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Tribeca 2024

The cast of Joel Schumacher’s St. Elmo’s Fire (1985): Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, Mare Winningham, Judd Nelson, and Andrew McCarthy

Michelle Obama, Madonna, and Kate Middleton are among the many high-profile women who have stepped out wearing Diane von Furstenberg. The DVF brand took off in the early 1970s with the silk jersey wrap dress and has since become a modest fashion empire with more than eighty stores on four continents. On Wednesday evening, the world premiere of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Trish Dalton’s new documentary, Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, featuring interviews with Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Fran Lebowitz, will launch this year’s Tribeca Festival.

One hundred and three features are lined up for the twenty-third edition, which runs through June 16. Running parallel to the festival during its final three days will be De Niro Con, a series of screenings, talks, special events, and an exhibit and immersive film celebrating the actor, producer, and restaurateur who cofounded Tribeca with Jane Rosenthal in 2002.


Joel Potrykus has a lovely piece at Talkhouse about getting his six-year-old son, Solo, involved in the making of Vulcanizadora, one of ten features premiering in the U.S. Narrative Competition. The story focuses on two friends on a “disturbing” mission, and Solo has a small role as Jeremy, a boy whose father has abandoned him. “Vulcanizadora is one of those rare movies for me, where everything just worked the way it was supposed to,” writes Potrykus. “It’s my most sincere and personal film, but also my starkest.”

Also premiering in this competition is Sacramento, a buddy comedy directed by Michael Angarano, who will soon be seen in Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga. Cowritten with Chris Smith (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Sacramento stars Angarano, Maya Erskine (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Michael Cera, and Kristen Stewart. Lily Gladstone starred in Morrisa Maltz’s The Unknown Country (2022) and will appear in Maltz’s follow-up, Jazzy. Jasmine Shangreaux, first introduced in The Unknown Country, plays a young woman growing up on the Oglala Lakota reservation in South Dakota.

In last week’s New Yorker, Evan Osnos told the riveting story behind “the largest Ponzi scheme in Hollywood history.” Zach Horwitz had always wanted to be a star, and he actually appeared in a few small roles in a handful of forgettable movies. Along the way, he faked email exchanges and contracts with major streamers and “raised more than six hundred and ninety million dollars by deceiving hundreds of investors, beginning with his closest friends,” writes Osnos. “A woeful actor onscreen turned out to have been an astonishingly convincing performer in life.” Joslyn Jensen’s first feature, Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme, will give faces and voices to the friends and family Horwitz swindled.

All twelve films lined up for the Documentary Competition are world premieres. Xinyan Yu and Max Duncan’s Made in Ethiopia takes measure of China’s growing influence in Africa. James Jones’s Antidote profiles activists exposing Vladimir Putin’s systematic poisoning of his perceived enemies, and Joshua Zeman tracks a mission to rescue animals caught behind enemy lines in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in Checkpoint Zoo. The true stories told in this program include those of Black debutantes in Ohio, firefighters in Chile, neo-Nazis in Sweden, and Vietnamese new wavers in Orange County.

The International Narrative Competition will offer Qiu Yang’s Some Rain Must Fall, which won a Special Jury Prize when it premiered in the Encounters program in Berlin, and the world premiere of Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge’s Don’t You Let Me Go, in which thirty-nine-year-old Adela (Chiara Hourcade), mourning the loss of her close friend, travels back in time to be with her again. And Viewpoints, a showcase of “the most boundary-pushing, rule-breaking new voices in independent film,” is now a competitive program.


The Spotlight+ program offers a little something extra with each screening. Linda Perry, the former lead singer and songwriter of 4 Non Blondes, will perform following the world premiere of Don Hardy’s Linda Perry: Let It Die Here, and the subjects of Page Hurwitz’s Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution will warm up the crowd with a prescreening set.

One of the big draws will surely be Brats, in which Andrew McCarthy (Pretty in Pink) checks in on several of his friends featured in David Blum’s 1985 New York cover story, “Hollywood’s Brat Pack,” including Demi Moore (St. Elmo’s Fire), Rob Lowe (Class), Emilio Estevez (The Outsiders), and Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club). “Despite the negative connotations of the term,” writes Mekado Murphy in the New York Times, “the Brat Pack movies truly did come to define a generation, and the documentary shines a light on what these movies meant, and still do mean, to young people.” Murphy takes “a look at five of the most defining films for the moniker, and why they had such an impact.”

Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, the executive producers of State of Silence, a documentary on the dangers journalists face in Mexico, will join director Santiago Maza and reporters Marcos Vizcarra and Maria de Jesus Peters for a postscreening conversation. As Ray Mark Rinaldi points out in the NYT, “around 140 journalists have been slain on the job since 2000, and others remain missing.” And nine times out of ten, no one is ever held accountable.

Among the Spotlight Narratives is one of the best films to screen at both Sundance and Berlin this year, Between the Temples, directed by Nathan Silver, who, as A. J. Goldman writes in the NYT, “has emerged as a chronicler of the uncomfortably intimate and as an auteur who is unafraid of emotional and narrative complexity.” Jason Schwartzman stars as Ben, a cantor mourning the loss of his wife when he meets his music teacher from his elementary school days, Carla (Carol Kane). Cowritten with C. Mason Wells, the film is “a marvel of lived-in shagginess, of clashing, cacophonous tones that reveal characters’ inner furies,” writes Chuck Bowen at Slant. “Between the Temples is funny and even suspenseful in its unpredictability, as you never quite know when and where the punchlines will land.”

Karim Aïnouz’s Firebrand stars Jude Law as Henry VIII and Alicia Vikander as Katherine Parr, and in Christy Hall’s Daddio, cabbie Sean Penn drives Dakota Johnson from JFK to Manhattan. Tim Blake Nelson plays an embittered former prizefighter in Vincent Grashaw’s Bang Bang, and at Little White Lies, Hannah Strong finds that Levan Akin’s Crossing “celebrates the vibrant beauty of Istanbul’s trans community.”

The Spotlight Documentaries program will give New Yorkers their first shot at seeing David Hinton, Thelma Schoonmaker, and Martin Scorsese’s Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger. Playwright and actor Jeremy O. Harris offers something of a self-portrait in Slave Play. Not a Movie. A Play.

For the NYT, Farah Nayeri talks with Bruce David Klein, a dedicated Liza Minnelli fan and the director of Liza: A Truly Terrific Absolutely True Story. “When we started talking to the Liza people,” says Klein, “they had just found about twenty-five hours of old footage that had never been seen before—in Liza’s closet. And our jaws dropped. We realized that there was a story in here about this magical time in the ’70s when she transformed. Her mother died, and within three to five years she was winning a Tony, an Oscar, and on and on: a mind-blowing accomplishment.”

Midnight and Escape from Tribeca

Five of Tribeca’s six Midnight movies are world premieres, including Joshua Erkman’s A Desert. A photographer hits the road to rekindle his lost spark, and according to Selena Kuznikov in Variety, he “finds himself thrust into the dark and chaotic underbelly of America and unwittingly drags his wife and a shady private detective down into the nightmare world with him.”

Directed by Sevan Najarian and written by Trevor Moore, Zach Cregger, and Sam Brown, the animated feature Mars is “about a ragtag group of civilians visiting the red planet on a trip financed by a billionaire with an asteroid-sized ego,” writes George Gene Gustines in the NYT. Thursday’s premiere “will mark the end to a bittersweet journey for the film’s writers that began more than a decade ago.”

When The Devil’s Bath, the latest feature from Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy), premiered in Berlin, Jessica Kiang noted in Variety that it’s “not a horror movie. Its sinister, woodsy atmospherics, where wet leaves mingle with mud and fish scales and menstrual blood, may suggest witchcraft or devil worship. But it is actually something far more frightening—an exploration, based on real records, of a chapter of Austrian history so dark it could be a black hole, which might account for its invisibility to posterity. But if the story is so pitilessly bleak you may want to look away, the filmmaking craft is so compelling that you can’t.”

On the Projection Booth Podcast, programmer Jonathan Penner discusses Escape from Tribeca, a program of five features, including The Unknown (1927), which Farran Smith Nehme calls Lon Chaney and director Tod Browning’s “greatest and most disturbing achievement.” Steven Spielberg will be on hand for a fiftieth-anniversary screening of his first theatrical feature, The Sugarland Express, and this Friday sees a late-night dance party celebrating Godzilla’s seventieth birthday.

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