Tribeca2022: High Grades for First Weekend of Tribeca Film Fest

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

NEW YORK – After the big Red Carpet Opening last Wednesday on June 8th, the Tribeca Film Festival has begun to roll out its diverse and international screenings of narrative films, documentaries and shorts. Film screenings at home are available in this hybrid fest format by clicking TRIBECAatHOME.

The 2022 Tribeca Festival, presented by Crypto Platform OKX, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. Throughout the festival, Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago will be reviewing the films of Tribeca.

Still from ‘The Lost Weekend: A Love Story’
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The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Craig Hatkoff and actor Robert De Niro as a reactive strike back at the September 11th attack in 2001 on New York City and the nearby Tribeca neighborhood.The 2022 edition will show 110 feature films from 150 filmmakers across 40 countries, and will have screenings and awards for U.S. Narrative Films, World Narrative Films, Short Film Competition, Best Documentary, the Spotlight Competition and Best New Narrative and Documentary Filmmakers, among it’s presentations.

StarFILMS OF TRIBECA: Capsule Reviews

“The Lost Weekend: A Love Story” – The minutiae of John Lennon’s life gets yet another exploration, but this time it’s a personal story with incredible insider truths. This is the life of May Pang, the Manhattan-born daughter of Chinese immigrants and ardent music fan, who became the assistant to John Lennon and Yoko Ono beginning in December of 1970, shortly after The Beatles broke up. She was indispensable to J and Y’s many wacky projects, as Lennon re-settled in New York City. In 1973, John began the infamous “Lost Weekend,” which included an intimate relationship with Pang, with Yoko’s blessing, and the relationship lasted until John and Yoko reconciled in 1975. Lennon fans know of Lost Weekend, usually told as his drunken revelries in Los Angeles, but it also included a rich trove of recording, Paul McCartney reunions and connection with his son Julian (who appears in the doc). What distinguishes the story from other Lennon bios is the intimacy and the direct recollections of May Pang, a lover who both encouraged his evolution and was a scapegoat in the LenOno realm. As a film, it’s rendered in a unique style by directors Eve Brandstein, Richard Kaufman and Stuart Samuels. This a must-see for Lennon fans looking for new revelations … in the sense of the love you take is equal to the love you make.

“Karaoke” – Another beautiful narrative out of Israel, with three notable stars of the region. Meir and Tova (Sasson Gabay and Rita Shukrun) have been married for over 40 years, and have settled in retirement in a faceless Israeli apartment building. Their lives are shaken up when a randy modeling agent named Itsik (Lior Ashkenazi) moves into the penthouse, and treats his neighbors to constant noise and partying, mostly through his love for karaoke. When Meir and Tova get drawn into his lifestyle, the changes they go through are profound. Directed by Moshe Rosenthal, the film is a not-so-subtle reminder that life is never over while you still live. Ashkenazi is a sparkling as the live-for-today power agent, charming everyone in his path. Gabay as Meir makes the most of his new evolution, breaking out as an actor (Itsik arranges it) and making the most of his only karaoke appearance. And speaking of appearances, everyone eventually belies their outside personas, in order to get to a more inner authenticity. This is also a lesson in allowing complete honesty, the only way to live with gusto.

“Leave No Trace” – In the background news, recently the Boy Scouts of America – “thrifty, brave, clean and reverent” – settled the largest sexual abuse lawsuit in history for over $2.7 billion dollars. “Leave no Trace,” directed with stark realization by Irene Taylor, is a meticulous study on how the organization got there, through coverup, institutional silence and shifting of personnel. It is step-by-step horror, including the observation (paraphrasing) “if you are a pedophile, you would gravitate to an organization that has boys in abundance and ways to get them into isolation.” Despite outside lip service to the protection of America’s sons, the Boy Scout leadership … who by the way paid themselves millions in salaries and pensions … didn’t come to reckoning until the lawsuit forced them to do it. As an ex-member of both the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church, the hypocrisy of hiding behind goodness or godliness is stunningly evil in both cases. There is no trust in anything when it comes to the opportunities of predators and their greedy advocates.

“Cherry” – In a year where a woman’s health issue (abortion) is being stripped away by outside forces who are not involved in the personal decision – clueless men and complicit women – the number of films and documentaries either telling of the fight to get to choice or a narrative about a women with that choice (or not, if set in the past) are many. And it emphasizes that it’s often art that will take up the cause when other institutions fail us. “Cherry” is the story of the title character (Alexandria Trewhitt) who gets pregnant, but is far enough along to only have 24 hours to make a decision to induce the procedure through a pill process. This is a youth story, co-written and directed by Sophie Galibert, as Cherry’s relationship is casual and her opportunities slim. There are some interesting touches … Cherry’s grandmother has dementia and she is the only one Cherry confides in, and Cherry herself is a roller skate artist and magician. However, her journey sometimes doesn’t add up and takes some easy directions. But as this debate goes on, “Cherry” belongs in it, expressing privacy and choice.

Trailer for “Cherry” (strong language) …

Patrick McDonald of will be providing coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival 2022 throughout the duration of the fest. For more capsule Tribeca Film Fest reviews, click here.

The 21st Tribeca Film Festival will take place fthrough June 19th, 2022. For tickets, events schedule and all information click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor, Film Writer

© 2022 Patrick McDonald,

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