Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013 Tribeca Film Fest Highlights

We've been covering the Tribeca Film Festival for some time now and know full well just navigating the massive lineup is a daunting task, so we've done some of the heavy lifting for you. Know that you can always hit up the full Film Guide on your own time (in fact we encourage it!), but until then, below, you'll find a run down of the titles we found most interesting, whether it be for the plot, creators or actors involved...and sometimes all 3! It's just a slice of the full list, but still a hefty chunk of info, so let's get right into it...
  


Shorts: In The Girl with the Mechanical Maiden, an inventor takes an unorthodox approach to childrearing after the death of his wife.
As a young runaway heads to Harlem, where her father is a low-level drug dealer, she is assaulted by a mysterious creature and left for dead in Peanut Butter & Jelly.
On a stormy night in Long Island, three siblings fight over their grandmother’s fortune, but no one realized that Grandma was ready to fight back in Grandma’s Not a Toaster.
Two video game characters forge an unlikely romance in RPG OKC.

Adult World - Amy (Emma Roberts) is na├»ve, awkward and anxious to get her poetry career off of  the ground. She begrudgingly accepts a job at the local sex shop, Adult World, while pursuing a surefire kick-start for her success: a mentorship with reclusive writer Rat Billings (the hilarious John Cusack). As Amy’s world melds with that of Adult World, she slowly learns that inspiration can be found in the most improbable places.

Almost Christmas - Two French Canadian ne’er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to a get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (Paul Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in this fresh buddy comedy co-starring Sally Hawkins, by the director of the indie breakout hit Junebug.

Before Midnight - In the eagerly anticipated third chapter in the star-crossed tale of Jesse and Celine, director and co-writer Richard Linklater fast-forwards to nine years after their last meeting. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy deliver powerfully authentic performances as the companions who find themselves at yet another crossroads in their twisting but passionate relationship. The picturesque streets of Greece serve as the latest backdrop to this beautifully crafted love story.

Bending Steel - The Cyclone, The Freakshow, The Mermaid Parade: all Coney Island icons. But Chris “Wonder” Schoeck has always preferred the Coney Island Strongman. Bending Steel follows the sweet, unassuming Schoeck as he parlays his extraordinary strength into the pursuit of his lifelong dream. Training with an elite group of men whose hands bend, drag, twist and shred metal, he tackles an enormous physical and mental challenge, taking a surprisingly emotional journey as a result.

Big Bad Wolves - A vigilante cop and a vengeful father capture and interrogate an accused serial  killer. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s brutal follow-up to Rabies (TFF 2011) examines a horror that most would not want to imagine: what would you do if someone hurt the one you loved most? A revenge thriller with teeth, Big Bad Wolves delivers on its raw tension with operatic drama.

Byzantium - Neil Jordan’s exploration of vampirism began with Interview with the Vampire. Now he returns to this lurid, malevolent realm through Clara (Gemma Arterton) and her daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan). Creatures from Clara’s past come calling, and these immortals are forced to relocate. Dire consequences follow anyway when Eleanor makes a connection with a local boy (Caleb Landry Jones) and slowly reveals the truth of who they are and how they survive.

Case of You - A young writer (Justin Long) woos a cute and quirky barista (Evan Rachel Wood) by creating an embellished online profile. When she falls for his alter ego, he must keep up the act or lose his dream girl. Directed by TFF alumna Kat Coiro and featuring a cast of hilarious cameo performers including Peter Dinklage, Sam Rockwell, Vince Vaughn and Sienna Miller, A Case of You is a winning romantic comedy for the social media age.

Dark Touch - A little girl, Niamh, is the sole survivor of a massacre that leaves her younger brother brutally murdered in their home. Despite her protestations that the slaughter was not at the hands of humans but a terror manifested by the house, she is forced to deny her instincts and pushed to begin a new life. In this psychological thriller, Niamh is unable to leave her violent past behind her, endangering all those who cross her path.

Flex Is Kings - Journey to the edge of Brooklyn and of street performance itself in this sparkling portrait of the freeing power of art. Reem is the savvy promoter, Flizzo the undefeated local legend, Jay Donn the innovator with the talent to carry him far away from home. Uniting them is a competitive dance form of dramatic contortions, simulated violence, flowing footsteps and the occasional humorous touch. Welcome to the world of Flex.


Frankenstein's Army - In the waning days of World War II, a team of Russian soldiers finds itself on a mysterious mission to the lab of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. They unearth a terrifying Nazi plan to resurrect fallen soldiers as an army of unstoppable freaks and are soon trapped in a veritable haunted house of cobbled-together monstrosities. Frankenstein’s Army is the wild steampunk Nazi found-footage zombie mad scientist film you’ve always wanted.

Fresh Meat - After a poorly executed escape from the police, a gang of dysfunctional criminals flees  to the suburbs and gets more than it bargained for when it crash lands in the garage of an upper-class Maori family whose refined palates have developed a taste for human flesh. This action-packed horror comedy tells a blood-spattered tale of basement butchery and shifting allegiances as these unlikely adversaries enter a deadly showdown.

The Kill Team - In 2010, the media branded a platoon of U.S. Army infantry soldiers “The Kill Team” following reports of its killing for sport in Afghanistan. Now, one of the accused must fight the government he defended on the battlefield, while grappling with his own role in the alleged murders. Dan Krauss’s absorbing documentary examines the stories of four men implicated in heinous war crimes in a stark reminder that, in war, innocence may be relative to the insanity around you.

Lil Bub and Friendz - Called “the most famous cat on the Internet,” the wide-eyed perma-kitten Lil Bub is the adorable embodiment of the Web’s fascination with all things cats. Join Lil Bub and her owner on a wild cross-country romp as they meet the Internet’s most famous cat-lebrities. Chock full of adorable kitties, hilarious videos and the dedicated cat enthusiasts who love them, Lil Bub & Friendz is a fun and hip peek behind the memes we know and love.

The Machine - Caradog James adds another layer to the Frankenstein story in the latest gripping sci-fi adventure to come out of the U.K. Already deep into a second Cold War, Britain’s Ministry of Defence seeks a game-changing weapon. Programmer Vincent McCarthy unwittingly provides an answer in The Machine, a super-strong human cyborg. When a programming bug causes the prototype to decimate his lab, McCarthy takes his obsessive efforts underground, far away from inquisitive eyes.

Mr. Jones - Scott (Jon Foster) is a filmmaker in need of inspiration. He and his girlfriend Penny  (Sarah Jones) move into a desolate house hoping to make a breakthrough. Then they discover their neighbor, the elusive Mr. Jones. Famous for his haunting sculptures, Mr. Jones has remained a mystery to the world. Scott and Penny, convinced that they have found the perfect film subject, sneak into his workshop and realize that their curiosity may have chilling consequences. Who is Mr. Jones?

Raze - Stuntwoman Zoe Bell (Death Proof) headlines this sly subversion of the women-in-prison genre. After Sabrina (Bell) is abducted, she finds herself in an underground lair, forced to do battle with other innocent women for the amusement of unseen spectators. Each of these reluctant warriors has something to lose, but only one will remain when the game is done. Violent and relentless, Raze takes its video game aesthetic to the deepest and darkest places, rarely surfacing for air.



Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic - This moving portrait of legendary comedian Richard Pryor chronicles his life from his troubled youth in Peoria, Illinois, to his meteoric rise as one of the most respected comic actors of the 20th century. Often misunderstood during the height of his celebrity, the late superstar has never been profiled this extensively. Marina Zenovich’s revealing and entertaining film lays bare the demons with which he struggled and reminds us just how daring and dangerous artistic freedom can be.

Sunlight Jr. - Quickie-mart employee Melissa (Naomi Watts) and paraplegic Richie (Matt Dillon) are very much in love. Supported only by Melissa’s small hourly wage, they are nevertheless thrilled to learn that Melissa is pregnant. Then their situation deteriorates, and their tenuous financial situation threatens to bring their happy life crashing down. Norman Reedus also stars in this a moving romantic drama from Laurie Collyer, director of the Golden Globe-nominated Sherrybaby.

Taboor - A lone motorcyclist travels the empty streets of Tehran at night. He wears an aluminum suit to guard against the electromagnetic waves that raise his body temperature. Yet he is determined to make his appointments to kill cockroaches and fumigate factories, the night placing many strange encounters along his route. Artfully shot cityscapes expound on the man’s solitude in this atmospheric take on science fiction from the heart of Iran.

Trust Me - Directed by and starring Clark Gregg and featuring Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney and Amanda Peet, Trust Me follows flailing Hollywood agent Howard, who seemingly strikes gold after signing the next big child star. What results is an unexpected ride through the nasty inner workings of Hollywood, as Howard desperately tries to make it in an industry that has no interest in recognizing his bumbling but ultimately genuine nature.

V/H/S/2 - Investigators break into a house, find a vast collection of VHS tapes and play them one by  one. The videos include visions of the paranormal, flesh-eating zombies, a shockingly genuine scene of hell on earth and a slumber party gone horribly awry. This highly anticipated sequel to last year's horror breakout V/H/S features contributions from current genre filmmaking’s leading talents, including the creators of Hobo with a Shotgun, The Raid, You’re Next and The Blair Witch Project.

Whitewash - The brutality of winter and the power of the mind are aptly portrayed in this dark comedy set in Northern Quebec. Bruce (Thomas Haden Church) is merely trying to survive a harsh winter when he meets Paul. Conflict leads to a death, and Bruce finds himself in a complicated and unexpected place. Grappling with his guilt, Bruce creates a prison from which he cannot escape. Haden Church perfectly utilizes his comic talent in this wry, well-crafted film.

The Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 17-28th. Get your tickets now!

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