Robert De Niro

The 5 Biggest Reasons Why We’re Excited About Tribeca Film Festival 2018

The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off this week to once again put the spotlight on the latest independent films and their makers. Featuring over a thousand screenings, numerous panel discussions, and more, it’s easy to see why millions of people attend this acclaimed film festival each year.

Whether you’re just a movie fan or have your heart set on a career in filmmaking, here are five reasons why the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival is set to be the best one yet.

Impressive List of Must-See Movies

The beauty of having a film festival spanning 12 days is that no matter what kinds of movies you like, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

This year there will be more than 50 narratives and 45 documentaries spread across every genre imaginable. Of course, there are always a few films that people definitely don’t plan on missing. Fans of documentaries will want to check out Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, It’s a Hard Truth Ain’t It, The Rachel Divide, and Songwriter. Great story films people are talking about are Braid, The Seagull, and centerpiece film Zoe.

With so many great films to recommend, be sure to take a look at the official Tribeca website for a full list of films.

More Films Directed by Women Than Ever Before

Tribeca Film Festival 2018 will make history by having more films directed by women than ever before.

Almost half of the 96 films set to screen at Tribeca this year were directed by women — certainly a cause for celebration, given that women are still vastly underrepresented in the film industry as a whole. According to the famous Celluloid Ceiling study, only 1 percent of 2017’s most successful films employed 10 or more women behind the scenes.

Some of the most anticipated female-directed films that will be at Tribeca include Liz Garbus’ New York Times documentary The Fourth Estate, Eva Vives’ comedy drama All About Nina, and Untogether, the directorial debut of Emma Forrest.

A Look at Upcoming Games

It wasn’t long ago that most people considered games as a form of children’s entertainment. Today, the digital medium is seen as arguably the most powerful form of storytelling. Thanks to the power of interactivity, games allow the audience to not only become a part of the narrative but also influence the outcome of a story and its characters.

Tribeca Games will once again celebrate the artistic and technical achievements of games at this year’s show. Things to look forward to include a special preview of the upcoming Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a talk from God of War‘s creative director Cory Barlog, and a variety of demos and esports tournaments for attendees.

Talks From Stars & Filmmakers

If there’s one thing Tribeca fans love more than watching new films, it’s listening to their makers talk about their project. Since the Tribeca Film Festival’s focus is on independent films, this gives aspiring filmmakers a chance to learn more about the process from both up-and-coming stars and renowned industry figures.

This year, attendees won’t want to miss the Scarface reunion, after its 35th anniversary screening. Other notable talks will include Sarah Jessica Parker, John Legend, and the duo of Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.

Legendary Film Anniversaries Honored

It makes sense that an independent film festival like Tribeca would do its part to honor the anniversaries of timeless classics. After all, it’s movies like these that help inspire the next generation of filmmakers to push their creative limits and see that their stories one day make it to the big screen.

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Scarface, a screening of the legendary gangster epic will be followed by a reunion panel including Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, and director Brian De Palma.

Oscar-winning masterpiece Schindler’s List will also be screened to commemorate its 25th anniversary. A Q&A including Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Embeth Davidtz will follow.

What are you most excited to see at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival? Let us know in the comments below! And learn more about filmmaking at the New York Film Academy.

6 Movie Ad Libs that Became Classics — And What You Can Learn From Them

Some of the most well known lines from movies, and even scenes, are actually ad libbed, or improvised. Improvisation actually has many benefits for actors.

Below are six famous movie scenes that you may have not known were improvised.

“Here’s looking at you, kid.”

“Casablanca,” 1942

Most people are familiar with Humphrey Bogart’s line from the 1942 movie, “Casablanca.” Bogart was teaching actress Ingrid Bergman how to play poker between takes when Bogart first said the famous line. Once they were back on camera, the line came out spontaneously during one of the flashback scenes in Paris.

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”

“The Godfather,” 1972

Everybody loves cannoli! Francis Ford Coppola, the director of “The Godfather,” added the line, “don’t forget the cannoli,” last minute to the script. But Richard Castellano decided to take Coppola’s line and make it his own.

“Are you talkin’ to me?”

“Taxi Driver,” 1976

One sentence in the screenplay, which reads, “Travis looks in the mirror,” led to Robert De Niro improvising the entire scene in the movie.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

“Jaws,” 1975

After Roy Schneider encounters the Great White shark, the scene was supposed to close. Instead, Schneider made up this line to help bring closure to the encounter.

“Son of a b****, he stole my line.”

“Good Will Hunting,” 1997

When Robin Williams goes to the mailbox to read a note, Williams said a different line for each take of the final scene in the movie because nothing was scripted. Co-star Matt Damon, who co-wrote the script, told Boston Magazine in 2015 that after Williams said the well-known line, “It was like a bolt, it was just one of those holy s*** moments, where, like, that’s it.”

Heeeeere’s Johnny!”

“The Shining,” 1980

Nothing is scarier than Jack Nicholson, who portrays Jack Torrance, busting a door down with an ax. During that scene, Nicholson’s character sticks his head through a hole in the door, and says, Heeeeere’s Johnny!” Nicholson’ joke, which referenced Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” was almost cut because director Stanley Kubrick, who is from England, didn’t know the reference.

What are some of your favorite movie ad libs? Let us know below! Want to learn more about acting techniques? Study acting at the New York Film Academy.

Method To The Madness: 3 Actors That Took Method Acting To The Next Level

Method acting is a much-revered practice that has received its fair share of attention for producing naturalistic, award-winning acting performances. Not coincidentally, some of the greatest actors of the last century have been ruthlessly committed method actors. In some cases, they are a pain to work with, in other cases their erratic behavior becomes downright unsafe, but one thing is for sure; their performances are something to behold. Check out this list of five actors who took method acting to the next level.

Marlon Brando

1. Marlon Brando

“Simply put, in film acting, there is before Brando, and there is after Brando. And they are like different worlds.” – The New York Times

Widely regarded as the greatest film actor of all-time, Brando studied acting under Stella Adler and Elia Kazan in New York City. During his Broadway debut in 1946, Brando played a psychopathic murderer in the play Truckline Café. For his climactic scene, he needed to appear as if he had just emerged from an icy lake, so every night, before he went on stage for that scene, Brando would run up and down the stairs until he was out of breath and then he’d have a stagehand dump a bucket of ice water on his head. Audiences were thrilled by his performance. Of the young Brando, Kazan said, “It’s like he’s carrying his own spotlight.” From there, Marlon Brando went on to perfect his craft, ultimately winning two Best Actor Oscars for On the Waterfront and The Godfather.

Dustin Hoffman

2. Dustin Hoffman

Think it’s hard to follow Marlon Brando on this list? Then you aren’t two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man) whose devotion to The Method made him a star. Hoffman studied at the Actor’s Studio in New York during the early 1960’s and made his breakout in the 1967 film The Graduate. But, it’s Hoffman’s performance opposite Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man that illustrates his madness for method acting. As legend has it, Olivier (a classically trained stage actor) and Hoffman had the following exchange during the shoot.

“How did your week go, dear boy,” Olivier said.

Hoffman told him that he had filmed a scene in which his character was supposed to have been up for three days straight.

“So what did you do?” Olivier asked.

“Well, I stayed up for three days and three nights.”

Laurence Olivier then uttered this famous line, “Why don’t you just try acting?”

The exchange is oft-quoted to show the difference in thinking between classical actors and modern film actors. In essence, Hoffman’s method became acting legend.

Robert De Niro in The Last Tycoon

3. Robert De Niro

Actors who manipulate their body for roles have always been regarded as the most committed and daring. Think Christian Bale who slashed dozens of pounds for The Fighter and gained nearly 100 lbs. for his role as Batman in Batman Begins. Where did this trend come from and why is it all the rage with awards nominators? The answer is Bob De Niro, who got shredded to play the role of young boxer Jake La Motta, only to gain 60 lbs. to portray La Motta later in life. Not surprisingly, De Niro is an alumnus of Stella Adler’s Conservatory and the Actor’s Studio, where he learned to commit himself fully to his roles.

While shooting Raging Bull, De Niro filmed all his boxing and flashback scenes at a weight of 145 lbs. Then, production was shut down for four months while De Niro ate his way through Italy and France, gaining over 60 lbs. in the process. When he returned to the States, production commenced and the remaining scenes were shot at a rapid pace because the extra weight was taking a toll on De Niro’s health.

Still interested in amazingly mad method actors? Try researching Charlize Theron’s transformation for her role in Monster and Daniel Day-Lewis’ unrelenting devotion to his role in My Left Foot. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this list; they are all Academy Award winners. There must be a method to the madness.

Whether you consider The Method madness or genius, there’s no denying it gets results!

Learn more about the School of Acting at the New York Film Academy by clicking here.

Robert De Niro’s Top Five Acting Roles

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro, considered one of Hollywood’s greatest performers—living or dead—is something of an acting paradox. While some of the best actors completely disappear into their roles to the point where they are unrecognizable, and others take over their characters with their real-life movie-star charisma, De Niro somehow inhabits both those traits, simultaneously and contradictorily. His roles range from Italian mobsters to disapproving Dads to Frankenstein’s monster to militaristic authority figures, each character both totally unique and completely and utterly De Niro.

With a legendary career spanning decades, it’s hard to say what his best and what his worst roles are, though it’s not hard to miss his fruitful collaboration with director Martin Scorsese. The two, with similar backgrounds and upbringings, worked closely together in the 70s and 80s and brought about some of De Niro’s finest work.

De Niro is currently working on Dirty Grandpa, a road trip comedy starring Zac Efron as the frustrated grandson forced to drive De Niro’s perverted old man to Spring Break. As filming gets underway, the movie’s cast has been growing with a generation of Hollywood’s most popular actors, all of whom learned their craft in De Niro’s legendary shadow

With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at some of DeNiro’s greatest moments as an actor. It’s no coincidence that four of them were directed by Scorsese.

1. Mean Streets

Robert De Niro was thin, hungry and an undiscovered force when Scorsese had the foresight to cast him as Johnny Boy in Mean Streets, a film heavily influenced by Scorsese’s New York, Catholic upbringing. Johnny Boy was a livewire—dangerous, charming, unpredictable, funny and frightening. De Niro made the larger-than-life character gritty and grounded, delivering a performance that didn’t just ignite his career but an entire movement of method, raw, urban style of acting.

Harvey Keaitel With Robert De-Niro From Mean Streets

2. Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver was the complex story of a man whose sanity and motivations were constantly called into question, an apt metaphor for post-Vietnam America. De Niro, who drove cabs for weeks in preparation for the role, gave an honest pathos to a character most people would cross the street to avoid in real life. His performance has reverberated past the scope of the movie and into cultural legacy, be it with his famous mohawk, his “You talkin’ to me?” soliloquy, or, even darker, his influence on attempted Ronald Reagan assassin John Hinckley, Jr.

Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver

3. Raging Bull

De Niro dramatically gained weight to put on the muscle (and post-career flab) of real-life boxer Jake LaMotta in biopic Raging Bull. A physical product of his devotion to acting and inhabiting his roles, in some ways it changed his look permanently—De Niro never quite had the lean look that defined his more deranged 70s characters again. However, it only added to his performance of Jake LaMotta as a brute of raw power with heart and unyielding passion, a charismatic beast who was most dangerous when he was vulnerable.

Robert De-Niro Raging Bull

4. The Godfather Part II

In some ways, playing the part of a younger Vito Corleone was a passing of the torch to De Niro from the similarly styled acting legend Marlon Brando, who won an Oscar portraying Vito in the original Godfather. De Niro learned a Sicilian dialect of Italian and spoke it fluently throughout the film, a testament to his method approach. While just as menacing as Johnny Boy and LaMotta, De Niro played it quiet, showing a restraint that contrasted Mean Streets but belayed his power as a cinematic performer. He not only accepted the torch from Brando but carried it forward, earning an Oscar (Vito Corleone is still the only character to give two separate performers an Academy Award) and coming into his own as the definitive actor of his generation.

The Godfather III DeNiro

5. Goodfellas

By 1990’s Goodfellas, DeNiro had become firmly settled into his role as one of Hollywood’s elder statesman. Moving from the young hothead leads of the 70s and early 80s, De Niro portrayed mobster mentor Jimmy Conway with a weary mellowness. However, a master of subtlety and layers, De Niro showed the dangerous, violent criminal lurking just beneath the skin, erupting brutally yet fluidly to the surface amidst a laid-back, humorous performance. De Niro mastered the tempered-yet-flustered attitude of Conway so well that it’s since defined his public persona and many of the roles he still knocks out of the park to this day.

DeNiro in Goodfellas

So, those are our picks of De Niro’s best acting performances here at the New York Film Academy. Which movies do you think he excelled in? Please let us know in the comments section below.