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

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 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.


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 |


212 355 6160 |  


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

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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.

September 05, 2017

LADY BIRD — Yet Another Gasp of Mumblecore

Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird," starring Saoirse Ronan (pronounced Ser-Sha, as in Sersha, Sersha, Sersha) finds Gerwig going all semi-autobiographical mumblecore, as if that Godforsaken genre weren't already long dead gone. Let's just say this looks to be an ideal movie for entitled white girls to get all touchy feely over while hiding in blind spots to the rest of society. Yes, yes, yes, here is yet another me, me, me movie that will probably be every bit annoying as "Tiny Furniture." Blech. I feel dirty for even having watched the trailer. Search it out if you must in the upcoming New York Film Festival —September 28 through October 15.

September 04, 2017



A Boy Called Po - Friday, September 1 
Jackals - Friday, September 1 
Temple - Friday, September 1 
Unlocked - Friday, September 1

9/11 - Friday, September 8 
Home Again - Friday, September 8 
It - Friday, September 8 
Trophy - Friday, September 8

All I See Is You - Friday, September 15 
American Assassin - Friday, September 15 
mother! - Friday, September 15

Friend Request - Friday, September 22 
Battle of the Sexes - Friday, September 22 
Kingsman: The Golden Circle- Friday, September 22 
Ninjago - Friday, September 22 
Stronger - Friday, September 22 
Victoria and Abdul - Friday, September 22 
Woodshock - Friday, September 22

American Made - Friday, September 29 
Don't Sleep - Friday, September 29 
Flatliners - Friday, September 29 
Lucky - Friday, September 29


Blade Runner 2019 - Friday, October 6 
The Florida Project - Friday, October 6 
The Mountain Between Us - Friday, October 6 
My Little Pony - Friday, October 6

Breathe - Friday, October 13 
Goodbye Christopher Robin - Friday, October 13 
The Foreigner - Friday, October 13 
Happy Death Day - Friday, October 13 
Marshall - Friday, October 13 
Swing Away - Friday, October 13

Geostorm - Friday, October 20 
Only The Brave - Friday, October 20 
Same Kind of Different as Me - Friday, October 20 
The Snowman - Friday, October 20 
Tyler Perry's Boo 2 - Friday, October 20 
War with Grandpa - Friday, October 20 
Wonderstruck - Friday, October 20

Jigsaw - Friday, October 27 
Suburbicon - Friday, October 27 
Thank You For Your Service - Friday, October 27 
The Killing of the Sacred Deer - Friday, October 27 
The Square - Friday, October 27


A Bad Moms Christmas - Friday, November 3 
LBJ - Friday, November 3 
Thor: Ragnarok - Friday, November 3

Daddy's Home 2 - Friday, November 10 
Lady Bird - Friday, November 10 
Murder on the Orient Express - Friday, November 10 
The Star - Friday, November 10 
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Friday, November 10

Justice League - Friday, November 17 
Wonder - Friday, November 17

Coco - Wednesday, November 22 
Darkest Hour - Wednesday, November 22 
Death Wish - Wednesday, November 22 
Molly's Game - Wednesday, November 22 
Villa Capri - Wednesday, November 22

Call Me By Your Name - Friday, November 24 
Mary Magdalene - Friday, November 24


The Disaster Artist - Friday, December 1 
Polaroid - Friday, December 1

All the Money in the World - Friday, December 8 
The Shape of Water - Friday, December 8

Star Wars: Episode VII The Last Jedi - Friday, December 15 
Ferdinand - Friday, December 15

Jumanji - Wednesday, December 20

Bastards - Friday, December 22 
Downsizing - Friday, December 22 
Pitch Perfect 3 - Friday, December 22 
Spielberg's Pentagon Papers Drama - Friday, December 22 
The Current War - Friday, December 22 
The Six Billion Dollar Man - Friday, December 22

Paul Thomas Anderson's Fashion Drama - Wednesday, December 27 
The Greatest Showman on Earth - Wednesday, December 27

August 28, 2017

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library — Trailer


Included in my list of Most Promising Films of 2017 is this film, Frederick Wiseman's documentary about the New York Public Library. Frederick Wiseman is one of the most gifted and prolific documentarians in the world; this film is a cause for celebration. This is a doc to seek out!

August 24, 2017


BladeRunner 2049 Blade Runner 2049


August 23, 2017



Includes new works by Abel Ferrara, Alex Gibney, Sara Driver, Nancy Buirski, Mathieu Amalric, and Barbet Schroeder; Vanessa Redgrave’s directorial debut; films featuring Joan Didion, Arthur Miller, Gay Talese, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Jane Goodall; plus incisive stories about racism, American immigration, the global refugee crisis, and more.


New York, NY (August 23, 2017) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Spotlight on Documentary section of the 55th New York Film Festival (September 28–October 15). This year’s series of dispatches from the front lines of nonfiction cinema features intimate portraits of artists, depictions of social upheaval, and much more.

Selections include three documentaries spotlighting acclaimed writers, including the World Premiere of Griffin Dunne’s Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold; returning NYFF filmmaker Rebecca Miller’s tender portrait of her father, Arthur Miller: Writer; and the World Premiere of Myles Kane and Josh Koury’s Voyeur, capturing the investigations explored in Gay Talese’s book The Voyeur’s Motel. Other notable documentary subjects include Jean-Michel Basquiat, who commands the downtown NYC scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s in Sara Driver’s BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat; and Jane Goodall, whose original expedition to contact a chimpanzee population is brought back to life via 50-year-old National Geographic footage in Brett Morgen’s Jane.

Additional selections by NYFF alums are Travis Wilkerson’s Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, in which Wilkerson confronts his family’s white supremacist roots; the North American Premiere of The Rape of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski’s passionate film about the 1944 case of a black woman who was raped by several white men; Joshua Bonnetta & J.P. Sniadecki’s El mar la mar, a 16mm meditation on the dangerous trek from Mexico to the U.S. through the Sonoran Desert; the North American premiere of Abel Ferrara’s Piazza Vittorio, a charming snapshot of Rome’s largest public square; and three music films by Mathieu Amalric: C’est presque au bout du mondeZorn, and Music Is Music.

Other highlights of this year’s Spotlight on Documentary section include Vanessa Redgrave’s directorial debut, Sea Sorrow, an expertly crafted call for Western aid to the global refugee crisis; Barbet Schroeder’s The Venerable W., which confronts an Islamophobic Burmese Buddhist monk; and Alex Gibney’s No Stone Unturned, a critical investigation into the 1994 Loughinisland massacre in Ireland.

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.

As previously announced, the NYFF55 Opening Night is Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying, Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck is Centerpiece, Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel is Closing Night, and the Retrospective honors Robert Mitchum’s centenary. The complete lineup for the Main Slate can be found here, for Projections here, and for Revivals here.

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

Tickets for the 55th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 10 at noon. Becoming a Film Society Member at the Film Buff Level or above provides early ticket access to festival screenings and events ahead of the general public, along with the exclusive member ticket discount and brand new member benefits and offers available throughout NYFF. Learn more at

For even more access, VIP passes and packages offer the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival's biggest events including Opening and Closing Nights, and Centerpiece. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events, including the invitation-only Opening Night party, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and packages are on sale now. Learn more at


Arthur Miller: Writer
Dir. Rebecca Miller, USA, 2017, 98m
Rebecca Miller’s film is a portrait of her father, his times and insights, built around impromptu interviews shot over many years in the family home. This celebration of the great American playwright is quite different from what the public has ever seen. It is a close consideration of a singular life shadowed by the tragedies of the Red Scare and the death of Marilyn Monroe; a bracing look at success and failure in the public eye; an honest accounting of human frailty; a tribute to one artist by another. Arthur Miller: Writer invites you to see how one of America's sharpest social commentators formed his ideologies, how his life reflected his work, and, even in some small part, shaped the culture of our country in the twentieth century. An HBO Documentary Films release.


BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Dir. Sara Driver, USA, 2017, 79m
U.S. Premiere
Sara Driver’s documentary is both a celebration of and elegy for the downtown New York art/music/film/performance world of the late 1970s and early ’80s, through which Jean-Michel Basquiat shot like a rocket. Weaving Basquiat’s life and artistic progress in and out of her rich, living tapestry of this endlessly cross-fertilizing scene, Driver has created an urgent recollection of freedom and the aesthetic of poverty. Graffiti meets gestural painting, hip hop infects rock and roll and visa versa, heroin comes and never quite goes, night swallows day, and everybody looms as large as they feel like looming on the crumbling streets of the Lower East Side.

Dir. Alison McAlpine, Canada/Chile, 2017, 74m
World Premiere
The first feature from Alison McAlpine, director of the beautiful 2008 “nonfiction ghost story” short Second Sight, is a dialogue with the heavens—in this case, the heavens above the Andes and the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, where the sky “is more urgent than the land.” McAlpine keeps the vast galaxies above and beyond in a delicate balance with the earthbound world of people, gently alighting on the desert- and mountain-dwelling astronomers, fishermen, miners, and cowboys who live their lives with reverence and awe for the skies. Cielo itself is an act of reverence and awe, and its sense of wonder ranges from the intimate and human to the vast and inhuman.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
Dir. Travis Wilkerson, USA, 2017, 90m
How is it that some people escape the racism and misogyny in which they are raised, and some cling to it as their reason to exist? For 20 years, Travis Wilkerson has been making films that interrogate the malevolent effects of capitalism on the American Dream. Here he turns his sights on his own family and the small town of Dothan, Alabama, where his white supremacist great-great grandfather S.E. Branch once shot and killed Bill Spann, an African-American man. Branch was arrested but never charged with the crime. The life of his victim has been all but obliterated from memory and public record. “This isn’t a white savior story. This is a white nightmare story,” says the filmmaker, who refuses to let himself or anyone else off the hook.  

El mar la mar
Dir. Joshua Bonnetta & J.P. Sniadecki, USA, 2017, 94m
The first collaboration between film and sound artist Bonnetta and filmmaker/anthropologist Sniadecki (The Iron Ministry, NYFF52) is a lyrical and highly topical film in which the Sonoran Desert, among the deadliest routes taken by those crossing from Mexico to the United States, is depicted a place of dramatic beauty and merciless danger. Haunting 16mm images of the unforgiving landscape and the human traces within it are supplemented with an intricate soundtrack of interwoven sounds and oral testimonies. Urgent yet never didactic, El mar la mar allows this symbolically fraught terrain to take shape in vivid sensory detail, and in so doing, suggests new possibilities for the political documentary. A Cinema Guild release.


Dir. Tony Zierra, USA, 2017, 94m
Leon Vitali was a name in English television and movies when Stanley Kubrick cast him as Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon, but after his acclaimed performance the young actor surrendered his career in the spotlight to become Kubrick’s loyal right-hand man. For the next two decades, Vitali was Kubrick’s factotum, never not on call, for whom no task was too small. Along the way, Vitali’s personal life suffered, he drifted from his children, and his health deteriorated as he gave everything to his work. Filmworker is of obvious interest to anyone who cares about Kubrick, but it is also a fascinating portrait of awe-inspired devotion burning all the way down to the wick.

Hall of Mirrors
Dir. Ena Talakic and Ines Talakic, USA, 2017, 87m
World Premiere
In this lively documentary portrait, the great nonpartisan investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein, still going strong at 81, takes us through his most notable articles and books, including close looks at the findings of the Warren Commission, the structure of the diamond industry, the strange career of Armand Hammer, and the inner workings of big-time journalism itself. These are interwoven with an in-progress investigation into the circumstances around Edward Snowden’s 2013 leak of classified documents, resulting in Epstein’s recently published, controversial book How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft. One of the last of his generation of journalists, the energetic, articulate, and boyish Epstein is a truly fascinating character.

Dir. Brett Morgen, USA, 2017, 90m
U.S. Premiere
In 1960, Dr. Louis Leakey arranged for a young English woman with a deep love of animals to go to Gombe Stream National Park near Lake Tangyanika. The Dutch photographer and filmmaker Hugo van Lawick was sent to document Jane Goodall’s first establishment of contact with the chimpanzee population, resulting in the enormously popular Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees, the second film ever produced by National Geographic. One hundred hours of Lawick’s original footage was rediscovered in 2014. From that material, Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) has created a vibrant film experience, giving new life to the experiences of this remarkable woman and the wild in which she found a home. A National Geographic Documentary Films release.

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold
Dir. Griffin Dunne, USA, 2017,  92m
World Premiere
Griffin Dunne’s years-in-the-making documentary portrait of his aunt Joan Didion moves with the spirit of her uncannily lucid writing: the film simultaneously expands and zeroes in, covering a vast stretch of turbulent cultural history with elegance and candor, and grounded in the illuminating presence and words of Didion herself. This is most certainly a film about loss—the loss of a solid American center, the personal losses of a husband and a child—but Didion describes everything she sees and experiences so attentively, so fully, and so bravely that she transforms the very worst of life into occasions for understanding. A Netflix release.

No Stone Unturned
Dir. Alex Gibney, Northern Ireland/USA, 2017, 111m
World Premiere
Investigative documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney—best known for 2008’s Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark SideEnron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and at least a dozen others—turns his sights on the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, a cold case that remains an open wound in the Irish peace process. The families of the victims—who were murdered while watching the World Cup in their local pub—were promised justice, but 20 years later they still didn’t know who killed their loved ones. Gibney uncovers a web of secrecy, lies, and corruption that so often results when the powerful insist they are acting for the greater good.

Piazza Vittorio
Dir. Abel Ferrara, Italy/USA 2017, 69m
North American Premiere
Abel Ferrara’s new documentary is a vivid mosaic/portrait of Rome’s biggest public square, Piazza Vittorio, built in the 19th century around the ruins of the 3rd century Trofei di Mario. The Piazza is now truly a crossroad of the modern world: it offers a perfect microcosm of the changes in the west brought by immigration and forced displacement. Ferrara, now a resident of Rome himself, talks with African musicians and restaurant workers, Chinese barkeeps and relocated eastern Europeans, homeless men and women, artists, members of the right wing movement CasaPound Italia, filmmaker Matteo Garrone, actor Willem Dafoe, and others, all with varying opinions about the vast changes they’re seeing in their neighborhood and world.


The Rape of Recy Taylor
Dir. Nancy Buirski, USA, 2017, 90m
North American Premiere
On the night of September 3, 1944, a young African-American mother from Abbeville, Alabama, named Recy Taylor was walking home from church with two friends when she was abducted by seven white men, driven away and dragged into the woods, raped by six of the men, and left to make her way home. Against formidable odds and endless threats to her life andthe lives of her family members, Taylor bravely spoke up and pressed charges. Nancy Buirski’s passionate documentary shines a light on a case that became a turning point in the early Civil Rights Movement, and on the many formidable women—including Rosa Parks—who brought the movement to life.

Sea Sorrow
Dir. Vanessa Redgrave, UK, 2017, 72m
Vanessa Redgrave’s debut as a documentary filmmaker is a plea for a compassionate western response to the refugee crisis and a condemnation of the vitriolic inhumanity of current right wing and conservative politicians. Redgrave juxtaposes our horrifying present of inadequate refugee quotas and humanitarian disasters (like last year’s clearing of the Calais migrant camp) with the refugee crises of WWII and its aftermath, recalled with archival footage, contemporary news reports and personal testimony—including an interview with the eloquent Labor politician Lord Dubs, who was one of the children rescued by the Kindertransport. Sea Sorrow reaches further back in time to Shakespeare, not only for its title but also to further remind us that we are once more repeating the history that we have yet to learn.

A Skin So Soft
Denis Côté, Canada/Switzerland/France, 2017, 94m
U.S. Premiere 
Studiously observing the world of male bodybuilding, Denis Côté’s A Skin So Soft (Ta peau si lisse) crafts a multifaceted portrait of six latter-day Adonises through the lens of their everyday lives: extreme diets, training regimens, family relationships, and friendships within the community. Capturing the physical brawn and emotional complexity of its subjects with wit and tenderness, this companion piece to Cote’s singular animal study Bestiaire (2012) is a self-reflexive rumination on the long tradition of filming the human body that also advances a fascinating perspective on contemporary masculinity.

Speak Up
Dir. Stéphane de Freitas, co-directed by Ladj Ly, France, 2017, 99m
North American Premiere
Each year at the University of Saint-Denis in the suburbs of Paris, the Eloquentia competition takes place to determine the best orator in the class. Speak Up (À voix haute - La Force de la Parole) follows the students, who come from a variety of family backgrounds and academic disciplines, as they prepare for the competition while coached by public-speaking professionals like lawyers and slam poets. Through the subtle and intriguing mechanics of rhetoric, these young people both reveal and discover themselves, and it is impossible not to be moved by the personal stories that surface in their verbal jousts, from the death of a Syrian nightingale to a father’s Chuck Norris–inspired approach to his battle with cancer. Without sentimentality, Speak Up proves how the art of speech is key to universal understanding, social ascension, and personal revelation.

The Venerable W.
Dir. Barbet Schroeder, France/Switzerland, 2017, 100m
The Islamophobic Burmese monk known as The Venerable Wirathu has led hundreds of thousands of his Buddhist followers in a hate-fueled, violent campaign of ethnic cleansing, in which the country’s tiny minority of Muslims were driven from their homes and businesses and penned in refugee camps on the Myanmar border. Barbet Schroder’s portrait of this man again proves, along with his General Idi Amin Dada (1974) and Terror’s Advocate (2007), that the director is a brilliant interviewer, allowing power-hungry fascists to damn themselves with their own testimony. His confrontation with Wirathu—a figure whose existence contradicts the popular belief that Buddhism is the most peaceful and tolerant major religion—is revelatory and horrifying. A release from Les Films du Losange.
Preceded by:
What Are You Up to, Barbet Schroeder? (2017, 13m), in which the director traces the path that led him to Myanmar, a center of Theravada Buddhism, where racial hatred was mutating into genocide.

Gay Talese

Myles Kane and Josh Koury, USA, 2017, 96m
World Premiere
Gerald Foos bought a motel in Colorado in the 1960s, furnished the room with louvered vents that allowed him to spy on his guests, and kept a journal of their sexual encounters…among other things. As writer Gay Talese, who had known Foos for more than three decades, came close to the publication of his book The Voyeur’s Motel (preceded by an excerpt in The New Yorker), factual discrepancies in Foos’s account emerged, and documentarians Kane and Koury were on hand to record some wild encounters between the veteran New York journalist and his enigmatic subject. A Netflix release.

Three Music Films by Mathieu Amalric
C’est presque au bout du monde (France, 2015, 16m)
Zorn (2010-2017) (France, 2017, 54m)
Music Is Music (France, 2017, 21m)
These three movies from Mathieu Amalric are musicals, from the inside out: they move with the mental and physical energies of John Zorn, the wildly prolific and protean composer/performer/bandleader/record label founder/club owner and all-around grand spirit of New York downtown music; and via the great Canadian-born soprano/conductor/champion of modern classical music Barbara Hannigan. Amalric’s Zorn film began as a European TV commission that was quickly abandoned in favor of something more intimate: an ongoing dialogue between two friends that will always be a work-in-progress. The two shorter pieces that bracket the Zorn feature Hannigan nurturing music into being with breath, sound, and spirit. Taken together, the three films make for one thrilling, intimate musical-gestural-cinematic ride.

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.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Shutterstock, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO® and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Verizon, FilmStruck, The Village Voice, Dolby, and illy caffé, Hospitality Partners Loews Regency New York and RowNYC, and Supporting Partners MUBI, Fiji Water, Manhattan Portage. WABC-7, WNET New York Public Media, VarietyThe Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood, JCDecaux, and The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment serve as Media Sponsors.

For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.


If only they still made superhero movies, and posters, like this!

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)

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