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20 Films We Want To See at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 17, 2013 at 11:14AM

The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival is kicking off tonight with the world premiere of Tom Berninger's The National doc "Mistaken For Strangers," leading into 10 days of fun with film in New York City. Indiewire will be on the scene for the duration, but figured we'd offer up a list of some of the films we're most excited to see before the fest stars.
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"Bluebird."
Tribeca Film Festival "Bluebird."
"Bluebird"
New York-based editor turned filmmaker Lance Edmands made his name cutting features like Lena Dunham's "Tiny Furniture," whose DP, the fantastic Jody Lee Lipes, shot "Bluebird," Edmand's directorial debut. Set in isolated, snowy Maine, the film is a meditation on the interconnectedness of small town life, when an oversight by a school bus driver (Amy Morton) leads to disastrous consequences. The wintery, atmospheric locale is intriguing in itself, especially when lensed by Lipes, who proved to be more than adept at capturing natural beauty on "Martha Marcy May Marlene." The film also boast a formidable cast, including "Mad Men" actor John Slattery and incredibly talented rising star Adam Driver, who seems to be the only thing people can agree on about "Girls." It sounds like a pretty solid recipe for indie crossover success, with echoes of Atom Egoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter" and David Gordon Green's "Snow Angels." [Mark E Lukenbill]

"Bottled Up"
While the fascination with addiction to prescription pain killers has shaped stories we've seen before, the Enid Zentelis feature "Bottled Up" sounds like it'll be a welcome addition to the group. Starring Oscar-winner Melissa Leo, the film centers on her relationship with her daugther Sylvie (New York theater favorite Marin Ireland), who has become dependent on the pills once meant to assist with her back pain following a car accident.  The film interweaves family dynamics, the hope and heartache of following a loved one's struggle with addiction and redemption in acceptance.  [Cristina A. Gonzalez]

Byzantium
“Byzantium”
While most of us are sick of vampires by now, it seems the death-defying creatures will be sticking around for a while with both Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Are Left” and now Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium” opening this year. Returning to the subgenre 19 years after his “Interview With a Vampire,” Jordan has switched things up this time with a mother-daughter blood-sucking duo who live in an English seaside town -- quintessential Jordan. Jumping between centuries, “Byzantium” follows Gemma Arterton’s Clara as she turns a hotel into a brothel, using men for sex and blood, and daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan), who unveils their long-kept secret in diaries. With Jordan's knack for conjuring a powerful mood on screen, even if the script isn't quite there (i.e. "Ondine"), "Byzantium" looks to be a promising addition to his filmography. Although the film was criticized for its lack of blood and suspense after premiering at TIFF last year, Indiewire's Eric Kohn said it brought "a mixture of intelligence and gravitas" to the hackneyed subject. There's plenty of blood and guts in Tribeca's Midnight section, so maybe Jordan's gentle approach is just the kind of boost the vampire genre needs. [Erin Whitney]

"Dark Touch"
The "creepy kid" strain of horror cinema has been defined for years by the likes of "Children of the Corn" and "The Omen," but French director Marina de Van ("In My Skin," "Don't Look Back") has easily delivered another paragon of this chilling subgenere with her first English language feature, which opens Tribeca's midnight section. The Ireland-set tale finds an 11-year-old girl suddenly alone after a bizarre supernatural accident kills off the rest of her family. Taken in by her accommodating neighbors, the traumatized Neve (Marie Missy Keating) may have absorbed some of the evil that destroyed her life. As a series of disorienting events suggest her psychotic ability to destroy the world around her, "Dark Touch" foregrounds its ominous atmosphere and unflinchingly brutal storytelling with a boldly grim approach that never lets up. [Eric Kohn]

This article is related to: Tribeca Film Festival