Last year was our first time covering Tribeca as press, albeit virtually due to the imminent danger of the pandemic. This year, we were grateful to able to attend in person, as it is the primary festival that we can easily attend given its location in our own backyard. We had the opportunity to cover our very first red carpets, including our first in-person interviews. We also sat down with the two leads of Blaze over Zoom, and attended several exciting events! Read on for our full rundown of festival coverage, as well as our personal ten favorite films from 2022’s Tribeca Film Festival!



Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


For the majority of the runtime, writer/director Gabriel Bier Gislason’s new horror comedy Attachment does a terrific job of building up character and creeping, eerie tension. Leah (Ellie Kendrick) and Maja (Josephine Park) share a library meet-cute, and from there, the relationship seems to blossom nicely. Maja doesn’t act anymore beyond “the elf stuff,” and Leah seems to be an odd match for her. Leah is a Jewish academic from London, who lives with her obsessive mother. Weird amulets, exploration of Jewish folklore and one possession later, Attachment feels very different from what I had originally envisioned. The sparks never quite fly enough to make Leah and Maja a couple to root for. One can see each story beat coming from a mile away, but there is a comfort in the simplicity of this standard queer horror possession flick.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


The pool is incredibly small for lesbian sports films, so there isn’t really much in the way of the competition. Nevertheless, Breaking the Ice could have used a finer touch. It tells the story of stuffy perfectionist Mira, as her world is thrown into upheaval by the dementia of her grandfather and a spunky new girl on her hockey team named Theresa. Winning is everything, and as the captain of the team, Mira faces incredible mounting pressures that she may or may not be fully prepared for. She reconnects with her brother Paul, who comes back into the fray after she calls him out of the blue with news of their grandfather’s condition. Eventually, there’s a Macklemore lip sync, partying, an intense hockey finale, and an all-too-brief lesbian sex scene. Breaking the Ice feels like it never actually breaks through, content to scratch the surface and give merely a taste of what the audience will crave.


As an avid Broadway lover who was counting down the days when I could be back in the comforting seat of a theatre auditorium during the entire pandemic shutdown of 2020, Broadway Rising seems tailor-made to my interests. From a gripping opening, I was so excited to dive into the craziness of the closures, the seriousness of that initial first wave of covid-19, and an upsetting recap of legitimate headlines I remember reading myself as the news was coming out. However, there really isn’t much more to Broadway Rising beyond this. When the film dips its toes into the Black Lives Matter movement and other issues that sprung up during the pandemic, it is done in a way that that seems like filler fluff without anything of substance to say. Nick Cordero’s tragic story is captured wonderfully in this doc, and winds up being one of the most successful elements. The resilience of the Broadway community is a great message, but it isn’t underlined boldly enough. For much of the runtime, I was just left remembering the circumstances occurring, and of course that wild time with all the Zoom reunions and tribute concerts. At a certain point, there were so many of them happening I couldn’t even keep up! Sadly, the majority of Broadway Rising is simply catching up with extremely limited cast and crew, and how the pandemic personally affected them. If simply rehashing the early pandemic is what one is looking for, Broadway Rising may be the right doc for you. 


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


An opening credits sequence that gets quite literally typed onto the screen and a snowy, atmospheric setting establish the mood for a film I was hoping for great things from. Unfortunately, Corner Office was not able to live up to my lofty expectations. Jon Hamm is fantastic in his role here as the questionably obsessive lead. I had trouble figuring out the tone Corner Office was trying to achieve, and what it was ultimately trying to say seemed a jumbled mess. Orson (Hamm) has just started at a new job, and his desk is the only one without a divider. Haunted by visions of his coworker’s stack of papers overflowing onto his own workspace, Orson stumbles upon a place where maximum productivity may be possible. It is a random cushy private office, looking completely different than the dour openness of Orson’s desk. There is only one problem: Orson is the only one who can see it. With an outlandish premise, Corner Office should be crazier. Maybe one has to work in an office to truly “get it,” but the film’s dry humor did almost nothing for me.

The Courtroom

(Written by Allison Brown) Although interesting in execution, The Courtroom may be difficult for the average viewer to follow. The script is written verbatim from court transcripts that follow a naïve Filipino immigrant woman, Elizabeth Keathley (Kristin Villanueva), whose life is turned upside down by a trip to get her license. At the behest of an inexperienced and impatient governmental employee, Elizabeth is misled into signing a form to register to vote while filling out the necessary paperwork for an identification card. Given the employee’s obvious glance at her foreign passport without any objections, Keathley believes she is legally allowed to vote, and goes ahead in voicing her opinion in a congressional election. Apparently, this is grounds for deportation, and she may have to return to the Philippines, which will ravage her newly minted American family. The story is compelling, albeit predictable, but legalese sometimes gets in the way of fully comprehending it. I also found it odd that Keathley’s white male defense lawyer, Richard Hanus (Linda Powell), is played by a woman of color. Perhaps this is trying to imply something along the lines of better representation, but it feels strange each time she is referred to as a mister. Apparently judges Easterbrook (Kathleen Chalfant) and Zerbe (Marsha Stephanie Blake), who are both also played by women, are also male in real-life. I assume this was already a choice made in the off-Broadway production of the same title, but it isn’t clear why the characters are not renamed to follow suit. I think the film would have been improved with transitional scenes between the three separate courtroom proceedings. The cuts are abrupt, and just when one may think the film has ended, there is an entire other section. Although I am sure the procedures are true to tradition in the ceremony, the denouement treats America with too much idealism for my taste. All in all, The Courtroom is well shot and performed, but it needs some fine tuning before releasing to a wider audience.


Full review at the link.

Dreaming Walls: Inside The Chelsea Hotel

(Written by Allison Brown) Perhaps a non-native New Yorker may feel the romanticism in Dreaming Walls: Inside The Chelsea Hotel, but for someone born and raised in this fine city, the film is devoid of anything fascinating or unique. I could probably walk into any apartment building in my neighborhood and find characters equally as strange as the bonkers residents captured by this documentary. I have been intrigued by the mystery of the Chelsea Hotel for years, as I’ve walked by it on many occasions. I knew it had a lot of historical significance amongst the pop culture elite, and that it was intrinsically New York, but I have never seen anything aside from the exterior. To learn that people have been living there for decades, and at rents as low as $317, when I pay over $2,000 a month myself is wild. From the footage provided, the building looks to be condemned; I do not understand how all these people are allowed to or even wanted to live in such a place. They seem to be left behind in the past, unwilling to put their own mental wellbeing above staying put. For the most part, the inhabitants come off as eccentric, elitist despite being exceedingly poor, and perhaps even mentally ill, barring a select few. The stock-image-like projections of historical Chelsea figures, which the film uses to transition by overlaying on to the modern footage, feel like filler content. Overall, Dreaming Walls is perhaps too artsy for my taste. The only parts I genuinely enjoyed were the transitions in the elevator that cut seamlessly between archive footage and modern day. The legendary stories of Andy Warhol or Janis Joplin’s time in the building while it was still glamorous had so much potential for an interesting watch, but directors Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier fail to capture that story. Colloquial first-hand anecdotes reenacted or raw footage of actual legendary people in the rooms when they stayed within the walls would have made for a more captivating film.


Full review at the link.


(Written by Allison Brown) For my own sanity, I will have to keep this brief. I was not mentally prepared for how powerful Endangered would be; I shouldn’t be surprised given Ronan Farrow’s involvement as executive producer. Watching this documentary made me physically sick to my stomach. It unfurls the PTSD we have tried to push down from the horrific events of the past few years. I cried during many points of my viewing. Endangered also highlights how often journalists around the globe go missing or are murdered after providing damaging evidence against their government; in Mexico City, 90% of these cases go unsolved. The footage of feminist activists protesting the murder of women in Mexico, a third world country, juxtaposed to the exact same dangers during the Black Lives Matter protests in our country is jarring. As someone who has worked in the media for nearly my entire ten-year career, albeit on the design side, the destruction of the freedom of the press is sickening. Each time a leader highlighted here pushes their disinformation agendas, it is painful to watch the footage. The fact that one leader, Brazilian President Bolsonaro, went so far as to comment on a female journalist’s “hole” because he was offended by her criticism and to insinuate that she is a prostitute in a public forum is actually insane. Some of the events here feel as if they could have been pulled directly from the dystopian narrative of The Handmaid’s Tale. As life slowly returns to normal with covid-19 vaccinations and the reduction of cases, it is easy to forget all the trauma we as a collective nation have dealt with over the past few years. The recent attacks on abortion simply do not help either. Endangered reminds us all of this time in recent history we have attempted to block out, and provides a foreboding message to come if we do not make an effort to protect the media.


Full review at the link.

Four Samosas

(Written by Allison Brown) Revenge has never tasted sweeter for the four misfits, Vinesh aka Big Boy “Vin” (Venk Potula), Zak the Bollywood dreamer (Nirvan Patnaik), Anjali the under over achiever (Sharmita Bhattacharya), and Paru the malcontent engineer (Sonal Shah), grouped together in Ravi Kapoor’s Four Samosas. This offbeat comedy is stylistically reminiscent of films like Napoleon Dynamite and The Royal Tenenbaums set in the lens of Bollywood culture. Described as a story about “finding your crew,” this quartet decides to rob a grocery store for illegal diamonds locked away in a safe to re-distribute the wealth to less fortune people who deserve it: themselves. This grocery store coincidentally is owned by the father of Vinesh’s ex-girlfriend Rina, played by The Magicians’ Summer Bishil in a smaller role with just as much sass as television fan-favorite Margo. Impeccably deadpan comedic timing is bounced off fiancé Sanjay (Karan Soni, 7 Days). Wacky costumes, quirky hijinks, a random theatrical production background story, and potentially unrequited love all make for a well-balanced film. Four Samosas may not be the funniest film I have seen this year, but it is worth the watch.


Full review at the link.


Set in the fall of 2005, Good Girl Jane is a coming-of-age drama examining a teen’s downward spiral into drug addiction fueled by manipulation. Falling in with the wrong crowd is relatable, but at this point it has just been so done to death that I wished the film had more to say. A cute guy with an Irish accent (Patrick Gibson) catches Jane’s attention at a party, and afterward she will practically follow him to the ends of earth down the lines of a crack pipe. The acting is excellent, but Good Girl Jane lacks the raw power of other addiction dramas. One can see the grooming coming from a mile away, and Jane (Rain Spencer) eases into poor decision after poor decision, making her a middling character hard to empathize with. The film fails to break past the generic premise, instead being overall just okay.


Full review at the link.


Depending on the level of love one has for Jennifer Lopez, Halftime is an essential look at the modern stage of this dedicated artist, actress, and inspirational Latina woman. As Lopez recalls major life milestones (including her first Golden Globe nomination for the underrated Selena!), the inception of her passion project Hustlers, and her journey to share the stage with Shakira at 2020’s Super Bowl, I was completely enthralled with the patience and commitment she displays. In the face of public ridicule, Lopez never seems to crumble or bow to her struggles. She refuses to let herself be defined by one thing, as she views success as the ability to constantly evolve her brand. A perfectionist at heart, Jennifer Lopez proves in Halftime that she has a heart of gold and a genuine sense of humor. She may still be Jenny from the block, but I will be damned if Lopez isn’t one impressive female icon for the ages.


(Written by Intern, Megan Davis) Although I am not involved in greek life, I am no stranger to the rumors and stories of hazing that circulate on my campus. However, I don’t think much of it because I have never experienced nor seen it. Hazing, a documentary directed by Byron Hurt, brings to light the stories of those that have lost their lives to acts of hazing and, with the addition of the impactful stories of their families, allows one to see the warped reality presented across the media. Hearing from families of victims, those who experienced abuse as a part of a greek organization, and even those who perpetrated these acts was extremely moving, and serves as a poignant reminder that these cases are not isolated incidents. Hurt featured multitudes of real supplemental photos and videos of the events and people being discussed that, when interlaced with interviews and b-roll footage, supported the story greatly. I especially enjoyed the editing of the film. With so many moving elements, it is easy to feel as if one is watching a slideshow rather than a film, but I believe this documentary avoids that with ease.


(Written by Allison Brown) A unique and refined film I nearly skipped, Hommage, written and directed by Shin Su-won, is a creative take on finding new value in the past through a feminist lens. Ji-wan Kim (Lee Jung-eun, Parasite) is a director at her wits end, barely making enough profit to go on. Her third film, Ghost Man, failed to get the attention she had hoped, and her needy husband (Hae-hyo Kwon) and immature son Bo-ram (Tang Joon-sang) are completely unsupportive of her dwindling career path. Ji-wan’s mother-in-law reprimands her for stepping outside of her traditional female gender roles in avoiding cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her family. Ji-wan’s husband hopelessly tells Bo-ram that “living with a dreaming woman is lonely.” Festival coordinator Mr. Han comes along with an intriguing prospect: repair the third film of the first female Korean director, Park Nam-ok. The restoration lacks a large budget, but it may be a rewarding project. At first hesitant, Ji-wan ultimately decides to fill the directing shoes in restoring the sound in A Woman Judge. Along the way, she meets family members, friends, and cast members affiliated with the groundbreaking film. She also discovers a large segment missing due to censorship. All the while, Ji-wan is haunted and led towards the mystery by the shadow of the late Park Nam-ok, adorned in her lead character’s hat and costume. Writer/director Shin Su-won’s narrative reveals the struggles that females in film have dealt with throughout history. Her intensity in unraveling the mystery of Park’s work leads Ji-wan to not only neglect her family, but also her own health. A medical emergency becomes a physical manifestation of a metaphor portrayed in Ji-wan’s personal life where she is implied to be “not woman enough.” She is faced with a vital surgery which will remove a fundamental part of her female form. Comic relief from college-aged Bo-ram is peppered throughout to keep the audience engaged. For a plot that could have been very dull, Shin Su-won artfully weaves an interesting and tender story through nuances and great character acting. Lee Jung-eun is a delight each time she is on screen, her biting wit and sarcasm pair well with her optimism and admirable yearning to investigate. I sense that many may avoid Hommage due to the nature of the subject matter, but this spectacular work is not to be missed.

The Integrity of Joseph Chambers

(Written by Allison Brown) Robert Machoian’s The Integrity of Joseph Chambers follows family man Chambers (Clayne Crawford), proudly rocking a prominent mustache, as he heads out into the woods at the crack of dawn to go hunting solo. His wife, Tess (Jordana Brewster), pleads with Joe to wait for his more experienced friend, Doug (Carl Kennedy), to come along, yet he assures her all will be fine. What starts out as a man-child jollily walking around through nature and trying to exert his masculinity, turns into something much darker. Joe realizes he is not alone, despite the property being privately owned by Doug. Two years into the pandemic, there have come to be several telling choices that pinpoint a film as a “covid movie.” Unfortunately, like others before it, such as this year’s Infinite Storm and The Desperate Hour, these tell-tale signs are obvious in The Integrity of Joseph Chambers. Unlike Naomi Watts’ commanding performances in the aforementioned films, Crawford lacks the charisma to carry a movie where the majority of the narrative is comprised of a single character anxiously running through nature. The roster of talent casted was my primary incentive for watching this title, yet Jordana Brewster is really only present for a few minutes in the beginning, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is only present for the final ten. The film is completely carried by the score and sound design; it would not be watchable without the great skill displayed in this execution. Moments of tension and thrill are guided by the ebb and flow in the orchestral music, and flashbacks and daydreams are depicted only through audio. Disappointments aside, The Integrity of Joseph Chambers is not a bad film, it is just not particularly fantastic either.


Full review at the link.


(Written by Allison Brown) Ever been intrigued by a new neighbor in your apartment building? Meir (Sasson Gabay) and Tova (Rita Shukrun, who looks fantastic at 66) in Moshe Rosenthal’s Karaoke can relate, and their obsession goes to levels not dissimilar to Brad and Janet in The Rocky Horror Picture Show towards Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The middle-aged couple, who have been married for 46 years, lives a mundane life with their two older daughters who frequently come to visit. Quiet and guarded Meir is a teacher on sabbatical, while extravagant Tova owns a boutique called Venezia. Their only pleasure comes from annual trips to Rhodes. Their world is shaken up when wealthy bachelor Itzik (Lior Ashkenazi) parks his Maserati in front of the cars of Meir and neighbor Yigal (Arie Tcherner). Yigal leaves an angry letter on the windshield, which leads Itzik to return with a genuinely apologetic and warm letter on Meir and Tova’s doorstep. In it, he invites the couple to enjoy a night of drinks and karaoke at his swanky penthouse apartment, and the two decide to go. The pair immediately hit it off with outgoing Itzik, who showers them with compliments. Meir is sent upstairs on his own several times to maintain the friendship, and eventually Tova becomes jealous. At first, their confidence is elevated by Itzik’s influence, but then he quickly pulls the rug out from under them. Their children become embarrassed by what their parents have become. The two sixty-year-olds begin to fight for his attention, and essentially have mid-life crises. They pretend to be just as hip and elitist as he is and are willing to do anything to please him. To no surprise, Itzik’s presence causes a rift in their marriage, and they are forced to finally confront the problems they have kept inside for years. I am sure an older audience would relate to this more than I did personally, but anyone can recall a time where there may have feigned interest in things outside their comfort zone to impress someone. The desperation in their performances is believable and quite comical. I am not sure any loose ends are fully resolved in the denouement, but I did see great character growth. Karaoke proves that stories with older characters can be just as compelling and entertaining as classic twenty to thirty something leading characters.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Naked Gardens is a documentary that delivers on the promise of the concept: it is quite simply just a doc about a nudist community called Sunsport Gardens. Prepare to see lots and lots of genitals, and embark on a surprising rift amongst the townsfolk. Should there be a nudity policy, or changes to the restrictions of nudity to appease parents? People who flock to these colonies for cheap living often do not even follow the rules, and seem to be in a way making a mockery of the place itself. Someone teach these children how to count! Weirdly enough, this felt so primitive to me in that we observe people nude simply going about their day-to-day living. Lounging about, cleaning bikes, and communally swimming without clothes on to me feels bizarre, but it is nice to see so many individuals be comfortable in their own skin. Perhaps this would have been terrific as a short; it feels dragged out by feature length standards.


Laura (Jackie van Beek) and Bruno (Damon Herriman) have lost the sexual spark in their relationship. After being gifted invites to an exclusive couple’s retreat, they get way more than they bargained for thanks to the incorrigible methods of Bjorg (Jemaine Clement). Nude Tuesday is basically just sex-forward couples therapy. This Aussie comedy misses the mark a bit by limiting audience connection to Laura and Bruno to only surface-level comedy asides. Nothing about this relationship feels real or authentic, with every moment wallowing in silliness or exaggeration. I would hesitate to say Nude Tuesday is actually a bad movie; rather, it does little to distinguish itself or break through to becoming memorable. A plethora of streaming options for better comedies means Nude Tuesday could easily get lost in the shuffle.

Peace in the Valley 

(Written by Allison Brown) After a disappointing showing at Tribeca last year with God’s Waiting Room, Tyler Riggs luckily has a good one on his hands with this year’s Peace in the Valley. Exceedingly relevant with the gun violence epidemic in the United States, Riggs tells a story of the aftermath following a grocery store shooting. A great loss ripples from the murder of a husband and father, John (Michael Abbott Jr.), who returns inside the store to continue to save people. We follow a mother, Ashley Rhodes (Brit Shaw), and son, Jesse (William Samiri), as well as her mother, Margaret (Dendrie Taylor), and her late husband’s twin brother, Billy (Michael Abbott Jr.), dealing with the death. Shaw shows a great range of heartbreaking emotion in her performance; she carries the film. I did find character choices to be questionable, but I am sure it is not far from reality. Why bring a ten-year-old child, whose father was just shot to death, to go hunting? Even if Jesse expressed interest, this is such a poor decision. Why does Ashley not object despite appearing uncomfortable? I guess this just drives home how strange a relationship much of the American population has with guns. I personally find firearms for sport to be disgusting, so this part just reinforced how strange life is for half the country. I was glad to see women’s maternity rights represented later in the film. I think more could have been explored with the friendship between Ashley and Sandra (Nicky Buggs) from her grief support group, as she doesn’t seem to have as much influence in her life as I anticipated. With such weighty subject matter, Peace in the Valley shines as a tale of growth and acceptance amidst the hardest of circumstances.


Full review at the link.


Rounding is a film I was very much looking forward to at the festival, especially as it is one of the few horror titles out of this year’s lineup. Chronicling a traumatized resident who relocated to Greenville for his second year to recuperate, Rounding should have been an easy home run. For starters, Namir Smallwood as lead James gives a captivating performance that immediately sucks one into its orbit. At first, his journey of learning hits similar dramatic beats of nearly any major medical drama. Due to the haunting of his past, the narrative gets wobbly with visions, nightmares, floating girls, and bizarre pig-nosed created with flames on their heads. Nasty body horror is briefly glimpsed before dissipating entirely. The ending gives little closure, and elicits merely a shrug, leaving the viewer pondering why they even chose to watch it in the first place. 

Roving Woman

Full review at the link.


(Written by Allison Brown) I wasn’t sure what to expect from a “Documusical,” but Rudy! The Documusical did not disappoint. I will say, the musical part was entirely unnecessary and added nearly nothing to the narrative. The theatre cast was surprisingly talented; the vocals were stunning. However, the snippets were too lightly sprinkled to serve any great purpose. The story itself is highly compelling tracking Rudy Giuliano’s rise and fall. I learned some interesting tidbits: who knew he once married his second cousin! The comedy was there, yet a somber segment on 9/11 felt out of place. One piece of footage in particular shows a man jumping off the 102nd floor to his death. There is no warning for this level of graphic detail, and it is surely not what I expected going into a political satire. To make matters worse, my uncle worked on the 102nd floor and passed away in the terrorist attack. I have never seen anything specifically mentioning his floor prior. This segment is incredibly triggering, and there should have been some warning ahead of it showing. I can guarantee I am not the only one in the theatre who lost a loved one that day, and this inclusion was an unnecessary addition. Despite this very large caveat, I did enjoy the documentary and found myself laughing quite often.


(Written by Allison Brown) A general warning: don’t go straight from watching Crimes of the Future to see Tribeca selection Sophia. When the film opens on “surgery,” dissecting Sophia the robot, it looks realer than it should! This quaint feature, which will be releasing soon on Showtime, is a peek inside the relatively small company endeavoring to bring “the most expressive” scalable commercial robots to the world. Sophia’s programming gives her the language for long and meaningful speeches at important events, as well as television appearances like the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she sprinkles in subtle quirky jokes. As most AI films explore, Sophia pairs the shallow and exciting nature of artificial intelligence with a commentary on the dangers it may present. Triggered by an incident where Sophia is given surprise citizenship in Saudi Arabia that allows more rights than its female population, the film leans into the ethical side of commentary. Robots are neither human nor an object, yet we interact with them as if they were. What is the correct way to classify robots? The team hits many road bumps, including a painful segment where Sophia is unable to reset, and the robot responds with random unrelated gibberish or doesn’t answer at all. All the while, inventor David Hanson teeters on the edge of bankruptcy in his personal finances, as well as for the company, with one catastrophic event impending to ravage everything: COVID-19. Although I enjoyed the documentary, there are a lot of slower parts that don’t add anything to the narrative, despite its already slight runtime of 89 minutes. Perhaps it would have been more successful as a short, or a 45-minute television episode in a larger technology-related anthology. Either way Sophia is a fun, albeit gloomy, watch.


Full review at the link.


I am a pretty casual listener of the band Of Monsters and Men, and admittedly they have some absolute bangers like “Little Talks” and “Dirty Paws.” I was excited to see a title at Tribeca that would celebrate the band in the form of a music documentary; when I noticed Tiu‘s runtime was a mere 48 minutes, however, I was left both puzzled and bewildered. I tried to hide my disappointment as the film played out, basically in a collection of song rehearsals and sharing memories. In the end, the soothing sounds and beautiful lyrics won me over, even if the whole thing is simply fluff. There is little insight into the band beyond them functioning as a chosen family, so I think this one may be strictly for avid fans of the band.


A whirlwind relationship between two men and one woman has potential to be milked for maximum dramatic impact. See: the amazing 2003 erotic drama The Dreamers as reference, along with the countless movies since then that have handled ménage à trois. Sadly, this Tribeca drama falls into the category of a major miss. Three Headed Beast is an almost entirely dialogue-free experience, which may help or hinder one’s enjoyment going in with this knowledge. For me, I was left scratching my head at some of the filmmaking choices. Clocking in shy of an hour and a half, this is one supremely short movie—being that it is comprised almost strictly of unglamorous sex sequences rather than the progression of any brand of story or character growth, the film’s length is another puzzling addition. This feels like more of a pretentious student film than a movie proper. Three separate panels convey the everyday lives of a younger man (Cody Shook) and the 8-year-strong bisexual couple at the center (Jacob Schatz, Dani Hurtado). The one time I laughed was when writers/directors Fernando Andres and Tyler Rugh show the couple out and about, working, exercising, and thriving, as the cute queer slumbers.


Full review at the link.


The latest in a long line of podcast-inspired mysteries similar to Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, Vengeance tells a searing and deeply funny tale of doing whatever it takes to unearth a story. BJ Novak’s Vengeance collects a phenomenal ensemble cast that mesh in an indescribably fluid way. When Ben’s casual hookup shows up dead of a suspected overdose, her shaken brother, Ty (Boyd Holbrook, Narcos, The Cursed), begs Ben (BJ Novak, The Office) to come to her funeral. Ty is convinced that Abilene, who allegedly “never touched so much as an Advil” has actually been murdered, and wants Ben to stick around in Texas to help bring the bastard down. Ben views this as a perfect window to his podcast, and begrudgingly agrees at the service of a great story. Before his very eyes, Ben becomes deeply knit into Abilene’s welcoming (and very Southern) family. As he gets closer to unearthing the truth, a target forms squarely on his back. Holbrook’s Ty had our theatre audience howling in laughter, with the Shaw family feeling like a genuine unit. An engaging mystery pairs against dark humor harmoniously. Furthermore, Ashton Kutcher and Issa Rae shine as a layered music producer and Ben’s podcast producer, respectively. Dialogue is sharp and silly, and if a Fritos pie sounds like a good time, BJ Novak has one covered. 

The Visitor 

(Written by Allison Brown) Upon finishing Martín Boulocq’s The Visitor, I came to accept it was not for me. Mundane cuts of ex-convict Humberto’s life are interspersed with depressing moments of solitude and an incessant religious angle. I found none of this to be intriguing. The transitions are poorly executed, and some of the shots feel very low budget. I was interested in the film to see a growing relationship between the lead (Enrique Aráoz) and his estranged daughter, Aleida (Svet Ailyn Mena). However, these moments are few and far between. When the duo is on screen (and when Aleida is actually given dialogue), there are some really strong and tender moments. It was sweet to watch Humberto cook with his daughter, while teaching her about the narrative of an opera. Aráoz’s impressive vocal chops were a pleasant surprise. Nevertheless, the film is overtaken by Aleida’s pastor grandfather (César Troncoso) and his manipulative Evangelical megachurch. As someone who thinks most of religion is a cult, The Visitor reinforced my perception. If that was Boulocq’s goal, he was successful. However, the denouement is truly devoid of any hope, and I am not sure that is a great takeaway from any film.


(Written by Intern, Vuong Hoang) We Might As Well Be Dead, with its intriguing and mysterious dystopian premise and distinctively structuralist visual aesthetic, seemed right up my alley. How can one deny a quirky, conceptual drama about a dystopian future that doubles as a social commentary on our equally dystopian present? Unfortunately this film’s form tries and utterly fails to generate enough substance to keep one grounded in its world. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful to look at. The slightly cold, pastel tones and framing devices such as windows, doors and parallel lines make for a unique visual identity that evokes an indescribable eeriness. The soundtrack also deserves a mention for its effectiveness in enhancing the absurdity, especially the bedroom pop number during the festival scene. With that said, where I think We Might As Well Be Dead tragically falls short is tension: why are people so afraid of the outside? Why are these house communities so life-sustainingly important in this dystopian world? The audience is given neither an answer to these questions, nor enough subtextual clues to come to our own conclusions. This becomes an issue when most of the dramatic tension relies on everyone’s supposed fear of the outside. There is an insightful commentary on themes of paranoia, gated communities, and outsideness to be dug into here, but the lack of meaningful tension makes it difficult, for me at least, to really engage with the intellectual and thematic explorations the film presents.

Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying

(Written by Allison Brown) After enjoying writer Devin Das’ previous film, Keeping Company, at Panic Fest last year, I had high hopes for his 2022 Tribeca selection, Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying. This new movie is of equally great production quality, and filmmaker/stars Devin Das and Parker Seaman have a lot of chemistry as well as on point comedic timing. However, I am disappointed by this one. Although relevant to the plot of a failed directing duo doomed to commercials, the initial comedic element from overt product placement becomes overdone to the point of annoyance. Furthermore, fans of D’Arcy Carden and Mark Duplass watching the film primarily for their casting will be disappointed. Both actors only appear in video or phone calls juxtaposed to the rest of the narrative; Duplass, in particular, only appears in two previously-taped videos, a purchased Cameo (more product placement, and a Make-A-Wish comparable recording. I know we have moved on as a society from COVID-19 being a terrifying omnipresent danger over our heads, but Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying makes light of things that still feel incredibly unethical. The jokes that do stick, like an improvised line in a “Sketchies” commercial: “whether it’s black lives or blue lives, we all have feet,” feel anachronistic. The social cause discussed was most relevant to popular culture during the BLM protests nearly two years ago. The concept of a pandemic road trip comedy was handled better by SXSW’s Stop and Go (previously named Recovery), and came at a more apt time for the subject matter. One can clearly see the raw talent in this film’s team, and it will most likely score a few chuckles, but the fleshed-out concept unfortunately did not fully work for me.

Woman on the Roof

(Written by Allison Brown) If one is in the mood to be thoroughly depressed by a shockingly true story, Woman on the Roof may be the perfect fit. Director Anna Jadowska tells the story of Mira (Dorota Pomykala), an elderly woman in a dead-end nursing job with a verbally abusive husband who eventually has a manic break. On a trip to pick up fish food, Mira stops at a bank and timidly asks for the teller for money despite not being a customer. She slowly presents a kitchen knife and announces she will rob the place. The teller doesn’t take her seriously, and appears to be worried for her safety. The second the teller calls the cops, Mira awkwardly runs away. It is a cringeworthy scene to watch. The events of the film eventually find Mira briefly in prison, a mental institution, and consistently sulking and despondent. She eventually learns to stand up for herself and ask for what she wants in life, but her unsupportive family is unchanging. Son Mariusz (Adam Bobik) seems to be the only one who cares for her, but ultimately, he abandons her as well. Her husband, Julek (Bogdan Koca), is a despicable human being, and I genuinely hated watching him on screen. The film is full of melancholy and acts as a glimpse into Mira’s painfully mundane life. All three leads are excellent in their roles, and are believable as a family unit. Woman on the Roof is heartbreaking, providing no relief or joy for any parties involved. Be prepared to leave with most loose ends unresolved.


A Wounded Fawn, another horror selection at Tribeca, was rightfully one of my most anticipated. With Josh Ruben as one of the leads, and Jakob’s Wife director Travis Stevens behind the camera, where could one go wrong? In my opinion, A Wounded Fawn evokes Sundance’s Fresh and recent cult-movie The Long Night, but feels like a lesser version of both films. Museum curator Meredith (Sarah Lind) is seeing a new mystery man named Bruce (Ruben), and the time has come for a cute getaway alone together at a secluded cabin. What could possibly go wrong? The answer is everything of course, and I wish I wasn’t just talking about the life of Meredith. Conflicting tonal inconsistencies bog down the oft-impressive eerie visuals, which is definitely a major disappointment. A Wounded Fawn in three words would be as follows: pretentious, cerebral, annoying. 


Living with bipolar disorder is a daily struggle. With my own brother being diagnosed, I have a bit of experience with having a family member going through this, so it was with this insight in mind that I set out to watch The Year Between. Freshly kicked out of school and a bridge burned with her roommate, Clem (Alex Heller, who also wrote and directs) moves back in her parents’ home. They already used Clem’s own room for office space, so she will have to make do with staying in the basement. However, her behavior is wildly unpredictable. At first, Clem is managing alright as she adjusts to the correct medicine cocktail and starts her new job at Big Deals. After meeting a volatile young man who reignites a prescription pill addiction, Clem takes a turn for the worst as her family struggles to understand where she is coming from. What follows is a rather predictable story of reform, which is serviceable but does little in the way of originality. Clem’s parents, played by J. Smith-Cameron and Steve Buscemi, are lovable and committed to helping Clem. I wish we saw more of siblings portrayed by Wyatt Oleff and Emily Robinson. I found Clem to be so frustrating, and at times hard to watch. Ultimately, The Year Between is a perfectly fine dramedy that does its job.


Full review at the link.

The YouTube Effect

(Written by Allison Brown) Expecting something fun and trivial along the lines of SXSW selection, TikTok, Boom., The YouTube Effect serves up an entirely different documentary. Directed by Alex Winter, the film casts too wide of a net, and feels unfocused. It endeavors to include discussion around the rise of the social media platform, alt-right political movement and its growth resulting from manipulative videos, the controversial YouTube algorithm, the growth of Smosh (one of the first ten channels to ever be monetized), the brand’s merger with Google, as well as a multitude of other smaller bits. I found some segments very interesting; I love watching Anthony Padilla’s clever and compassionate interview videos, so I was glad to see he had a huge influence on the commentary. The growth of YouTube itself seemed to be directly tied to my personal maturation from age sixteen on, and I recalled a lot of the nostalgic pieces from my teenage years. I think I was mostly let down by The YouTube Effect because it delves too deeply into politics without it being the center of the film. The title itself does not really imply this perspective for the viewer. Perhaps strong critics of TikTok, Boom. will enjoy this one better as it tackles a more intellectual topic, but for me, it was a bit too serious given the nature of YouTube itself.

Television & Podcast


Full review at the link.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 10: (L-R) Aaron Lipstadt, Ana de la Reguera, Jon Hamm, Kate Mara and John Mankiewicz speak onstage at the world premiere of "The Big Lie" hosted by Audible at Studio 25 during the Tribeca Festival 2022 on June 10, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Audible)

The Big Lie

(Written by Allison Brown) The premiere for upcoming Audible Original drama The Big Lie was a glamorous affair. The podcast stars Kate Mara and Jon Hamm; it tells the story of an FBI agent (Hamm) who attempts to track down the team behind “pro-Communist” and blacklisted film, Salt of the Earth, in the 1950s. What may have been perceived as communist production during the “Red Scare,” was really an endeavor to push controversial pro-labor and feminist beliefs at the time. One is met with champagne flutes and a red carpet featuring unique lighting to greet attendees at the entrance. Inside, one’s path to the main room is a narrow corridor with fog and an array of antique posters themed to the story. There are actual set pieces inspired by what would have been in a visual reimagining. My experience with podcasts lies solely in the great shows that originated from them, like Jessica Biel’s Limetown or The Shrink Next Door from Apple TV+. For my first listen, the audio from this podcast was paired with a pre-recorded animation reminiscent of a lyric video. Flat fluid shadows are paired with real moving lights on site that make the images come to life. It almost felt as if the cast were standing in front of the screen. The vocal performances, as well as the sound design, really brought the subject matter to life without needing visuals to support it. I can’t say I am a podcast convert after this one, and I was probably too tired from a packed day to fully enjoy it, but it is definitely a well-produced period piece. If podcasts are your thing, A Big Lie is worth checking out.

Josh’s Ten Favorite Films

Allison’s Ten Favorite Films

With such a breadth of incredible films on the pipeline, it was a wonder we were able to screen as many as we did in such a short length of time. I have no doubt in my mind that several of these titles may end up on our year-end best movies list! We cannot wait to cover the festival and attend once again in 2023! For more information on the fest, head over to the official Tribeca Film Festival website.

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