So the 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival hit Manhattan from April 15-26.
And I decided that I really wanted to be part of it, see a couple of hopefully free films and soak up the atmosphere, try to celebrity spot.
I went online to see what was showing, and realised there was a lot. Like an awful lot. And I had no idea where to start.
So I opted for looking for the free ones.
This came up with ‘Clue’, ‘Back to the Future’ (which I got a little over excited about) and ‘Lady and the Tramp’ (which I got embarrassingly excited about).
Then time kind of passed and I didn’t do much about it.
Take a chance booking
On Thursday I went to see ‘Maggie’.
A fairly last minute decision, based on what had tickets left on a day that suited.
Getting to work to a message saying: “Want to go see a potentially terrible Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie movie?” What harm could it do?!
[Noticing a theme with this attitude yet?]
Following a fairly rushed, last minute decision to join an open bar situation, we made it literally bang on time, a little too close – not the 30 minutes early that they tell you to do, oops!
To the point I was checking in a taxi that there were still tickets available, so mine wouldn’t go into the rush pot and I wouldn’t get in.
It was all good.
Got into our seats, m&m’s out, and the film started a minute later.
I am very surprised to say, I really enjoyed this film. Not the usual Schwarzenegger films I have seen, like the piss take Christmas ones. A serious film.
A brief overview. There is an infection spreading that is causing people to die and it is believed to be spreading in the crops so farmers are told to burn all their crops to kill infection.
Schwarzenegger’s daughter, Maggie (Abigail Breslin) is bitten and is recommended to stay in quarantine, but he takes her home to care for her, after promising his late wife that he would do everything to look after her.
Then you watch as she gets taken over by the zombie infection and he fights his conflicting views of keeping her with him, killing her or taking her to quarantine. I won’t spoil the end. Just go see it.
The cinematography is incredible, some really beautiful, moody shots that reflect the mood of the film. Driving through isolated towns, deserted as people flee for safety. Stopping at a petrol station that is eerily quiet, and nothing left inside.
And the make-up is amazing. The way it depicts the deterioration as the infection progresses and they gradually turn. Plus the detail in the bite wounds and the definition of every vein, plus the dark, dead eyes. Really well done.
Although the film was good, and without it being part of the film festival I probably never would’ve heard of it, the experience wasn’t quite what I had imagined.
It was just a normal night at the cinema. A crowded cinema. Where someone stood up to introduce the film. And you handed in a ballot at the end. But, plus side, no trailers.
Family Street Festival
During the day on Saturday we wandered around to see what excitement we could find.
Obviously the day was more focused toward families, but we got to spend some time in the sunshine and try to find free food samples – which were a success!
Brownies and cheese, I was not complaining!
Plus free sunglasses, which I had needed to buy for a couple of weeks.
Free stuff was clearly my main focus for the day when I realised how kid orientated the day was.
So I gave the film festival another go.
An even more last minute decision, when I was reminded on Saturday afternoon that ‘Back to the Future’ was on at 6pm.
So we got there at 5.30pm (recommended time) and queued in one of the longest lines I have ever seen, for 45minutes in the hope that we would get in.
We were within the last 30 people to get a seat.
I was so excited. Way more excited than I thought I’d be.
When we sat down, a panel of guests had already started speaking. I’m not sure who they were because we got in late, and it’s not on the website.
This year is the 30th anniversary, and the year of Back to the Future 2!
They discussed the (unexpected) timelessness of the movie. As part of the anniversary they had spoken to people on the street around the country and received a mix of positive reactions to the film. They had also spoken to people in the UK and been surprised that it had been picked up so well there.
The panel went into details about how they had created the opening scene to BTTF1. How they made different pieces of equipment to make it work and edited to make a seamless opening scene.
For someone that has seen the film, but not for a while, it was interesting to hear how things were made. And then to watch it straight after.
Something that I found surprising, considering how long the film has been out, was that the panel was so young! And a lot of the audience was really young. There were kids in front of me that could only have been 5-8 years old.
The cinema experience
When the movie started it was a very ‘American’ experience.
There was clapping as each name came up in the opening credit. Cheers throughout. Roars of laughter. More clapping. Jesting to the characters. It was bizarre.
I figured this was just because it was part of the festival, and a film that people know.
But when I spoke to an American girl that I was there with, she said this was totally normal for any cinema experience. People just get really involved with the film.
Fair enough! I will have to go to the cinema again and test this.
I left the cinema feeling energised and excited, remembering different bits of the film that I had totally forgotten, and desperate to go home and find the second and third ones on Netflix!
Maybe this weekend!
Well Tribeca Film Festival, it has been a treat. Thank you.