Well folks. The Tribeca Film Festival, is open for business today! While I will not be attending any live events until Friday, ahead of the official start, I had the pleasure of squeezing in a couple of pre-festival screenings.
Here are some films I feel are worth a look.
Byzantium marks director Neil Jordan’s second foray into the vampire genre; the first being the slightly disappointing 1994 feature Interview with a Vampire. Here, many of the standard Gothic elements that did work in Interview remain, the slight alterations to the standard vampire folklore combined with a decidedly modern edge make this one worth watching.
Clara (Gemma Aterton) and her ‘sister’ Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) find themselves seeking shelter in a seaside resort town and take up with an unsuspecting man (Daniel Mays) in his rundown hotel. As the narrative unfolds, we learn more about their past and what has brought them to this point.
The film is also an examination of how each woman come to terms with the curse of being undead and what that means for their humanity, or whatever remains of it.
Byzantium also stars Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller and Caleb Landry Jones.
THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST (2012)
Mira Nair’s directs this adaptation of the novel by Mishin Hamid about a young Pakistani professor Changez Khan (Riz Ahmed), Princeton-educated and seemingly on the fast-track to realizing the American Dream. This comes to an abrupt halt in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Feeling alienation and under suspicion, he returns to Pakistan and through no will of his own becomes both a leader to his students and a target of interest for the American government.
The film also stars Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Hudson.
BEFORE MIDNIGHT (2013)
Before Midnight is by all accounts the third and final installment to the love story that began 18 years ago during a chance encounter on a Vienna-bound train. It is poignant look at Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), as they approach middle age together. Like the previous chapters of their story, much of the story is a reflective piece that yes, has the risk of falling victim to what some may consider “navel gazing,” but here, it is delivered with such freshness by the leads that you are along the ride. Also like the previous films, the setting serves as a major backdrop to the story – this time, we are transported to a dreamy Grecian landscape.
Before Midnight is, like the other films, directed by Richard Linklater.