The tagline for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival suggests that film festivals are the original binge-watching experience. In that spirit, enjoy these suggestions for the perfect double-features at the Tribeca Film Festival, complete with suggested accompanying snacks. This time, it's Point and Shoot and Garnet's Gold.
Point and Shoot
Back in the 2000s, Matthew VanDyke, a sheltered only-child from Baltimore, decided to give himself “a crash course in manhood.” A recent college graduate, he had studied the Middle East despite never having traveled to the Middle East. Armed with his motorcycle, a helmet-mounted camera, and a lot of nerve, he traveled through the Middle East and filmed his escapades. His “crash course” took a serious turn, however, when he decided to join Libyan forces against Gaddafi and became a prisoner of war.
Twenty years ago, Garnet Frost got lost in the Scottish wilderness and nearly died. In spite of being terribly lost and alone, he survived and returned with a wooden staff he had found. Since then, he has speculated that the wooden staff must have been a marker pointing in the direction off a long-lost hidden treasure, and he has decided to venture back into the wilderness to find riches and hopefully find his legacy as well.
Why They Belong Together
Point and Shoot and Garnet’s Gold are both documentaries about men searching for meaning in their lives, one young and one old. Matthew VanDyke creates meaning by filming his journey to manhood and going on adventures inspired by heroes from his youth. Similarly, Garnet Frost has never stopped learning new things and trying new experiences, even at the detriment of his personal life and romantic prospects, but he hopes that finding this hidden treasure will give his life a clearer, deeper meaning. Seeing his own mother age and struggle with her health gives a sense of urgency to his quest.
The filming styles of each documentary is very different. Point and Shoot is a combination of interviews, home videos, footage shot by Matthew from around the world, news coverage of the 2011 Libyan revolution, and Matthew’s unique helmet camera. Garnet’s Gold was filmed in the Scottish wilderness with some truly lovely nature shots, which is unsurprising considering the film’s director Ed Perkins has produced film work for National Geographic. When viewed back-to-back, the audience gets variety in filmmaking styles while also seeing a strong connecting theme across both films.
Despite their very different styles, both films have a wonderful message about embracing life at any age. When one adventure ends, it just means that it is time for the next one to begin. Point and Shoot leaves Matthew’s future open-ended while Garnet’s Gold ends with Garnet performing his latest magical feat. The lives of these curious men will inspire, entertain, and leave the audience wanting to book their next vacation to Scotland.
Trail mix and coffee heated over a campfire
With two great documentaries (and one of them by two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry), there is no need for a bonus. This pairing is bonus enough.