What we watched and noted from this year’s Tribeca Festival…
LIKE many film festivals, Tribeca was a mix of online and physical screen offerings this year and many enjoyed the return to in person film-related talks, events, and parties.
Of the films, perhaps, the most significant for us, was a screening of Pratibha Parmar’s, ‘My Name is Andrea’.
(Andrea Dworkin (left) and Pratibha Parmar (right)
Among the more notable events was a glitzy party hosted by Chanel which was attended by Penelope Cruz as her film, ‘Official Competition‘ screened at the fest and there was the re-union of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino to talk all matters ‘Heat’.
Parmar’s film was well received and features a number of actors: Ashley Judd, Amandla Stenberg, Christine Lahti, Soko, and Andrea Risborough performing monologues and reading from Dworkin’s work. Many reviewers remarked how moving the film was and that Dworkin’s writing has a beauty which hasn’t really been acknowledged – until now and this film. Dworkin wrote poetry, novels and is best known ‘Woman Hating: A Radical Look at Sexuality’ (1974), ‘Right Wing Women: The Politics of Domesticated Females’ (1983), ‘Intercourse’ (1987) and ‘Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War on Women’ – a collection of essays and journalism. www.asianculturevulture.com hasn’t seen the film.
About the US feminist Andrea Dworkin, British Parmar, an experienced and established filmmaker, delves into the life of a woman who wrote a lot about patriarchy, violence and pornography and was one of the best known feminist writers between the 1970s and the early 2000s. She died in 2005, aged 58 from a heart attack and suffered ill health in the final few years of her life.
Away from all that, acv saw two films remotely. ‘God’s Time’ is a quirky, funny, high energy New York tale about two guys whose friendship is tested as they cope with drug rehabilitation and preventing a potential murder. Into this tight circle comes Regina played by Liz Caribel Sierra who got a special Festival Jury Mention for Best Performance. (See our review below and awards link too). There was also an Indian film – ‘Two Sisters and Husband’ by Shlok Sharma, whose two previous films, ‘Haraamkhor’ and ‘Zoo’ (2018) were sold to Netflix. This film is also produced by Indian indie icon filmmaker, Anurag Kashyap – who Sharma has known for some time.
Two Sisters and a Husband – Menage-a-trois Indian style… (review)
THIS FILM is pretty much about two sisters and the same man. Rajat takes up a new job as a hotel manager in a remote hill station (unspecified in the film). The hotel is a little basic and ramshackle and the guy who owns it keeps pet rats. Yeah. It isn’t all as whacky as that – co-writer and director Shlok Sharma goes in for a heavy dose of social realism. Just on that level, it’s very watchable- no softening of reality here. A little atypically, Rajat against his wishes, ends up marrying the older sister, when he has already been carrying on with the younger one. Nevertheless, he ends up being in a relationship with both and the trio escape to the hills.
Sharma opts for a more serious tone on proceedings as the younger sister is pregnant and she believes this will change the dynamic in her favour. Rajat is one of those men who isn’t terribly good at thinking about the future or planning and tends to live (hedonistically) in the moment. In many ways, this is a refreshing drama – not an easy watch by any means, especially towards the end, but Sharma controls the story which could have easily got lost and strong performances help lift the film to a powerful level. A lot of promise all round – Sharma’s stock is definitely on the up.
Acv rating: *** (out of five)
God’s time – Another odd threesome… (review)
TWO MALE friends – Luca (Dion Costelloe) and Dev (Ben Groh) – are part of a drug recovery programme that requires them to share at a New York City group meeting, still in the time of covid.
It’s there that they meet Regina (Liz Caribel Sierra). Dev (Ben Groh) – and what drew me to the film in the first place – that and his rather wild hair – is rather smitten.
These three are at the core of this quirky, off-the-wall pacey comedy drama which is centred around a potential ‘revenge’ murder. Writer-director Daniel Antebi hams it up and gets Dev confessing to the camera and there are gimmicky cartoons and other graphic representations. For me, these were a bit unnecessary – the characters were interesting enough – and the story was powerful, if a little contrived. The point without giving it all away is that this is a threesome of sorts, whatever the participants might make of that themselves. Funny, loopy, high energy and yes, Sierra has screen presence and takes the eye – but so too does Groh for quite different reasons. Antebi may need a more conventional hand to steer him to commercial success, if he so desires that – but he shouldn’t constrict that imagination or desire to tell a story with intelligence, wit and take some risks in the process. Currently working on a queer feature – ‘On the Mat’ and has made waves with shorts at previous high profile festivals. Remember his name.
No cast details were available with ‘Two Sisters and a Husband’ but those listed by Tribeca as appearing in the film are: Avani Rai, Dinker Sharma, Manya Grover, Himanshu Kohli, Ashutosh Pathak.
Tribeca 2022 Film Audience awards – https://tribecafilm.com/news/the-2022-audience-award-winners-are
Tribeca 2022 Official Jury Award winners – https://tribecafilm.com/news/tribeca-festival-announces-2022-jury-awards