The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival has just concluded and it was such an incredible experience. This year the festival was held in-person in New York and also available at home to stream for the masses. There was an array of fantastic movies that premiered, from all different types of genres and today I am here to share with you five films, that should definitely be on your radar.
1. Ultrasound (Release Date: N/A)
After his car breaks down, Glen spends one hell of an odd night with a married couple, setting into motion a chain of events that alter their lives plus those of several random strangers.
Ultrasound, a trippy, cerebral mystery, is a puzzle that is an absolute blast to piece together and I cannot wait to put it all back together again. Some people might be turned off by the fact that this is quite a confounding story, but there was never a second that I didn’t believe that first time feature director Rob Schroeder had a complete handle on his film. The movie is meticulously plotted and riveting from start to finish. Ultrasound will also reward the viewer upon multiple re-watches, as well. If you are a fan of mind-bending science-fiction, this is not to be missed.
2. We Need To Do Something (Release Date: September 3rd)
A family on the verge of self-destruction finds themselves isolated in their bathroom during a tornado warning.
It has been quite awhile since I have seen a film that is so shocking that I have to constantly pick my jaw up off of the floor. So it is, with Sean King O’Grady’s horror opus, We Need to Do Something. Based upon the novella of the same name by Max Booth III, this movie is shot in a single-space, which makes this a claustrophobic and anxiety-ridden experience. The movie is also gloriously gruesome and you will never be able to guess what will happen next. Although this psychological horror film does not quite come together cohesively in the end, it is nonetheless a nasty, insidious ride that will surely become a huge hit in the midnight movie circuit.
3. Catch the Fair One (Release Date: N/A)
A Native American woman embarks on the fight of her life when she goes in search of her missing sister. The former boxer intentionally gets entangled in a human trafficking operation in order to retrace the steps of her kid sister and work her way up the chain of command to find the man responsible.
Winner of the Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award, Catch the Fair One is a lean, mean little thriller. It has this ferocious rage that is pulsing through its veins. World champion boxer Kali Reis, in her first screen performance is so raw and authentic. She balances a gentle softness with this rock-hard exterior of anger, that allows the viewer to be at once, frightened of her and genuinely empathetic with her. I was a little let down by the ending, and I think if filmmaker Josef Kubota Wladyka was able to wrap this up in a more satisfying way, it would have been an outright masterpiece. But, still, this film is a gritty, brutal and dynamic thriller that had me on the edge of my seat, the entire time.
4. See For Me (Release Date: N/A)
When blind former skier Sophie cat-sits in a secluded mansion, three thieves invade for the hidden safe. Sophie’s only defense is army veteran Kelly, who she meets on the See For Me app. Kelly helps Sophie defend herself against the invaders and survive.
See For Me is a taut, intense thrill-ride that has an absolutely incredible and ingenious set-up. Though this is a story that has been told so many times before, it is done in such a way that feels different and unique. The lead actress, Skyler Davenport, is visually-impaired in real life, so that adds a layer of authenticity to the proceedings, as well. The only thing that held this back, for me, was that the lead protagonist was a bit unlikable. Still, See For Me is one of the best home invasion thrillers I have seen in years!
5. Last Film Show (Release Date: N/A)
A 9-year-old boy in a remote village in India begins a lifelong love affair with cinema when he bribes his way into a rundown movie palace and spends a Summer watching movies from the projection booth.
Last Film Show is a magnificent love letter to cinema. Although light on plot, the movie at times feels like a sweeping epic. Our 9-year-old lead protagonist, is a precocious, passionate and rebellious kid who acts as a trailblazer for his small, rural community. The young actor who plays him, Bhavin Rabari, is an absolute triumph… he is in nearly every moment of the film, and you cannot take your eyes off of him. He brilliantly captures the fervor and determination of a young boy who has found his true calling.
The film is also gorgeously shot, with moments of such quiet, unadulterated beauty brimming within so many of its frames. A scene where our group of kids are riding their bikes with different colored film reels wrapped around their eyes, is just one moment that comes to mind. Some will find Last Film Show to be slow-moving and tedious, but I was transfixed by every second. I hope India submits this for the Oscars, as I think it really has a shot to win Best International Feature.
So, what do you think of these films from Tribeca? Any new movies you are going to add to your must-watch list?
The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival ran from June 9th – June 20th.
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