by Sam Juliano
After Lucille and I watched the emotionally enthralling documentary Keep on Keepin On at the Bow Tie Cinemas on Friday night we both agreed that we had seen the best film of the Tribeca Film Festival. The Heinecken Audience Award standings at that point had the film sitting in the Number 3 position behind two other excellent documentaries – All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State and Djor and I. Less than 24 hours after proclaiming this inspiring film about a blind young pianist and his special relationship with a 91 year-old jazz legend, festival audiences named the film their absolute favorite documentary of the entire event. For Lucille and I it was not only the best documentary of the festival, but in fact the very best film period, and it will lead my Top Ten list that will be published at Wonders in the Dark this coming Thursday. As per annual tradition that post will include comprehensive capsule reviews of all ten films seen by this writer as the cream of the 2014 crop.
Mind you, there are still four films for us to see today, so the final placements can still change. Today on the final day of the festival we will see Point and Shoot (Tribeca jury prize winner as Best Documentary), Chef (Heinecken Audience Award for best narrative feature), the Italian Human Capital and Amy Berg’s Every Secret Thing. (which received an unexpected additional screening at the SVA at 6:30 P.M.) Lucille will probably pass on Point and Shoot and instead take in 5 to 7, a film that we are assuming took second place in the Heinecken Best Narrative Film competition.
With firm plans to see Vera: A Blessing and Ne Me Quitte Pas online over the next few days, I will be able to claim seeing 52 films over the 12 days of the festival which translates to a persuasive argument for committal. Still, it does give me the credentials to put together a Ten Best list that will be decided having seen just about every essential film shown during the event.
On Saturday we had our most torrid day, seeing six films, of which the gripping American inde Five Star and Roman Polanski’s Cannes carry-over Venus in Fur were the best. We were far less enamored with Lucky Them and Zombeavers but both have their fans for sure.