The Tribeca Film Festival, Robert De Niro’s annual glam-fest on the Hudson, is glitzy and obnoxious and very L.A. – which is exactly why I enjoy covering it. It’s like traveling to the West Coast to get a glimpse of how exotic Hollywood lives without leaving New York City. It’s a fun lark, a break from the heavy-handed sobriety of “Film as Art” that defines New York Film Festival and The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s New Directors/New Films, which TFF arrives fresh on the heels of.
Like most festivals there’s a lot of dregs to sit through to discover the gems, but when you emerge from a screening of “Soul Kitchen” from Fatih Akin, the most exciting director Germany has produced since Werner Herzog, or the under-the-radar (though not for long) doc “Sons of Perdition” you remember just how powerful cinema can be. De Niro founded the fest to lift spirits after 9/11, after all. In other words, to remind us of the joy that got all of us – even the most hard-nosed film snobs – going to the movies in the first place.
The best case in point this year is Michael Winterbottom’s “The Killer Inside Me.”
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