To say that covering Tribeca has been an interesting experience would be an understatement. I felt as if as soon as the festival began, I was already behind. I spent most of the festival attempting to play catch-up, and I never really could. I did my best in an attempt to watch as much as I could but ended up seeing about ten films in total. So let’s do this.
In The Heights (Dir. Jon M. Chu)
It’s a bit of a cop-out, but the film premiered at the festival, and while I saw the film a while back, I did rewatch the film during Tribeca. As a massive fan of the Broadway production, I had high expectations for the film, but Jon M. Chu blew them away. A film filled with hope, and family. I loved every moment of it, and love the new choices and musical decisions they made. While I still return to the original cast recording than the soundtrack version, it’s more due to wanting to sing along instead of not liking the film’s interpretation of the music.
Werewolves Within (Dir. Josh Ruben)
I wrote about this one here!
Truthfully, there are so many things I want to talk about for the film, and I will, but due to my review coming prior to a wide release, I didn’t want to give anything away. Frankly, even with seeing the trailers a few times, seeing the film as blind as possible is the best way to watch it. Do expect us to dive into the film potentially with the talented director Josh Ruben at a later date when the public has access to watch the film. With Scare Me, Ruben immediately jumped to one of my favourite films of the year, and with Werewolves Within, he did the same thing. I’m excited to see how long he can keep it up.
David (Dir. Zach Woods)
Full disclosure: I’m definitely obsessed with William Jackson Harper. He’s currently one of my favourite working actors. Finding out he’s in something means I need to watch it immediately. I recently watched We Broke Up (with Aya Cash) and it made my infatuation grow more. David is a short film directed and co-written by Zach Woods (Brandon Gardner being the other co-writer) that premiered at TIFF. I missed the short when it played, so stumbling onto it at Tribeca again felt like I needed to make sure I watched it this time. It’s an incredible short that proves that William Jackson Harper is one of the best working actors today.
7 Days (Dir. Roshan Sethi)
Last year, many of us at The UnderSCENE watched The Broken Hearts Gallery, and we fell in love with it. It was my introduction to Geraldine Viswanathan, and I knew I had to see her in more films. 7 Days was the first film I saw on the platform during the festival, and it really set the bar very high. While it’s yes, another film set during the pandemic, but there’s something about the charm that oozes from Viswanathan and Karan Soni (who also co-wrote the film). Out of the many COVID projects I’ve seen, 7 Days is one of my favourites.
Dating and New York (Dir. Jonah Feingold)
There’s a lot to love about Dating and New York. It really relies entirely on the performances from Jaboukie Young-White and Francesca Reale and the chemistry between the two. It’s a situation we’ve seen in film and television many times, two friends trying to be friends with benefits while attempting to avoid catching any feelings for the other person. They reference it as well, saying that the difference is that Milo (Young-White) and Wendy (Reale) weren’t friends first, but rather people who met on a dating app.
Dating and New York has a great understanding of relationships in the modern-day, but many other films do as well. While the film doesn’t bring anything new to the very saturated genre, it’s again Jaboukie and Francesca that makes the movie work so well.
Mark, Mary and Some Other People (Dir. Hannah Marks)
A bit of a spoiler but, my favourite film of the year so far is a two-way tie between Bo Burnham’s Inside and In The Heights. If I’m being honest, Mark, Mary and Some Other People should make those films scared of holding the title for too long. During the festival, I watched the film four times. I would revisit moments that I love dearly or moments for clarification for my review, but then I’d get stuck watching it until the film was over. Or until I realized I was in the middle of writing, whichever came first.
We’ll be screaming about telling people to watch this film for years.
Poser (Dir. Ori Segev & Noah Dixon)
A love letter to the local music scene in Columbus, Ohio. But really, it’s a love letter to everyone’s music scene. Music was my first love and as much as I love walking into a movie theatre, a concert venue is my next favourite place to be. This film is about that emotion, realizing your idols on the stage are just people and wanting to be one of those people. The film spoke to me and my love for music, I’m positive it’ll speak to others as well.
You can read my review for Poser on Film Cred here.
Ultrasound (Dir. Rob Schroeder)
Ultrasound is a film I plan on telling many people to watch, even if I know it might not be for them. The film’s program page mentions Rod Sterling and the phrase “mystery box” and it’s perfectly apt for the film. A film where I actively began writing the words “what the fuck?” down during the film. I still am not sure if I truly understood it, but I loved it.
I also loved my review which is again, on Film Cred. They’re good folks. We like them.
False Positive (Dir. John Lee)
Honestly. I wanted to like it, I really did. A film that was bringing Rosemary’s Baby type of vibes? I was invested, but the film didn’t fully deliver. And I meant, invested in the premise more than the film. The tone of the film was hard to hold onto as it pulled me one way, before being pulled the other. There are elements in which I wanted the film to follow, but never did. It left me cold, outside of the waiting room wanting to go in, but never gave me enough to be allowed in. For some, this movie is going to be everything they wanted, but not for me.
And that was Tribeca! Did you watch anything, or was there something that caught your attention? Let us know.