Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, May 4th, 2016


Always Shine posterThis year’s Tribeca Film Festival showcased some of the most exhilarating films shown at any film festival in years. The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. The Festival has screened over 1400 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4 million attendees and has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City.

COMPETITION CAN BE A KILLER. That was the theme of my two favorite films at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016. King Cobra promised to be and was one of the wildest movies at the Festival.
Starring James Franco, Garrett Clayton, and Christian Slater, the drama digs into the circumstances of a real-life murder in the early 2000s gay porn scene. But just because it’s set in the porn industry doesn’t mean there are gratuitous scenes, according to writer-director Justin Kelly.

James Franco never ceases to amaze me with his talents and choices, same with Slater. He’s in my favorite TV show Mr. Robot. He also has range and makes interesting choices. This film was not only about the hardcore gay scene but hard core competition.

It also explores dark places, where older gay men in porn realize their limited shelf life, and groom young boys (some under age) for this life of what initially seems like luxury, fresh off a bus from the Midwest. You see them transform from hicks from the sticks to slicks using their dicks to survive and then enjoying the power that comes with that.

Another stand out film was Always Shine directed by Sophia Takal.  Shot in Big Sur, that magical and mysterious place provided a backdrop of tension in itself almost like another character in the film.  The two very B list actresses and friends exchange strange energy that ends in murder while staying at a secluded modern house. This director knows precisely how to build insecure female tension. Two best friends, Anna and Beth, who take this weekend trip to Big Sur to reestablish a bond that has been broken by years of competition and jealousy. Well anything BUT a happy end happens as tensions mount, leading to the utterly unexpected yet inevitable confrontation that will change both of their lives forever.

Best short of the festival was written and directed by the talented Matthew Modine and starring his daughter, singer and actress Ruby Modine. Featuring Kevin Nealon and Elizabeth Perkins who he worked with on Weeds, SUPER SEX was part of the California Dreaming Section of the Tribeca Film Festival. Ed Asner plays the dad of Nealon and Perkins who are in a quandary, trying to figure out what to get their aging father. Finding the perfect present proves hard for them. He says he has everything he needs, he just wants to be loved. His children set out to provide it in a way they’ve never imagined.  Ruby plays the wonderfully endearing prostitute so well, making Super Sex super fun!

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