10 posts categorized "New York Film Festival"

August 23, 2016

NYFF 54 SPECIAL GUESTS OF HONOR

THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER ANNOUNCES SPECIAL EVENTS AND “AN EVENING WITH…” GUESTS OF HONOR FOR 54th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

Special Events include Jim Jarmusch’s Gimme Danger, the World Premiere of Alex Horwitz’s Hamilton’s America, Film Comment Presents Terence Davies’s A Quiet Passion, Lonny Price’s Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, plus special guests Jarmusch, Davies, Iggy Pop, Cynthia Nixon, Stephen Sondheim, and more

NYFF54

Kristen Stewart and Adam Driver are this year’s
“An Evening with…” honorees

New York, NY (August 23, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the Special Events section and “An Evening with…” honorees for the 54th New York Film Festival.

Special Events will feature the world premiere of Lonny Price’s Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, a nonfiction account of Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince’s 1981 musical-flop-turned-cult-favorite Merrily We Roll Along, with Price and theater luminary Sondheim in person. Thirty-five years later in the world of musicals, Hamilton is a Broadway sensation. Alex Horwitz’s Hamilton’s America goes behind the history of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony- and Pulitzer Prize–winning production,Hamilton: An American Musical, and makes its world premiere at NYFF with the director and special guests to be announced. The Film Society will do outreach to young audiences for the screening, which debuts in advance of its PBS Great Performancesbroadcast on October 21. Festival veteran Jim Jarmusch brings a second film to NYFF (in addition to Main Slate selectionPaterson) with the U.S. premiere of Gimme Danger, a documentary chronicling the history of legendary proto-punk band The Stooges. Jarmusch and Stooges front man Iggy Pop will appear in person for the screening.

The fourth annual Film Comment Presents selection is Terence Davies’s A Quiet Passion, starring Cynthia Nixon as celebrated American poet Emily Dickinson. In previous years, Film Comment has championed films such as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave and László Nemes’s Son of Saul, and Davies’s anticipated new work comes on the heels of his breathtaking Sunset Song, which opened the annual Film Comment Selects festival earlier this year. The magazine will have an expanded presence at this year’s festival with two special panels: a roundtable discussion with festival filmmakers about their experiences as movie lovers and creators, and an in-depth look at the September-October issue with the magazine’s editors and contributors, examining the state of cinema today.

The annual “An Evening with…” events recognize the work of individuals who have made significant artistic contributions to film culture, and this year’s honorees are Kristen Stewart and Adam Driver, two of the brightest young actors working today. Driver gives a remarkable performance in Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, and Stewart shines in three New York Film Festival titles: Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper, and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, previously announced as a special World Premiere presentation in the Special Events section. Each of the evenings will include dinner and an intimate conversation between the award-winning actors and NYFF Director Kent Jones, and will serve as a benefit for the Film Society.

NYFF previously announced the world premieres of Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th as the Opening Night selection, Mike Mills’s 20th Century Women as Centerpiece, and James Gray’s The Lost City of Z as Closing Night. The complete Main Slate lineup can be found here, along with the complete programs for Convergence, Projections, Revivals, and Retrospective.

Tickets for the 54th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 11. To learn more about NYFF tickets, including a complete list of on-sale dates, prices, discount options, and our rush and standby policies, click here.

For even more access, VIP passes and subscription 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, “An Evening With…” dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and subscription packages are on sale now. Learn more at filmlinc.org/NYFF.

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened
Directed by Lonny Price
USA, DCP, 95m
World Premiere
In 1981, Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince embarked on Merrily We Roll Along, a musical based on the 1934 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart comedy told in reverse: the characters begin as disillusioned adults and end as starry-eyed adolescents. Though the original, much-ballyhooed production, which featured a cast of teenage unknowns, was panned by the critics and closed after just 16 performances, Merrily We Roll Along would go on to attain musical theater legend status. This alternately heartbreaking and euphoric film by original cast member Lonny Price features never-before seen footage of Prince and Sondheim at work on the show and revisits many of Price’s fellow actors, all of them united by this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Stephen Sondheim, Lonny Price, and other special guests to appear in person.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Directed by Ang Lee
USA, 2016, DCP, 110m
World Premiere
Ang Lee’s stunning adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel is the story of an Iraq war hero (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who comes home with his fellow members of Bravo Company for a victory tour. This culminates in a halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game—a high-intensity media extravaganza summoning memories of the trauma of losing his beloved sergeant in a firefight. Lee’s brave, heartbreaking film goes right to the heart of a great division that haunts this country: between the ideal image of things as they should be and the ongoing reality of things as they are. Billy Lynn is also a step forward in the art of cinema, made with a cinematographic process years ahead of its time. With a brilliant supporting cast, including Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel and Steve Martin. A TriStar Pictures release.

Gimme Danger
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
USA, 2016, DCP, 108m
U.S. Premiere
“Music is life and life is not a business,” said Iggy Pop when he and his surviving bandmates from The Stooges were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Jim Jarmusch’s cinematic offering to the punk gods of Ann Arbor traces the always raucous and frequently calamitous history of the Stooges from inception to the present. With the help of animator James Kerr, plus glimpses of Lucille Ball and a shirtless Yul Brynner amidst a bonanza of archival performance footage, photos, and interviews,Gimme Danger has the feeling of a night at Max’s Kansas City. An Amazon Studios and Magnolia Pictures release. Iggy Pop and Jim Jarmusch to appear in person.

Hamilton’s America
Directed by Alex Horwitz
USA, 2016, DCP, 84m
World Premiere
Lin-Manuel Miranda takes us inside the making of his groundbreaking American musical Hamilton, winner of eleven Tonys, as well as the Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award. We follow Miranda, his collaborators, and key members of the original cast on their exploration of the history that inspired the show, visiting locations from Valley Forge to the West Wing. We also track the show's journey, from the moment Miranda thrilled the Obamas at the White House in 2009 to the first year of its blockbuster run on Broadway. A PBS Great Performances documentary. Horwitz and special guests to appear in person.

FILM COMMENT AT NYFF EVENTS

Film Comment Presents:
A Quiet Passion
Directed by Terence Davies
U.K./Belgium, 2016, DCP, 125m
Swiftly following his glorious Sunset Song, the great British director Terence Davies turns his attention to 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson and ends up with perhaps an even greater triumph. A revelatory Cynthia Nixon embodies Dickinson with a titanic intelligence always threatening to burst forth from behind a polite facade, while Davies creates a formally audacious rendering of her life, from teenage skepticism to lonely death, using her poems (and a touch of Charles Ives) as soundtrack accompaniment. Both sides of Davies’s enormous talent—his witty, Wildean sense of humor and his frightening vision of life’s grim realities—are on full display in this consuming depiction of a creative inner world. Terence Davies and Cynthia Nixon to appear in person.

Film Comment Live: Living Cinema
For its September-October 2016 edition, Film Comment, the most important and renowned critical film magazine in the U.S. for more than 50 years, will come out of the gate with an issue devoted to the vitality of movies today, as well as an elaborate special section on films featured in the 54th New York Film Festival. For this panel a selection of the magazine’s editors, new contributors, and longtime writers will join to discuss issues raised and questions asked in its pages.

Film Comment Live: Filmmakers Chat
In this special roundtable discussion, a selection of different directors from around the world whose films are screening in this year’s New York Film Festival talk together in a discussion moderated by Film Comment editor Nicolas Rapold. It’s the rare chance to see some of today’s most important filmmakers in dialogue with each other, talking about their experiences watching and creating movies.

TWO SPECIAL “An Evening with . . .” CELEBRATIONS
The New York Film Festival tradition known as “An Evening with...” is a limited-seating event that includes an intimate dinner and conversation between an important star of the film world and NYFF Director Kent Jones. Past honorees include Pedro Almodóvar, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, and more. We’re pleased to announce that this year we are offering two of these special nights, featuring two of the brightest young actors working today.

An Evening with Adam Driver
With his mainstream breakout in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Adam Driver has become a bona fide megastar. But those who have been following him for years, both in his Emmy-nominated role in the HBO series Girls, and in such past NYFF films as Frances Ha and Inside Llewyn Davis, have already been smitten with his artistic style. This year, festival audiences can see his wonderful leading performance in Jim Jarmusch’s exquisite Paterson, as a poetry-writing New Jersey bus driver.
Sunday, October 2

An Evening with Kristen Stewart
For the past few years, Kristen Stewart has been quietly amassing an impressive body of work, starring in enigmatic roles in complex films, including the NYFF52 selection Clouds of Sils Maria, directed by Olivier Assayas, for which she became the first American actor to win the French César award. This year feels like a culmination of this extraordinary phase of her career: she starred in five movies in 2016, the best of which are featured at NYFF: Assayas’s Personal Shopper, in which she appears in nearly every shot; Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women; and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. All three films speak to an actor constantly willing to challenge herself and her fans.
Wednesday, October 5

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
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 American Airlines, The New York Times, HBO, The Kobal Collection, Variety, Loews Regency Hotel, Row NYC Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Support for the New York Film Festival is also generously provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

For more information about the New York Film Festival, visit filmlinc.org/NYFF. For the latest news, subscribe to the festival’s newsletter, follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag: #NYFF.

August 17, 2016

NYFF 54 — PROJECTIONS: AVANT-GARDE SHOWCASE

NYFF54

THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
ANNOUNCES THE LINEUP FOR ITS ANNUAL
AVANT-GARDE SHOWCASE, PROJECTIONS,
AT THE 54th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

 

New York, NY (August 17, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Projections section of the 54th New York Film Festival, to take place October 7-9. The slate is comprised of 11 programs presenting an international selection of film and video work that expands upon our notions of what the moving image can do and be. Drawing on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques, including experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary and ethnographic realms, and contemporary art practices, Projections brings together a diverse offering of short, medium, and feature-length work by some of today’s most vital and groundbreaking visual artists.

“With the third edition of Projections, in the belief that artistic radicalism takes many forms, we're casting a wider net than ever,” said Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming and one of the curators of Projections. “This is a section of the festival that we hope reflects the perennially fluid nature of experimental moving-image work, the fascinating and exhilarating ways in which visionary artists are always reinventing the medium to both mirror and shape the historical moment. This may be our most eclectic and energizing lineup yet, juxtaposing major figures of the avant-garde with promising up-and-comers, ranging from abstract short work to feature-length semi-narratives, combining and straddling genres, registers, and generations.”

This year’s lineup features 44 films in 11 programs with 10 world premieres, five North American premieres, and 13 U.S. premieres. Among the highlights are Eduardo Williams’s The Human Surge, winner of the top prize in Locarno’s 2016 Filmmakers of the Present section; world premieres of new work by visual poets Nathaniel Dorsky and Jerome Hiler, the subjects of last year’s NYFF Retrospective; features including Deborah Stratman’s The Illinois Parables and Dane Komljen’s All the Cities of the North; and the U.S. premiere of Há Terra!, directed by 2015 Kazuko Trust Award winner Ana Vaz. This year’s recipient of the Kazuko Award, which recognizes artistic excellence and innovation and is awarded to an emerging filmmaker in the Projections lineup, will be announced in September.

Twenty works will screen on celluloid (15 on 16mm and five on 35mm), including several of this year’s repertory selections: restorations of avant-garde luminary Robert Beavers’s From the Notebook of… (1971/1998) and three historical films by legendary Canadian filmmaker David Rimmer, preserved by the Academy Film Archive, as well as a tribute to the late Peter Hutton with a screening of his In Titan’s Goblet. Projections also features premieres from returning filmmakers Luke Fowler (For Christian), Janie Geiser (Flowers of the Sky), John Smith (Steve Hates Fish), Jesse McLean (See a Dog, Hear a Dog), Kevin Jerome Everson (Ears, Nose and Throat), Tomonari Nishikawa (Ten Mornings Ten Evenings and One Horizon), and many more; the NYFF debuts of acclaimed visual artists Mark Leckey (Dream English Kid, 1964–1999 AD), Rosalind Nashashibi (Electrical Gaza), Steve Reinke (A Boy Needs a Friend), Lawrence Lek (Europa, Mon Amour), Clemens von Wedemeyer (The Horses of a Cavalry Captain), Rosa Barba (Bending to Earth), and Stephen Sutcliffe (Twixt Cup and Lip); and a few Film Society of Lincoln Center alums new to Projections—James N. Kienitz Wilkins (Indefinite Pitch), who was in last year’s NYFF New York shorts program, and filmmakers Komljen and Williams, whose work has screened in the Film Society’s Art of the Real festival.

This year, the NYFF is proud to continue its collaboration with the curated video-on-demand service MUBI, a platform that showcases the best international, classic, and award-winning films from around the globe. MUBI will be a dedicated sponsor of the Projections section for the second consecutive year. Several titles from past Projections lineups will be made available on MUBI leading up to the festival, and a selection from the 2016 program will be featured upon completion of the festival. Details on the films and schedule will be announced at a later date.

Projections is curated by Dennis Lim (FSLC Director of Programming) and Aily Nash (independent curator). Thomas Beard (FSLC Programmer at Large) serves as Program Advisor. The curators wish to thank Colin Beckett, Shelby Shaw, Edo Choi, Maxwell Paparella, Mark Toscano, Gonzalo de Pedro Amatria, and the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Projections tickets are $15 for General Public and $10 for Members & Students. A $99 Projections All Access Pass will also be available for purchase. Visit filmlinc.org/NYFF for more information.

Tickets for the 54th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 11. 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. Learn more at filmlinc.org/membership.

For even more access, VIP passes and subscription 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, “An Evening With…” dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. VIP passes and subscription packages are on sale now. Learn more at filmlinc.org/NYFF.

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
All films screen digitally at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 W. 65th St.) unless otherwise noted.

Program 1: THE SPACES BETWEEN THE WORDS
Friday, October 7, 4:00pm
Saturday, October 8, 3:00pm
TRT: 81m

REGAL
Karissa Hahn, USA, 2015, 16mm, 2m
An old Regal Cinemas pre-show animation is further degraded as it’s run through a ringer of format transfers, each layer representing a different viewing space.

Steve Hates Fish
John Smith, UK, 2015, 5m
Recorded from a smartphone screen, its translation app running on the wrong settings and struggling to interpret North London street signs in French and convert them to English, Steve Hates Fish turns errors into unintentional poetry.

Real Italian Pizza
David Rimmer, Canada, 1971, 16mm, 13m
Scenes outside a Manhattan pizza joint, shot over eight months from a fourth-floor apartment window. Men stand eating their slices and drinking their sodas alone; groups of friends and neighborhood acquaintances, mostly black, hang out, talking and laughing; a few cops, all white, march a man away in handcuffs; summer turns to winter. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive.

Now: End of Season
Ayman Nahle, Lebanon, 2015, 20m
U.S. Premiere
In the cosmopolitan Turkish city of Izmir, thousands of Syrians fleeing Assad, ISIS, and the proxy forces lined up behind them, bide their time, waiting to cross the Aegean Sea. On the soundtrack, voices from a previous war.

See a Dog, Hear a Dog
Jesse McLean, USA, 2016, 18m
World Premiere
This tragicomic analysis of communication between humans, animals, and machines was made with original video footage, computer animations, and internet media, including YouTube dog videos, chatbot dialogue windows, and images from iTunes visualizer.

Twixt Cup and Lip
Stephen Sutcliffe, UK, 2016, 23m
World Premiere
This sound and video collage, produced in conjunction with a museum exhibit about Yorkshire playwright and novelist David Storey, draws from BBC outtakes, Edwardian-nostalgic commercial design, and other sources of mid-century British middlebrow to consider the vagaries of class mobility.

Program 2: BEYOND LANDSCAPE
Friday, October 7, 6:30pm
Saturday, October 8, 5:15pm
TRT: 78m

Burning Mountains That Spew Flame / Montañas Ardientes Que Vomitan Fuego
Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado, Spain, 2016, 14m
U.S. Premiere
Scientific claims made by 17th-century Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher and political ones made by the Invisible Committee are examined in this journey into the volcanoes of Lanzarote.

Bending to Earth
Rosa Barba, USA/Germany, 2015, 35mm, 15m
Helicopter shots circle variously colored shapes carved into desert landscapes. We discover these manmade inscriptions are storage cells for radioactive material designed to eventually return to the soil.

Ten Mornings Ten Evenings and One Horizon
Tomonari Nishikawa, Japan, 2016, 16mm, 10m
U.S. Premiere
Delivering exactly what his title promises—but not necessarily in the order you’d expect—Nishikawa presents 20 sequences shot along Japan’s Yahagi River; images tautly suspended between stillness and movement, darkness and light.

Canadian Pacific I
David Rimmer, Canada, 1974, 16mm, 9m
Scenes taken from a single, second-floor view of Vancouver Harbor, recorded over three winter months, pieced together with subtle dissolves so as to resemble one ten-minute shot. “Its formalism is very unimposing,” wrote Jonas Mekas, “like in a Hudson School painting.”  

Jáaji Approx.
Sky Hopinka, USA, 2015, 8m
Hopkina’s video address to his father is made of landscape images saturated with dark shadow and dreamy light, and features his father’s own words taken from recordings of Hočak language songs and chants.

Bad Mama, Who Cares
Brigid McCaffrey, USA, 2016, 35mm, 12m
World Premiere
Geologist Ren Lallatin inhabits different spaces—of brilliant snow and blazing sun, rundown towns and little-trodden deserts—in this structural-lyrical landscape film shot on richly tinted film.

Ears, Nose and Throat
Kevin Jerome Everson, USA, 2016, 10m
Everson returns to his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio, in this unblinking look at the simultaneity of the tragic and the mundane in black American life. The subject is the 2010 murder of 25-year-old DeCarrio Couley, who appeared in a number of Everson’s earlier films.

Program 3: THE ILLINOIS PARABLES
Friday, October 7, 8:45pm
TRT: 70m

The Illinois Parables
Deborah Stratman, USA, 2016, 16mm, 60m
Eleven episodes from the history of Illinois stand in for the United States at large. Working in her essayistic, political mode, Deborah Stratman synthesizes an array of materials into a rigorous yet playful consideration of the catastrophe of the state and the resilience of those who make up the nation.

Preceded by
The Horses of a Cavalry Captain / Die Pferde des Rittmeisters
Clemens von Wedemeyer, Germany, 2015, 10m
North American Premiere
During World War II, Wehrmacht captain Harald von Vietinghoff-Riesch traveled in advance of the army scouting for barracks. An amateur cinematographer, he also made 16mm images behind the front. Part of a larger project, Die pferde des Rittmeisters, made by Vietinghoff-Riesch’s grandson, presents footage of the cavalry horses, the artist’s commentary never letting us forget that these attractive creatures were also Nazi machines.

Program 4: FADE OUT
Saturday, October 8, 2:00pm
Saturday, October 8, 7:30pm
TRT: 76m

Old Hat
Zach Iannazzi, USA, 2016, 16mm, 8m
A scrapbook of 16mm images made on the fly, the length of each determined by the position of the Bolex spring when the shot begins. Some shove past as quickly as slides in a carousel advanced at top speed; others—etching the explosive ascent of fireworks in high-contrast white, or the arc of the setting sun on the mirrored glass of an office tower—linger.

Flowers of the Sky
Janie Geiser, USA, 2016, 9m
U.S. Premiere
Named after a medieval term for comets, Flowers of the Sky finds a seemingly infinite number of ways of looking at and into two mid-century postcards depicting the Freemasonic Order of the Eastern Star, using a macro lens and a variety of printing and masking techniques.

Answer Print
Mónica Savirón, USA, 2016, 16mm, 5m
World Premiere
Answer Print is assembled with pieces of deteriorating 16mm color stock. Not only the images themselves but also the world that produced them and which they reproduce—here suspended in the red aspic of faded color dye—threatens to disappear.

Athyrium filix-femina (for Anna Atkins)
Kelly Egan, Canada, 2016, 35mm, 5m
World Premiere
This homage to botanist and photography pioneer Anna Atkins was made in cyanotype photograms and reanimated film stills on stock exposed in the sun. Handcrafted with historically domestic, feminine tools, it’s structured as a narrative in quilting patterns.

Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper
David Rimmer, Canada, 1970, 16mm, 9m
This classic work of Canadian structural cinema consists of an eight-second shot of a woman in a factory unrolling a spool of cellophane in sheets, which crash like waves toward the camera. Rimmer loops the image, replaying it in segments that give it different visual and aural treatments. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive.

Ghost Children
Joao Vieira Torres, Brazil/France, 2016, 17m
North American Premiere
Ghost Children presents seven reminiscences of early childhood, read in seven different voices, as the camera presses close against the faded dye and exaggerated grain of family photographs from the early 1980s. The film encourages the audience to interrogate assumptions about gender, memory, performance, and death.

Cilaos
Camilo Restrepo, France, 2016, 13m
U.S. Premiere
A woman takes her mother’s dying wish to the father she never knew; he is dead but not gone from the Réunion Islands village of Cilaos, historically a Maroon community. With the collaboration of renowned singer Christine Salem, Restrepo develops a trans-diasporic narrative form built on the slave rhythms of Réunionese maloya and Colombian mapalé.
 
Luna e Santur
Joshua Gen Solondz, USA, 2016, 35mm, 11m
U.S. Premiere
Mingling sex and death with the supernatural and subnaturalistic, this visually assaultive threnody alternates white hot light with furious streaks of cruddy black goop, pushing the eye and the ego to their breaking points.

Program 5: SITE AND SOUND
Saturday, October 8, 4:15pm
Sunday, October 9, 12:30pm
TRT: 84m

Indefinite Pitch
James N. Kienitz Wilkins, USA, 2016, 23m
A procession of black and silvery white stills of New England’s Androscoggin River unspools alongside an anxious monologue on movies, memory, and minor history.

Europa, Mon Amour (2016 Brexit Edition)
Lawrence Lek, UK, 2016, 14m
North American Premiere
This guided, two-part meditation on Brexit unfolds in a computer-simulated hallucination of the London district of Dalston, a place with no people but filled with drones and fires.

Strange Vision of Seeing Things
Ryan Ferko, Canada/Serbia, 2016, 14m
U.S. Premiere
Time-spaces of post-Yugoslav Serbia: the empty lobby of a defunct industrial conglomerate’s headquarters in Belgrade; an unseen man describing tripping on acid during the 1999 NATO bombings; a mother and her young son visit ruins left by that same campaign. At first they appear in crisp HD, but cracks form, revealing dimensions beneath the smooth surface.

Foyer
Ismaïl Bahri, France/Tunisia, 2016, 32m
U.S. Premiere
A white haze flutters on-screen, accompanied by street sounds in Tunis. Indistinct shapes appear as passersby engage the cameraman about his project and their lives. He tells one of them, “The wind does the editing.”

Program 6: ALL THE CITIES OF THE NORTH
Saturday, October 8, 6:45pm

All the Cities of the North / Svi severni gradovi
Dane Komljen, Serbia/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Montenegro, 2016, 100m
North American Premiere
In the darkly wooded grounds and concrete boxes of what was once a Yugoslav resort complex, two men share an enigmatic, tender life. A stranger comes to town; things change, but how, what, and why remain ambiguous. In Komljen’s richly suggestive, quietly moving elegy to lost utopias, no words are exchanged, and speech only comes in monologues, taking up questions on the architecture and administration of human sociality. 

Program 7: POP CULTURE CLASH
Saturday, October 8, 9:30pm
Sunday, October 9, 3:00pm
TRT: 63m

A Boy Needs a Friend
Steve Reinke, USA, 2015, 22m
This latest installment of Final Thoughts, the series of unreliably narrated queer video essays that Reinke intends to continue until his death, takes love and friendship as its main subjects. Onto this he latches a long chain of endless digressions, which include, among much else, Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, the pleasures of needlepoint, and the design of an anal tattoo.

Spotlight on a Brick Wall
Alee Peoples and Mike Stoltz, USA, 2016, 16mm, 8m
An abstracted nightclub performance, its constituent parts—stand-up comedy, a capella, a laconic bass-and-drum rock duo, a slapstick mime—wrenched apart and recombined.

Return to Forms
Zachary Epcar, USA, 2016, 10m
World Premiere
The surfaces and shapes of typical international contempo yuppie style are defamiliarized, staged in and around a condo in an unnamed urban environment.

Dream English Kid, 1964–1999 AD
Mark Leckey, UK, 2015, 16mm, 23m
North American Premiere
Dream English Kid traces the cultural developments in the life of a working-class English boy, between the start of the Nuclear Test Ban and Azzido Da Bass’s first EP, as a collage of images and sounds, locating the broadly shared within the idiosyncratic and personal.

Program 8: DORSKY AND HILER
Sunday, October 9, 1:00pm
Sunday, October 9, 5:00pm
TRT: 65m

Autumn
Nathaniel Dorsky, USA, 2016, 16mm, 26m
World Premiere
“Autumn, photographed during the last months of the drought year, 2015, is a stately, but intimate, seasonal tome, a celebration of the poignancy and mystery of our later years.” —Nathaniel Dorsky

The Dreamer
Nathaniel Dorsky, USA, 2016, 16mm, 19m
World Premiere
“This year our midsummer’s night was adorned with a glorious full moon. The weeks and days preceding the solstice were magically alive with crisp, cool breezes, bright warm sunlight, and a general sense of heartbreaking clarity. The Dreamer is born out of this most poignant San Francisco spring.” —Nathaniel Dorsky

Bagatelle II
Jerome Hiler, USA, 2016, 16mm, 20m
World Premiere
“With Bagatelle II, I seem to have come full circle by returning to the so-called polyvalent style of my earliest film endeavors from 50 years ago. The film actually includes material from all the intervening decades. It's both up to the moment yet life-spanning, with a thread of deep affection for the special characteristics of 16mm film.” —Jerome Hiler

Program 9: EVENT HORIZONS
Sunday, October 9, 3:15pm
Sunday, October 9, 7:00pm
TRT: 81m

Há Terra!
Ana Vaz, Brazil/France, 2016, 13m
U.S. Premiere
The camera jerks quickly across a field in the Brazilian Sertão, homing in on a young Maroon woman crouching in the tall grass. A hand feels around in the brush, caressing the earth. From these two images, Ana Vaz’s film proceeds on tracks that neither fully merge nor completely diverge, expressing the incommensurability of filmmaker and subject.

Kindah
Ephraim Asili, USA/Jamaica, 2016, 12m
World Premiere
Shot between the Maroon village of Accompong, Jamaica, and Hudson, New York, the alternately sparse and exultantly polyrhythmicKindah is part of a series of films examining the filmmaker's relationship to the African diaspora. The title alludes to the mango tree that symbolizes common kinship in the Jamaican Maroon culture.

In Titan’s Goblet
Peter Hutton, USA, 1991, 16mm, 9m
Titled after a painting by Thomas Cole, this work of Hudson River School landscape filmmaking by the late Peter Hutton is a study of ships and smoke on the water.

An Aviation Field / Um Campo de Aviação
Joana Pimenta, Portugal/USA/Brazil, 2016, 13m
U.S. Premiere
Using warm, darkly saturated 16mm images shot on the volcanic island of Fogo, Cape Verde, and in modernist Brasilia, and sounds that range between trebly crackle and aquatic gurgle, Pimenta constructs a surreal and mythical landscape from the remnants of Portuguese colonialism.

Electrical Gaza
Rosalind Nashashibi, UK, 2015, 18m
Commissioned by London’s Imperial War Museum, Electrical Gaza combines vérité documentary scenes of public life in Gaza shot by Nashashibi in 2014, portraits of her crew, and uncanny, painterly computer animations modeled from the footage, rendering it unreal—as the Israeli government would claim and Palestinians would like to make it. 

Event Horizon
Guillermo Moncayo, France, 2015, 16m
A story modeled on 19th-century ethnography and colonialist travel literature unfolds in titles written in a mythological register. Lush images and sounds accrue a level of detail that refuses knowledge and courts being.

Program 10: FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF . . .
Sunday, October 9, 5:30pm
TRT: 55m

From the Notebook of…
Robert Beavers, Italy/Switzerland, 1971/1998, 35mm, 48m
North American Restoration Premiere
An essential film by one of cinema’s living masters, forged from the brilliant light of Florence streets and the shadow of an oldpensionne, this astounding work of public science and private experience was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks. According to P. Adams Sitney, this is “the first film of [Beavers’] artistic maturity.”

Preceded by
For Christian
Luke Fowler, UK/USA, 2016, 16mm, 7m
Fowler’s portrait of New York School composer Christian Wolff continues his investigation into the legacies of 20th-century avant-garde music. Short, handheld shots taken at Wolff’s New Hampshire farm are assembled in diagonal relation to a soundtrack that features snippets of conversation with Wolff and passages from his compositions.

Program 11: THE HUMAN SURGE
Sunday, October 9, 7:30pm
TRT: 97m

The Human Surge / El auge del humano
Eduardo Williams, Argentina/Brazil/Portugal, 2016, 97m
U.S. Premiere
A twenty-something in Argentina loses his warehouse job. Boys in Maputo, Mozambique, perform half-hearted sex acts in front of a webcam. A woman in the Philippines assembles electronics in a small factory. Williams’s inquisitive camera is in constant motion, as are his rootless characters, who wander aimlessly, make small talk, futz with their phones, and search for a working Internet connection. Unfolding within the unfree time between casual jobs, this wildly original rumination on labor and leisure in the global digital economy seems to take place in both the immediate present and the far horizon of the foreseeable future. Winner of the top prize in the 2016 Locarno Film Festival’s Filmmakers of the Present section.

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
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 American Airlines, The New York Times, HBO, The Kobal Collection, Variety, Loews Regency Hotel, Row NYC Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Support for the New York Film Festival is also generously provided by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

For more information about the New York Film Festival, visit filmlinc.org/NYFF. For the latest news, subscribe to the festival’s newsletter, follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag: #NYFF.

August 11, 2016

COLE SMITHEY'S MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS AT NYFF 54

The films I most look forward to screening at the 54th New York Film Festival are informed by Cannes since many of the films in the NYFF main slate premiered there back in May. That said, there are plenty of other films I'll be able to screen because I have a running start. This is going to be fun!

Elle
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 131m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere

Elle

"Elle" was my favorite film at Cannes this year. I can't wait to see it again. This is one racy satirical thriller, and by racy I mean sexy, dark, and badass in a hyper-feminist way. "Paul Verhoeven’s first feature in a decade—and his first in French—ranks among his most incendiary, improbable concoctions: a wry, almost-screwball comedy of manners about a woman who responds to a rape by refusing the mantle of victimhood. As the film opens, Parisian heroine Michèle (a brilliant Isabelle Huppert) is brutally violated in her kitchen by a hooded intruder. Rather than report the crime, Michèle, the CEO of a video game company and daughter of a notorious mass murderer, calmly sweeps up the mess and proceeds to engage her assailant in a dangerous game of domination and submission in which her motivations remain a constant source of mystery, humor, and tension. A Sony Pictures Classics release." 

The 13th
Directed by Ava DuVernay
USA, 2016
World Premiere

Ava-DuVernay-and-Angela-Davis

I'm looking for Ava DuVernay's doc to set the proper cultural and political tone for the 2016 NYFF. The film promises to foster constructive discussion about addressing America's systemic racism and ongoing incremental genocide of black citizens by militarized State police. "The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis. A Netflix original documentary."

20th Century Women
Directed by Mike Mills
USA, 2016
World Premiere

20th-Century-Women

The director behind the great LGBT drama "Beginners" (2010) puts together a dream-team cast for his self-penned observation of '70s era women's liberation.  Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup star in what could prove to be the hottest ticket at the festival. This film is a must-see if not for Annette Bening's appearance. Bening is a national treasure whose mastery of acting craft is beyond reproach. "Mike Mills’s texturally and behaviorally rich new comedy seems to keep redefining itself as it goes along, creating a moving group portrait of particular people in a particular place (Santa Barbara) at a particular moment in the 20th century (1979), one lovingly attended detail at a time. The great Annette Bening, in one of her very best performances, is Dorothea, a single mother raising her teenage son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), in a sprawling bohemian house, which is shared by an itinerant carpenter (Billy Crudup) and a punk artist with a Bowie haircut (Greta Gerwig) and frequented by Jamie’s rebellious friend Julie (Elle Fanning). 20th Century Women is warm, funny, and a work of passionate artistry. An A24 Release."

Aquarius
Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
Brazil/France, 2016, 142m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere

Aquarius-de-Kleber-Mendonca-Filho

"Aquarius" contributes to the female-dominated films at this year's festival. I missed it at Cannes, but will be sure to catch this buzzed-about drama on the rebound. "A highlight of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Kleber Mendonça Filho’s follow-up to his acclaimed Neighboring Sounds revolves around the leisurely days of a 65-year-old widow, transcendently played by the great Brazilian actress Sônia Braga. Clara is a retired music critic and the only remaining resident of the titular apartment building in Recife. Trouble starts when an ambitious real estate promoter who has bought up all of Aquarius’s other units comes knocking on Clara’s door. She has no intention of leaving, and a protracted struggle ensues. Braga’s transfixing, multilayered performance and the film’s deliberate pacing and stylistic flourishes yield a sophisticated, political, and humane work."

Fire at Sea / Fuocoammare
Directed by Gianfranco Rosi
Italy/France, 2016, 108m
English and Italian with English subtitles

Fuocoammare_di_Gianfranco_Rosi

The fact that this doc is a Kino Lorber release is reason enough to seek out this year's Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin. "Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary observes Europe’s migrant crisis from the vantage point of a Mediterranean island where hundreds of thousands of refugees, fleeing war and poverty, have landed in recent decades. Rosi shows the harrowing work of rescue operations but devotes most of the film to the daily rhythms of Lampedusa, seen through the eyes of a doctor who treats casualties and performs autopsies, and a feisty but anxious pre-teen from a family of fishermen for whom it is simply a peripheral fact of life. With its emphasis on the quotidian, the film reclaims an ongoing tragedy from the abstract sensationalism of media headlines. A Kino Lorber release."

Manchester by the Sea
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
USA, 2016, 137m

Manchester-by-the-sea

Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan promises a slice of authentic cinema with a solid cast. "Casey Affleck is formidable as the volatile, deeply troubled Lee Chandler, a Boston-based handyman called back to his hometown on the Massachusetts North Shore after the sudden death of his brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler), who has left behind a teenage son (Lucas Hedges). This loss and the return to his old stomping grounds summon Lee’s memories of an earlier, even more devastating tragedy. In his third film as a director, following You Can Count on Me (2000) and Margaret (2011), Kenneth Lonergan, with the help of a remarkable cast, unflinchingly explores grief, hope, and love, giving us a film that is funny, sharply observed, intimately detailed yet grand in emotional scale. An Amazon Studios Release."

Neruda
Directed by Pablo Larraín
Chile/Argentina/France/Spain, 2016, 107m
Spanish and French with English subtitles

Neruda

You had me at Neruda. "Pablo Larraín’s exciting, surprising, and colorful new film is not a biopic but, as the director himself puts it, a “Nerudean” portrait of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s years of flight and exile after his 1948 denunciation of his government’s leadership. Larraín’s heady blend of fact and fancy (the latter embodied in an invented character, straight out of detective fiction, played by Gael García Bernal) is many things at once: a loving, kaleidoscopic recreation of a particular historical moment; a comical cat-and-mouse game; and a pocket epic. Featuring Luis Gnecco, a dead ringer for the poet and a formidable actor, alongside a terrific cast. A release of The Orchard."

Sieranevada
Directed by Cristi Puiu
Romania, 2016, 173m
Romanian with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere

Sieranevada-cristi-puiu

Cristi Puiu is the real deal in his output as card-carrying member of the Romanian New Wave (see "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu"). File under "Must-See." "Cristi Puiu returns with a virtuosic chamber drama set largely within a labyrinthine Bucharest apartment where a cantankerous extended family has gathered forty days after its patriarch’s death (and three days after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris). Rituals and meals are anticipated and delayed, doors open and close, and the camera hovers at thresholds and in corridors. As claustrophobia mounts, heated, humorous exchanges—about the old Communist days and the present age of terror—coalesce into a brilliantly staged and observed portrait of personal and social disquiet."

Things to Come / L’Avenir
Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
France/Germany, 2016, 100m
French with English subtitles

Mia-Hansen-Løve-Lavenir

Isabelle Huppert makes her second appearance in the Festival, behind her Oscar-worthy performance in Paul Verhoeven's "Elle." If there's one actress I can never get enough it's the wonderful Isabelle Huppert. Sign this one with love. "In the new film from Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden), Isabelle Huppert is Nathalie, a Parisian professor of philosophy who comes to realize that the tectonic plates of her existence are slowly but inexorably shifting: her husband (André Marcon) leaves her, her mother (Edith Scob) comes apart, her favorite former student decides to live off the grid, and her first grandchild is born. Hansen-Løve carefully builds Things to Come around her extraordinary star: her verve and energy, her beauty, her perpetual motion. Huppert’s remarkable performance is counterpointed by the quietly accumulating force of the action, and the result is an exquisite expression of time’s passing. A Sundance Selects release."

Yourself and Yours
Directed by Hong Sangsoo
South Korea, 2016, 86m
Korean with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere

Yourself-and-yours

Hong Sangsoo's 2012 film "In Another Country" is a bold cinematic statement that commands inspection of this remarkable filmmaker's latest effort. "Prolific NYFF favorite Hong Sangsoo boldly and wittily continues his ongoing exploration of the painful caprices of modern romance. Painter Youngsoo (Kim Joo-hyuk) hears secondhand that his girlfriend, Minjung (Lee Yoo-young), has recently had (many) drinks with an unknown man. This leads to a quarrel that seems to end their relationship. The next day, Youngsoo sets out in search of her, at the same time that Minjung—or a woman who looks exactly like her and may or may not be her twin—has a series of encounters with strange men, some of whom claim to have met her before . . .  Yourself and Yours is a break-up/make-up comedy unlike any other, suffused with sophisticated modernist mystery."

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