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Thread: Nyff 2010

  1. #46
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    Kellly Reichardt: MEEK'S CUTOFF (2010)


    In this minimalist twist on the traditional Western, a dubious racist mountain guide vies for respect with an Indian as a group of settlers traveling on the Oregon Trail run out of water and get lost, in 1845.


    Click on the title for the review.

  2. #47
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    Ten short films from Mexico: REVOLUCIÓN (2020)

    Ten short films to commemorate, and ruefully comment upon, the Mexican revolution. They were directed by Mariana Chenillo, Patricia Riggen, Fernando Eimbcke, Amat Escalante, Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo García, Diego Luna, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Plá & Carlos Reygadas, 2010, Mexico, in Spanish. Listed as 105 min for the NYFf, 124 at the Berlinale.

    I was not able to see more then the first four and a piece of the fifth, due to sound track problems at the P&I screening, and the Skype Q&A was canceled. I have summarized from Leslie Felperin's Berlinale Variety review to provide information and evaluations about the last six films. From his comment and what I saw this seems an unusually interesting and coherent omnibus.

    Click on the title above for the Featival Coverage review.

  3. #48
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    Sebastián Silva, Pedro Peirano: OLD CATS (2010)

    In Santiago, Chile, a freeloading middle-aged lesbian daughter tries to get her mother to sign over her apartment. The acting is more convincing than some of the writing. Everyone is good, especially the old couple, theatrical institutions in Chile, who're a real married couple, playing the roles in their real apartment, with their real old cats.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-07-2013 at 06:39 PM.

  4. #49
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    Raúl Ruiz: MYSTERIES OF LISBON (2010)

    Adapted from an 1854 three-volume serial novel by Camilo Castelo Branco, this film by Ruiz is a series of back-tracking and interlocking Gothic-cum-amour fou tales of revenge, duels, revelations, changed identities, and wild, mostly adulterous romances recapping some of the writer's own experiences, with a beautiful, sumptuous mise-en-scene. Unfortunately chronologies become so intricate they're impossible to keep track of, and the 273min. length is daunting to watch. Also made up into a TV miniseries of six 55-min. segments.

    Metacritic score 83.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-04-2011 at 04:45 PM.

  5. #50
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    Clint Eastwood: HEREAFTER (2010)

    Eastwood, working from a script by Peter Morgon of THE QUEEN and FROST/NIXON, takes the potentially corny theme of talking to the world of the dead and makes something understated and interesting, with several strong action sequences. There are flaws, but it almost fully works.

    The New York Film Festival 2010 Closing Night film. It's all over. For me. The film will be shown three times to the public at Alice Tully Hall on October 10.

    Click on the title above for the Festival Coverage review.

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    Alphabetical index of all reviews


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    In case anyone is interested, the Sundance Channel is now showing CARLOS as a three-part series. I am looking forward to it.

  8. #53
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    That is the version I saw, but all on one day. It is being shown in both lengths at IFC Center in NYC now. I presume IFC will show it in some other US theaters. CARLOS is definitely one of the NYFF's standout selections. The latest NY Times article about the film is by Larry Rohter, Oct. 8, " A Sweeping Tale of a Terrorist and His Time.

    Strand Releasing has announced that Uncle Boonmee will be Thailand’s Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. It opens in New York on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at the Film Forum. Strand is the distributor for this film.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-13-2010 at 03:19 PM.

  9. #54
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    Comments on the 2010 new york film festival

    Comments on the NYFF

    Comments on the Main Slate films

    Time hasn't allowed me to write a more formal summing up, but here are some general comments on this year's NYFF.


    THE SCREENINGS. As usual the Press & Industry screenings are a pleasure, beautifully presented in comfortable surroundings and if not the most cutting edge series, at least the classiest and nicest to watch of my movie year. They're presented separately from the public ones, at the Walter Reade Theater, a venue that's cozier than the large, handsomely renovated public screening auditorium, Alice Tully Hall, yet has superb image and sound facilities, and a stage where Q&A's are conducted. Refreshments and coffee are provided in the spacious gallery across the lobby. There is a first-rate staff headed by theater manager Glenn Raucher, who in two and a half years in the job has emerged as more and more indispensable -- as well as a pleasure to have around. Screenings are scheduled over a longer period than the festival itself, on weekdays only, spread out so that anyone with the time in mornings and afternoons to spare can watch everything in a civilized manner.

    THE FILMS. Favorites that I'd call mainstream or conventional are the brilliant, fast-paced The Social Network (David Fincher); subtle, complex Poetry (Lee Chang-dong); the thrilling biographical miniseries Carlos (Olivier Assayas); the French drama of the clash of politics and religion, Of Gods and Men (Xavier Beauvois); and an original first film, a German character study about a crook who's also a star athlete, The Robber (Benjamin Heisenberg) -- which I'd rate in about that order. These are my top picks. But not all I recommend. And highlighting them doesn't mean the festival doesn't have depth, even if there was nothing in 2010 as great as Haneke's The White Ribbon or as provocative on a grand scale as von Trier's Antichrist or on a lesser scale Precious and Trash Humpers, all included in last year's NYFF.

    Movies I liked a lot that are a edgier and demanding are the dark political portrait of Seventies Chile, Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín), and the cannibal genre film We Are What We Are (Jorge Michel Grau).

    Manoel de Oliveira's Strange Case of Angelica is in a class by itself. From what I've seen of de Oliveira's work, it's feather-light, but lovely. Likewise I'd put Clint Eastwood in a class by himself. He is an old-fashioned filmmaker. Hereafter deserves respect. It's not quite successful, but it has class, it's thought-provoking, and it has fine acting and terrific action scenes, unusual because they have both punch and restraint.

    I'm not so happy with Kiarostami's Certified Copy, which was so well received at Cannes. It's beautifully made, but it seems a put-on, posing as something profound (and melding into polished European filmmaking, after a lifetime of working in Iran), but its game-playing by a couple who may be long married or have just met seems gimmicky. I'd not have included it. Though art house film-goers will love this film, it left me feeling empty and a little played-with.

    Another Year (Mike Leigh) is beautifully made and acted but seemed too pat and schematic. Leigh gets great performances and has a powerful working method, but his recent films seem fun yet don't leave such a strong impression. Julie Taymor's The Tempest, chosen partly to sell tickets as the Centeriece film, has some nice acting, but isn't at all an interesting interpretation of Shakespeare. Just window dressing.

    Offerings from Eastern Europe and Russia or Ukraine continued familiar veins for where they came from and were quite disappointing. Cristi Puiu's slow motiveless study of multiple murders Aurora (not up to his Death of Mr. Lazarescu) and Radu Muntean's family breakdown movie Tuesday, Before Christmas, both from Romania, are very similar, slow, flat, obsessively quotidian. They have a certain quality but don't seem very memorable, perhaps due to a lack of narrative structure. Aleksei Fedorchenko's Russian folkloric tale Silent Souls wasn't very memorable either. Sergei Loznitsa's debut My Joy may seem radical to some but impresses only for its ultraviolence--and, admittedly, some fine camerawork. It makes ultimately no narrative sense and is a series of anecdotes posing as a coherent story. Nothing outstanding. The Romanians seem overrated, the Russians not living up to past performance.

    Other disappointing features were Kelly Reichardt's attempt at a radical western, Meek's Cutooff, a lame misfire; and Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo's Oki's Movie. Hong, whose almost Nouvelle Vague-like studies of male-female relationships and vain movie directors I've loved in the past, seems to be repeating himself and running in circles. The followup of The Maid by Chiliean Sebastian Silva and his partner Pedro Peirano, Old Cats, seemed to ruin a good setup and actors with writing of the daughter's part that fell into caricature. The brilliant French-Arab director Abdellatif Kechiche's Black Venus was much too long; he seemed to want to punish the audience with his message of 19th-century white racism and this was a falling off from earlier work closer to his own experience.

    Two greats produced works I couldn't quite tune in to. Godard's Film Socialisme's provocations seem largely incomprehensible; images are intermittently ugly -- beautiful. Raúl Ruiz's Mysteries of Lisbon is gorgeous, its mise-en-scene rich, its tales fascinating. But the tales-within-tales failed to dovetail; the long film is impossible to follow. Mysteries of Lisbon is a very fine film -- almost. A masterpiece manqué.

    Festivals naturally and properly favor films that set themselves apart from mainstream fare. This means a leaning toward work that is hard to understand, glacially slow, often shot cooly, like Hou Hsiao-hsien's and some other great Asian directors', from a certain distance with a stationary camera. There's also a taste for features that merge fiction with documentary elements, especially exotic ones. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, the Thai festival darling Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cannes 2010 top prize winner, fills the bill. He has every right to go his own way. However when all is said and done he works so far out on the margins that he connects emotionally only occasionally. This study of rural spiritualism and communication with the dead has haunting and beautiful moments, but also seems disjointed, fey, and self-indulgent.

    Documentaries of the festival kind similarly are ones that test an audience, are hard to follow (not a crime), without commentary or with mysterious commentary. Le Quattro Volte and Robinson in Ruins were of that kind, and The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaşescu, a valid portrait of the Romanian dictator but one that could probably have been an hour shorter. Fred Wiseman's repetitive and boring Boxing Gym did not enchant me. He has covered everything but when he takes the fun out of even ballet I balk. These sometimes haphazard documentary efforts do no honor to the work of great directors included in the festival, whose jurors might rethink their documentary selecting process. On the other hand the conventional documentaries LennonNYC and Letter to Elia (a sidebar) and the handsomely mounted financial meltdown study Inside Job were very worthwhile -- especially the latter, the important (if not unique) Inside Job, which was as smart as The Social Network. Lennon, Elia, and Inside Job are of interest, but does their aesthetic merit warrant inclusion? Docs remain a moot point for the NYFF. Maybe they should include only one really fine one and let it go at that. A doc on a level with Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke, or Philibert's To Be and to Have, and other great ones. But when you consider content apart from form, you go astray.

    Unfortunately I could only see part of the Mexican short collection, but it shows Mexican filmmakers have coherence and more of a sense of commonality than directors of any other Latin American country. Latin America in general remains a source of vibrant new work, while Korea has fallen back somewhat, and Japan and Italy remain in decline from past glories.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-19-2017 at 08:57 PM.

  10. #55
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    Through the kindness of the webmaster Robin Yacoubian, my coverage of the NYFF 2010 is now featured also on the new English movie website FLICK FEAST. Check it out HERE..


  11. #56
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    Good news about Jorge Michel Grau's WE ARE WHAT WE ARE/SOMOS LO QUE HAY, the highly original horror film from Mexico featured in the NYFF 2010: It has a US theatrical release coming. It opens on Friday, February 18 at IFC Center. It was on my Best Unreleased list.


    Let me know if any others on this list are getting released:

    BEST UNRELEASED
    Double Hour, The (La doppia ora, Giuseppe Capotondi 2009)
    In the Beginning (À l'origine, Xavier Giannoli 2009)
    Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux, Xavier Beauvois 2010)
    Poetry (Lee Chang-dong 2010)
    Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín 2010)
    Rapt (Lucas Belvaux 2009)
    Robber, The (Der Räuber, Benjamin Heisenberg 2010)
    Strange Case of Angelica, The (O Estranho Caso de Angélica, Manoel de Oliveira 2010)
    We Are What We Are (Somos lo que hay, Jorge Michel Grau 2010)
    You Think You're the Prettiest, But You're the Sluttiest (Te creís la más linda, pero erís la más puta, Che Sandoval 2008)


    THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA was recently released. Sony Picture Classics has bought OF GODS AND MEN. I would love it if RAPT and IN THE BEGINNING and POETRY got US release this year.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-19-2017 at 09:07 PM.

  12. #57
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    One of the shorts from the omnibus REVOLUCION you managed to watch is:
    "Amat Escalante's The Hanging Priest begins with spectral, haunting images (one is in the world of Bueñuel or Cormac McCarthy) and ends with the priest and two children appealing to real people on the street (their faces blurred out) for help and being turned away. Pretty strong stuff."

    I was wondering if you have seen either of the two features by Escalante (who is from Barcelona but resides in Mexico). The debut, Sangre, won a Fispreci prize at Cannes and played in ND/NF in 2006 but was not released in the US. I bought an import DVD from Mexico (no English subs). His next movie, The Bastards, is like a Mexican version of Haneke's Funny Games which I'm just not in the mood right now ("nihilistic" says Variety). Escalante has worked for Reygadas, who co-produced his features. Sangre: Mysterious, enigmatic, reticent, elliptical narrative style using non-actors in mostly banal situations. Just watched it. Certainly one that lingers in the mind.

  13. #58
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    If you check my Paris report I saw all of the REVOLUCION collection there in May. I definitely was impressed by THE HANGING PRIEST, and seeing the whole collection in Paris and re-reporting, I remained so. No, I have not seen those other ones. Thanks for the information I wasn't attending ND/NF in 2006, just the past couple of years. Would need subtitles.

    Just watched the new indie film from Sundance and SXSW, BELLFLOWER (Evan Glodell). I will publish my review after Aug. 5 or 19, when it opens in NY/LA and NorCal, respectively. Good wild edginess.

  14. #59
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    The second film directed by Amat Escalante, Los Bastardos (The Bastards), is available on DVD with subtitles. Netflix has it. In case you are curious. I'll get to it eventually...
    Will check out Bellflower when available. I've seen a couple of new films lately but nothing to recommend. I caught the theatrical re-release of Truffaut's The Soft Skin also.

  15. #60
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    I looked into Los bastardos, but Netflix does not have it; they only say that they may be getting it -- and those things often don't happen. I've been "saving" expected DVDs on Netflix for years that they have yet to make available.

    I don't know if you will like Bellflower, but it is a new young American director who's pretty out there and is likely to be noticed.

    I love The Soft Skin.

    I just saw a new French film, Sarah's Key, (French title Elle s'appelait Sarah, half or one third in English), about the Holocaust in France and aftermath or denial with a present-day follow-up in the US. Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenne and starring Kristen Scott Thomas, Niels Arestrup, and others. This is a film that the French need to see, especially the worse-than-the-Superdome roundup and temporary confinement of thousands of Jews known as "La rafle du Vélodrome d'Hiver." It is otherwise rather conventional however. Even Arestrup can't save it, and he couldn't save The Big Picture (Lartigau) either -- a movie that opens July 22 in the UK but no listing for the US yet. From the Douglas Kennedy novel--I reviewed it for the 2011 FSLC Rendez-Vous.

    Allociné ratings:
    Sarah's Key: 3.3
    The Big Picture: 3.8

    A little high in my opinion. For comparison:

    The White Ribbon: 4.1
    A Prophet: 4.6
    Transformers3: 2.6
    Kung Fu Panda2: 3.4
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-06-2011 at 08:25 PM.

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