FESTIVALS | TRIBECA

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TRIBECA “A hologram for the king”

Film was adapted from the Dave Eggers novel by the same name
Tom Hanks, Alexander Black and Sarita Choudhury
Directed by Tom Tykwer

As the credits rolled for Tom Tykwer’s “A Hologram for the King,” my friend and colleague Hubert Vigilla from over at Flixist leaned over and whispered, “This is the film Cameron Crowe has been trying to make for years.” “Yeah,” I replied. “If Samuel Beckett had written the first act.” I suspect many people might be put off from the film’s tonal whiplash. What begins as an Absurdist (in the ... more >

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“Command and control” TRIBECA FESTIVAL

Feature documentary | WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Robert Kenner

“The first thing my commander heard was “uh oh.” Those words, spoken by a survivor of the 1980 Damascus Titan missile explosion—perhaps the most dramatic and significant Broken Arrow incident in American history—serve as one of the only moments of levity in all of Robert Kenner’s new documentary “Command and Control.” The scenario seems ripped from a cheesy B-movie: after using the wrong tool, a ... more >

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“Memories of a penitent heart”

[Documentary]
Directed by Cecilia Aldarondo

I’ve restarted this review four times because I can’t quite figure out how to marshal my thoughts on Cecilia Aldarondo’s "Memories of a Penitent Heart." Some documentaries strike you because they focus on interesting topics like wars, science, or bizarre people. Some are necessary historical documents, capturing footage of transformative moments that changed the course of humanity. "Memories of a ... more >

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“Here Alone,” TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Alone in the post-apocalypse woods. What will you do?
Lucy Walters and Adam David Thompson
Directed by Rod Blackhurst

I think reading Max Brooks’s World War Z on the A-train as I commuted to and from the Tribeca Film Festival put me in the wrong frame of mind for the Rod Blackhurst-directed "Here Alone." The film takes place in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, yet there are only a few scenes with any zombies in them. The entire feature is a meditation on loss and loneliness as it follows Ann (Lucy Walters), ... more >

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“Courted,” (“L’Hermine”), TRIBECA

"Courted" got nominated thrice for France's César
Fabrice Luchini, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Eva Lallier
Directed by Christian Vincent

I’m not too fond of the English title for Christian Vincent’s new courtroom drama. “Courted” sounds too much like a smarmy romantic comedy, emphasizing the idea of courtship and love. While there is certainly a romantic subplot in “Courted”, it it only a small piece of the film’s puzzle. Its original French title is much more appropriate: "L’Hermine." Translated into English, it means “ermine,” ... more >

“Elvis and Nixon,” TRIBECA FESTIVAL

One of the best films this year
Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey
Directed by Liza Johnson

Michael Shannon doesn’t really look like Elvis Presley. For one thing, his face is shaped all wrong, his cheeks are too long and deeply creased. If it weren’t for the crazy haircut, the suits, and the sunglasses one would never think that Shannon was supposed to be The King. But then, neither does Kevin Spacey look like Present Richard Nixon. And yet through the sheer strength of their ... more >

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Tribeca Festival, a sense for nostalgia and curiosity in “Obit”

On the sausage-making art of writing an obit
[Documentary]
Directed by Vanessa Gould

It’s always the films about death which end up being the most life-affirming, isn’t it? Vanessa Gould’s "Obit" follows a group of unsung reporters who work the obituary column at The New York Times. Frequently given only a couple hours' notice before their columns must go to press, these men and women race against the clock to capture the entirety of human lives within the span of a few hundred ... more >