Photo Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Another spring, another Tribeca Film Festival. As is my custom, I took in a few films at the Lower Manhattan fest, and now I am here to report back to you what I thought of the offerings. Read on to discover what was in store in my 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Adventure!

Photo Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

The Place of No Words

Before the festival officially starts, a number of films are screened ahead of time for press and industry badgeholders, and this was the first year that I managed check out one of these pre-fest screenings. The Place of No Words is directed by Mark Webber. It stars Webber and his young son Bodhi Palmer essentially playing themselves. The film alternates between their home life and a journey through a fantastical world. Throughout much of the screening I was struck by a sort of Uncanny Valley of Celebrity Intimacy. Webber’s wife (and Bodhi’s mom) Teresa Palmer also stars, and she’s one of my favorite actresses, and I know a great deal about her personal life through what she shares on Instagram. But for as much as her fans know about her, she doesn’t know much about us. The Place of No Words really dances around that weirdness, perhaps unintentionally. But then it gets really goofy with its fantasy elements, like when a muddy swamp turns out to be made of chocolate, and its charms become clearer and less uncomfortable.

The Nespresso and Bai Lounges

This was also the first year that I dabbled in the amenities offered at the Tribeca Press Lounge. Since this is a festival based in New York City, where real estate is at a premium, the festival venues tend to be far away from one another. Thus, it’s never really been practical for me to stop by the lounge right before or right after a screening. But I chose to just make time and stop by this year to get a fuller festival experience. I had an iced coffee, some Bai juice, and a box of popcorn with a bunch of seasoning, none of which was worth writing home about, but it was enough of a head-clearing experience for me to always recommend lounging in lounge venues whenever they are made available to you.

Photo Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Directed by Midge Costin, the documentary Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound surveys the great innovations in sound mixing over the history of filmmaking. Interview subjects include Ben Burtt, Walter Murch, and Gary Rydstrom, the key players behind the soundscapes of Star Wars, Apocalypse Now, and early Pixar, respectively. The film’s primary thesis is that sound is the primary driver of a film’s emotion, a contention that is convincingly demonstrated again and again. The clips used throughout Making Waves stir up the emotions that were originally tied to the films that they are from, but they also create a collage that render Making Waves a new emotionally satisfying journey all its own.

Photo Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Ted Bundy is one of many charming serial killers throughout history who has fascinated his fellow beings despite his murderous ways. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (now streaming on Netflix) attempts to explore a previously uncovered angle of Bundy by taking on the perspective of his long-term girlfriend (Lily Collins). Except that director Joe Berlinger’s film never really fully commits to that approach. Still, Extremely Wicked is somewhat worthwhile for Zac Efron’s committed, and alarmingly sympathetic, turn as Bundy, as well as the scenes in which he goes toe-to-toe with John Malkovich as the judge who sentenced Bundy to death.