This past Saturday night, a small art-house action movie called The Avengers had its New York City premiere, complete with all of the red carpet hoopla and throngs of fans dying to sneak into the venue and watch Hulk smash aliens into bits. The event wasn’t your typical gala movie debut, though—it was actually the closing night screening of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, capping off eleven days’ worth of independent cinema with one of the biggest movies ever made.

If you stop and think about it, though, the decision to unveil The Avengers to wrap up this year’s Tribeca festivities has an interesting subtext. Marvel’s superhero extravaganza, which opens everywhere this Friday, is, outside of the NYC fest, the summer’s first official blockbuster, meaning that we’re about to be inundated with huge, loud, and expensive motion pictures for the next four months. Granted, indie stalwarts will have plenty of smaller options to choose from, but the popular emphasis will be placed upon the big studio tentpoles.

Thus, last week’s Tribeca slate nicely put the city’s focus on do-it-yourself, humbly made films, the kind that we particularly love. So before we all bask in the summer’s impending onslaught of box-office-crushing fare, let’s celebrate the little guys with our countdown of The 10 Best Movies Complex Saw At The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)

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