By Ryan Di Corpo
Beware, reader: the following article contains constant name-dropping.
Next week will mark the 16th time casual filmgoers and bonafide cineastes have gathered together to attend the surprising, innovative and occasionally historic events which form the backbone of the Tribeca Film Festival. This year’s festival runs from April 19-30 in Manhattan. The film screenings, talks and galas in this most recent edition of the Festival, founded by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, fall neatly in line with its goal to present the public with new and challenging films while redefining the boundaries of the cinema.
The Festival offers screenings of both international and domestic narrative films and of new shorts and documentaries. Many of these films screen in competition at the Festival, which concludes with an awards ceremony. Tribeca also aims to test the limits of film with the inclusion of virtual reality experiences as part of “Tribeca’s Immersive Visual Arcade.”
Highlights of this year’s slate of films include the release of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which will be followed by a discussion with Susan Sarandon, and the dramatic World War II era The Exception, which will be followed by a discussion with Christopher Plummer. The Festival line-up also includes a series of sure-to-be-illuminating talks with veritable legends of music, film and the theatre, such as Barbara Streisand, Bruce Springsteen (who will be interviewed by Tom Hanks) and The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Not absent from the Festival is the presence of retrospective and anniversary screenings, some followed by panel discussions which would make any film lover’s head spin. The 25th anniversary of Reservoir Dogs will be screened (in 35mm) at the Beacon Theatre on the 28th, followed by a talk with producer Lawrence Bender and director Quentin Tarantino. Also receiving a retrospective screening, this time at Radio City Music Hall on the 29th, is The Godfather.
The original film, celebrating its 45th anniversary will be screening in conjunction with The Godfather: Part II. The conclusion of the previous film will be followed by a discussion with various members of The Godfather cast and crew, including actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and director Francis Ford Coppola.
In case that is not enough, the opening night of this year’s Festival includes a gala at Radio City Music Hall to celebrate the release of the new documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives. The gala will include a screening of the film and music performances by Jennifer Hudson, Dionne Warwick, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow, Earth, Wind & Fire and Aretha Franklin.