Tribeca Film Festival 2013: Our best-of-the-fest picks

From a brilliant threequel to a literally chilly thriller: Here are ten Tribeca 2013 titles you won’t want to miss.

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  • Before Midnight

  • Byzantium

  • Cutie and the Boxer

  • Dark Touch

  • Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

  • Prince Avalanche

  • Red Obsession

  • Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic

  • Star Wars Uncut

  • Whitewash

Before Midnight


Back with another hodgepodge of hit-and-miss flicks, the Tribeca Film Festival once again takes over downtown in the name of something-for-everybody cinematic delights. Selections for the 12th annual fest include a portrait of Brooklyn rock heavyweights the National (April 17’s opening-night doc, Mistaken for Strangers), along with world-cinema obscurities, Amerindie oddities and virtually everything in between. Here are ten titles you should get tickets for, stat.

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival

Before Midnight
Every nine years, Richard Linklater extends the flirty series he began with Before Sunrise (1995)—first with the hopeful Before Sunset (2004) and now with this magnificent Greece-set follow-up, tinged with resentment and sharp-tongued discord. We’d call it a summation work, but we don’t want to rule out a fourth chapter in 2022. Mon, April 22; Wed, April 24. Click for showtimes and ticketsJR

Byzantium
Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) shows there’s plenty of life left in the undead-bloodsucker genre: His Irish-seaside horror story features a brilliantly brooding performance by Saoirse Ronan as an adolescent vamp, and the kind of mythic, adult-fairy-tale imagery—a mountain waterfall running crimson red—at which this incomparable film fantasist excels. Thu, April 25; Fri, April 26, Sat, April 27. Click for showtimes and ticketsKU

Cutie and the Boxer
Had Zachary Heinzerling’s doc on Pop artist Ushio Shinohara and his long-suffering wife, Noriko, simply charted the latter’s attempt to forge her own career, it’d still be intriguing. The fact that it’s also a deconstruction of the struggling-painter myth and a downtown art-world version of Scenes from a Marriage makes it damned near invaluable. Sun, April 21; Wed, April 24; Fri, April 26. Click for showtimes and ticketsDF

Dark Touch
France’s Marina de Van isn’t the easiest filmmaker to love (In My Skin, her 2002 debut, took on the shocking subject of self-cannibalism). Her latest—exactly what an avant-midnight film ought to be—turns a spooky house into a site of atmospheric abuse. Helpful neighbors aren’t the solution. Thu, April 18; Fri, Aprii 19; Tue, April 23. Click for showtimes and ticketsJR

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia
Nicholas Wrathall’s treasure-trove documentary does a terrific job of summing up the late political writer’s life and work; in between clips of memorable showdowns with public intellectuals like William F. Buckley Jr., a still mentally astute Vidal offers pithy, profound commentary on his cosmopolitan upbringing and the slowly crumbling American empire. Thu, April 18; Sat, April 20; Fri, April 26. Click for showtimes and ticketsKU

Prince Avalanche
David Gordon Green’s intimate indie about two guys (Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) repairing roads in the Texas backwoods is more than just a return to poetic-ruralist form; the Pineapple Express filmmaker has finally found the perfect middle ground between his earlier introspective character studies and his recent stoner comedies. Bravo! Tue, April 23; Fri, April 26; Sun, April 28. Click for showtimes and ticketsDF

Red Obsession
Narrated in authoritatively full-bodied tones by Russell Crowe, this look at the frenzied global market for bordeaux wine is one palate-pleasing provocation. Traveling from the châteaus of France to the skyscrapers of China, the film fascinatingly reveals how Old World vintner artistry is being shaken up by New World supply-and-demand. Sat, April 20; Mon, April 22; Thu, April 25; Sat, April 27. Click for showtimes and ticketsKU

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic
How does one follow up two definitive portraits of Roman Polanski? If you’re Marina
Zenovich, you move on to another enigmatic, damaged male: the African-American comedian who shattered social barriers and nearly self-destructed in the process. The unused dailies from his famous Live on the Sunset Strip concert movie alone are worth the price of a ticket. Tue, April 23; Wed, April 24; Sat, April 27. Click for showtimes and ticketsDF

Star Wars Uncut
Casey Pugh’s heartwarming pastiche—a re-creation of George Lucas’s 1977 vision in 15-second fan-made segments—captures a radical spirit of participatory reinvention (also seen in the recent Room 237). At these Tribeca screenings, new footage based on The Empire Strikes Back will be introduced. You, the viewer, get to control the flow with a joystick. Thu, April 18–Sun, April 21. Click for showtimes and ticketsJR

Whitewash
A man stumbles down a road in a blizzard; seconds later, another gent (Sideways’ Thomas Haden Church) runs him over with a snowplow. How these two got to this moment is the subject of Canadian writer-director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais’s bleak noir, an airtight demonstration of the maxim that no good deed ever goes unpunished. Fri, April 19; Sun, April 21; Sat, Apr 27. Click for showtimes and ticketsDF

The Tribeca Film Festival screens through Apr 28. Visit TONY's Tribeca Film Festival page for complete access to the festival’s schedule, showtimes and ticket info.

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