to Alice for living such a crazy unfiltered life and being honest enough to share it with his audience. Alice was born Vincent Furnier, the son of a preacher yet from such normal beginnings he broke boundaries to become one of the most iconic rock figures in the world. The film allows us to observe his transformation and grasp how his music and showmanship created a whole new genre of what became “Heavy Metal.” A not to be missed film for all those interested in the history of music or a journey into the human psyche of addiction and fame.
About Alex, starring Jason Ritter, Maggie Grace, Aubrey Plaza and Max Greenfield emotionally depicts a group of friends who come together after a college friend tries to commit suicide. Exploring with compassion the transformation of friendship among the Facebook/Twitter generation, the film captures the loss of innocence and the complications of growing up; pushing modern relationships to the limit.
Loitering With Intent chronicles two aspiring writers who head upstate NY to a family home in hopes of completing a screenplay. When the sister (Marisa Tomei) shows up being pursued by her less than normal boyfriend (Sam Rockwell), drama and distraction ensue. As the silent retreat fills with unwanted guests, the expectation of finishing the project slips further and further away but in its place a delightful romantic comedy emerges.
Keep On Keepin’ On is a glimpse into the mind of musical genius Clark Terry who played in the famed Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands. He was admired and mentored by many outstanding musicians, including Quincy Jones, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. This outstanding documentary follows Clark coaching blind pianist prodigy Justin Kauflin through a competition and stage fright during his own health crisis where Clark is losing his sight. This must see film inspires the audience to overcome adversities and keep on keepin’ on.
Champs is an insightful documentary that explores the lives of some of the world’s greatest boxers including Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. The film chronicles their desperation to break out of poverty using the often brutal sport. Director Bert Marcus gives new meaning to the American Dream as he weaves the unforgiving tale of the fighters’ personal struggles.
Boulevard takes a look at a man trapped in a marriage of convenience and a life that he can no longer live. Robin Williams stars alongside new comer Roberto Aguire in this disturbing portrayal of what happens to those that live a lie. When their secret life is divulged, the impact on the ones they love is devastating.
Miss Meadows, stars Katie Holmes prim and proper to the naked eye but hiding a panache for vigilantism and lady-like handguns. Things get complicated when the town sheriff steals her heart and Meadows has to come to terms with her deep, dark secret. Witty and stylish, this film delivers solid performances sure to entertain.
Love is Strange, a touching film on prevailing subject matter, starring Alfred Molina and John Lithgow, tells the tale of two aging partners who find themselves financially challenged. When Molina’s character loses his teaching job when the couple decides to make their union official, the home they love, is lost. With no choice but to move in with relatives, a situation that proves to be stressful, they are left only with their love for each other as the glue that holds their lives together.
The Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series premiered five phenomenal short films based on a winning script from their Imagination Series Contest. Oscar-winning screenwriter of Precious, Geoffrey Fletcher, wrote the script for these mini masterpieces that should not be missed. Filmmakers were asked to infusing their imagination into the visual telling of each story yet adhere to Fletcher’s exact dialogue and make these words come alive on screen. And the winners are: Graffiti Area, Exit Log, Need For Speed Dating, The Other Side Of The Game and Reflections.
To view these films please log on to: “http://tribecafilm.com/stories/2014-bombay-sapphire-imagination-series-winning-short-films“http://tribecafilm.com/stories/2014-bombay-sapphire-imagination-series-winning-short-films
The Other One: The Long Strange Trip Of Bob Weir dishes the dirt on the talented other half of the beloved classic rock band the Grateful Dead. A must see for die hard fans of the group aka “dead heads” whose fascination with life and times of band members and the Dead’s meteoric rise knows no end. Told with guarded sincerity this documentary reveals the excesses of the Rock ‘n Roll lifestyle but somehow Weir manages to remain a voice of reason. Travel back in time and relive your youth or imagine what it was like to live in the counter-culture music scene in the 60s and 70s through this wonderful and well-crafted film. After the film a fabulous premiere party was thrown at the Asahi Restaurant on Watts street where favorable opinions of both film and food were flowing.
Begin Again threw a lovely opening fete at The STK restaurant in the meat packing district where the red carpet began. Director and writer John Carney from Once the hit Broadway musical brought his good friend Sting to set the tone for what was to come. While imbibing excellent cocktails and delectable appetizers, we chatted with Carney, who after being asked if he and Sting would be working together soon chimed, “I couldn’t afford him.” And caught up with Sting, who philosophized that “Music is its own reward and that is all you can ever expect from it… it’s a spiritual path.” We followed them to the subsequent red carpet for the film’s premier. There pandemonium ensued as Sting and the stars of the film Knightley, Steinfeld and Levine swept by. This highly recommended touching romantic comedy stars Keira Knightely and Adam Levine as romantically involved singer song-writing partners. It hits a crossroads when the reality of stardom comes crashing down on their perfect union. Knightley’s character, now left alone, meets up with a disgraced record executive played by the wonderful Marc Ruffalo. Together they are inspired to create their own version of making beautiful music together. The film ends with the message that your own path is probably the one you need to follow.