Noisemakers at Tribeca Film Festival

This year, Brooklyn is in the house at the 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival (tribecafilm.com), representing with an opening-night premiere of a doc about hometown indie band the National. That and a few other must-see pics for music fans are making some waves at the fest, which runs through April 28 in lower Manhattan.

 

"Mistaken for Strangers"

Director: Tom Berninger

Opening the Tribeca Film Festival, "Mistaken for Strangers" chronicles the National as the band copes with its biggest tour yet. But it also documents the journey of lead singer Matt Berninger's brother Tom as he searches to find his own voice as director of the project while also playing roadie on the tour. As for his impetus for the film, Tom cites the public's misconstrued image of the indie act: "They're not these deep, brooding indie rockers--they're just not."

 

"Greetings From Tim Buckley"

Director: Daniel Agrant

"Gossip Girl" star Penn Badgley steps into the shoes of icon Jeff Buckley in this biopic. Badgley has been a life-long fan of Buckley since he first heard Buckley's cover of "Strange Fruit" from the "Live at Sin-e" album, at age 17. "He opens up playing for two minutes--this soulful blues, open, clean, Telecaster tone, and I remember thinking, 'Who the fuck is this kid?'" As for inhabiting one of the musical greats of the past 20 years, it came naturally, he says. "The whole cast was performing intuitively and I think that's what Jeff did, and that's why the vibration of this film when all is said and done is something that I think both Buckleys would really appreciate."

 

"Who Shot Rock & Roll"

Director: Steven Kochones

This short documentary puts the spotlight on the connection between music photographers and their subjects. (It was inspired by an exhibit of the same name that debuted at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2009.) Celebrating nine of the exhibit's photographers, director Kochones focused on those who spanned several decades of music. "There was a time before the paparazzi, when you had to be extroverted-and the photographers who could work and last and succeed in that field had to become a part of the scene themselves," Kochones says. "They're in the back of the dressing rooms, capturing the spirit and the feel. Not as a groupie, as a partner." One image in particular explained this feeling: the famed photo of John Lennon on a New York rooftop, taken by Bob Gruen. "It's a simple photo but it's so iconic. There's no handlers, no publicists. Bob even gave John the shirt to wear."

 

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