NY Daily News

The Big Picture: Tribeca Film Festival heats up

by Elizabeth Weitzman

Yes, it’s going to be gorgeous this weekend. But you’ve got a whole summer of 80 degree weather ahead of you, and only 10 days of the Tribeca Film Festival. So at the very least, make time for a movie or two – you never know what you might discover in the dark. With an especially strong slate on offer this year, you’re bound to find a few titles that’ll draw you inside.

Those looking for buzz today might want to start with “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” a black- and-white musical romance that could become this year’s “Once,” and “Outrage,” an already-controversial documentary about homophobic politicians who just happen to be gay.

As for crowd-pleasers, “The Swimsuit Issue,” a Swedish comedy about an aging synchronized swim team, is likely to draw some laughs, as is the blaxploitation spoof “Black Dynamite,” which proved especially popular with audiences at Sundance earlier this year.

If you really want to stay outdoors, head to the World Financial Center Plaza by dusk tonight for a free “drive-in” screening of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” (Seats open at 6 p.m., so get there early if you want to stake out a good spot.)

Tomorrow’s highlights are led by the delicate mumblecore tale “The Exploding Girl,” starring Zoe Kazan as an emotionally adrift student who returns home to New York for a dangerously stressful college break.

But if you’re hoping to include the whole family, consider “Racing Dreams,” a terrific doc about three young go-kart champions – one a tween girl – aiming for NASCAR greatness.

Ballet buffs won’t want to miss Sunday’s “Only When I Dance,” the chronicle of two impoverished Brazilian teens hoping to find a better life through dance. And budding cinephiles will enjoy “Downtown Youth Behind the Camera,” which presents the short films of local school kids.

Perhaps afterward, they’ll be inspired to head back outside, with their own camera in hand. The Tribeca Film Festival runs to May 3. Schedules, tickets and venue directions are available at www.tribecafilm.com. Keep in mind that every sold-out event will have a wait line, to be granted admittance – based on availability – prior to showtime.

Friday, April 24th 2009, 4:00 AM