Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Nicolas Winding Refn Goes 60 fps For 'The Neon Demon' Nicolas Winding Refn Goes 60 fps For 'The Neon Demon' George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

The Best And Brightest Of The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist April 29, 2013 at 2:17PM

And so we’ve reached the end of the Tribeca Film Festival. Known for its wide-ranging selection of films from all over the globe, they truly outdid themselves this year with a slate of diverse, boundary-pushing films that suggested that, outside of the most prestigious fests like New York, Cannes and Sundance, independent cinema was alive and well, flourishing in the fest’s eleventh year. We profiled twenty films at the start of the fest that might be worth discussion, and a number of those spotlight films didn't disappoint. But the excitement of the Tribeca Film Festival is that there's often greatness emerging from where you least expect it.
3
The Best And Brightest Of The Tribeca Film Festival 2013

And so we’ve reached the end of the Tribeca Film Festival. Known for its wide-ranging selection of films from all over the globe, they truly outdid themselves this year with a slate of diverse, boundary-pushing films that suggested that, outside of the most prestigious fests like New York, Cannes and Sundance, independent cinema was alive and well, flourishing in the fest’s eleventh year. We profiled twenty films at the start of the fest that might be worth discussion, and a number of those spotlight films didn't disappoint. But the excitement of the Tribeca Film Festival is that there's often greatness emerging from where you least expect it. 

Granted, we didn’t manage to see everything at the fest this year, but our staff was able to put our feet to the pavement to collect insights on what were the best offerings at Tribeca. Below, you’ll find a collection of the eleven best films we saw at the fest, a group that includes incisive documentaries, compelling dramas and unique visions from filmmakers both established and fresh. In addition, we’ve singled out four breakout talents of this year’s festival -- writers, directors and actors who hopefully will springboard from the fest to careers of great promise.

Bending Steel

Bending Steel
Synopsis: Chris “Wonder” Schoeck tries to help resurrect the Coney Island Strongman presentation by exhibiting his very specific skillset involving the extraordinary manipulation of steel by hand.
Verdict: It was unlikely to find a documentary as niche as this at Tribeca this year, given that not only is it focused on a peculiar subculture – the strongman world, where feats of strength are exhibited to audiences – but on an introverted neophyte with unconventional skills attempting to break into that milieu. “Bending Steel” doesn’t shy away from the very particular oddness of Schoeck’s skill, which plays to crickets at an un-amused open mic crowd and quizzical stares from Schoeck’s own parents. What it does provide, however, is a tale of inspiration, creating an unassuming everyman hero and thrusting him into an unusual world where we root for his dream to come true. Director Dave Carroll avoids either sentimentalizing or mocking this unusual world, providing a reverent treatment of a quest that mirrors Schoeck: unfussy, clear-headed and unexpectedly poignant. [Read our review here.]

Big Bad Wolves
Big Bad Wolves
Synopsis: An Israeli cop thinks he’s fingered the creep responsible for a series of vile child murders, but after cell phone footage of him roughing up the suspect turns up online, he’s kicked off the case. Later he forms an uneasy alliance with one of the murdered girl’s fathers, in a gruesome attempt at revenge and reconciliation.
Verdict: “Big Bad Wolves” has the rare distinction of being one of the best movies at the festival this year while being one of the least-talked about movies, too. Not sure why this is, exactly, since the film is very nearly flawless – a whip-smart, occasionally quite funny, beautifully photographed and deeply unsettling foreign thriller. Honestly, we haven’t felt this way about a genre movie at Tribeca since “Let the Right One In” back in 2009. And that’s really saying something. [Read our review here.]

Bluebird, John Slattery, Emily Meade

Bluebird
Synopsis: A bluebird flies into the life of a school bus driver in a decaying logging-town in Maine and sets off a chain of events that will haunt two seemingly unconnected families.
Verdict: Another outstanding debut from another talented above-the-line creative turned writer/director is Lance Edmands’ “Bluebird.” Edmands got his start in the editing room, most noticeably cutting Lena Dunham’s debut feature, “Tiny Furniture.” A mature, super wise-beyond-its-years portrait of family, consequences and interconnectivity in the universe, the closest analog we might be able to find for this film is David Gordon Green’s “Snow Angels,” but “Bluebird” is more authentic and existential.  On top of a thoughtful filmmaking approach, “Bluebird” also features a stellar cast. And yes, while folks you know like “Mad Men” star John Slattery and Adam Driver from “Girls” shine in supporting roles, it’s mostly the relative unknowns who really are the film’s breakout stars (more on that below). Patient, subdued and wise, you’d never guess that “Bluebird” was a first film. It’s not particularly flashy, but that’s what we deeply appreciate from this wintery and absorbing drama. [Read our review here.]

This article is related to: Tribeca Film Festival, Hide Your Smiling Faces, Bluebird, The Rocket, Cutie And The Boxer, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors , Some Velvet Morning, Neil LaBute, Mistaken For Strangers, Features, Feature


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates