From stellar music docs to a look at Jenny from the Block to a case for why David Lynch loves ‘The Wizard of Oz’ so much — the best movies to catch at this year’s film-festival-by-any-other-name
Some twenty years into its existence, the Tribeca Festival may have dropped the “film” part from its name — it wants to rebrand itself as something that includes TV and games and technology and whatever else strikes its creators’ fancy at the moment, and apparently that means not associating itself with movies per se, which, Ok, you do you, Tribeca, we’re still calling you a film festival. But that little thing we old people like to call “cinema (when we’re not yelling at clouds, I suppose) is still very much present and accounted for, and between opening night on June 9th and the closing-night screening on June 26th, there’s plenty to see once the downtown NYC event kicks into gear.
We’ve narrowed down a lucky 13 movies from its abundant competition lineups/sidebars that are worth your time, effort and eyeballs: some choice music documentaries, profiles of both Rudy Giuliani and Al Sharpton, a sitcom star’s directorial debut, a famous Bronx resident’s take on her multifaceted show-business career, a mindblowing essay that connects a master filmmaker with a Golden Age of Hollywood classic, and more. (Should you want to check out some of Tribeca’s virtual premieres and offerings at home, you can purchase tickets for those here. Just be sure to call them “films.”)
You can’t talk about the history of West Coast hip-hop without mentioning Tracy Curry, better known as the D.O.C. An M.C. who got his start in Dallas, he was asked by Dr. Dre to come to Los Angeles to help write on the first N.W.A album. His debut, No One Can Do It Better, immediately established him as the guy who’d help bring Cali rap to the next level. Then a car accident damaged his larynx, and his career behind the mic was, for the most part, over; he’d spend the next few decades contributing behind the scenes to classic albums like The Chronic and Doggy Style, wielding what one peer calls the deadliest pen in hip-hop. Documentarian Dave Caplan traces the history of D.O.C.’s career, with luminaries like Dre, Eminem and Too Short weighing in on his influence and lyrics, while Curry himself debates over an experimental surgery that could possibly restore most of his voice — but radically change his life again.