09 Mar 2016
YOUTH IN OREGON & DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA TO WORLD PREMIERE AT TRIBECA
By: Gordon Cox
Michael Shannon playing Elvis, Kevin Spacey as Nixon, Tom Hanks, Viola Davis, the directorial debut of Katie Holmes and a documentary about “Ghostbusters” fandom are all on the slate of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, which has unveiled its centerpiece film, “Elvis and Nixon,” alongside the full roster of programming for its Spotlight and Midnight sections.
Historical comedy “Elvis and Nixon,” from Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street, makes its world premiere as Tribeca’s centerpiece film. Shannon and Spacey topline the historical comedy — directed by Liza Johnson and written by Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal and Cary Elwes — that imagines the 1970 encounter between Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon on the lawn of the White House.
Including “Elvis and Nixon,” Tribeca organizers have added 56 features to the 2016 festival’s full roster of 100-plus films, with 43 world premieres among them. The bow of Bill Purple’s “The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” starring Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Biel and Maisie Williams, opens the 36-film Spotlight section, devoted to big-name filmmakers and stars as well and to hot-topic documentaries. “Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” centers on a New Orleans couple (Sudeikis and Biel) and a street teen (Williams) befriended by Sudeikis’ character.
Also on tap as part of Spotlight are world premieres of projects that include Hanks in Tom Tykwer’s adaptation of Dave Eggers Novel “A Hologram for the King”; “Custody,” starring Davis as a family court judge in a film written and directed by theater veteran James Lapine; Holmes’ first outing as a director, “All We Had,” a coming-of-age drama about a mother and daughter, in which she also stars; Bruce Beresford’s “Mr. Church,” with Eddie Murphy as a cook hired by a dying woman; Bart Freundlich’s story about a successful high school athlete and his troubled family, “Wolves,” starring Shannon and Carla Gugino; and “Youth in Oregon,” Joel David Moore’s euthanasia dramedy starring Frank Langella, Billy Crudup and Christina Applegate.
Jason Bateman’s “The Family Fang,” starring Bateman and Nicole Kidman; Taika Waititi’s comedy “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”; Rob Meyer’s “Little Boxes,” exec produced by Cary Fukunaga; and Susan Sarandon starrer “The Meddler” also are on the Spotlight lineup, as are documentaries “Strike a Pose,” about Madonna’s backup dancers; “The Bansky Job,” about the relationship between Banksy and fellow artist AK47; Asian-American rapper tale “Bad Rap”; gay-teen gang story “Check It”; and “Midsummer in Newtown,” about the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
Tribeca’s genre-centric Midnight section opens with holiday-themed horror anthology “Holidays,” with a cast that includes Seth Green, and encompasses titles including “King Cobra,” with Christian Slater, James Franco and Molly Ringwald in a story about a gay porn star wanting to break with his producer; and “Rebirth,” with Fran Kranz as the new recruit of a possible cult.
Among the special screenings and events are “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead,” about DJ Steve Aoki, to screen at the Beacon Theater before a live performance by Aoki; Richard Branson documentary “Don’t Look Down”; Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons outing “The Man Who Knew Infinity”; and “Geezer,” Lee Kirk’s comedy starring Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong (who’ll perform after the screening).
Brenden Mertens’ “Ghostheads,” a look at “Ghostbusters” fandom, will be part of a works-in-progress screening (a couple of months before the new “Ghostbusters” film’s July release), as will an untitled Bill Nye documentary. The annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, opening with “This Magic Moment,” about the Orlando Magic franchise.
The Tribeca Film Festival runs April 13-24.