Tribeca Film Festival 2012 opens this week. This preview article has all the details (and trailers) about the five weirdest films premiering at New York's annual star-studded celebration of film.
This year's festival appears to be a great opportunity to take in some strange, interesting and crazy films, and this article helps parse the myriad offerings that will premiere there.
Even if you can't make it to New York City for this year's installment of the peerless Tribeca Film Festival, this list will turn you on to some really cool films that the world will be seeing for the first (or in some cases second or third) time between April 18 and the festival's end on April 29.
Five weirdest films premiering at Tribeca Film Festival 2012:
1. Eddie - The Sleepwalking Cannibal: This dark Danish-Canadian satire will have its North American premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2012, and it looks to be quite the head trip. A washed-up painter named Lars Olafssen accepts a job as an art teacher at in a tiny Canadian town, where he also picks up a second gig as a caretaker for the town's oddest resident, Eddie, who apparently engages in gory activities at night (the trailer includes someone asking if he eats small animals while sleeping.) The experience of being around this strange man helps return Olafssen to a long-forgotten creative space, and he begins to nurture Eddie's urges in order to keep the creative juices flowing, according to the description on the festival's official site. The film looks to be gory, creepy and strangely hilarious, and though it doesn't have the most straightforward plot in the world, it promises to be an interesting journey. Check out the trailer below:
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2. Francophrenia (or: Don't Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is): James Franco has established himself as one of this generation's most intriguing acting talents, and Francophrenia looks poised to ensure that his image only grows more mysterious and avant-garde. This film, which is co-directed by Franco and Ian Olds and will have its North American premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2012, is a psychological thriller set in the world of celebrity. Franco brought his own film crew to the set of ABC's General Hospital during his residency on the soap opera, and filmed a series of behind-the-scenes shots, the results of which are a major part of this film. The crew captured footage that creates a glimpse into the strange world of celebrity in both its public and private moments, according to a description on the Tribeca Film Festival 2012 website. In lieu of an official trailer -- which is not readily available online at this time -- click play below to watch a scene featuring Franco's General Hospital performance that is at the heart of Francophrenia:
3. Consuming Spirits: After 15 years of painstaking work, Chris Sullivan's 130-minute, beautifully animated feature is finally having its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2012. More Waking Life than Toy Story, this is an authentic, rustic labor of love, with hand-drawn illustrations, some short clips of live action, and a story that has too many twists to encapsulate in a trailer, according to an online description by Sullivan. Shot one frame at a time on 16 mm film, the film tells the tale of three people who work together at a Midwestern small-town newspaper. The film is meticulously crafted, and in it Sullivan succeeds in creating, with great artistry, a hermetic, self-contained world emanating from his own unique and vivid imagination. This is one that should not be missed, and you can get a taste for it by watching the trailer below:
4. First Winter: The world premiere of First Winter, director Benjamin Dickinson's directorial debut, is being eagerly anticipated as this film is expected to be one of the most interesting screened at Tribeca Film Festival 2012. When an apocalyptic blackout leaves a squad of Brooklyn hipsters stranded miles from civilization in the dead of winter at a remote farmhouse in rural New York, the group's activities slowly degenerate from drugs and sex to anger and jealousy. As days pass by, the realities of their station -- a limited food supply, intense cold -- set in, and the movie turns into an exploration of modern humans' ability (or inability) to band together in the face of adversity in order to fight for their collective survival. Dickinson, who has done commercial work and directed videos for musicians including Q-Tip, LCD Soundsystem, Reggie Watts, and The Rapture, leads a young, inexperienced cast in what looks to be one of the rawest pieces being shown at Tribeca Film Festival 2012. Click play below to watch the trailer:
5. Rat King: This Finnish entry looks to be one of the most inventive of a pretty diverse range of foreign films, with a plot that begins with a couple of die-hard video gamers, and ends up bearing a closer resemblance to the Die Hard films themselves. Coming on the heels of the smash success of the American adaptation of the Swedish film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, this movie seems to take some cues from that dark thriller. With a dark feel and excited energy of its own, Rat King tells (in Finnish with English subtitles) a story of online gaming taken too far, in which one of the gamers becomes the target of a real-life killer. Written and directed by Petri Kotwica, a master of thrillers and suspense, it should be a highlight of Tribeca Film Festival 2012, where it will have its international premiere. Preview it by watching the trailer below: