119 posts categorized "Film Festivals"

September 12, 2018


FilmFeteProgramI'm stoked to be serving on the board of Carnegie Hill Neighbors in celebrating the neighborhood with the first annual CARNEGIE HILL FILM FETE. Join us on Sunday, September 23 at the Church of Heavenly Rest at 2pm for a screening of 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD. After the screening I'm giving a little walking tour!

April 11, 2018



One of the many things I love about Cannes is the beautiful poster art the festival's artists consistently come up with. Ah yes, the romantic fantasy of Cinema. Is there anything finer?

December 06, 2017


Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated film ‘Isle of Dogs’ (featuring the voices of Bryan Cranston and Tilda Swinton) will premiere at the 2018 BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL on February 15. From the trailer, this looks like vintage Wes Anderson — kooky dry humor with an international bent of globalization. Yum. 



September 09, 2017


The Venezia 74 Jury, chaired by Annette Bening, and comprised of Ildikó EnyediMichel FrancoRebecca HallAnna MouglalisDavid StrattonJasmine TrincaEdgar Wright and Yonfan having viewed all 21 films in competition, has decided as follows:
GOLDEN LION for Best Film to:
by Samuel Maoz (Israel, Germany, France, Switzerland)
Xavier Legrand 
for the film JUSQU’À LA GARDE (France)
for Best Actress:
Charlotte Rampling
in the film HANNAH by Andrea Pallaoro (Italy, Belgium, France)
for Best Actor:
Kamel El Basha
in the film THE INSULT by Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon, France)
for the film THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI by Martin McDonagh (Great Britain)
by Warwick Thornton (Australia)
for Best Young Actor or Actress to:
Charlie Plummer
in the film LEAN ON PETE by Andrew Haigh (Great Britain)
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film Jury at the 74th Venice Film Festival, chaired by Benoît Jacquot and comprised of Geoff Andrew, Albert Lee, Greta Scarano and Yorgos Zois has decided to award:
by Xavier Legrand (France)
as well as a prize of 100,000 USD, donated by Filmauro to be divided equally between director and producer.
The Orizzonti Jury of the 74th Venice International Film Festival, chaired by Gianni Amelio and composed of  Rakhshan BanietemadAmi Canaan MannMark CousinsAndrés DupratFien Troch and Rebecca Zlotowski, after screening the 31 films in competition has decided to award:
NICO, 1988
by Susanna Nicchiarelli (Italy, Belgium)
Vahid Jalilvand
by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (France, USA)
Lyna Khoudri
in LES BIENHEUREUX by Sofia Djama (France, Belgium, Qatar)
Navid Mohammadzadeh
by Vahid Jalilvand (Iran)
Dominique Welinski and René Ballesteros
for LOS VERSOS DEL OLVIDO by Alireza Khatami 
(France, Germany, Netherlands, Chile)
by Céline Devaux (France)
by Céline Devaux (France)
The Venice VR Jury of the 74th Venice International Film Festival, chaired by John Landis and composed of Cécile Sciamma and Ricky Tognazzi has decided to award:
by Eugene YK Chung (USA)
by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang (USA, Taiwan)
by Gina Kim (South Korea, USA)
The Venice Classics Jury, chaired by Giuseppe Piccioni composed of 26 students of Cinema History, chosen in particular from the professors of 12 Italian Dams university programmes and from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, has decided to award:
by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski (Poland, Germany)
by Elem Klimov (USSR, 1985)
Jane Fonda
Robert Redford
Stephen Frears


Arca CinemaGiovani Award

Venezia 74 Best Film: FOXTROT by Samuel Maoz

Best Italian Film: BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Giorgio Ferrero

BNL People's Choice Award – Giornate degli Autori

GA’AGUA (LONGING) by Savi Gabizon

Brian Award


Circolo del Cinema di Verona Award – 32nd Venice International Film Critics’ Week


Civitas Vitae Award


Fair Play Cinema Award

EX LIBRIS - THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY by Frederick Wiseman         

Special Mention: HUMAN FLOW by Ai Weiwei    

Fedeora Award (Federazione dei Critici Europei e dei Paesi Mediterranei)

Best Film: EYE ON JULIET by Kim Nguyen

Best Director of a Debut Film: SARA FORESTIER for M



LA VITA IN COMUNE by Edoardo Winspeare

Special Mention: NICO, 1988 by Susanna Nicchiarelli

Mention FEDIC – Il giornale del cibo: LE VISITE by Elio Di Pace


EX LIBRIS - THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY by Frederick Wiseman         

Best Debut Film: LOS VERSOS DEL OLVIDO by Alireza Khatami

Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award


Enrico Fulchignoni – CICT-UNESCO Award

HUMAN FLOW by Ai Weiwei

Future Film Festival Digital Award

THE SHAPE OF WATER by Guillermo del Toro

Special Mention: GATTA CENERENTOLA by A. Rak, I. Cappiello, M. Guarnieri, D. Sansone 

GdA Director’s Award - Giornate degli Autori

CANDELARIA by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza

Green Drop Award 

FIRST REFORMED by Paul Schrader  

HRNs Award – Special Prize for Human Rights


Special Mention: L’ORDINE DELLE COSE by Andrea Segre

Special Mention: HUMAN FLOW by Ai Weiwei

Interfilm Award

LOS VERSOS DEL OLVIDO by Alireza Khatami

Label Europa Cinemas Award

M by Sara Forestier                                                                                                      

Lanterna Magica Award (CGS)

L'EQUILIBRIO by Vincenzo Marra

La Pellicola d’Oro Award

Best Production Manager in an Italian Film: DANIELE SPINOZZI for Ammore e Malavita

Best Production Manager in an International Film: RICCARDO MARCHEGIANI for Mektoub My Love: Canto Uno

Best Stagehand: ROBERTO DI PIETRO for Hannah

Leoncino d’Oro Agiscuola Award


Cinema for UNICEF Award: HUMAN FLOW by Ai Weiwei

Lizzani Award



Lina Mangiacapre Award


Mouse d’Oro Award

MEKTOUB, MY LOVE: CANTO UNO by Abdellatif Kechiche

Mouse d’Argento Award: GATTA CENERENTOLA by A. Rak, I. Cappiello, M. Guarnieri, D. Sansone 

NuovoImaie Talent Award

FEDERICA ROSELLINI for Dove cadono le ombre

MIMMO BORRELLI for L’equilibrio

Open Award

GATTA CENERENTOLA by A. Rak, I. Cappiello, M. Guarnieri, D. Sansone

Francesco Pasinetti Award – SNGCI

AMMORE E MALAVITA by Manetti Bros.    

Special Award: GATTA CENERENTOLA by A. Rak, I. Cappiello, M. Guarnieri, D. Sansone 

Special Award: NICO, 1988 by Susanna Nicchiarelli                                                                       

Gillo Pontecorvo Award - Arcobaleno Latino

MIAO XIAOTIAN, CEO of China Film Coproduction Corporation

Queer Lion Award

MARVIN by Anne Fontaine

Mario Serandrei – Hotel Saturnia Award for the Best Technical Contribution – 32nd Venice International Film Critics’ Week

LES GARÇONS SAUVAGES by Bertrand Mandico

Sfera 1932 Award

LA MÉLODIE by Rachid Hami  

SIAE Audience Award – 32nd Venice International Film Critics’ Week

TEMPORADA DE CAZA by Natalia Garagiola


LA VILLA by Robert Guédiguian

Special Mention: FOXTROT by Samuel Maoz

C. Smithers Foundation Award – CICT-UNESCO

THE SHAPE OF WATER by Guillermo del Toro

Sorriso Diverso Venezia 2017 Award - Ass Ucl


Soundtrack Stars Award

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for The Shape of Water

Special Award: AMMORE E MALAVITA by Manetti Bros.

Lifetime Achievement Award to ANDREA GUERRA


LA VILLA by Robert Guédiguian

Special Mention: BRUTTI E CATTIVI by Cosimo Gomez

September 08, 2017

Cinematographer Caroline Champetier: Shaping the Light

French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) presents


Cinematographer Caroline Champetier:

Shaping the Light

Tuesday, September 19–Tuesday, October 31

 FIAF  Florence Gould Hall; 55 East 59th Street, NYC


New York, NYSeptember 8, 2017 — This fall, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s premiere French cultural center, presents the new CinéSalon series Caroline Champetier: Shaping the Light. On Tuesday, October 24, Champetier comes to FIAF in person for a special Q&A after the 4pm screening of The Innocents and 7:30pm screening of Holy Motors.

Award-winning director of photography Caroline Champetier is a master of her craft. The orchestrator of lighting and camerawork on more than 100 films, her art is often felt as much as it is seen. Champetier has a rare ability to shape light to create palpable energy, evoke powerful emotions, and transform movie sets into fully-realized worlds. 

Champetier is the cinematographer behind some of France’s greatest filmmakers, past and present. A student of William Lubtchantsky, she has worked with generations of pioneering filmmakers, from Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette to Chantal Akerman, Arnaud Desplechin, and Léos Carax. 

This fall’s CinéSalon series features some of Champetier’s most striking films, including Holy MotorsOf Gods and Men, and films recently restored under her supervision.

Caroline Champetier: Shaping the Light coincides with the New York premiere, on electronic billboards surrounding Times Square, of Voir la mer, from France’s foremost conceptual artist, Sophie Calle. Featuring cinematography by Caroline Champetier, the series of intimate, evocative video portraits reveals the emotional response of Istanbul residents seeing the sea for the first time. Voir la mer is presented as part of FIAF’s celebrated Crossing the Line Festival.

Series curated by Caroline Champetier and Delphine Selles-Alvarez.

About CinéSalon

In the spirit of the French ciné-clubs and literary salons, CinéSalon pairs an engaging French film with a social post-screening wine & beer reception. Every 7:30pm screening will be introduced by a high-profile personality in the arts.

Films in French with English subtitles unless otherwise noted.

CinéSalon is free for all FIAF Members.

CinéSalon Caroline Champetier: Shaping the Light

Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux)

Tuesday, September 19 at 4 & 7:30pm

5:30–8pm: Wine & Cheese Tasting

Xavier Beauvois, 2009. 122 min. Color.

With Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, and Olivier Rabourdin

In French and Arabic with English subtitles.

The true story of seven French Trappist monks who were kidnapped from their monastery in Tibhirine and killed during the Algerian Civil War, Of Gods and Men surpasses the tragically topical by focusing on the monks’ faith and their spiritual commonality with their Muslim neighbors. A surprise box office smash upon its release, this powerful film is an enduring paean to faith in the face of fundamentalism.

Caroline Champetier won the 2011 César for Best Cinematography for her superb work here, notably in a bravura scene inspired by the “Last Supper” and set to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

"Beautiful, somber and rigorously intelligent."—The New York Times 

7:30pm screening will be introduced by Kirsten Johnson, award-winning director and cinematographer.

Part of FIAF’s Fall Open House. Complimentary Wine & Cheese Tasting from 5:30–8pm.

About Kirsten Johnson

Kirsten Johnson’s film Cameraperson was named one of the Top Ten Films of 2016 by The Washington Post and The New York Times. It premiered at Sundance, was short-listed for an Academy Award, won the National Board of Review Freedom of Expression prize, and won the Cinema Eye Outstanding Nonfiction Feature Award. Her short,The Above which premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival, was nominated for the IDA Best Short of 2016. Kirsten’s camerawork appears in the Cannes premiere, Risk, Academy Award-winning Citizenfour, Academy Award-nominated The Invisible War, Tribeca Documentary winner, Pray The Devil Back To Hell, and Cannes winnerFahrenheit 9/11. She shared the Sundance 2010 Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for their work on The Oath. She is currently a Sundance Art of Non-Fiction Fellow and was just awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She studied at the French National Film School, La Fémis, where she was the first American to graduate from the Cinematography Department.

Gang of Four (La Bande des Quatre)

Tuesday, September 26 at 4 & 7:30pm

Jacques Rivette, 1989. 160 min. Color.
With Bulle Ogier, Benoît Régent, Laurence Côte, Fejria Deliba 

In French with English subtitles.

Four students at a prestigious all-female acting school happily live together in the suburbs of Paris until a mysterious stranger warns them that their classmate Cécile is in danger. The young women soon discover that their world of theater is closely connected to the shadowy recesses of contemporary reality. While the entrancing Gang of Four is full of trademarks of the most playful of New Wave directors—the back and forth between theater and reality, the plot as an enigmatic game of snakes and ladders, the focus on female protagonists—it stands out as one of Rivette’s most enjoyable films. 

"Gang of Four offers an accessible and entertaining vision of how the New Wave has survived and evolved long after it was declared dead."—The New York Times

Special guest speaker to be announced.

Enjoy complimentary wine & beer after both screenings.

Related Event:

Sophie Calle: Voir la mer (New York Premiere)

Presented as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival in partnership with Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts

Sunday, October 1 through Tuesday, October 31, nightly from 11:57pm–midnight

On Times Square electronic billboards from 42nd–49th Streets between 7th Avenue and Broadway

Free and open to the public

Since the late 1970’s, Sophie Calle—“France’s foremost conceptual artist” (The New York Times)—has been making provocative and often controversial work that confronts issues in her personal life. She is well-known for her sleuth-like explorations of human relationships, which have led her to follow strangers, and find work as a hotel chambermaid.

Calle’s work has been shown at international venues including the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MoMA (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), The Tate Gallery (London), Crossing the Line Festival 2011, and recently a site-specific installation in Greenwood Cemetery (Brooklyn) for Creative Time.

In Istanbul, a city surrounded by the sea, Sophie Calle met people who had never seen it. For Voir la mer, as Calle describes it, “I took them to the shore of the Black Sea. They came to the water’s edge, separately, eyes lowered, closed, or masked. I was behind them. I asked them to look out to the sea and then to turn back towards me to show me these eyes that had just seen it for the first time.” Magnified on Times Square’s electronic billboards, five of these intimate video portraits silently reveal their emotional response to this evocative experience.
Image: Caroline Champetier

For details visit www.crossingthelinefestival.org

La Sentinelle

Tuesday, October 3 at 4 & 7:30pm

Arnaud Desplechin, 1992. 139 min. Color.
With Emmanuel Salinger, Thibault de Montalembert, Jean-Louis Richard

In French with English Subtitles

La Sentinelle is the haunting tale of a medical student who arrives in Paris to discover a human head in his luggage. Determined to identify his “charge,” the young man wades deep into the murky waters of Cold War diplomacy. A profound meditation on recent European history and a wry depiction of Paris’s elite circles, this brilliant debut feature introduced audiences to Arnaud Desplechin, one of France’s most significant contemporary writer-directors. In choosing to work with the fledgling director, Caroline Champetier launched her important collaboration with a younger generation of filmmakers that would shape the French cinema of our era. 

"An absorbing, psychologically resonant portrait of French student life."—The New York Times

Special guest speaker to be announced.

Enjoy complimentary wine & beer after both screenings. 

Presented as part of FIAF’s First Tuesdays. See fiaf.org for info.

Toute une nuit

Tuesday, October 17 at 4 & 7:30pm

Chantal Akerman, 1981. 90 min. Color. 
With Aurore Clément, Natalia Akerman, Paul Allio

In French with English subtitles.

From sunset to dawn over the course of a single summer night in Brussels, a variety of couples come together—or apart. Set to Italian pop hits of the eighties, this nearly wordless gem plays both like a perfectly choreographed extended dance piece and a deliriously woozy wander into the nocturnal heat, with entire relationships playing out in brief street-corner scenes. In her first feature as solo director of photography and her only collaboration with the late, great Chantal Akerman, Champetier beautifully captures the sights and textures of a sultry summer night in the city. 

“One of the most ravishing films I have ever seen"—Huffington Post

Special guest speaker to be announced.

Enjoy complimentary wine & beer after both screenings.

The Innocents (Les innocentes)

Tuesday, October 24 at 4pm

Anne Fontaine, 2016. 115 min. Color. 
With Lou de Laâge, Agata Buzek, Agata Kulesza, Vincent Macaigne

In French, Polish, and Russian with English subtitles

Mathilde, a Red Cross doctor stationed in Poland shortly after World War II, is urgently called to a Benedictine convent, where she learns that several nuns are on the verge of giving birth after having been raped by Soviet soldiers. Deciding to go against Red Cross protocol and the wishes of a fanatical Mother Superior, she fights to save the young women and their babies. Based on true events, this gripping period piece convincingly recreates a particularly dark pass in modern history, while evoking the plight of every innocent caught in the crossfire between rampaging armies and dogmatic beliefs. 

“Uniquely powerful and beautiful."—Le Monde
Screening followed by a Q&A with Caroline Champetier

Enjoy complimentary wine & beer after the Q&A.

Holy Motors

Tuesday, October 24 at 7:30pm


Leos Carax, 2012. 115 min. Color. 
With Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue

In French, English, and Chinese with English subtitles

Climb into a white stretch limo with mysterious master of disguise Monsieur Oscar (played by the virtuoso Denis Lavant) and embark on an astounding trip through contemporary Paris. As Oscar changes identities, the film shifts gears from fantasy to musical comedy, from Henry James to CGI, and from family drama to hardboiled action. The sum total is a caustic, visionary representation of a world transformed by technology, haunted by materialism, but still lifted by director Leos Carax’s trademark dark romanticism. A disorienting, exhilarating masterpiece by one of the major artists of our era, Holy Motors is a must-see. 

“Carax’s ultimate definition of the cinema, and it’s one of the best and grandest that a movie has ever offered."
—The New Yorker

“Best French film of the 21st century!”—Indiewire

Screening followed by a Q&A with Caroline Champetier

Enjoy complimentary wine & beer after the Q&A.

Hannah Arendt

Tuesday, October 31 at 4pm

Margarethe von Trotta, 2012. 113 min. Color. 
With Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer, Julia Jentsch.

In English & German with English subtitles

Starting with the kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann by the Mossad in Argentina, Hannah Arendt describes the writing of Arendt’s classic account of the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem and the controversy that followed its publication in The New Yorker, recreating a long-lost New York émigré intellectual milieu along the way. If film as intellectual history sounds arduous, a single scene of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy arguing out ideas while playing pool will convince you otherwise: Margarethe von Trotta’s gripping dramatization succeeds not only in bringing complex ideas to life without dumbing them down, but in teasing out their emotional stakes.

“Stimulating and inspiring.”—The Huffington Post 

Enjoy complimentary wine & beer after the screening.

Grandeur et Décadence d’un petit commerce de cinéma

Tuesday, October 31 at 7:30pm

Jean-Luc Godard, 1986. 92 min. Color.
Jean-Pierre Léaud, Marie Valera, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Caroline Champetier.

In French with English subtitles.
Previously unreleased in theaters, this newly restored gem finds Godard straying from his commission to make a film noir for television in order to tell the story of a down-on-his-luck producer and a director preparing his new film. Godard is as irreverent and thought-provoking as ever in his assessment of cinema marginalized by the unprecedented expansion of television in the 1980s. Yet Grandeur et décadence is more than an SOS sent out from the shores of cinema: it is also a love letter to the dream factory and an essential chapter in Godard’s storied career. 

"Deeply moving and funny, indisputably accurate, today more than ever.”—Slate

Special guest speaker to be announced.

Enjoy complimentary wine & beer after the screening.

About FIAF

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. www.fiaf.org


Special thanks to the Institut français and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Special thanks to Julien Rejl (Capricci Films), Arianna Turci (Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique), John Kochman (Cohen Media Group), Courtney Vlaming (Music Box Films), Michael DiCerto (Sony Pictures Classics), Matt Pierson (Swank Motion Pictures), Nadège Le Breton (Why Not Productions), Nancy Gerstman (Zeitgeist Films).

CinéSalon is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. CinéSalon is sponsored by Air France and Delta Air Lines, BNP Paribas, and Renault Nissan. Wine courtesy of Vinadeis, the exclusive wine sponsor of CinéSalon. Beer courtesy of Kronenbourg 1664, the exclusive beer sponsor of CinéSalon.

Program Sponsors: Air France and Delta Air Lines, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, Engie, Enoch Foundation, French American Cultural Exchange (FACE), Florence Gould Foundation, Hermès Foundation within the framework of the New Settings Program, Howard Gilman Foundation, Institut français, JCDecaux, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Office de Tourisme de Boulogne-Billancourt, Performing Arts Fund NL, and Pommery.





Caroline Champetier: Shaping the Light


Times and titles detailed above.


FIAF – Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street

(between Park & Madison Avenue)


$14; $7 students; Free for FIAF Members; Advanced tickets $3*

*Free FIAF Member tickets distributed day-of. Show your Membership card at the

Box Office. Member tickets may be purchased in advance for $3.

As part of FIAF’s September 19 Open House, screenings of Of Gods and Menare free for both FIAF Members and Non-Members. Tickets will be distributed day-of at the box office on a first-come first-serve basis or may be purchased in advance for $3 (FIAF Members) or $5 (Non-Members).


800 982 2787 | fiaf.org


212 355 6160 | fiaf.org  


4, 5, 6, N, R and Q to 59th Street & Lexington Avenue


F to 63rd Street & Lexington Avenue; E to 53rd Street & 5th Avenue

Twitter: @FIAFNY

Instagram: @FIAFNY

Facebook: Like facebook.com/fiafny

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September 06, 2017



"Thelma" is on my list of must-see films at the upcoming New York Film Festival! Check it out.

August 22, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective at New York's Quad Cinema

Beginning September 22nd 

Few actors are as recognizable in American movies as Harry Dean Stanton. The singularly mild-mannered face of the New Hollywood, his repertoire expands to dozens of appearances in beloved studio, cult and independent movies, with only a handful of starring roles to his name. In a career spanning more than 60 years, Stanton’s inimitable, gently hangdog persona revealed a capacity for harebrained agitation and profound melancholy that prove equally disarming, all while never less than at ease on camera. Stanton has worked with many of the most important names in international cinema, from Sam Peckinpah to Wim Wenders to David Lynch.
On occasion of his starring role in Lucky (opening September 29 courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)—and keeping in mind critic Roger Ebert’s famous proclamation that no film with his presence could be without merit—the Quad is proud to present a wide-ranging selection of his most memorable roles. 
92 in the Shade (1975)
Alien (1979)
Christine (1983)
Cisco Pike (1972)
Cockfighter (1974)
Death Watch (1980)
Dillinger (1973)
Escape from New York (1981)
Fool for Love (1985)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
The Missouri Breaks (1976)
Paris, Texas (1984)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Ride in the Whirlwind (1966)
Repo Man (1984)
The Rose (1979)
Slam Dance (1987)
The Straight Story (1999)
Straight Time (1978)
Twister (1989)
Wise Blood (1979)

For more information, please visit: 

August 08, 2017




 25 features include new films from Sean Baker, Noah Baumbach, Serge Bozon, Robin Campillo, Claire Denis, Arnaud Desplechin, Philippe Garrel, Greta Gerwig, Alain Gomis, Valeska Grisebach, Luca Guadagnino, Agnieszka Holland, Hong Sang-soo, Aki Kaurismäki, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Lucrecia Martel, Ruben Östlund, Dee Rees, Joachim Trier, Agnès Varda & JR, and Chloé Zhao

L to R: Zama, On the Beach at Night Alone, Ismael’s Ghosts, Félicité, Lover for a Day, BPM (Beats Per Minute), 
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), The Square, Thelma

New York, NY (August 8, 2017) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the 25 films for the Main Slate of the 55th New York Film Festival, September 28 – October 15.

NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “Every year, I’m asked about the themes in our Main Slate line-up, and every year I say the same thing: we choose the best films we see, and the common themes and preoccupations arise only after the fact. As I look at this slate of beautiful work, I could just make a series of simple observations: that these films come from all over the globe; that there is a nice balance of filmmakers known and unknown to many here in New York; that the overall balance between frankness and artistry holds me in awe; that there are two gala selections with the word ‘wonder’ in their titles; and that eight of the 25 films were directed by women.”

This year’s Main Slate showcases films honored at Cannes including Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or–winner The Square; Robin Campillo’s BPM, awarded the Cannes Critics’ Prize; and Agnès Varda & JR’s Faces Places, which took home the Golden Eye. From Berlin, Aki Kaurismäki’s Silver Bear–winner The Other Side of Hope and Agnieszka Holland’s Alfred Bauer Prize–winner Spoor mark the returns of two New York Film Festival veterans, while Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed Call Me by Your Name will be his NYFF debut. Also returning are Arnaud Desplechin, Noah Baumbach, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Claire Denis, Philippe Garrel, Lucrecia Martel, and Hong Sang-soo, who has two features in the lineup this year, while filmmakers new to the festival include Sean Baker, Greta Gerwig, Serge Bozon, Dee Rees, Chloé Zhao, Joachim Trier, Alain Gomis, and Valeska Grisebach.

As previously announced, the NYFF55 Opening Night is Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying, Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck is Centerpiece, and Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel will close the festival.

The 55th New York Film Festival Main Slate

Opening Night
Last Flag Flying
Dir. Richard Linklater

Dir. Todd Haynes

Closing Night
Wonder Wheel
Dir. Woody Allen

Before We Vanish
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

BPM (Beats Per Minute)/120 battements par minute
Dir. Robin Campillo

Bright Sunshine In/Un beau soleil intérieur
Dir. Claire Denis

Call Me by Your Name
Dir. Luca Guadagnino

The Day After
Dir. Hong Sang-soo

Faces Places/Visages villages
Dir. Agnès Varda & JR

Dir. Alain Gomis

The Florida Project
Dir. Sean Baker

Ismael’s Ghosts/Les fantômes d’Ismaël
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin

Lady Bird
Dir. Greta Gerwig

Lover for a Day/L’Amant d’un jour
Dir. Philippe Garrel

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Dir. Noah Baumbach

Mrs. Hyde/Madame Hyde
Dir. Serge Bozon

Dir. Dee Rees

On the Beach at Night Alone
Dir. Hong Sang-soo

The Other Side of Hope/Toivon tuolla puolen
Dir. Aki Kaurismäki

The Rider
Dir. Chloé Zhao

Dir. Agnieszka Holland, in cooperation with Kasia Adamik

The Square
Dir. Ruben Östlund

Dir. Joachim Trier

Dir. Valeska Grisebach

Dir. Lucrecia Martel

NYFF Special Events, Spotlight on Documentary, Revivals, Convergence, and Projections sections, as well as filmmaker conversations and panels, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 18-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Florence Almozini, FSLC Associate Director of Programming; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound.

Tickets for the 55th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 10. VIP passes and packages are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events. Learn more at filmlinc.org/packages

Films & Descriptions


Opening Night
Last Flag Flying
Dir. Richard Linklater, USA, 2017, 119m
World Premiere
In Richard Linklater’s lyrical road movie, as funny as it is heartbreaking, three aging Vietnam-era Navy vets—soft-spoken Doc (Steve Carell), unhinged and unfiltered Sal (Bryan Cranston), and quietly measured Mueller (Laurence Fishburne)—reunite to perform a sacred task: the proper burial of Doc’s only child, who has been killed in the early days of the Iraq invasion. As this trio of old friends makes its way up the Eastern seaboard, Linklater gives us a rich rendering of friendship, a grand mosaic of common life in the USA during the Bush era, and a striking meditation on the passage of time and the nature of truth. To put it simply, Last Flag Flying is a great movie from one of America’s finest filmmakers. An Amazon Studios release.

Dir. Todd Haynes, USA, 2017, 117m
In 1977, following the death of his single mother, Ben (Oakes Fegley) loses his hearing in a freak accident and makes his way from Minnesota to New York, hoping to learn about the father he has never met. A half-century earlier, another deaf 12-year-old, Rose (Millicent Simmonds), flees her restrictive Hoboken home, captivated by the bustle and romance of the nearby big city. Each of these parallel adventures, unfolding largely without dialogue, is an exuberant love letter to a different bygone era of New York. The mystery of how they ultimately converge, which involves Julianne Moore in a lovely dual role, provides the film’s emotional core. Adapted from a young-adult novel by Hugo author Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck is an all-ages enchantment, entirely true to director Todd Haynes’s sensibility: an intelligent, deeply personal, and lovingly intricate tribute to the power of obsession. An Amazon Studios release.

Closing Night
Wonder Wheel
Dir. Woody Allen, USA, 2017
World Premiere
In a career spanning 50 years and almost as many features, Woody Allen has periodically refined, reinvented, and redefined the terms of his art, and that’s exactly what he does with his daring new film. We’re in Coney Island in the 1950s. A lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) tells us a story that just might be filtered through his vivid imagination: a middle-aged carousel operator (Jim Belushi) and his beleaguered wife (Kate Winslet), who eke out a living on the boardwalk, are visited by his estranged daughter (Juno Temple)—a situation from which layer upon layer of all-too-human complications develop. Allen and his cinematographer, the great Vittorio Storaro, working with a remarkable cast led by Winslet in a startlingly brave, powerhouse performance, have created a bracing and truly surprising movie experience. An Amazon Studios release.

Before We Vanish
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 2017, 129m
The latest from master of art-horror Kiyoshi Kurosawa is perhaps his most mainstream film yet, a throwback to 1980s sci-fi. An advance crew of three aliens journey to Earth in preparation for a complete takeover of the planet. They snatch not only bodies but memories, beliefs, values—everything that defines their conquests as human—leaving only hollow shells, which are all but unrecognizable to their loved ones. This disturbing parable for our present moment, replete with stunning images—including a drone attack and a bit of Clockwork Orange–style murder and mayhem—is also a profoundly mystical affirmation of love as the only form of resistance and salvation. A Neon release.

BPM (Beats Per Minute)/120 battements par minute
Dir. Robin Campillo, France, 2017, 144m
U.S. Premiere
In the early 1990s, ACT UP—in France, as in the U.S.—was on the front lines of AIDS activism. Its members, mostly gay, HIV-positive men, stormed drug company and government offices in “Silence=Death” T-shirts, facing down complacent suits with the urgency of their struggle for life. Robin Campillo (Eastern Boys) depicts their comradeship and tenacity in waking up the world to the disease that was killing them and movingly dramatizes the persistence of passionate love affairs even in dire circumstances. All the actors, many of them unknown, are splendid in this film, which not only celebrates the courage of ACT UP but also tacitly provides a model of resistance to the forces of destruction running rampant today. A release of The Orchard.        

Bright Sunshine In/Un beau soleil intérieur
Dir. Claire Denis, France, 2017, 95m
North American Premiere
Juliette Binoche is both incandescent and emotionally raw in Claire Denis’s extraordinary new film as Isabelle, a middle-aged Parisian artist in search of definitive love. The film moves elliptically, as though set to some mysterious bio-rhythm, from one romantic/emotional attachment to another: from the boorish married lover (Xavier Beauvois); to the subtly histrionic actor (Nicolas Duvauchelle), also married; to the dreamboat hairdresser (Paul Blain); to the gentle man (Alex Descas) not quite ready for commitment to . . . a mysterious fortune-teller. Appropriately enough, Bright Sunshine In (very loosely inspired by Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse) feels like it’s been lit from within; it was lit from without by Denis’s longtime cinematographer Agnès Godard. It is also very funny. A Sundance Selects release.

Call Me by Your Name
Dir. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/France, 2017, 132m
A story of summer love unlike any other, the sensual new film from the director of I Am Love, set in 1983, charts the slowly ripening romance between Elio (Timothée Chalamet), an American teen on the verge of discovering himself, and Oliver (Armie Hammer), the handsome older grad student whom his professor father (Michael Stuhlbarg) has invited to their vacation home in Northern Italy. Adapted from the wistful novel by André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name is Guadagnino’s most exquisitely rendered, visually restrained film, capturing with eloquence the confusion and longing of youth, anchored by a remarkable, star-making performance by Chalamet, always a nervy bundle of swagger and insecurity, contrasting with Hammer’s stoicism. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

The Day After
Dir. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2017, 92m
U.S. Premiere
Hong continues in the openly emotional register of his On the Beach at Night Alone, also showing in this year’s Main Slate. Shot in moody black and white, The Day After opens with book publisher Bongwan (Kwon Hae-hyo) fending off his wife’s heated accusations of infidelity. At the office, it’s the first day for his new assistant, Areum (Kim Min-hee), whose predecessor was Bongwan’s lover. Mistaken identity, repetition compulsion, and déjà vu figure into the narrative as the film entangles its characters across multiple timelines through an intricate geometry of desire, suspicion, and betrayal. The end result is one of Hong’s most plaintive and philosophical works.


Faces Places/Visages villages
Dir. Agnès Varda & JR, France, 2016, 89m
The 88-year-old Agnès Varda teamed up with the 33-year-old visual artist JR for this tour of rural France that follows in the footsteps of Varda’s groundbreaking documentary The Gleaners and I (NYFF 2000) in its celebration of artisanal production, workers’ solidarity, and the photographic arts in the face of mortality. Varda and JR wielded cameras themselves, but they were also documented in their travels by multiple image and sound recordists. Out of this often spontaneous jumble, Varda and her editor Maxime Pozzi-Garcia created an unassuming masterpiece (the winner of this year’s L’Oeil d’or at Cannes) that is vivid, lyrical, and inspiringly humanistic. A Cohen Media Group release.

Dir. Alain Gomis, France/Senegal/Belgium/Germany/Lebanon, 2017, 124m
U.S. Premiere
The new film from Alain Gomis, a French director of Guinea-Bissauan and Senegalese descent, is largely set in the roughest areas of the rough city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here, a woman named Félicité (Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu) scrapes together a living as a singer in a makeshift bar (her accompanists are played by members of the Kasai Allstars band). When her son is seriously injured in an accident, she goes in search of money for his medical care and embarks on a double journey: through the punishing outer world of the city and the inner world of the soul. Félicité is tough, tender, lyrical, mysterious, funny, and terrifying, both responsive to the moment and fixed on its heroine’s spiritual progress. A Strand Releasing release.

The Florida Project
Dir. Sean Baker, USA, 2017, 105m
U.S. Premiere
A six-year-old girl (the remarkable Brooklynn Prince) and her two best friends run wild on the grounds of a week-by-week motel complex on the edge of Orlando’s Disney World. Meanwhile, her mother (talented novice Bria Vinaite) desperately tries to cajole the motel manager (an ever-surprising Willem Dafoe) to turn a blind eye to the way she pays the rent. A film about but not for kids, Baker’s depiction of childhood on the margins has fierce energy, tenderness, and great beauty. After the ingenuity of his iPhone-shot 2015 breakout Tangerine, Baker reasserts his commitment to 35mm film with sun-blasted images that evoke a young girl’s vision of adventure and endurance beyond heartbreak. An A24 release.

Ismael’s Ghosts/Les fantômes d’Ismaël
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2017, 132m
North American Premiere
Phantoms swirl around Ismael (Mathieu Amalric), a filmmaker in the throes of writing a spy thriller based on the unlikely escapades of his brother, Ivan Dedalus (Louis Garrel). His only true source of stability, his relationship with Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg), is upended, as is the life of his Jewish documentarian mentor and father-in-law (László Szabó), when Ismael’s wife Carlotta (Marion Cotillard), who disappeared twenty years earlier, returns, and, like one of Hitchcock’s fragile, delusional femmes fatales, expects that her husband and father are still in thrall to her. A brilliant shape-shifter—part farce, part melodrama—Ismael’s Ghosts is finally about the process of creating a work of art and all the madness required. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Lady Bird
Dir. Greta Gerwig, USA, 2017, 93m

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a portrait of an artistically inclined young woman (Saoirse Ronan) trying to define herself in the shadow of her mother (Laurie Metcalf) and searching for an escape route from her hometown of Sacramento. Moods are layered upon moods at the furious pace of late adolescence in this lovely and loving film, which shifts deftly from one emotional and comic register to the next. Lady Bird is rich in invention and incident, and it is powered by Ronan, one of the finest actors in movies. With Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet as the men in Lady Bird’s life, Beanie Feldstein as her best friend, and Tracy Letts as her dad. An A24 release.

Lover for a Day/L’Amant d’un jour
Dir. Philippe Garrel, France, 2017, 76m
North American Premiere
Lover for a Day is an exquisite meditation on love and fidelity that recalls Garrel's previous NYFF selections Jealousy (NYFF 2013) and In the Shadow of Women (NYFF 2015). After a painful breakup, heartbroken Jeanne (Esther Garrel) moves back in with her university professor father, Gilles (Eric Caravaca), to discover that he is living with optimistic, life-loving student Ariane (newcomer Louise Chevillotte), who is the same age as Jeanne. An unusual triangular relationship emerges as both girls seek the favor of Gilles, as daughter or lover, while developing their own friendship, finding common ground despite their differences. Gorgeously shot in grainy black and white by Renato Berta (Au revoir les enfants), Lover for a Day perfectly illustrates Garrel's poetic exploration of relationships and desire. A MUBI release.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Dir. Noah Baumbach, USA, 2017, 110m
North American Premiere
Noah Baumbach revisits the terrain of family vanities and warring attachments that he began exploring with The Squid and the Whale in this intricately plotted story of three middle-aged siblings (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel) coping with their strong-willed father (Dustin Hoffman) and the flightiness of his wife (Emma Thompson). Baumbach’s film never stops deftly changing gears, from surges of pathos to painful comedy and back again. Needless to say, this lyrical quicksilver comedy is very much a New York experience. A Netflix release.


Mrs. Hyde/Madame Hyde
Dir. Serge Bozon, France, 2017, 95m
North American Premiere
Serge Bozon’s eccentric comedic thriller is loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with many a twist. Mrs. Géquil (Isabelle Huppert), a timid and rather peculiar physics professor, teaches in a suburban technical high school. Apart from her quiet married life with her gentle stay-at-home husband, she is mocked and despised on a daily basis by pretty much everyone around her—headmaster, colleagues, students. During a dark, stormy night, she is struck by lightning and wakes up a decidedly different person, a newly powerful Mrs. Hyde with mysterious energy and uncontrollable powers. Highlighted by Bozon's brilliant mise en scène, Isabelle Huppert hypnotizes us again, securing her place as the ultimate queen of the screen.

Dir. Dee Rees, USA, 2017, 134m
Writer/director Dee Rees’s historical epic details daily life and social dynamics in the failing economy of Mississippi during the World War II era. Two families, one white (the landlords) and one black (the sharecroppers), work the same miserable piece of farmland. Out of need and empathy, the mothers of the two families bond as their younger male relatives go off to war and learn that there is a world beyond racial hatred and fear. The flawless ensemble cast includes Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks. A Netflix release.

On the Beach at Night Alone
Dir. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2017, 101m
Hong Sang-soo’s movies have always invited autobiographical readings, and his 19th feature is perhaps his most achingly personal film yet, a steel-nerved, clear-eyed response to the tabloid frenzy that erupted in South Korea over his relationship with actress Kim Min-hee. The film begins in Hamburg, where actress Young-hee (played by Kim herself, who won the Best Actress prize at Berlin for this role) is hiding out after the revelation of her affair with a married filmmaker. Back in Korea, a series of encounters shed light on Young-hee’s volatile state, as she slips in and out of melancholic reflection and dreams. Centered on Kim’s astonishingly layered performance, On the Beach at Night Alone is the work of a master mining new emotional depths. A Cinema Guild release.

The Other Side of Hope/Toivon tuolla puolen
Dir. Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, 2017, 98m
Leave it to Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, NYFF 2011), peerless master of humanist tragicomedy, to make the first great fiction film about the 21st century migrant crisis. Having escaped bombed-out Aleppo, Syrian refugee Khlaed (Sherwan Haji) seeks asylum in Finland, only to get lost in a maze of functionaries and bureaucracies. Meanwhile, shirt salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves his wife, wins big in a poker game, and takes over a restaurant whose deadpan staff he also inherits. These parallel stories dovetail to gently comic and enormously moving effect in Kaurismäki’s politically urgent fable, an object lesson on the value of compassion and hope that remains grounded in a tangible social reality. A Janus Films release.

The Rider
Dir. Chloé Zhao, USA, 2017, 104m
The hardscrabble economy of America’s rodeo country, where, for some, riding and winning is the only source of pleasure and income, is depicted with exceptional compassion and truth by a filmmaker who is in no way an insider: Zhao was born in Beijing and educated at Mount Holyoke and NYU. Set on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, The Rider is a fiction film that calls on nonprofessional actors to play characters similar to themselves, incorporating their skill sets and experiences. Brady Jandreau is extraordinary as a badly injured former champion rider and horse trainer forced to give up the life he knows and loves. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Dir. Agnieszka Holland, in cooperation with Kasia Adamik, Poland/Germany/Czech Republic, 2017, 128m
U.S. Premiere
Janina Duszejko (Agnieszka Mandat) is a vigorous former engineer, part-time teacher, and animal activist, living in a near wilderness on the Polish-Czech border, where hunting is the favored year-round sport of the corrupt men who rule the region. When a series of hunters die mysteriously, Janina wonders if the animals are taking revenge, which doesn’t stop the police from coming after her. A brilliant, passionate director, Agnieszka Holland—who like Janina comes from a generation that learned to fight authoritarianism by any means necessary—forges a sprawling, wildly beautiful, emotionally enveloping film that earns its vision of utopia. It’s at once a phantasmagorical murder mystery, a tender, late-blooming love story, and a resistance and rescue thriller.


The Square
Dir. Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2017, 150m
A precisely observed, thoroughly modern comedy of manners, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or–winner revolves around Christian (Claes Bang), a well-heeled contemporary art curator at a Stockholm museum. While preparing his new exhibit—a four-by-four-meter zone designated as a “sanctuary of trust and caring”—Christian falls prey to a pickpocketing scam, which triggers an overzealous response and then a crisis of conscience. Featuring several instant-classic scenes and a vivid supporting cast (Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and noted motion-capture actor Terry Notary), The Square is the most ambitious film yet by one of contemporary cinema’s most incisive social satirists, the rare movie to have as many laughs as ideas. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Dir. Joachim Trier, Norway/Sweden/France, 2017, 116m
In the new film from Joachim Trier (Reprise), an adolescent country girl (Eili Harboe) has just moved to the city to begin her university studies, with the internalized religious severity of her quietly domineering mother and father (Ellen Dorrit Petersen and Henrik Rafaelsen) always in mind. When she realizes that she is developing an attraction to her new friend Anja (Okay Kaya), she begins to manifest a terrifying and uncontrollable power that her parents have long feared. To reveal more would be a crime; let’s just say that this fluid, sharply observant, and continually surprising film begins in the key of horror and ends somewhere completely different. A release of The Orchard.

Dir. Valeska Grisebach, Germany and Bulgaria, 2017, 119m
U.S. Premiere
As its title suggests, German director Valeska Grisebach’s first feature in a decade is a supremely intelligent genre update that recognizes the Western as a template on which to draw out eternal human conflicts. In remote rural Bulgaria, a group of German workers are building a water facility. Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), the reserved newbie in this all-male company, immediately draws the ire of the boorish team leader, not least for his willingness to mingle with the wary locals. Cast with utterly convincing nonprofessional actors, Western is a gripping culture-clash drama, attuned both to old codes of masculinity and new forms of colonialism. A Cinema Guild release.

Dir. Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Brazil/Spain, 2017, 115m
U.S. Premiere
The great Lucrecia Martel ventures into the realm of historical fiction and makes the genre entirely her own in this adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 classic of Argentinean literature. In the late 18th century, in a far-flung corner of what seems to be Paraguay, the title character, an officer of the Spanish crown (Daniel Giménez Cacho) born in the Americas, waits in vain for a transfer to a more prestigious location. Martel renders Zama’s world—his daily regimen of small humiliations and petty politicking—as both absurd and mysterious, and as he increasingly succumbs to lust and paranoia, subject to a creeping disorientation. Precise yet dreamlike, and thick with atmosphere, Zama is a singular and intoxicating experience, a welcome return from one of contemporary cinema’s truly brilliant minds.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.

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July 24, 2017



“Other actors act, Mitchum is simply by being there; Mitchum can make almost any other actor look like a hole in the screen.”
—David Lean

Out of the Past

New York, NY (July 24, 2017) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the Retrospective of the 55th New York Film Festival (September 28 – October 15), a 24-film centenary tribute to the great Robert Mitchum.

Hollywood has had no shortage of man’s men, but perhaps no actor advanced so complex and alluring a model as Robert Mitchum. Mitchum’s incomparable career stretched across five decades and saw him blossom from a bit player in war films and westerns in the 1940s into a bona fide star working with some of Hollywood’s most towering figures in nearly every genre imaginable. Collaborating with pantheon auteurs such as Howard Hawks, Otto Preminger, Jacques Tourneur, Vincente Minnelli, and Nicholas Ray, the handsome and endlessly charismatic Mitchum always had the aura of a man in control of both himself and his situation, yet who was nevertheless besieged—a kind of walking metaphor for modern man’s limitations amid a universe of antagonism and uncertainty. The magnetic figure he cut into the screen has endured as a paragon of timeless cool, and his spot on the Mount Rushmore of American actors is undeniable. This year marks Mitchum’s centenary, and there is no better excuse to spend time with some of the highlights of his staggeringly rich career.

Mitchum famously quipped, “Look, I have two kinds of acting. One on a horse and one off a horse.” He is best known for his noirs—Roger Ebert called him “the soul of noir”—westerns, and western/noirs, but he appeared in more than 100 films. The NYFF Retrospective showcases 24 of his finest performances and spans 50 years, from his first major role in The Story of G.I. Joe, which earned him an Academy Award nomination, to his late-career appearances in films by Martin Scorsese and Jim Jarmusch, with all but two screening on celluloid.

The 18-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The NYFF55 retrospective is co-programmed by Kent Jones and Dan Sullivan, FSLC Assistant Programmer. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Florence Almozini, FSLC Associate Director of Programming; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound.

Earlier this summer, NYFF announced Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying as Opening Night and Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck as the Centerpiece selection.

Tickets for the 55th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 10. VIP passes and packages are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including the just-announced Centerpiece. Learn more at filmlinc.org/packages.

Academy Film Archive; British Film Institute; UCLA Film & Television Archive; George Eastman Museum; Ned Hinkle, Brattle Theatre; Sikelia NY.


Angel Face
Otto Preminger, USA, 1953, 35mm, 91m
Robert Mitchum finds himself caught up in the machinations of a femme fatale in Preminger’s seminal noir. When ambulance driver Frank Jessup is summoned to a Beverly Hills mansion after wealthy Catherine Tremayne is evidently poisoned, he enters the orbit of her enterprising stepdaughter, Diane (Jean Simmons), who persuades Frank to quit his job and become her chauffeur—and ultimately her lover. But after sensing there may be a devious agenda behind her gentle facade, he must find a way to extricate himself from her schemes before it’s too late. Mitchum is as sympathetic and charismatic as ever in this gripping thriller to rival Preminger’s other great noirs (LauraWhirlpoolWhere the Sidewalk Ends).

Blood on the Moon
Robert Wise, USA, 1948, 35mm, 88m
Robert Wise’s synthesis of western and film noir was a breakthrough for the director and further solidified Robert Mitchum as one of Hollywood’s most intriguing leading men. Mitchum plays Jim Garry, an underemployed cowboy enlisted by an old friend (Robert Preston) to collude in a scheme to get an aging cattle owner to sell off his herd at a discount. The deadly intrigue that results from this plot leads Jim to wonder whether he’s on the right side of the conflict and to further crave the trust of the cattle owner’s daughter (Barbara Bel Geddes). Mitchum flourishes amid Wise’s assured direction of screenwriter Lillie Hayward’s foreboding, twist-laden, psychologically rich script, adapted from a novel by Luke Short.

Cape Fear
Martin Scorsese, USA, 1991, 35mm, 128m
Martin Scorsese’s staple obsessions emerge with brute force in his update of J. Lee Thompson’s 1962 Southern thriller, a gruesome tale of good versus evil where no one is entirely good and everything is dialed up with unrelenting peril. Robert De Niro is at his most terrifying as Max Cady, a ripped ex-con hell-bent on punishing his former lawyer, Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), who buried evidence relating to Cady’s case 14 years prior. In a film marked by a twisted sense of humor, Robert Mitchum—the original Cady—appears as elderly, honorable police lieutenant Elgart, while Cady’s defense attorney is played by 1962’s Bowden, Gregory Peck.

Cape Fear
J. Lee Thompson, USA, 1962, 35mm, 105m
Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) is fresh out of jail following an eight-year bid for rape, and the first order of business is terrorizing lawyer Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), who testified against him, along with Bowden’s wife (Polly Bergen) and teenage daughter (Lori Martin). J. Lee Thompson’s influential thriller, scored by Bernard Herrmann and shot by Sam Leavitt, features a performance from Mitchum that channels the menace and malice of his Harry Powell from The Night of the Hunter. Mitchum and Peck—both recast in supporting roles in Martin Scorsese’s 1991 remake—enact a mortal struggle that is enduringly gripping, harrowing and iconic. 

Edward Dmytryk, USA, 1947, 35mm, 86m
This adaptation of writer/director-to-be Richard Brooks’s novel The Brick Foxhole, about a group of vets, led by Robert Mitchum’s Sergeant Keeley, searching postwar Washington for their amnesiac friend (George Cooper) so they can clear him of a murder charge, embodies the essence of what has come to be known as “film noir”—moody, troubled characters; nocturnal action; chiaroscuro cinematography; low-key acting spiced with bits of bravura eccentricity; and a plot so crazy that it feels like a nightmare. If Robert Ryan’s unhinged southern bigot, Gloria Grahame’s thoroughly disenchanted cocktail hostess, and Paul Kelly as her ex-(or maybe not) husband get to play the acting solos, Mitchum does a beautiful job on rhythm.

Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch, USA, 1995, 35mm, 121m
Jim Jarmusch's hypnotic, parable-like, revisionist Western follows the spiritual rebirth of a dying 19th-century accountant (Johnny Depp) named William Blake (no relation to the poet . . . or is there?). Guiding Blake through a treacherous landscape of U.S. Marshals, cannibalistic bounty hunters, shady missionaries, and cross-dressing fur traders is a Plains Indian named Nobody (Gary Farmer), one of the most fully realized Native American characters in contemporary cinema. Dead Man doubles as a barbed reflection on America’s treatment of its indigenous people and a radical twist on the myths of the American West. Jarmusch’s metaphysical masterpiece features Robert Mitchum in one of his final roles, as a gun-toting, cigar-smoking factory owner.

El Dorado
Howard Hawks, USA, 1966, 35mm, 126m
The first of Howard Hawks’s two variations on his own Rio Bravo finds Robert Mitchum playing a hard-drinking sheriff who teams up with an old friend (hired gun John Wayne) to protect a wealthy rancher (Ed Asner) and his family from the threatening advances of another rancher’s fearsome gang. Along the way, they enlist the help of a gambler with a distinctive hat (James Caan) and an aging, Native American deputy sheriff (Arthur Hunnicutt)—but, against such great odds, will this motley crew survive? Mitchum supplies his own distinctive charm and charisma, and Hawks masterfully imbues the proceedings with both a narrative leanness and an expansive sense of character. Print courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Farewell, My Lovely
Dick Richards, USA, 1975, 35mm, 95m
In the first half of the 1970s, Robert Mitchum reached a new peak, the end of which came with this sepulchrally nostalgic, neon-lit adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s second Philip Marlowe novel. The film has its charms—not the least of which is a cameo appearance by Jim Thompson…as Charlotte Rampling’s husband—but Mitchum (who would reprise the role of Marlowe in the truly terrible 1978 version of The Big Sleep) is the one who gives the film its secret force, as if he were confronting the end of both his leading-man identity and the world that formed him as a star with bravery and grace.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Peter Yates, USA, 1973, 102m
In Peter Yates’s adaptation of George V. Higgins’s novel, Robert Mitchum is Eddie, an aging, Boston-area gunrunner facing a prison bid for a job gone awry and caught in a web of deals and double-crosses while grappling with whether to give up his former associates to the feds. Fully integrating himself within a stellar ensemble cast (including a brilliant array of character actors, including Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan, and Steven Keats) and blending into Yates’s finely created working-class atmosphere, Mitchum gives one of his career-best performances here, conjuring a blend of melancholy, spiritual exhaustion, and cloaked malevolence.

His Kind of Woman
John Farrow, USA, 1951, 16mm, 120m
Mitchum had a good time shooting this ambling comedy thriller, playing a down-on-his-luck gambler who takes a mysterious gig that brings him to an exclusive Baja resort, where he meets up with a colorful crew of characters, including a beautiful woman (Jane Russell) and her movie star boyfriend (Vincent Price). The good time came to a close with endless reshoots of a new ending conceived by RKO studio head Howard Hughes and directed by Richard Fleischer, climaxing in a violent drunken tirade from the actor, which finished with the immortal words, “Fuck you! And fuck Howard Hughes, too!” Tirades aside, it’s one of Mitchum’s best films.

Home from the Hill
Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1960, 35mm, 150m
Vincente Minnelli’s widescreen color melodramas for MGM are all very special, and this adaptation of William Humphrey’s sprawling 1958 saga of an overpowering Texas landowner and his family (with echoes of Giant and The Big Country) is one of the finest. Mitchum—whose Captain Hunnicutt was intended for Clark Gable—got along very well with Minnelli (they’d worked together a decade earlier on Undercurrent), but less well with his younger co-star George Peppard, who asked Mitchum if he’d studied the Stanislavsky Method. “No,” said Mitchum, “but I’ve studied the Smirnoff Method.”

The Lusty Men
Nicholas Ray, USA, 1952, 35mm, 113m
“The kind of love I have for the film,” said Nicholas Ray of The Lusty Men, “is not as a filmmaker adoring a child, it’s as a part of the literature of America.” Set in the punishing, rootless world of the rodeo circuit, this is one of Ray’s very best films, and Robert Mitchum’s Jeff McCloud is its sad, busted, but still beating heart. According to Lee Server’s biography of the actor, Mitchum was so excited by his work in the film (in which he did many of his own stunts) that he went out with his director to celebrate, got drunk, appropriated a gun from an FBI agent, and fired it into a stack of dishes.

Josef von Sternberg/Nicholas Ray, USA, 1952, 35mm, 81m
Nicholas Ray was brought on to finish this atmospheric crime yarn after producer Howard Hughes forced Josef von Sternberg off the project. (Allegedly, Robert Mitchum helped write a few scenes with Ray.) But its initial director’s signature textures and tones still shine through: dresses and gloves sheathed in glitter; an Escher-like casino; a pier-set finale that recalls Sternberg’s The Docks of New York. It was, by all accounts, an unpleasant, tumultuous production. The final movie, though, is buoyant—a shimmering cinematic vacation starring Mitchum as an American runaway tasked with capturing a crime lord while also wooing a singer played by Jane Russell.

The Night of the Hunter
Charles Laughton, USA, 1955, 35mm, 92m
Robert Mitchum’s turn in the only film directed by Laughton is a towering achievement. An expressionist, southern gothic noir, The Night of the Hunter (adapted by James Agee from Davis Grubb’s novel) tracks the devious exploits of self-styled reverend and serial killer Harry Powell (Mitchum) as he gets out of jail and sets out to wed Willa Harper (Shelley Winters), the widow of his deceased cellmate, and murder her for her hidden fortune; it falls to her children to stop the madman living in their house. Mitchum is the charismatic monster lurking at the center of Laughton and Agee’s lyrical nightmare (one of only two films completed from an Agee script), and it ranks among cinema’s greatest and most chilling performances.

Out of the Past
Jacques Tourneur, USA, 1947, 35mm, 97m
Tourneur’s landmark noir boasts one of Mitchum’s most iconic roles. He is magnetic as Jeff, the low-key proprietor of a gas station in small-town California. When some ill-intentioned characters from Jeff’s shadowy past arrive on the scene looking for him, it sets off a riveting chain of events that reunites him with Kathie (Jane Greer, one of the all-time great femme fatales), the slippery girlfriend of powerful and shady Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas). Out of the Past is singularly rich with twists, turns, and profound ideas concerning the complex relationship between the past, the present, and fate.

Raoul Walsh, USA, 1947, 35mm, 101m
Walsh’s powerful, very dark and Freudian film noir/western hybrid—a favorite of Martin Scorsese—stars Mitchum as Jeb, the only survivor of a brutal massacre that wiped out the rest of his family when he was a boy. He is then adopted into the home of another family (led by chilly matriarch Judith Anderson), where he comes to fall in love with his foster sister (Teresa Wright). Now an adult, Jeb still yearns to untangle the messy, suppressed memories of his childhood trauma, and of the mysterious one-armed man who has haunted and tormented him throughout his life. Told in elaborate flashback, with frequent expressionistic touches, Pursued opened up new paths for the western and remains one of Mitchum’s great achievements. 35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation and the AFI/NEA Film Preservation Grants Program.

River of No Return
Otto Preminger, USA, 1954, 91m
In this CinemaScope western adventure, Robert Mitchum is ex-con farmer Matt Calder, who lives with his young son in a remote riverside area. Gambler Harry (Rory Calhoun) and his fiancée Kay (Marilyn Monroe), a former saloon singer, are stranded while en route to collect on a mining claim, and Matt takes them in. When Harry tests the limits of Matt’s hospitality, he makes off with his horse and rifle, leaving Kay behind. Susceptible to the threat of hostile Indians, Matt, his son, and Kay make off down the river in Harry’s abandoned raft, but the river itself proves to be just as perilous… Monroe and Preminger had a famously rocky on-set rapport (prompting Preminger to buy out his own contract from Fox), but Mitchum’s effortless subtlety beautifully balances Monroe’s broad strokes.

The Story of G.I. Joe
William Wellman, USA, 1945, 35mm, 108m
Robert Mitchum’s extraordinary, Oscar-nominated performance as the stoic, exhausted, and quietly beleaguered Lieutenant Walker in this adaptation of correspondent Ernie Pyle’s dispatches from the war in Europe, made him a star. Director William Wellman, himself a WWI vet, and producer Lester Cowan closely collaborated with Pyle (played by Burgess Meredith, who was doing service in the Air Force at the time) to make a film that was true to the life of the WWII soldier—the absolute exhaustion, the endurance of terror and shock and loss, the spells of boredom, the camaraderie. The result is a film built like a ballad, unlike any other of its era. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

Till the End of Time
Edward Dmytryk, USA, 1946, 16mm, 105m
This lovely, eloquently simple film about returning WWII vets and their difficulties adjusting to the homefront was made and released by RKO to get the jump on The Best Years of Our Lives. Robert Mitchum’s Tabeshaw, who has come home with a steel plate in his head, and his pal Cliff (Guy Madison), who left as a boy and has returned as a man, spend their days looking for something they can relate to, and the action is comprised of a series of small encounters, many of which (for instance, Madison and Dorothy McGuire’s war widow flanking a vet with the shakes at a lunch counter) are quietly devastating.

Thunder Road
Arthur Ripley, USA, 1958, 35mm, 92m
This tale of moonshine runners in the hills of Tennessee and Kentucky was the most personal project of Robert Mitchum’s entire career—in addition to starring, he produced and co-wrote it. Korean War vet Lucas (Mitchum) returns home and sets about working for his family’s moonshine business, making perilous deliveries in a modified hot rod. But he soon finds himself taking heat from both the cold-blooded city gangsters who want to take control of the moonshine network and the cops who want to crack down on it. A veritable cult classic with driving scenes that still seem daring, Thunder Road is both an exhilarating ride and a richly characterized expression of Mitchum’s artistry.

Track of the Cat
William Wellman, USA, 1954, 35mm, 102m
Mitchum reunited with his Story of G.I. Joe director William Wellman (“I was very, very fond of him,” Mitchum said of Wellman, “and he tolerated me”) for a different kind of movie, based on a Walter Van Tilburg Clark novel, about a homesteading family in snow country whose livestock is being destroyed by a roaming mountain lion. Wellman and his DP William Clothier (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) worked out a stark visual design, keeping everything—sets, costumes, make-up, and exteriors—in black and white tones, with the exceptions of one scarlet hunting jacket and one yellow scarf. They also shot on location at Mt. Rainier, where 30-foot snowdrifts made for the most arduous and exhausting shoot of Mitchum’s career.

Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1946, 35mm, 116m
A bit of an anomaly within Minnelli’s often more colorful and ebullient oeuvre, this black-and-white, paranoiac romantic thriller finds the master harnessing his consummate stylishness to spin a haunting, noirish tale. Timid Ann (Katharine Hepburn) marries the highly eligible Alan Garroway (Robert Taylor), whose wealth and good looks conceal an underlying and profound cruelty. Ann grows increasingly obsessed with learning the truth about what happened to Alan’s brother, Michael (Mitchum), who has been missing for some time… This gripping movie casts Hepburn, Taylor, and Mitchum all against type, and was one of three films that Mitchum filmed simultaneously following his breakout performance in The Story of G.I. Joe.

The Wonderful Country
Robert Parrish, USA, 1959, 35mm, 98m
This Technicolor western adapted from a novel by Tom Lea stars Robert Mitchum as an expat mercenary who fled to Mexico at age 14 after avenging his father’s murder. He’s hired by a cruel Mexican governor (Pedro Armendáriz) to carry out an arms deal that takes him to Texas, where his refusal to help hunt Apaches puts him in conflict with a U.S. Army major (Gary Merrill)—and into the orbit of the major’s unhappy wife (Julie London). Mitchum’s layered performance as a reluctantly violent man at a moral crossroads, and caught between two national identities, is the heart of Parrish’s elegiac, cerebral western, exquisitely shot by Alex Phillips and Floyd Crosby.

The Yakuza
Sydney Pollack, USA, 1974, 35mm, 112m
East meets West in the form of two iconic stars: Japanese gangster film star Ken Takakura teams with Mitchum in a thriller set in Tokyo’s treacherous criminal underworld. Mitchum delivers an alternately rough and sleepy, cynical and gentle performance as retired cop Kilmer, who returns to Japan after many years to help an old army buddy (Brian Keith) after his daughter is kidnapped by a yakuza boss. Navigating the complex codes of the yakuza ethos, he’s guided by Ken (Takakura), a former gangster and brother of Mitchum’s old flame, but betrayals and double crosses lie ahead in Paul Schrader’s first feature screenplay, co-written with his brother Leonard and Robert Towne. Even in his late fifties, Mitchum proves he’s fully capable of handling complex action choreography. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

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