The Yes List—Tribeca Film Fest Comes to Your Living Room
Each week, The Daily Beast scours the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, the Tribeca Film Festival kicks off, a blockbuster mummy show debuts, and Natalie Merchant’s poetic return.
Tribeca Film Fest Comes to Your Living Room
Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival—New York’s biggest, glitziest, hometown celebrity and filmmaker parade—kicked off on Wednesday night with a screening of Shrek Forever After, and with such a commercial effort leading the charge, it’s clear that a small indie fest this is not. Some of the highlights include Ed Burns’ new film, Nice Guy Johnny, a documentary about Joan Rivers in her later years (aptly subtitled, A Piece of Work), and Beware the Gonzo, a comedy about competing teen journalists muckraking their way around the principal’s office. If you can’t be in New York for the screenings and red carpets, however, this year the fest is offering Film Festival Virtual, a screening room that's streaming over the Internet for all to enjoy. It’s a 21st-century world out there, and Hollywood is now in on it.
Natalie Merchant’s Poetic Return
Natalie Merchant, she of '90s supergroup 10,000 Maniacs and several successful solo albums, is back with Leave Your Sleep, her first solo endeavor in seven years. While Merchant is a talented lyricist in her own right, on this record she decided to set the words of famed poets to song, drawing from e.e. cummings, Mother Goose, Ogden Nash, and others. Merchant told The New York Times she was inspired by her experiences with motherhood to start the project, which focuses solely on poetry about mothers and children. “Some people see that as a valid place of exploration and others just think it’s trivial—oh, another female artist has gone off and had a kid,” she said. “But it’s about being human to me.” And the humanity clearly comes through—Merchant’s voice is both soothing and electric on the album. Motherhood has not dimmed her talents but amplified them, creating songs that sound like lullabies but are decidedly adult.
Bright Lights, Big Pharaoh
If historical museum exhibitions can be considered “blockbusters,” then a new King Tut exhibit, full of artifacts and treasures relating to the pharaoh and boy king, is about as big as they come. The show arrives in New York, smack in the middle of Times Square, on April 23, where it will stay in the Discovery Center through next January. Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs focuses on the “golden age” of Egypt, the 100-year era when Tut reigned, and mummies were spectacularly preserved and adorned. This is the stuff of archaeologists’ dreams and childrens' fantasies—expect crowds to flock to see the contents of King Tut’s tomb, which have not been on display in New York City for over 30 years. Buy a ticket now—for the first weeks, it will be as packed as a sarcophagus. Read Bruce Feiler’s review of the show on Art Beast.