Tribeca 2016 Preview (Narrative)

Sorry in advance for the impending spam, but I am going to do what I should have been doing for the past several days. But work and screening a few of the films that are going to be mentioned here and in subsequent preview posts resulted in my falling a little behind.

Technically a “preview” although today is the official start of Tribeca 2016. Now in its 15th year, it is a celebration of film, New York style.

Over years of volunteering and covering this festival, I have reveled in the laid back, fun atmosphere. It is the main reason I keep coming back for more. That and it is one of my main hometown festivals.

Enough of that though – onto the films. This year I have decided to break out my previews by format: Narrative (this post), Documentary, Special Events and Short Film Programs. Anything that is marked with an asterisk (*) is something I have already seen and will likely have a pending review in the coming weeks. I say weeks because right after this festival is sealed, I head off Hollywood, CA for the TCM Film Festival (more on that later).

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In the Narrative Category, here is a peek at what I am looking out for (all synopses provided courtesy of the wonderful TFF programmers from the Official Film Guide):

 

Adult Life Skills

Directed by Rachel Tunnard

Jodie Whittaker as Anna in the film ADULT LIFE SKILLS. Photographer: Jo Irvine

Jodie Whittaker as Anna in the film ADULT LIFE SKILLS. Photographer: Jo Irvine

Expanded from her BAFTA-nominated short, Rachel Tunnard’s striking feature debut is a dry-witted, charming, dark comedy that mixes dreamlike flourishes with dramatic action. Adult Life Skills is an off-beat comedy about a lost woman finding herself.

 

Little Boxes

Directed by Rob Meyer

Neslan Ellis as Mack Burns, Armani Jackson as Clark Burns, and Melanie Lynskey as Gina McNulty-Burns in LITTLE BOXES. Photo by: Mark Doyle

Neslan Ellis as Mack Burns, Armani Jackson as Clark Burns, and Melanie Lynskey as Gina McNulty-Burns in LITTLE BOXES. Photo by: Mark Doyle

It’s the summer before 6th grade, and Clark is the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations as rifts are exposed in his tight-knit family, his parents also striving to adjust. This poignant comedy about understanding identity is the second feature from TFF alumnus Rob Meyer.

 

Live Cargo (In Competition)

Directed by Logan Sandler

Dree Hemingway as Nadine in LIVE CARGO. Photo Credit: Daniella Nowitz

Dree Hemingway as Nadine in LIVE CARGO. Photo Credit: Daniella Nowitz

Nadine (Dree Hemingway) and Lewis (Keith Stanfield) visit a small Bahamian island hoping to restore their relationship in the wake of a tragedy, only to find the picturesque island torn in two: on one side a dangerous human trafficker and on the other an aging patriarch, struggling to maintain order.

 

Kicks

Directed by Justin Tipping

Film still from KICKS.

Film still from KICKS.

When his hard-earned kicks get snatched by a local hood, fifteen-year old Brandon and his two best friends go on an ill-advised mission across the Bay Area to retrieve the stolen sneakers. Featuring a soundtrack packed with hip-hop classics, Justin Tipping’s debut feature is an urban coming-of-age tale told with grit, humor, and surprising lyricism.

 

Custody

Directed by James Lapine

Catalina Sandino Moreno as Sara Diaz and Jaden Michael as David Diaz in the film CUSTODY. Photographer: Tom Concordia

Catalina Sandino Moreno as Sara Diaz and Jaden Michael as David Diaz in the film CUSTODY. Photographer: Tom Concordia

Legal and intimate family dynamics dovetail in Custody. Starring Viola Davis as an embattled family court judge with a fraught marriage of her own; Hayden Panettiere as a recent law-school grad flung into a custody case; and Catalina Sandino Moreno as the single mother at the center of the case who risks losing her two children over an ill-timed argument.

 

Mr. Church

Directed by Bruce Beresford

Eddie Murphy as Henry Joseph Church in MR.CHURCH. Photographer: Darren Michaels

When a dying mother hires a talented cook (Eddie Murphy) to help take care of her young daughter, a lifelong friendship blooms, in this tender coming-of-age family drama by Oscar-nominated director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy).

 

Equals

Directed by Drake Doremus

Kristen Stewart as Nia and Nicholas Hoult as Silas in the film EQUALS. Photo courtesy of A24.

Kristen Stewart as Nia and Nicholas Hoult as Silas in the film EQUALS. Photo courtesy of A24.

Set in a sleek and stylish future world, Drake Doremus’ sci-fi romance envisions an understated dystopia, where all human emotion is seen as a disease that must be treated and cured. Against this backdrop, coworkers Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult) begin to feel dangerous stirrings for one another.

 

High Rise

Directed by Ben Wheatley

Tom Hiddleston as Robert Laing in HIGH RISE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit: Aidan Monaghan

Tom Hiddleston as Robert Laing in HIGH RISE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit: Aidan Monaghan

Based on J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name, High-Rise stars Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Lang, a newcomer to a recently constructed complex in which the residents are stratified by social class. But when the power goes out, the tenuous hierarchy rapidly descends into chaos. Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, and Elisabeth Moss co-star.

 

Stay tuned for the Documentaries I am most looking forward to ….

 

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