Ten Films to See at Tribeca 2013

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Byzantium

Sure, you've seen enough vampire movies to last a lifetime, but don't seal yourself into a sepulcher just yet. Neil Jordan has done the bloodsucking thing before (with 1994's Interview with the Vampire). But Byzantium, in which Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton play vamps on the lam in a tumble-down Irish coastal town, is sexy, spooky, just a little bit grisly, and elegant in a dog-eared way.

Now that the Tribeca Film Festival is in its 12th year, let's take a moment to reflect on the six words you can find in just about any account of the previous 10: "Tribeca is finally up and running." That reasoning suggests that programming a festival is like building a machine, a network of working parts that, over time, can be tweaked to perfection. But festivals are more like life forms than machines. The better metaphor might be sourdough starter: You've got to begin with something alive and go from there. This is the second year of the tenure of Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer, formerly programmer of Cannes's Directors Fortnight sidebar, and the mix--more than 100 films--appears to be broadening and deepening. Tribeca kicks off April 17 with Mistaken for Strangers, Matt Berninger's documentary about Brooklyn rock stars the National, followed by a live performance. And while the lineup includes festival favorites--Mira Nair, David Gordon Green, Ramin Bahrani--there's a wealth of under-the-radar riches here. We've sifted through the choices to help you on your way. Meanwhile, forget all that finding-its-footing business: Tribeca lives. By Stephanie Zacharek (@szacharek)

Published on April 18, 2013

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