New from Solzy at the Movies by Danielle Solzman: The Best of Tribeca 2018

While I still have some reviews to crank out, here are some of the best offerings of what I saw during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.  When one factors in all the categories offered, I saw a total of 39 narrative features, documentaries, and pilots during the festival.

NARRATIVE FEATURE FILMS:

My favorite narrative features to play during Tribeca include All About Nina, Egg, Song of Back and Neck, Jellyfish, Little Woods, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Disobedience, but by far, 7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh.

Aside from Disobedience and Egg, the large majority of these films are from a first-time feature director.  I still can’t get over how much I enjoyed the funniest movie of all time about cults in 7 Stages!  If I had to narrow it down to a top-three narrative features that I saw at Tribeca, it would be 7 Stages, All About Nina, and Jellyfish.

I can say more about these films but I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves.

ACTING PERFORMANCES:

While there were many incredible performances, these were among the few that really stood out to me, be it a leading or supporting role or a small cameo.

  • Tessa Thompson, Little Woods
  • Liv Hill, Jellyfish
  • Chloe Grace Moretz, The Miseducation of Cameron Post
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead, All About Nina
  • Anna Camp, Egg
  • Paul Feig, Song of Back and Neck
  • Mark McKinney, 7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILMS:

The two documentaries that stood out to me were Love, Gilda and Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary.  I come from a background in the Chicago improv scene so naturally, my interest was piqued as soon as the film fest announced Love, Gilda.  The film profiled the late Saturday Night Live original prime time player, Gilda Radner, in just about 90 minutes.  Could it have gone longer?  Sure but then you have the chance of losing the audience.

Perhaps the one documentary that had me in tears and feeling nostalgic was Brent Hodge’s Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary.  The series only lasted for one season but it’s legacy is incredible to say the least.  The world premiere was followed by a Q&A session with Hodge and series creator Paul Feig.  The documentary will premiere on A&E as a part of the Cultureshock series this summer.

My next two favorites were Howard and Bobby Kennedy for President.  The four-hour Kennedy documentary is available on Netflix.  As for Howard, the documentary offers so much incredible insight into the life of one of teh greatest songwriters of all time.

SHORTS:

While I still have another three shorts to officially review, my two favorites were Earthy Encounters and Souls of Totality.  I said what I needed to say about both films over here.  I love both these films for very different reasons.  I’m interested in seeing how writer/director Sam Johnson transitions the brilliant Earthy Encounters into a full-length feature film.  It’s Spielberg-esque in nature and I can’t wait for other people to watch the film.

TV PILOT:

I would have loved to have seen others in the category but the Refinery29-produced Fabled was the only one I had the chance to watch ahead of an interview opportunity.  That said, Evan Jonigeit and Zosia Mamet’s anthology series has a chance to fill a void left by Once Upon A Time and Grimm.

The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival ran from April 18-29, 2018.

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