This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will not only be remembered for its impressive array of films, but also for a number of controversial firsts. An airline commercial was pulled from showing, reporters were infuriated to find James Franco and Shai LaBeouf absent from a red carpet premiere, and the new Immersive Storyscapes feature allowed audiences to experience virtual reality in an all new way. As if all that wasn’t enough, the 2017 celebration wrapped with special showings and cast reunions for two of the biggest films in history: Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Reservoir Dogs, which saw its world premiere back in 1992 at the Sundance Film Festival. Director Tarantino was present along with original cast members Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, and Steve Buscemi following a special 35mm showing on Friday night from Tarantino’s private archive. Reservoir Dogs was Tarantino’s break-out film, setting the tone for the director’s unique eye for filmmaking, and introducing the world to a revolutionary storyteller. The director and cast reminisced following the screening about how the original premiere was a complete disaster; how they (the cast) had trouble fitting into their characters at first, and about Michael Madsen’s improvised dance to “Stuck in the Middle with You” during the police torture scene.
As if that wasn’t enough for fans of classic mobster movies, Tribeca concluded with a reunion and screening of the Oscar-winning mafia classic, The Godfather, at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Director Francis Ford Coppola was present with original actors Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Robert DuVall, and Talia Shire to discuss the legacy of the film and its equally celebrated sequel, The Godfather Part II. The Godfather recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, and following a back-to-back screening of both films, audiences got to watch the cast reflect fondly on the making of the landmark movies. Some new revelations included on-set mooning competitions and the suspicion that Lenny Montana, the New York local who played hitman Luca Brasi, may have actually had some real-life gangster experience. If there’s a better way to end a film festival in New York City, we have yet to see it. Suffice it to say that next year’s Tribeca festivities have a very high bar to reach.