Fantasia International Film Festival 2019 review: ‘Black Magic For White Boys’ spells it out in dark humor.

BLACK MAGIC FOR WHITE BOYSOnur Tukel is truly one of a kind in his IFGAF honesty and deliciously bizarre approach to storytelling. (There I go again with the tasty metaphors. This all started with Applesauce.) At this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival, Tukel has given us another smart indie with Black Magic for White Boys. The film uses the power of magic to heighten the toxic masculinity, racism, and misogyny of white men. Tukel brilliantly plays Oscar, a manchild with an inheritance who thinks he can command the uterus of his new girlfriend. Jamie Block plays real estate mogul, Jamie, trying to undercut and oust his rent-controlled tenants. Ronald Guttman as French magician Larry, in desperate need of ticket sales, utilizes a book of ancient spells to the benefit of all three men. Black Magic for White Boys is a not so subtle metaphor for the gentrification of New York City and perhaps the state of our country during this truly hideous period of our history. Every great/disastrous recent newsworthy story is integrated shamelessly (a total compliment) into the dialogue. The modern-day Greek chorus of bus riders making social observations is perfection. Performances across the board are nuanced and raw, funny and wild, in your face and effed up. Shout outs to Franck Raharinosy, Brendan Miller, Colin Buckingham, and Eva Dorrepaal specifically.  Therein lies the cinematic magic of Tukel. Putting himself in each of his films is also essentially my favorite thing. Watching him transform from role to role only reminds me our how insanely talented he is as a writer, director, and actor. Ultimately, like each of Tukel’s films, this stands as a unique experience packed with insight, bold ideas, humor, and a grab ’em by the balls mentality. No surprise, I loved it.


Trailer for Tribeca Film Festival’s ‘Applesauce’ has great potential

Applesauce poster

Perhaps too quirky? This trailer for Applesauce does scratch the indie film itch and was one I wanted to see at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. I’m curious to see if it can live up to its potential.

In rising filmmaker Onur Tukel’s latest provocative comedy-drama APPLESAUCE, a married man is severely tested after a string of twisted, mysterious and frightening events. Following a world premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, the enthusiastically reviewed film comes to digital EST and VOD from Dark Sky Films on November 24, 2015.

Every Tuesday night, radio talk show host Stevie Bricks invites his listeners to call in and share “the worst thing they’ve ever done.” Tonight, Ron Welz (writer/director Onur Tukel) is ready to share his story.  But soon after he confesses on the air, someone starts sending him severed body parts. Ron becomes paranoid, terrified. His life begins to unravel. His marriage begins to fall apart. He has no idea who’s tormenting him. Is it his insolent high school student? Is it his best friend? His own wife? In a city like New York, there are eight million suspects and each one could have a bone to pick with someone like Ron.
Take dark comedy, mix it with noir, add a original and unusual movies of the year.
APPLESAUCE, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, co-stars Max Casella(Doogie Howser M.D., Inside Llewyn Davis, Blue Jasmine), Trieste Kelly Dunn (Banshee, United 93), Dylan Baker (Spider-Man 2 and 3, Secretariat, Happiness), Jennifer Prediger(Apartment Troubles, A Teacher) and Karl Jacob (Pollywogs, The Dictator).

Tribeca Film Festival Theme: New York Stories – National Lampoon, James Franco, Christopher Walken & More!

Stephen Elliott (James Franco) and Neil Elliott (Ed Harris)Anna Kooris

Stephen Elliott (James Franco) and Neil Elliott (Ed Harris)Anna Kooris

The Adderall Diaries – Stay tuned for Liz’s Review & Interview!

Directed and written by Pamela Romanowsky. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Elliott (James Franco), a once-successful novelist inflicted with writer’s block and an Adderall addiction strives to escape his problems by delving into the world of a high-profile murder case. Amber Heard, Ed Harris, and Cynthia Nixon co-star in this adaptation of Elliott’s best-selling memoir.

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Anesthesia – Stay tuned for Melissa’s Review

Directed and written by Tim Blake Nelson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
On a snowy night in New York City, a Columbia professor is brutally mugged on the doorsteps of an apartment building. Director Tim Blake Nelson’s haunting meditation of city life traces the chain of events that precipitate the attack, examining the inextricable and unforeseen forces that bring a group of disparate individuals together. Featuring a star-studded ensemble including Sam Waterston, Kristen Stewart, Glenn Close, and Cory Stoll.

APPLESAUCE_Press_1 Tribeca

Applesauce – Stay tuned for Liz’s Review

Directed and written by Onur Tukel. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
TFF alumnus Onur Tukel plays a husband who innocently reveals on talk radio the worst thing he’s ever done. Though his gaffe never makes it on air, it sets off a chain of hilariously uncontrollable events that draw his wife and another couple into an uneasy mixture of infidelities, confessions, and severed body parts.

Drunk Stoned_Press_3 Tribeca

DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: The Story of the National Lampoon – Stay tuned for Liz’s Review

Directed and written by Douglas Tirola, co-written by Mark Monroe. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
Using rare, never-before-seen archival footage and in-depth interviews with fans and founders, Douglas Tirola traces National Lampoon’s evolution from underground countercultural movement to mainstream household brand. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead is a riotous and revealing chronicle of a trailblazing comedic institution and a celebration of creative expression at its radical, envelope- pushing finest.


Indian_POint_Press_3 TribecaIndian Point – Stay tuned for Liz’s Review

Directed and written by Ivy Meeropol. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant looms just 35 miles from Times Square. With over 50 million people living in close proximity to the aging facility, its continued operation has generated controversy for the surrounding community. In the brewing fight for clean energy and the catastrophic possibilities of complacency, director Ivy Meeropol weaves a startling portrait of our uncertain nuclear future.

Live from New York-SNL6 Tribeca

Live From New York!

Directed by Bao Nguyen. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
A New York institution and comedy powerhouse, Saturday Night Live has been churning out hilarious sketches and launching top comedy talent for 40 years. In honor of the occasion, director Bao Nguyen looks back at the show’s history, influence, and most memorable moments.

Character: Asad Ali Photographer: Mobeen Ansari

Character: Asad Ali Photographer: Mobeen Ansari

Song of Lahore – Stay tuned for Melissa’s Review

Directed by Andy Schocken and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. (USA, Pakistan) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music. Following the Islamization of Pakistan, many artists struggled to continue their life’s work. Song of Lahore turns the spotlight on a group of stalwart musicians that kept playing and ultimately attracted listeners from around the world. In English, Punjabi, and Urdu with subtitles.


Directed by Ted Wilde. (USA) – Newly restored print from the Criterion Collection, Narrative. Silent comedy legend Harold Lloyd stars as a die-hard Yankees fan who can’t keep a job, but is determined to save the last horse-drawn trolley in New York. This lighthearted slapstick classic features visits to Coney Island and Yankee Stadium, an incredible cameo by Babe Ruth, and hair- raising cab rides through the city streets.

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TransFatty Lives

Directed by Patrick O’Brien, co-written by Patrick O’Brien, Scott Crowningshield, Lasse Jarvi, Doug Pray. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Director Patrick O’Brien is TransFatty, the onetime NYC deejay and Internet meme-making superstar. In 2005, O’Brien began to document his life after being diagnosed with ALS and given only two to five years to live. TransFatty Lives is a brazen and illustrative account of what it’s like to live when you find out you are going to die.

Bob Mankoff, Farley KatzPhotographer: Kirsten Johnson

Bob Mankoff, Farley KatzPhotographer: Kirsten Johnson

Very Semi-Serious

Directed by Leah Wolchok. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
The New Yorker is the benchmark for the single-panel cartoon. This light-hearted and sometimes poignant look at the art and humor of the iconic drawings shows why they have inspired and even baffled us for decades. Very Semi-Serious is a window into the minds of cartooning legends and hopefuls, including editor Bob Mankoff, shedding light onto their how their humor evolves.

The Wannabe_PatriciaAndVincent

The Wannabe

Directed and written by Nick Sandow. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Gotti-obsessed and hopelessly in love, Thomas (Boardwalk Empire’s Vincent Piazza) and Rose (Academy Award®–winner Patricia Arquette) are looking to fit in to a neighborhood where mob- ties equal social currency. Amidst events surrounding the 1992 trial of John Gotti, Thomas and Rose attempt to make their mark. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese.


When I Live My Life Over Again-00002 TribecaWhen I Live My Life Over Again – Stay tuned for Melissa’s Review

Directed and written by Robert Edwards. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Jude (Amber Heard) is a would-be singer-songwriter still struggling to make her mark. Cash- strapped and homeless, she begrudgingly returns to the Hamptons home of her father (Christopher Walken), an over-the-hill crooner desperately charting his musical comeback, in this spunky, soulful dramedy about the personal costs of artistic ambition and the bonds that carry us through.

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The Wolfpack – Stay tuned for Melissa’s Review

Directed by Crystal Moselle. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
Everything the Angulo brothers know about the outside world they learned from obsessively watching movies. Shut away from bustling New York City by their overprotective father, they cope with their isolation by diligently re-enacting their favorite films. When one of the brothers escapes, the world as they know it will be transformed. A Magnolia Release.


Short Films


Directed by Luke LoCurcio, written by Robin Rose Singer. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Emily is your average 26-year old who texts her friends, chats on Facebook, orders online, and uses GPS to get where she’s going in Aphasia, until one day she suddenly comes face-to-face with the consequences of living a digital life.


The Artist Is Absent: A Short Film on Martin Margiela

Directed and written by Alison Chernick. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
The Artist Is Absent profiles the influential Margiela, who has been a major force in fashion for over 20 years, yet the man himself remains elusive, maintaining his anonymity in an age of celebrity.


Best Man Wins

Directed by Stéphane Dumonceau, written by Frederick Waterman, Stéphane Dumonceau. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
When a celebrated New York chef discovers an affair between his super-model wife and his best man in Best Man Wins, he devises a plan to deal with each of them.


Better to Live

Directed by Linda G. Mills. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Drama majors tackle anxiety, cutting, and suicide, in the unscripted and raw Better to Live, as they build a “reality” show for 5,000 college freshmen.



Directed and written by Faraday Okoro, written by Faraday Okoro. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
In Blitz a father and son agree to a “winner takes all” chess blitz in order to settle a bet.


Every Day

Directed by Gabe Spitzer. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
At 86, Joy Johnson was the oldest woman to run the 2013 New York City Marathon. This is the story of an inspiring athlete with an uncommon passion for her sport, and for life.


Last Call

Directed and written by Stefan Nadelman. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
In 1972 Sheldon Nadelman began working as a day-shift bartender at the Terminal bar in midtown Manhattan. Over the next decade he shot over 1500 black-and-white photographs of his customers, who ranged from the working class to the downtrodden. Twenty-five years after the bar closed for good, Sheldon recollects their stories.


Man Under

Directed by Paul Stone. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Since 2010, over 250 people have been killed by New York City subway trains. Man Under is the personal journey of one MTA motorman’s struggle to get his life back on track after a desperate woman turns his train into her suicide weapon, shedding light on one of NYC’s darkest secrets.


We Live This

Directed and written by James Burns. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
We Live This is the story of four boys from the projects who have come together to pursue their dreams. Most new Yorkers who ride the MTA have opinions about them, but what lies beneath these young performers is more than what meets the eye.