When this pandemic is finally, finally over, we will be so grateful to bunk with pals in foreign towns and pack into crowded cinemas for festival premieres again. But we also reserve the right to miss the weirdly comforting communal online-ness of virtual fest-going.
For context, it is often a stretch for media outlets to send more than a couple of representatives to in-person festivals and, once there, it can be a lonely and hectic exercise. This past year has carried a different vibe: home-alone viewings that have still felt somehow together, with between-screening chats firing up online about what we’ve seen, and what our members are buzzing over.
We may have missed the deeply New York vibe of queuing outside the SVA on a crisp, spring evening for a gala premiere, but with its summery, socially distanced outdoor screenings and an online library of unexpected treasures, Tribeca 2021 felt pretty great.
So with the help of Letterboxd reviewers, we present our ten best discoveries (in no particular order). Capsules by Gemma Gracewood, Leo Koziol, Aaron Yap, Mitchell Beaupre, Dominic Corry, Selome Hailu and Jack Moulton. As is always the way with a festival, we also noticed fascinating thematic parallels between particular films, so we’ve curated some potential double-features for your watchlists.