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Tribeca Film Festival takes viewers on an immersive journey

The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival premiered two weeks worth of films, including The Quiet One and Destination Wedding.Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival and Benjamin Wallin

From the Beacon Theatre down to the Tribeca Film Center on Greenwich Street, the 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival arrived in New York City on April 24, bringing with it two weeks of feature and short film premieres, Tribeca Talk special events, revivals and immersive forms of film experiences.

Award-winning films included Burning Cane for the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Scheme Birds for Best Documentary Feature and Audience Award winners Plus One and Gay Chorus Deep South. Here are some films The Ticker was able to cover at the 2019 festival:

Framing John DeLorean  directed by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce, has the interesting premise of showing both a documentary about carmaker John DeLorean, with recreations starring Alec Baldwin and Morena Baccarin and interviews with Baldwin discussing the craft behind the recreations. The less interesting part is the execution, as the structure adds little to the movie and feels like an unnecessarily self-referential artifice.

Framing spends too much time telling viewers that DeLorean’s story is thrilling, but there’s not much excitement to it. DeLorean’s car, the DMC-12, became iconic in Back to the Future as the automotive time machine. Maybe DeLorean’s life had a lot going for it, but Argott and Joyce botch the telling of it, dragging out the dull parts more than any moments of intrigue.

Framing John DeLorean will play in select theaters and video on demand on June 7.

The documentary The Quiet One is another chronicle of a life, this one of The Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman. The Quiet One is director Oliver Murray’s first documentary feature and it plods along for all 109 minutes of its runtime. Like Framing, this film is obsessed with its subject’s legend, giving nothing to viewers who aren’t fans of the Stones — and possibly even to the fans, too.

Immersed in dull nostalgia, much of The Quiet One is filmed in Wyman’s storage room, packed to the brim with Stones memorabilia. The history of the Stones feels inevitable, like it was always going to happen as it did.

There’s no sense of drama, nor any doubt about the future of a band claiming to stay away from following trends. There are better ways to remember the past than by scanning wistfully through a storage room, especially when it doesn’t end with a garage sale.

The Quiet One will play in U.S. theaters on June 21 and on video on demand on June 28.

The Gasoline Thieves is flawed, but nonetheless interesting. In Mexico, characters siphon gasoline in a life-and-death game of sneaking, trying to avoid the consequences of being caught and killed.

The Gasoline Thieves is a thriller, powered by Sam Baixauli’s editing and Carlo Ayhllón’s intense score. With a 93-minute runtime, the film could be cut down, but it works more often than it doesn’t work.

The Gasoline Thieves works  because of its humanity. Eduardo Banda plays the 14-year-old Lalo, joining the world of thievery because he’s poor and crushing on a girl who wants a cellphone. Even through Lalo’s repeatedly reckless actions, he exudes an earnestness that gives the film some of its drive. By no means the best Tribeca has to offer, The Gasoline Thieves has a mostly moving story to tell.

The Gasoline Thieves is currently seeking U.S. distribution.

Audience award winner Plus One is very obviously a crowd-pleaser. Like a less cynical version of 2018’s small release Destination Wedding, the film has long-time friends Ben and Alice enduring a summer of weddings together, taking each other to their friends’ weddings, trying to avoid the misery that comes with being single and surrounded by love.

Alice, played by Maya Erskine of Hulu’s series PEN15, is the breakout star of the movie with a fun presence and no qualms about cuddling with a friend.

Plus One’s rom-com structure is fairly standard, but the relationship between the main characters gives it life. Directors and writers Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer use wedding toasts to establish time and place, and the choice works.

As Ben and Alice endure badly written clichés and embarrassing speeches, the movie shows some fun innovation that helps make it the kind of film anyone could stumble upon and have a nice time watching.

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