The narrative fiction entries at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival were stellar as always —particularly Thomas Haden Church’s masterful performance in Whitewash, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s romantic fireworks in Before Midnight and the fantastic crowd-pleasing Laotian epic, The Rocket.
That said, it was the documentaries that really stuck with me. Here are five great films about five wildly different topics that you should put on your must-see list:
What would happen to worldwide productivity if we could redirect all the hours people spent surfing the online adventures of Lil Bub, Grumpy Cat and Nyan cat? “Lil Bub & Friendz” is an irresistible look at the web felines that have colonized our pop culture while also asking what it means to be famous in the weird isolation of cyberspace. Hilarious with a lingering whiff of how-did-this-happen?
The super-stoked (and ultimately tragic) story of the hyper-adrenalized life of skier, BASE jumper, and extreme sport demi-god Shane McConkey. An insanely entertaining case study of what it means to reach for the next frontier…and the price one must pay to get there. Moral: Seize the day (or be seized).
Even if you don’t know your Chateau Lafite from your Chateau Margaux, you don’t have to be an oenophile to love this movie about the legendary wines of Burgundy and the acquisitive madness they inspire. “Red Obsession” is an elegant satire of taste, art, the bizarre vagaries of the marketplace and the incredible lengths some people will go to validate their sudden wealth. Delicious.
A devastating examination of the rampant spread of Oxycodone addiction in the green hills of West Virginia. Just try to contain your anger at Big Pharma while watching this. Heartbreaking and essential.
All hail director Whoopi Goldberg for giving groundbreaking comedy genius Moms Mabley the props she has so long deserved , but seldom received. Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, Kathy Griffin, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier and more weigh in on a woman whose fingerprints can be seen all over today’s comedy landscape, whether young comedians know it or not. And even better? Here’s a documentary about comedy that is actually funny. Aspiring paradigm-destroyers, gather round. Class is in session.