Tribeca Film Festival early bird highlights

A sneak peek at The Dinner, House Of Z, Manifesto and Keep The Change.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Oren Moverman's Time Out of Mind and The Dinner star Richard Gere
Oren Moverman's Time Out of Mind and The Dinner star Richard Gere Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The Tribeca Film Festival will open this Wednesday, April 19, with the World Premiere of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives at Radio City Music Hall, followed by performances with Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, and Earth, Wind & Fire. A transformative Cate Blanchett in Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto; Sandy Chronopoulos's exposé on Zac Posen, featuring Lola Kirke, André Leon Talley, Stella Schnabel, Paz de la Huerta, Claire Danes and Naomi Campbell in House of Z; Richard Gere (Joseph Cedar's Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer), Laura Linney, Steve Coogan and Rebecca Hall in Oren Moverman's The Dinner; Rachel Israel's Keep The Change with Brandon Polansky and Samantha Elisofon are four of this year's feature highlights.

An episode spoofing Spike Jonze and Viceland with Emmy Harrington as "Slut Machine" from Caveh Zahedi's The Show About the Show (with Alex Karpovsky, Dustin Guy Defa, Amanda Field, Eléonore Hendricks) is a short to check out in the Tribeca N.O.W. Showcase on Thursday, April 20, 8:45pm - Regal Battery Park Theater. Coming up - A conversation with the filmmaker and star Caveh Zahedi.

The Dinner

The Dinner
The Dinner

Based on the Dutch novel Het diner (The Dinner) by Herman Koch, which was turned into an Italian film by Ivano de Matteo, this American Dinner is Oren Moverman's take on a complicated family saga that unfolds over the course of one meal. Two brothers, Richard Gere's Stan Lohman, who is running for governor, and Steve Coogan's Paul, a history teacher who suffered a mental breakdown while visiting Gettysburg, and their wives, Katelyn (Rebecca Hall) and Claire (Laura Linney), meet at an expensive restaurant to discuss an urgent matter concerning their sons. Three visually distinct layers - family past, restaurant present, an ATM attack on a homeless person - inform each other and target our sense of justice and corruptibility. Especially the performances by Gere and Linney push the envelope into the vast and complicated terrain of self-love, love of family, and the common good. If you expect mouth-watering heirloom Chioggia beets and Weinkäse Lagrein in The Dinner, you will get them as well as much more that has little to do with culinary treasures.

North American Premiere Spotlight Narrative - Monday, April 24, 8:00pm - BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center Expected to attend: Oren Moverman, Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, Charlie Plummer, Michael Chernus, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick

House Of Z

House Of Z
House Of Z

Sandy Chronopoulos's documentary glances at what went right and what goes wrong in designer wunderkind Zac Posen's tumultuous career, told through different personal angles and glimpses into fashion's "dark side." House of Z travels from Hip-Hop to humility, from red carpets back to his studies in London, unsuccessful escape to Paris and depression to settle on craft for the last chapter on the Fall 2014 collection "with no bells and whistles" where we see in fabulous detail the making of a spectacular teal dress. Friends such as Karen Elson and André Leon Talley explain how they see the Posen magic, his rise to superstardom who was "from the start a Vogue baby" and his fall from fashion industry grace. "It's not all runways and lipstick and fishtail gowns," he says before we are plunged into his childhood. Home movies show little Zac's costume creations for his dolls, draped from fabric swatches found on the SoHo sidewalks around Spring Street where he grew up.

World Premiere Special Screening - Saturday, April 22, 8:00pm - SVA Theater 1 - A conversation with Sandy Chronopoulos and Zac Posen, moderated by André Leon Talley.

Manifesto

Manifesto
Manifesto

Historically, manifestos are declarations very much tied to a time and place and a mission from an author meant to provoke change. Tales from the oral tradition were of unknown origin and the internet is heavy with untraceable flotsam. Yet if you think that in Juilian Rosefeldt's Manifesto-land there are no authors and only one uniting female voice, you might wander astray. The words of Yvonne Rainer, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Olga Rozanova, Adrian Piper and Elaine Sturtevant flow alongside those of Lars von Trier, Stan Brakhage, Werner Herzog, Jim Jarmusch, Thomas Vinterberg, Tristan Tzara, Paul Éluard, Claes Oldenburg, Sol LeWitt, Barnett Newman, Kurt Schwitters, Francis Picabia, André Breton, Antonio Sant'Elia, Lebbeus Woods and others. A chameleonic Cate Blanchett in 14 roles, speaks lines of truth and dare to us giving them all new context in contemporary situations. Historic meaning flies out of the window and yet, it is possible to catch their insight by letting go.

New York Premiere Spotlight Narrative - Wednesday, April 26, 9:00pm - Spring Studios Festival Hub Expected to attend: Cate Blanchett, Julian Rosefeldt

Keep The Change

Keep The Change
Keep The Change

David (Brandon Polansky) is new to a group for people on the autism spectrum he is court ordered to attend. There, at the JCC on New York's Upper West Side, he meets Sarah (Samantha Elisofon) who is outgoing and thrilled to be teamed up with the new guy in an exercise. He resents her enthusiasm and plays it cool with his Bono-inspired sunglasses and inappropriate jokes which Sarah incessantly urges him to explain. When the Brooklyn Bridge is suggested as topic of conversation, this requires some homework in Sarah's mind to complete the assignment. Relationships don't come easy if they are worth something and we see the two of them eventually confront each other and their own personal challenges. From drama therapy sessions about superheroes to a dinner at an Italian restaurant with food orders gone awry, from a Coney Island stroll that uncovers one person's dread of sand and another's anxiety with carousels to a musical showdown at a party given by David's parents in their fancy beachside house - Rachel Israel tells an intricate love story, featuring people we rarely get to see on the big screen.

World Premiere US Narrative Competition - Thursday, April 20, 7:15pm - Cinépolis Chelsea 3 Expected to attend: Rachel Israel, Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, Nicky Gottlieb, Will Deaver, Jessica Walter, Tibor Feldman, producers Amy Hobby, Anne Hubbell, Summer Shelton, Todd Remis, Kurt Enger

The 16th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival presented by AT&T runs from April 19 through April 30.

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