Tribeca Film Festival 2012: Flixist Awards and Recap


For the past few weeks, we here at Flixist have brought you what is most certainly the best film festival coverage that has ever happened ever. Between Hubert, Dre, and I, we saw and reviewed 34 movies at/from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. That’s more than one-third of the entire festival. The three of us. You know what that is? That’s awesome.

Because we are awesome. And so were some of those many films that we saw, although not all of them. Films ranged the entire spectrum, from rage-inducing terribleness to mind-blowing amazingness. We didn’t get to see everything, but we did one hell of a job.

And by “we,” I mostly mean Hubert.

Anyways, keep reading for a recap of all of our crazy coverage as well as some festival awards of our own.

Best Narrative Film Flixist Award Banner

Narrative Film Winner - Replicas

Like every other reviewer who saw the film, I compared Replicas to Michael Haneke’s home invasion opus Funny Games. I stood out from everybody else, however, because I thought Replicas was superior. Since then, I rewatched Funny Games to see if I was the one remembering things wrong. Nope. Replicas is definitely the better film. I feel uncomfortable just thinking about it. — Alec Kubas-Meyer (Read his full review here!)

As Luck Would Have It

It’s interesting that director Álex de la Iglesia went from a film about a literal circus (Last Circus, released in 2010) to one about a metaphorical one. As Luck Would Have It‘s portrayal of the mass media and how it affects and infects everybody’s lives is fascinating, and seeing the way it affects the life of the film’s protagonist, a modern day Willy Loman, is heartbreaking. But mixed with that heartbreak is some truly hilarious comedy, and the two are perfectly balanced throughout the film. Even if the technologies at play in As Luck Would Have It aren’t around 50 years from now, its message and themes will be just as relevant then as they are today. — Alec Kubas-Meyer (Read his full review here!)


Flixist Award Banner Best Documentary

Best Documentary - The List

There was something about The List that hit me hard. There’s the moral imperative we have to the Iraqi allies we’ve abandoned, for one. There’s the upright and ethically Herculean example set by Kirk Johnson as well. But I think there’s an especially pressing concern given the troop withdrawal from Iraq last year and the understanding that situations will likely devolve unless something is done. Beth Murphy’s created an important document about people and events we shouldn’t forget — it’s a reminder that the war and its after effects are not over. — Hubert Vigilla (Read his full review here!)

Best Documentary Runner Up Searching for Sugar Man

Malik Bendjelloul was actively scouring the globe for the best stories he could find. What he found was the unlikely life of Sixto Rodriguez. The Detroit musician released two critically acclaimed non-sellers in the early 1970s only to become a smash hit in South Africa many years later. Searching for Sugar Man plays out smoothly, part detective story, part musician profile, and part portrait of a struggling artist as a man with integrity. The film might even get Rodriguez some widespread recognition in the United States. It’d be four decades late, but better late than never. — Hubert Vigilla (Read his full review here!)


Best Actor Flixist Award Banner

Best Actor Award - Dariel Arrechaga

Little is known about Dariel Arrechaga, the cuban youth who charmed the pants out off Tribeca with his performance in Una Noche. Other than the fact he was “discovered” flirting with girls outside of the audition and he’s the only one of the film’s stars who hasn’t tried to escape Cuba, what can be said about this green actor is he churned out a wonderful performance as Raul, the troubled hound dog who sets the film in motion. Yea, his character may be a deplorable, sexist, self absorbed asshole … but goddamn it if he wasn’t a cool and lovable asshole. Was he essentially playing himself? Maybe, but either way it was enough to win the audience over. — Andres Bolivar (Read his full review here!)

Best Actor Runner Up Val Kilmer - The Fourth Dimension

“The Lotus Community Workshop” is the best of the three films in The Fourth Dimension, and a lot of that has to do with Val Kilmer’s performance. He’s a wigged-out motivational speaker giving out secrets about the universe. Not just any old secrets, though — we’re talking awesome secrets. He sounds like he believes every bit of it, whether he’s talking an encounter with a UFO or the beautiful utopian sweetness of cotton candy. This is a Kilmer who’s traded in stardom and vanity for the sake of some weird, neon-lit brand of spiritual truth. — Hubert Vigilla (Read his full review here!)


Best Actress

Best Actress - Marguerite Moreau from Caroline and Jackie

Playing psychologically damaged people can be difficult, but Marguerite Moreau pulls it off convincingly in Caroline and Jackie. She knows how to modulate and adjust through the course of the evening, and how to play off the other characters. It’s like she’s channeling a bit of Gena Rowlands in this Cassavettes-inspired indie drama. She’s the hub of the evening’s histrionic activity, and one of the reasons I was intrigued by the film. There was another reason I watched closely, though. — Hubert Vigilla (Read his full review here!)

Best Actress runner up - Bitsie Tulloch from Caroline and Jackie

In a way, Marguerite Moreau doesn’t work in Caroline and Jackie without Bitsie Tulloch as her sister. Tulloch plays the comparatively even-keeled person that Moreau can play off. She’s also troubled, though, and has her own Gena Rowlands moments. She’s just brimming with quiet desperation as well as this deep-rooted guilt, but she also shows a lot of complicated compassion and understanding about what’s transpiring. It’s a family thing, so the emotions ought to be complicated. — Hubert Vigilla

Biggest Disappointment

Biggest disappointment - Headshot

This may be a case where the synopsis led my expectations in one direction while the film went somewhere else entirely. When I heard the plot was about an assassin who suddenly sees the world upside down, I pictured some bizarre, visually interesting action film. Instead, Headshot moves slowly, has a number of really contrived moments and bits of coincidence, and makes very little use of the interesting visual idea of seeing the world upside down. The film is less meditative and more of a drag, but it’s got an interesting conceit that someone else ought to give a spin. — Hubert Vigilla (Read his full review here!)

Biggest Disappointment Runner Up - Off Label

There is a lot of potential for a film about the use and abuse of prescription drugs for off-label purposes, but Off Label lives up to none of it. As emotionally manipulative as a Michael Moore film without any of the humor, Off Label attempts to convince people that off-label uses are always bad. They aren’t. Agendas are fine and pretty mich expected from documentaries, but this one makes no attempt to even acknowledge that there is another side, let alone create any kind of meaningful dialogue. — Alec Kubas-Meyer (Read his full review here!)


Worst Film Flixist Award

Worst film - Cut

Cut is one of the worst films I have ever seen. This could have easily won the “Biggest Disappointment” award, but that would mean I’d have to write even more about it. I don’t want to do that. I just want the film to stop existing. Everyone involved in the production should be ashamed of themselves. John Ford, Akira Kurosawa, and Orson Welles are all rolling in their graves. — Alec Kubas-Meyer (Read his full review here!)

Worst Film Runner Up - First Winter

Society collapses during a cold winter, which leaves some self-centered hipsters stranded on the farmhouse of a lecherous, manipulative yoga instructor. Everyone’s unlikable and irredeemable, so maybe we’ll see a darkly comic and savage take on the pretenses of hipster culture. Fat chance. Instead we watch a bunch of dumb jerks act like dumb jerks, a non-story unfolding slowly, and even a moment of unearned enlightenment when no one changes themselves or their attitudes for the better. The movie reeks of patchouli and bullshit. — Hubert Vigilla (Read his full review here!)


Flixist Everything Else


Graceland – 80 (Great)

Supporting Characters – 78 (Good)

Future Weather – 56 (Average)

Nancy, Please – 68 (Okay)

Knuckleball – 68 (Okay)

Beyond the Hill – 55 (Average)

Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie – 62 (Okay)

Postcards from the Zoo – 44 (Sub-par)

Death of a Superhero – 82 (Great)

Consuming Spirits – 77 (Good)

Jackpot – 75 (Good)

Mansome – 72 (Good)

The Virgin, the Copts and Me – 69 (Okay)

Unit 7 – 74 (Good)

Freaky Deaky – 56 (Average)

Revenge for Jolly! – 75 (Good)

Chicken with Plums – 86 (Exceptional)

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey – 72 (Good)

Journey to Planet X – 62 (Okay)

The Revisionaries – 84 (Great)

Downeast – 79 (Good)

Resolution – 78 (Good)

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal – 67 (Okay)

Rat King – 45 (Sub-Par)


Flixclusive Interview: Malik Bendejelloul, director of Searching for Sugar Man

Flixclusive Interview: Ian Fitzgibbon, director of Death of a Superhero

Flixclusive Interview: Adam Christian Clark, Bitsie Tulloch, and Marguerite Moreau, director and stars of Caroline and Jackie

Winners of the official Tribeca Film Festival Awards