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Thread: Nyff 2012

  1. #31
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    Take it easy with that back.
    We need you at your optimum!

    I guess Mike sees way more than I thought.
    He has the exact right approach to film reviewing.
    He tells you straight why he liked something or not.
    That's what I want.
    Even if I totally disagree with the review.
    Nice that he got into Cannes. That is Awesome.
    That's the film festival of film festivals.

    Your coverage of SF and NY is very fine.
    I can't pick any holes in your choices.
    One sees what one sees. Go to whatever films you choose.
    If you miss some sidebar or event, you'll hear about it through the grapenuts.

    Vancouver is small compared to most festivals, but they still have a large palette of films every year.
    And the Pacific Cinematheque is still going strong.
    It's pushing 7 years since I've been back.
    My media pass is waiting.
    :P
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #32
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    Vancouver seems good indeed. Howard Schumann has reviewed interesting films from Vancouver on Cinescene for years. Mike D'Angelo has covered Cannes for ten years, but he said this year was the first he got the preferred "riose" badge for easy entry and didn't have to wait an hour. Of course I don't agree with all his evaluations, but his choices of what to see seem quite shrewd. At the SFIFF I have to chose from hundreds, but at the NYFF there are only 33 Main Slate films, and I simply go to all of those; they are all made available in spaced-aparet press screenings, so it's a great setup. I'm hoping my back won't be an obstacle. We'll see how it goes. If it doesn't get any worse I guess I'll be okay.

  3. #33
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    Ten years to get better access at Cannes?
    They really are elite!
    I've heard it said that NYFF is just a "Best of" Toronto.
    Is that accurate?

    Vancouver has it's fair share of festival films.
    They seem to know what they're doing.
    2005 was a great festival- well programmed.
    I can only imagine how well-oiled it is now.
    Gotta get back to where I once belonged.
    I saw 80 films in 4 months when I volunteered at the Pacific Cinematheque.
    I still have that inter-theatre courtesy pass.
    I laminated it for posterity. Ha ha
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #34
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    Yes, Cannes is elite. Of course!

    The NYFF originates too, but to some degree it is a best of Cannes primarily, and also best of Venice, Locarno, the Berlinale, and one or two others, some more obsucre, like the Philippines fest that yesterday's BWAKAW came from, and Jerusalem. It's a Best Of, but not just of one festival and not without its own original titles. Cannes is just the most important source. Toronto is so big, some selections are bound to have shown just before there, but it is too late and too close to the time of the NYFF to be a source for the NYFF jury, I should think. I am not part of the jurying process so I can't say definitively. Obviously screeners are passed around, but I don't know exactly how it works. Some of the FSLC folks obviously are at Cannes. Don't overlook the fact that some FSLC people may be on the juries of other festivals in the first place.

    Richard Peña the director of the FSLC for 25 years, is leaving, and it's taking two people to replace him. More about that later.

    This year by my count the NYFF has nine from Cannes and I think three from Venice. They come from a variety of sources as with all festivals. i would love to see the Best Of Cannes, and wish some other from Cannes such as Garrone's REALITY were included. SISTER is one D'Angelo touted at Cannes, justly I think, but it is coming out in theaters here this fall: I saw a trailer at Angelika. Ursula Meier.

    Your Vancouver volunteer experience sounds ideal. Since I don't live in San Francisco but in the East Bay, I don't get that kind of quantity easily available at this point out there.

    There are some elite small festivals, Telluride as I pointed out being another. However the press viewing experience at the NYFF by all accounts is exceptional -- even if there's no free food in the mornings this year.

    Glenn Raucher continues to do a great job as theater manager, with four theaters to manage now instead of just the Walter Reade since the Elinor Bunin Center across the street opened up last year. They are now in the process of building a bridge across the street from the Walter Reade to it.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-25-2012 at 07:23 AM.

  5. #35
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    Great info. Thanks for the clarifications.
    FSLC needs two to replace one? Pena must be a heavy lifter.

    I miss the Starbucks coffee and treats at VIFF.
    Sipping an earl grey while going over press kits is Awesome.
    If you volunteer one day a week at the Pacific Cinematheque they give you an inter-theatre courtesy pass, good for free access to 3 different theatres in the lower mainland.
    Spots on the schedule are hard to get but when you do, free popcorn and movies.
    Plus you work with passionate cinephiles. Always a bonus.
    I volunteered thursday nights- oct. 2003 to jan. 2004.
    Over 80 films at no charge. Very wise and cultural decision.
    Last edited by Johann; 09-25-2012 at 07:42 AM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  6. #36
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    RICHARD PEÑA

    Richard Peña is indeed a heavy dude. He will be replaced by Kent Jones (Director of Programming for the NYFF) and Robert Kohler (Director of Programming of the FSLC year round). The FSLC page on the change will be found here.

    Jones has been with the FSLC since 1998 after stints with Film Forum in NY and directing the Rotterdam festival (he has a taste for offbeat stuff). He has done programming and been on the NYFF jury. Kohler is a writer and programmer like Jones but is from the West Coast. He has been a reviewer for VARIETY and may have a more mainstream bent. This may improve the NYFF and make it more adventurous and liven it up. Maybe a motivation for two replacements is the plan with the new spaces to expand programming, including more day to day commercial release stuff. And since there are so many different FSLC series year round, it cold help the NYFF to have someone focused on it exclusively. It's also perhaps true that neither of them has the presence of Richard Peña, or his fluency in Spanish and French. Peña has been a suave, impressive and winning figure at festival Q&A's and around in the lobby between P&I festival screenings. 25 years is a long time.

    Note there is an overall director of the FSLC, appointed several years ago, and that is Rose Kuo.


    KENT JONES, RICHARD KOHLER



    I don't know much about Ms. Kuo but she seems a warm and cuddly presence compared to the mean corporate mavin who briefly preceded her, seemingly brought in only to fire a bunch of people, and then leave.

    Your Vancouver cinematheque expeience sounds like a great one. At NYFF press screenings by the way though the free breakfast snacks have disappeared there is free Illy coffee, still.

    I have only attended these screenings since 2005. If you look at the lineup of the first NYFF 50 years ago http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Film_Festival, you may want to shake your head and say, "They just don't make 'em like they used to."

    THE FIRST NYFF, 1963
    The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)
    All the Way Home (Alex Segal, USA)
    An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu, Japan)
    Barravento (Glauber Rocha, Brazil)
    Elektra (Takis Mouzenidis, Greece)
    The Fiances (Ermanno Olmi, Italy)
    Hallelujah the Hills (Adolfas Mekas, USA)
    Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi, Japan)
    Knife in the Water (Roman Polanski, Poland)
    Le Joli Mai (Chris Marker, France)
    Love in the Suburbs (Tamas Fejer, Hungary)
    Magnet of Doom (Jean-Pierre Melville, France/Italy)
    Muriel (Alain Resnais, France/Italy)
    RoGoPaG (Roberto Rossellini/Ugo Gregoretti/Jean-Luc Godard/Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy/France)
    The Sea (Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, Italy)
    The Servant (Joseph Losey, UK)
    Glory Sky (Takis Kanellopoulos, Greece)
    Sweet and Sour (Jacques Baratier, France/Italy)
    The Terrace (Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, Argentina)
    The Trial of Joan of Arc (Robert Bresson, France)[1]
    And the next year they had Kozintsev's HAMLET, BAND OF OUTSIDERS, BEFORE THE REVOLUITON, DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID, and Sajayit Ray's THE BIG CITY/MAHANAGAR. The current issue of FILM COMMENT has comments on earlier NYFF's. That is not available online but other articles are including one about Peña by Kent Jones and one on PTAnderson's THE MASTER ditto and one on Ira Sachs' KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (which I reviewed on Filmleaf) by Nathan Lee.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-25-2012 at 03:41 PM.

  7. #37
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    Valeria Sarmiento: Lines of Wellington (2012)

    Raul Ruíz's widow completed this project, billed as a miniseries but shown in feature film competition at Venice, Toronto, and the NYFF. Handsome and studded with star cameos, it may work as a tribute to Ruíz that fans of the Chilean director and his previous long costume film MYSTERIES OF LISBON, but this is not as engaging or absorbing a work.

  8. #38
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    Song Fang: Memories Look at Me (2012)

    Song Fang, who trained in film in Belgium and Beijing and was in the cast of Hou Hsiau-hsien's FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON (2007), won the prize for best first film at Locarno for this docu-drama of herself talking to her mother and father and other family members about aging, birth lie, and death in the family. She has a delicate touch and the use of rudimentary equipment does not keep there from being some handsome simple images. However Song's world comes through as being flat and mundane. This film is so uneventful that someone lighting a cigarette would have been a shocker.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-27-2012 at 04:44 AM.

  9. #39
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    Paolo and Vittorio Taviani: Caesar Must Die (2012)

    Details of an inmate production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in Italian dialect(s) staged by inmates of the maximum security section of Rome's Rebibbia prison provide a strong and emotionally impressive enough experience to have won the Golden Bear at Berlin this year. However the film is marred by the way it fudges factual details and restages even off-text scenes among the inmates so that everything is too polished and rehearsed.

  10. #40
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    Raul Ruíz: Night Across the Street (2012)

    A last testament with a light touch. Ruíz' Statement for Cannes Directors Fortnight is a good guide to the film.

  11. #41
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    Ang Lee: Life of Pi (2012)

    A book in which a 17-year-old boy is the lone surviver of a shipwreck as the result of a spectacular storm, winds up on a lifeboat where a zebra, baboon, hyena, and Bengal tiger fight to the death and he survives for 227 days alone with the tiger, would seem on the face of it pretty much unfilmable. But Ang Lee has filmed Yann Martel's 2001 Booker Prize-winning bestsellerr, and done a bang-up job of it. Spiritually and conceptually or emotionally maybe not as profound as it may want to be, but exciting, gorgioius and visually dazzling, and with state of the art effects, a warm and engaging lead, and 3D. So, though this hardly seems an essential choice for an "elite" and "highly selective" film festival of only 33 Main Slate films, it does seem a darn good choice to please the Film Society of Lincoln Center patrons when they come out in their glad rags for the Friday, 28, 2012 kickoff opening night film of the New York Film Festival, and the film's world premiere. It opens in theaters nation-wide November 21.

  12. #42
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    Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Peravel: Leviathon (2012)

    This messy, in-your-face, ugly-beautiful doc-art film shot on a big fishing trawler off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts reminded me of the butcher paintings of Oskar Kokoschka and Chaim Soutine. Castaing-Taylor is the British-born ethnographer filmmaker who's a professor at Harvard and started the Sensory Ethnography Lab there. He was also behind the grazing land film in the 2009 NYFF, SWEETGRASS, and Peravel collaborated in a special feature sidebar of the 2010 NYFF focused on the Iron Triangle, FOREIGN PARTS. Coming right after the screening of LIFE OF PI, this really left you feeling waterlogged.

  13. #43
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    Miguel Gomes: Tabu (2012)

    An older man recalls an adulterous affair in an unnamed Portuguese colony in the 1960's. The film, shot in two forms,. 35mm and 16mm, in Academy format black and white, boldly uses improvised scenes that are silent (except for ambient sounds) with a voiceover narration in the second half. The names and structure allude to F.W. Murnau's 1931 film.

  14. #44
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    Marc-Henri Wajnberg: Kinshasa Kids (2012)

    Runaway youngsters living on the streets of the half-wrecked Congolese capital are organized by a street rapper to form a band. Nice idea; not so good execution. The Belgian documentary filmmaker, trying to do a genre-mix, has too much footage and buries his fictional story in colorful but unrelated documentary detail. Still it's arguably too colorful and relevant not to show in a festival. But in one whose main slate is not 300 but 33 films? Debued at Venice and also shown at Toronto.

  15. #45
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    Alain Berliner: First Coiusn Once Removed (2012)

    A documentary study of renowned scholar, poet, and translator Edwin Honig, the filmmaker's cousin, as he succumbs to the ravages to Alzheimer's, with some background on his life.

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