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Thread: Nyff 2016

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    Nyff 2016



    For Filmleaf NYFF 2016 Festival Coverage thread click here.

    Links to reviews:

    13th, The (Ava DuVernay 2016) - Opening Night Film
    20th Century Women (Mike Mills 2016) - Centerpiece Film
    Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho 2016)
    B-Side, The: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography (Errol Morris 2016) - Documentary Series
    Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk (Ang Lee 2016) - Special Presentation
    Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt 2016)
    Death of Louis XIV, The/La mort de Louis XIV (Albert Serra 2016) - Explorations Series
    Elle (Paul Verhoeven 2016)
    Fire at Sea/Fuocoammare (Gianfranco Rosi 2016)
    Gimmie Danger (Jim Jarmusch 2016) - Special Event
    Graduation/Bacalaureat (Cristian Mungiu 2016)
    Hermia and Helena (Matías Piñeiro 2016)
    I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach 2016)
    Jackie (Pablo Larrain 2016) - Special Premiere Presentation
    Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar 2016)
    Lost City of Z, The (James Gray 2016) - Closing Night Film
    Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan 2016)
    Moonlight (Barry Jenkins 2016)
    My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea (Dash Shaw 2016)
    Neruda (Pablo Larraín 2016)
    Paterson (Jim Jarmusch 2016)
    Personal Shopper (Oliver Assayas 2016)
    Quiet Passion, A (Terence Davies 2016)
    Rehearsal, The (Alison Maclean 2016)
    Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu 2016)
    Son of Joseph/Le fils de Joseph (Eugène Green 2016)
    Staying Vertical/Rester vertical Alain Guiraudie 2016)
    Things to Come/L’Avenir (Mia Hansen-Løve 2016)
    Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade 2016)
    Unknown Girl, The/La fille inconnue (Jean-Pierre, Luc Dardenne 2016)
    Yourself and Yours (Hong Sangsoo 2016)


    Opening night film a documentary about mass incarceration and slavery by Ava DuVernay.

    Tues., July 19, 2016. The festival committee has announced the 54th New York Film Festival's opening night film. For the first time in 54 years it will be a non-fiction film, Ava DuVernay's The 13th, an indictment of the American prison system as a continuation of slavery. The title refers to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States of America. The movie will appear on Netflix and in theaters October 7. Read more details in The New York Times here.





    In my early coverage of the festival staring in 2005 it was clearly weak in the documentary area but that has changed.Last year they had The Witness (on the Kitty Genovese case) and as a sidebar item Don't blink (on photographer-filmmaker Robert Frank). 2014 ended dramatically with the surprise addition of a premiere of Laura Poitras' Citizenfour (about Edward Snowden). And 2013's NYFF had Noujaim's thrilling The Square, about the Egyptian revolution, and Wiseman's At Berkeley. Several other Wildman films have played in earlier years. But still, choosing a doc to open the festival is an odd move, for any big festival. Most of the fest's openers have been fun things. One about prisons isn't likely to play well with the glitzy first night crowd, is it? The other year I see non-fiction was picked to open was Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers in 1967 - a powerful choice and a year of upheaval. Is this as turbulent a time? (A semi-non-fiction starter was 2008's The Class, Laurent Cantet's film using actual Paris middle school students playing themselves in a story scripted by a teacher.)


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-11-2019 at 01:29 AM.

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    Centerpiece film Mike Mills' 20th Century Women.

    A publicity release from the FSLC today (Jul. 27, 2016) announces that Mike MIlls' 20th Century Women will be the NYFF 2016 Centerpeace Film. I can't give an informed opinion; this is a world premiere. I found Thumbsucker interesting but was not so charmed by Beginners (SFIFF 2011 Filmleaf Festival Coverage). The new cast looks promising.

    20th Century Women will be released by A24 in December.

    New York, NY (July 27, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces the selection of 20th Century Women, written and directed by Mike Mills (Beginners), as the Centerpiece of the 54th New York Film Festival (September 30 – October 16). The gala screening on Saturday, October 8, will be the film’s World Premiere.

    Mills’s texturally and behaviorally rich new comedy keeps 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 a single mother raising her teenage son (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann) in a sprawling bohemian house, shared by an itinerant carpenter (Billy Crudup) and a punk artist with a Bowie haircut (Greta Gerwig), and frequented by her son’s rebellious friend (Elle Fanning). 20th Century Women is warm, funny, and a work of passionate artistry.

    New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, "I was taken aback by 20th Century Women. It’s made with an extraordinary level of craft and attention to detail, human and visual, which is now all but extinct. As someone who actually lived through 1979 in middle-class America, I will testify to the fact that Mike Mills and his remarkable cast approach the level of the uncanny. I felt like I was back there, with all the shared behaviors and worries, the divisions, the look and feel and smell of the world as it was".

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:34 PM.

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    Image: Lorey Sebastian

    NYFF2016 Closing Night Film: James Gray's The Lost City of Z - starring Charlie Hunnam.

    [FROM A PRESS RELEASE OF THE FSLC]

    New York, NY (August 3, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces The Lost City of Z, written and directed by James Gray (The Immigrant, Two Lovers), as the Closing Night selection of the 54th New York Film Festival. The film, based on journalist David Grann’s nonfiction book of the same name, will make its World Premiere at the festival’s final gala screening on Saturday, October 15.

    James Gray’s emotionally and visually resplendent epic tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett (a remarkable Charlie Hunnam), the British military-man-turned-explorer whose search for a lost city deep in the Amazon grows into an increasingly feverish, decades-long magnificent obsession that takes a toll on his reputation, his home life with his wife (Sienna Miller) and children, and his very existence. Gray and cinematographer Darius Khondji cast quite a spell, exquisitely pitched between rapture and dizzying terror. Also starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland, The Lost City of Z represents a form of epic storytelling that has all but vanished from the landscape of modern cinema, and a rare level of artistry.

    New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “James Gray is one of the finest filmmakers we have. Each of his movies is so beautifully wrought, visually and emotionally, but The Lost City of Z represents something new. It’s a true epic, spanning two continents and three decades, and it’s a genuine vision of the search for sublimity.”
    . . .
    Gray’s previous film, 2014’s The Immigrant, was an official selection of the 51st New York Film Festival.

    The Lost City of Z is produced by Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Anthony Katagas, and Dale Armin Johnson, and is executive produced by Brad Pitt and Marc Butan.

    Charlie Hunnam

    Benedict Cumberbatch was considered earlier for the role that went to Charlie Hunnam. Hunnam was in the news for dropping the lead of Fifty Shades of Gray because it was too much to shoot that, Crimson Peak, and his lead in "Sons of Anarchy" in close succession and the idea gave him a "nervous breakdown."

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:45 PM.

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    NYFF revival lineup: 10 digitally remastered classics.


    Brando in One-Eyed Jacks

    Revival Lineup For 54th New York Film Festival.

    L'Argent/Money (Robert Bresson, 1983, France).
    Robert Bresson’s final film, based on Tolstoy's short story "The Forged Coupon" the story of a counterfeit bill’s passage from hand to hand and the resulting tragic consequences. A Janus Films release.

    The Battle of Algiers/ La battaglia di Algeri. (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966, Italy/Algeria).
    Gillo Pontecorvo’s tour de force of documentary realism depicting the Algerian fight for indpendence, based on Saadi Yacef's book Souvenires de la bataille d'Alger. A new 4K restoration, Rialto Pictures release.

    Harlan County USA (Barbara Kopple, 1976, USA).
    A documentary record of the year-long Brookside, Kentucky, miners’ strike, 40th anniversary of the film's debut at the NYFF. Cabin Creek Films release.

    Jacque Rivette's Aux quatre coins (1949 France)/ Le quadrille (1950, France) and Le divertissement (1952, France).
    Three short films rediscovered by Véronique Rivette this year, digitally restored by the Cinémathèque française, these are experimental "practice films" showing Rivette's early development.

    The Living Doll (Albert Lewin, 1957, USA).
    Last film of film critic and Irving Thalberg right-hand man Lewin who became a director at age 48, based on his own novel about an archaeologist convinced a captive jaguar is the incarnation of a Mayan god. A Cohan Media Group release.

    Memories of Underdevelopment/Memorias del Subdesarrollo..(Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968, Cuba).
    The well-known film of the Cuban revolution is about Sergio, a wealthy man who decides to stay behind wandering Havana when his family leaves for the US. The time is 1961 and the film is placed between the exodus after the disastrous Bays of Pigs invasion and the missile crisis of the following year. A World Cinema Project release.

    One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon brando, 1961, USA).
    Brando's sole independent directorial effort, an unorthodox western, also the last Parmount film shot in VistaVision. A restoration by Universal carried out with support of The Film Foundation and supervision of Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg.

    Panique (Julien Duvivier, 1947, France).
    First post-war film of the landmark director (who made 70 films) adapted from Georges Simenon's Les Fiançailles de M. Hire ("Mr. Hire's Engagement"). More famously later adapted as Monsieur Hire (1989) by Patrice Leconte. Duvivier's earlier adaptation stars Michel Simon as the reviled voyeur framed for murder by a girl he adores. Restoration. A Rialto Pictures release.

    Taipei Story (Edward Yang, 1985, Taiwan).
    Edward Yang’s second independent feature (after the 1983 That Day, on the Beach), starring script co-author Hou Hsiao-hsien as a former baseball player returned home to manage the family textile business, with Tsai Chin as his property-developer girlfriend. "The two main characters represent the past and the future of Taipei," said Yang. A World Cinema Project release.

    Ugetsu Monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953, Japan).
    Adaptation of two 18th-century Japanese ghost stories blended with elements from de Maupassant. Restoration from a master positive print and a dupe negative that shows the original visual beauty achieved by Mizoguchi and dp Kazuo Miyaga
    wa.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:44 PM.

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    NYFF54 Main Slate announced.



    Elle, Isabelle Huppert

    There are only 25 (so far anyway), a manageable list. Including a pretty exceptional number of best-ofs from Cannes, a dozen, including Mungiu's (the Palme d'Or winner), Karen Ade's, Jarmusch's, Verhoeven's, Filho's, Almodovar's, Assayas', Lonergan's, Giraudie's, Loach's (Palme d'Or), Larraín's, and the Dardennes', if I'm not mistaken. That's more than usual even for the NYFF. In justification of this, many said that Cannes was particularly outstanding this year. Incidentally you can see a list of somebody else's faves from Cannes '16 including some other interesting ones here. I might like to see Diab's Clash, Poitras' doc Risk, Bruno Dumont's weird Slack Bay, even Xavier Dolan's obnoxious Only the End of the World/Just la fin du monde, Andrea Arnold's Honey - but that is coming to US theaters 30 Sept., and that is always a consideration, not to show one with a US release date coming unless it's a premiere. I always have a lot of time for Mia Hansen-Løve, Hong Sang-soo. Barry Jenkins is an African-American whose Medicine for Melancholy was a promising debut (SFIFF 2008). Dash Shaw's animated films are new to me. Alison McLean's The Rehearsal is it's first showing outside of New Zealand. Eugène Green's Son of Joseph/Le fils de Joseph is from the Berlinale as is Rosi's immigrant crisis documentary focused on the island of Lampedusa. Piñeiro's Hermia and Helena is from Locarno (I am not a fan hitherto of either Piñeiro or Green, to be honest).

    The next post will give edited and annotated versions of the longer FSLC blurbs for all the Main Slate films.

    The 54th New York Film Festival Main Slate

    Opening Night
    The 13th
    Directed by Ava DuVernay

    Centerpiece
    20th Century Women
    Directed by Mike Mills

    Closing Night
    The Lost City of Z
    Directed by James Gray


    Aquarius
    Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho

    Certain Women
    Directed by Kelly Reichardt

    Elle
    Directed by Paul Verhoeven

    Fire at Sea / Fuocoammare
    Directed by Gianfranco Rosi

    Graduation / Bacalaureat
    Directed by Cristian Mungiu

    Hermia and Helena
    Directed by Matías Piñeiro

    I, Daniel Blake
    Directed by Ken Loach

    Julieta
    Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

    Manchester by the Sea
    Directed by Kenneth Lonergan

    Moonlight
    Directed by Barry Jenkins

    My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea
    Directed by Dash Shaw

    Neruda
    Directed by Pablo Larraín

    Paterson
    Directed by Jim Jarmusch

    Personal Shopper
    Directed by Olivier Assayas

    The Rehearsal
    Directed by Alison Maclean

    Sieranevada
    Directed by Cristi Puiu

    Son of Joseph / Le fils de Joseph
    Directed by Eugène Green

    Staying Vertical / Rester vertical
    Directed by Alain Guiraudie

    Things to Come / L’Avenir
    Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

    Toni Erdmann
    Directed by Maren Ade

    The Unknown Girl
    Directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

    Yourself and Yours
    Directed by Hong Sangsoo


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:37 PM.

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    NYFF54 Films & Descriptions

    Filmleaf NYFF54 Festival Coverage thread

    (Following are the FSLC blurbs in edited and augmented form.)

    Opening Night
    The 13th
    Directed by Ava DuVernay

    USA, 2016
    World Premiere
    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.

    Centerpiece
    20th Century Women
    Directed by Mike Mills

    USA, 2016
    World Premiere
    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.

    Closing Night
    The Lost City of Z
    Directed by James Gray

    USA, 2016
    World Premiere
    James Gray’s emotionally and visually resplendent epic tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett (a remarkable Charlie Hunnam), the British military-man-turned-explorer whose search for a lost city deep in the Amazon grows into an increasingly feverish, decades-long magnificent obsession that takes a toll on his reputation, his home life with his wife (Sienna Miller) and children, and his very existence. Gray and cinematographer Darius Khondji cast quite a spell, exquisitely pitched between rapture and dizzying terror. Also starring Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland, The Lost City of Z represents a form of epic storytelling that has all but vanished from the landscape of modern cinema, and a rare level of artistry.

    Aquarius
    Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho

    Brazil/France, 2016, 142m
    Portuguese with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    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.

    Certain Women
    Directed by Kelly Reichardt

    USA, 2016, 107m
    The seventh feature by Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff), a lean triptych of subtly intersecting lives in Montana, is a work of no-nonsense eloquence. Adapting short stories by Maile Meloy, Certain Women follows a lawyer (Laura Dern) navigating an increasingly volatile relationship with a disgruntled client; a couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) in a marriage laden with micro-aggression and doubt, trying to persuade an old man (Rene Auberjonois) to sell his unused sandstone; and a young ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) fixated on a new-in-town night school teacher (Kristen Stewart). Shooting on 16mm, Reichardt creates understated, uncannily intimate dramas nestled within a clear-eyed depiction of the modern American West. An IFC Films release.



    Elle
    Directed by Paul Verhoeven

    France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 131m
    French with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    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.

    Fire at Sea / Fuocoammare
    Directed by Gianfranco Rosi

    Italy/France, 2016, 108m
    English and Italian with English subtitles
    Winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, 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.

    Graduation / Bacalaureat
    Directed by Cristian Mungiu

    Romania, 2016, 127m
    Romanian with English subtitles
    Cristian Mungiu’s expertly constructed drama concerns a doctor desperate for his daughter to escape corruption-plagued Romania by accepting a scholarship offer from a British university (after-the-fact layer of irony courtesy of Brexit), contingent on her high school final exams. But after she’s assaulted, perhaps for past sins of her father, the doctor must decide whether he will take advantage of his position to ensure that she receives high marks, despite her trauma. Parents anxious about their children’s education will appreciate the moral dilemma the film poses. Like Mungiu’s superb 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (NYFF ’07), Graduation resonates beyond national boundaries. A Sundance Selects release.

    Hermia and Helena
    Directed by Matías Piñeiro

    Argentina/USA, 2016, 87m
    English and Spanish with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Shooting outside his native Argentina for the first time, New York–based Matías Piñeiro fashions a bittersweet comedy of coupling and uncoupling that doubles as a love letter to his adopted city. Working on a Spanish translation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on an artist residency, Camila (Agustina Muñoz) finds herself within a constellation of shifting relationships (an old flame, a new one, a long-lost relative). Mingling actors from the director’s Buenos Aires repertory with stalwarts of New York’s independent film scene (Keith Poulson, Dustin Guy Defa, Dan Sallitt), Hermia and Helena offers the precise gestures, mercurial moods, and youthful energies of all Piñeiro’s cinema, with an emotional depth and directness that make this his most mature work yet.

    I, Daniel Blake
    Directed by Ken Loach

    UK, 2016, 100m
    U.S. Premiere
    Unable to work after suffering a heart attack, Daniel (Dave Johns) must apply to the government for benefits. But with the seemingly endless documentation he has to provide, his lack of familiarity with computers, and the condescending attitudes of the functionaries to whom he must repeat the same information in one soul-killing encounter after another, he is all but defeated from the beginning, as is his new comrade in misery, Katie (Hayley Squires). English director Ken Loach’s thoroughly shattering film, which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, will strike a chord with anyone who has ever tried to negotiate their way through the labyrinth of bureaucracy. A Sundance Selects release.



    Julieta
    Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

    Spain, 2016, 99m
    Spanish with English subtitles
    Pedro Almodóvar explores his favorite themes of love, sexuality, guilt, and destiny through the poignant story of Julieta, played to perfection by Emma Suárez (younger) and Adriana Ugarte (middle-aged), over the course of a 30-year time span. Just as she is about to leave Madrid forever, the seemingly content Julieta has a chance encounter that stirs up sorrowful memories of the daughter who brutally abandoned her when she turned eighteen. Drawing on numerous film historical references, from Hitchcock to the director’s own earlier Movida era work, Almodóvar’s twentieth feature, adapted from three short stories by Alice Munro ("Chance," "Soon," and "Silence"), is a haunting drama that oscillates between disenchanted darkness and visual opulence. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

    Manchester by the Sea
    Directed by Kenneth Lonergan

    USA, 2016, 137m
    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.

    Moonlight
    Directed by Barry Jenkins

    USA, 2016, 110m
    Barry Jenkins more than fulfills the promise of his 2008 romantic two-hander Medicine for Melancholy in this three-part narrative spanning the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of a gay African-American man who survives Miami’s drug-plagued inner city, finding love in unexpected places and the possibility of change within himself. Moonlight offers a powerful sense of place and a wealth of unpredictable characters, featuring a fantastic ensemble cast including André Holland, Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali—delivering performances filled with inner conflict and aching desires that cut straight to the heart. An A24 release NYC and LA 21 Oct.

    My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea
    Directed by Dash Shaw

    USA, 2016, 75m
    U.S. Premiere
    No matter your age, part of you never outgrows high school, for better or worse. Dash Shaw, known for such celebrated graphic novels as Bottomless Belly Button and New School, brings his subjective, dreamlike sense of narrative; his empathy for outsiders and their desire to connect; and his rich, expressive drawing style to his first animated feature. Packed with action but seen from the inside out, My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea is about friends overcoming their differences and having each other’s backs in times of crisis, and its marvelously complex characters are voiced by Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph, and John Cameron Mitchell.

    Neruda
    Directed by Pablo Larraín

    Chile/Argentina/France/Spain, 2016, 107m
    Spanish and French with English subtitles
    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 coming 16 Dec.

    Paterson
    Directed by Jim Jarmusch

    USA, 2016, 118m
    U.S. Premiere
    Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver who writes poetry drawn from the world around him. Paterson is also the name of the New Jersey city where he works and lives with his effervescent and energetic girlfriend (Golshifteh Farahani). And Paterson is the title of the great epic poem by William Carlos Williams, whose spirit animates Jim Jarmusch’s exquisite new film. This is a rare movie experience, set to the rhythm of an individual consciousness absorbing the beauties and mysteries and paradoxes and joys and surprises of everyday life, at home and at work, and making them into art. An Amazon Studios release (US theatrical release 28 December 2016).



    Personal Shopper
    Directed by Olivier Assayas

    France, 2016, 105m
    French and English with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    Kristen Stewart is the medium, in more ways than one, for this sophisticated genre exploration from director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria). As a fashion assistant whose twin brother has died, leaving her bereft and longing for messages from the other side, Stewart is fragile and enigmatic—and nearly always on-screen. From an opening sequence in a haunted house with an intricately constructed soundtrack to a high-tension, cat-and-mouse game on a trip from Paris to London and back set entirely to text messaging, Personal Shopper brings the psychological and supernatural thriller into the digital age. An IFC Films release.

    The Rehearsal
    Directed by Alison Maclean

    New Zealand, 2016, 75m
    U.S. Premiere
    Alison Maclean (Jesus’ Son) returns to her New Zealand filmmaking roots with a multilayered coming-of-age story about a young actor (James Rolleston) searching for the truth of a character he’s playing onstage and the resulting moral dilemma in his personal life. Set largely in a drama school, featuring Kerry Fox as a diva-like teacher who tries to shape her student’s raw talent, The Rehearsal, adapted from the novel by Eleanor Catton, demystifies actors and acting in order to reveal the moments where craft becomes art. The same happens with Maclean’s understated but penetrating filmmaking. Her concentration on the quotidian yields a finale that borders on the sublime.

    Sieranevada
    Directed by Cristi Puiu

    Romania, 2016, 173m
    Romanian with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    A decade after jumpstarting the Romanian New Wave with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 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.

    Son of Joseph / Le fils de Joseph
    Directed by Eugène Green

    France/Belgium, 2016, 113m
    French with English Subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    The American-born expatriate filmmaker Eugène Green exists in his own special artistic orbit. All Green’s films share a formal rigor and an increasingly refined modulation between the playfully comic, the urgently human, and the transcendent, and they are each as exquisitely balanced as the baroque music and architecture that he cherishes. His latest movie, Son of Joseph, is perhaps his most buoyant. A nativity story reboot that gently skewers French cultural pretensions, it features newcomer Victor Ezenfis as a discontented Parisian teenager in search of a father, Mathieu Amalric and Fabrizio Rongione as his, respectively, callous and gentle alternative paternal options, and Natacha Régnier as his single mother. A Kino Lorber Films release. (Green's La Sapienza was included in the 2014 NYFF. Berlinale debut: Variety called it "delightful," IndieWire "adorable.")

    Staying Vertical / Rester vertical
    Directed by Alain Guiraudie

    France, 2016, 100m
    French with English subtitles
    North American Premiere
    Léo (Damien Bonnard), a blocked filmmaker seeking inspiration in the French countryside for an overdue script, begins an affair with a shepherdess (India Hair), with whom he almost immediately has a child. Combining the formal control of his 2013 breakthrough Stranger by the Lake with the shapeshifting fabulism of his earlier work, Alain Guiraudie’s new film is a sidelong look at the human cycle of birth, procreation, and death, as well as his boldest riff yet on his signature subjects of freedom and desire. The title has the ring of both a rallying cry and a dirty joke—fitting for a film that is, above all else, a rumination on what it means to be a human being, a vertical animal. A Strand Releasing release. (See Mike D'Angelo's enthusiastic AV Club review: " Guiraudie’s latest feature (and first Competition entry), finds an ideal balance between light surrealism and formal precision, so that nearly every scene fulfills the standard criterion for a great ending: surprising plus inevitable.")

    Things to Come / L’Avenir
    Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

    France/Germany, 2016, 100m
    French with English subtitles
    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. (Released 6 April 2016 in France to raves - AlloCiné press rating 3.9.) This is the second film starring Huppert.



    Toni Erdmann
    Directed by Maren Ade

    Germany, 2016, 162m
    German with English subtitles
    An audacious twist on the screwball comedy—here, the twosome is an aging-hippie prankster father and his corporate-ladder-climbing daughter—Toni Erdmann delivers art and entertainment in equal measure and charmed just about everyone who saw it at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Maren Ade's dazzling script has just enough of a classical comedic structure to support 162 minutes of surprises big and small. Meanwhile, her direction is designed to liberate the actors as much as possible while the camera rolls, resulting in sublime performances by Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek, who leave the audience suspended between laughter and tears. A Sony Pictures Classics release. (Reviewing it at Cannes for AV Club, Mike D'Angelo called it "sublime" and a "great film." The public and press awards at Cannes. It opens in France 17 Aug.)

    The Unknown Girl / La fille inconnue
    Directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

    Belgium, 2016, 106m
    It’s a few minutes after closing time in a medical clinic in Seraing, Belgium. The buzzer rings. Doctor Jenny (Adèle Haenel) tells her assistant (Olivier Bonnaud) to ignore it. She is later informed that the girl she turned away was soon found dead on the riverside. From that moment, Jenny becomes a different kind of doctor, diagnosing not just her dispossessed patients’ illnesses but also the greater malady afflicting her community. And this is a different kind of movie for Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, in which the urgency pulses beneath the seemingly placid surface, and it is all keyed to Haenel’s extraordinary performance. A Sundance Selects release.

    Yourself and Yours
    Directed by Hong Sangsoo

    South Korea, 2016, 86m
    Korean with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere
    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.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-11-2016 at 04:00 PM.

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    FSLC announces NYFF54 Convergence program

    The Convergence sidebar is a multimedia series with video, public lectures and audience participation. Following are the FSLC press release blurbs and schedule.
    NYFF54 CONVERGENCE EVENTS AND DESCRIPTIONS

    Experiences and Installations
    [For the rest see HERE.]

    Cardboard City
    Kiira Benzing, Stina Hamlin
    Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality, 2016, USA, 3m

    Cities are in a constant state of flux, waxing and waning along with their populations. Many consider these cycles of growth and decline part of the appeal of urban living, but change has consequences for those not able to keep up. Such is the case with the subjects of Cardboard City, a community of artists forced out of their Gowanus studios due to skyrocketing rents and runaway development. Blending virtual reality, augmented reality, and user-generated content, the piece is a hands-on interactive installation that uses these artists’ stories as a jumping-off point, before inviting viewers to become creators and add buildings, memories, and stories to an ever evolving cityscape.
    Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2

    EKO
    Interlude, Sandeep Parikh, Casey Donahue, Daniel Scheinert, Billy Chew
    Interactive Video Installation, 2016, USA

    Interactive video projects often weigh mechanics against storytelling, creating an unbalanced final product: it’s a technical achievement or a quality story, but rarely both. EKO, a new video platform that responds to the viewer’s input, may finally have balanced the scales. Audiences are invited to experience a trio of interactive shorts built on this new platform: The Gleam, an interactive documentary about a small town paper; That Moment When, a comedy that asks the viewer to navigate a battery of awkward conversations; and Now/Then, a Rashomon-inspired story focused on the various perspectives swirling around a relationship on the rocks.
    Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2

    Giant
    Milica Zec, Winslow Turner Porter III
    Virtual Reality, 2016, USA, 10m

    Virtual reality has been so central to recent discussions of interactive storytelling that it’s easy to forget that the form is still relatively new. With the ability to drop the viewer into an immersive environment, it’s no wonder that early conversations about VR stories focus on the empathy between audiences and subjects. This is used to startling effect in Giant. Transported to a basement shelter in an active war zone, we watch—and listen—as parents try to distract their daughter from the thunder of bombs. This is more than a film rendered in 360 degrees; it’s a testament to the power of this nascent form of storytelling.
    Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2

    Late Shift
    Baptiste Planche, Tobias Weber
    Audience-Directed Narrative Feature, 2016, Switzerland, 80m

    Are games and films on a collision course? It’s a question asked every time emergent technologies broaden what’s possible with a little code, a story, and the will to blend the two. Yet while cinematic games are commonplace, game-like films are not. The high-octane thriller Late Shift aims to change that. A parking attendant’s world is turned upside down when he’s forced to take part in a brazen heist, and the audience makes choices to shape the story via an app. The branching narrative is flawlessly executed, creating an in-theater experience as enjoyable for the casual viewer as the hardcore “player.” U.S. Premiere
    Howard Gilman Theater, Sunday October 2, 5:30pm

    Lives in Transit
    Global Lives Project
    Video Installation, 2015/2016, USA

    The San Francisco–based Global Lives Project produces long-form documentaries that capture the rich diversity of human experience and engender cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. Each 24-hour film provides a window onto a single day in the life of its subject. This latest iteration of the project, Lives in Transit, focuses on ten individuals who in their own ways are responsible for moving people and products throughout the world. Presented as a large-scale video installation, Lives in Transit is more than an exploration of ten unique people—it is a dynamic ground-level examination of our hyper-connected world. World Premiere
    Walter Reade Theater’s Furman Gallery, October 1-16

    Priya’s Mirror
    Ram Devineni, Dan Goldman, Paromita Vohra, Shubra Prakash, Vikas Menon
    Augmented Reality Installation, 2016, USA/India

    Launched in 2014, Priya’s Shakti was a first-of-its-kind fusion of augmented reality, comic books, and social engagement. The story of Priya, a rape survivor and modern-day superhero, shattered taboos that exist in India on the subject of violence against women. The second volume of this ongoing series, Priya’s Mirror sees the heroine joining forces with acid attack survivors to take on the demon king Ahankar. As with its predecessor, Priya’s Mirror makes use of augmented reality to bring the 2D world of the comic to vivid life and unlock a number of interactive story elements. World Premiere
    Walter Reade Theater’s Furman Gallery, October 1-16


    Cardboard City

    Ricerca VR
    Yo-Yo Lin, Will Cherry, Steve Dabal, Elle Callahan, Michael Matchen
    Virtual Reality, 2016, USA, 15m

    It’s no coincidence that we are so moved by stories about quests. The search—for love, for forgiveness, for meaning—is an essential aspect of our humanity. In Ricerca (Italian for “search”), a man scours his memories for something lost, traversing a lush world rendered with a vibrant mix of 2D and stop-motion animation. Originally presented as a large-scale video installation, the reimagined piece employs virtual reality to extend its life beyond the gallery space, raising a compelling question: what will the relationship be between VR and the world of fine art?
    Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2

    Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things
    Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno
    Immersive Storytelling Experience, 2016, USA

    While one imagines that real criminal investigators hope for the shortest distance between crime and conviction, readers of detective fiction care more about the journey: the more twists the better. The same could be said for this ever-evolving storytelling experiment. Since its launch, participants from 20 countries have taken part in a project that uses the emergent web of connected digital devices to investigate mysteries with the world’s favorite consulting detective. For the second year, NYFF invites audiences to step into Holmes’s shoes to solve a string of crimes across Lincoln Center’s campus.
    Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 (1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm)

    Sound Hunters
    François Le Gall, Nicolas Blies
    Immersive Storytelling Experience, 2015, France

    Long before Lawrence Lessig, Austin Kleon, and Malcolm Gladwell each dubbed this the Age of the Remix, T. S. Eliot wrote, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” With Sound Hunters, the audience makes music by recording and remixing the sounds of the world around them. Created by François Le Gall and Nicolas Blies, this multifaceted project does more than make music from the audio of everyday life; each uploaded sound is a window onto its author’s world, and every song created by the Sound Hunter community is as much a remix of distinctive life experiences as of unique audio elements.
    Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, October 1 & 2

    SPECIAL TALKS

    ILMxLAB
    Hilmar Koch and Nick Rasmussen, ILMxLAB

    Founded in 2015, ILMxLAB fuses the talents of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic, and Skywalker Sound to create a new, collaborative space to experiment with stories across all visual media platforms—those we know well and those just being established. The lab encourages exploration, and, yes, even failure as a means for discovering new ways to tell and experience stories. Discovery is at the very heart of the lab’s work. Hilmar Koch and Nick Rasmussen will share some of their personal discoveries from their journey so far and reflect on the promise and perils of working at the frontiers of storytelling.
    Saturday, October 1, 4:00pm

    The Psychology of Storytelling: Lindsay Doran
    Oscar-nominated producer and studio executive Lindsay Doran brings more than 30 years of experience in the movie business to bear on this examination of what the field of Positive Psychology can teach us about the secrets of writing a satisfying movie—and how our “deep-seated fear of the saber-tooth tiger” keeps them secret. Doran has served as the President of United Artists and as the President of Sydney Pollack’s Mirage Productions. Doran’s first film credit was on the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. As a producer, her credits include Dead Again, Sense and Sensibility, Nanny McPhee, and Stranger Than Fiction.
    Monday October 3, 2016, 6:30pm

    The State of the (Interactive) Art
    StoryCode’s Mike Knowlton, interactive theater director Michael Rau, filmmaker Ram Devineni, and more

    The NYC Transmedia Meetup was founded as a monthly gathering of creative professionals looking to discuss the emerging field of multi-platform storytelling. By 2011, the group had evolved from a loose confederation of storytellers into a community that would become known as StoryCode. That same year, NYFF launched its Convergence section. On the fifth anniversary of both programs, StoryCode cofounder Mike Knowlton and a panel of key players from the New York interactive scene— Convergence veterans, game designers, immersive theater directors, virtual reality producers, and interactive filmmakers—reflect on where we’ve been and imagine where we’re headed.
    Saturday October 1, 2:30pm

    Traveling While Black: Special Preview Event
    Roger Ross Williams, Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, Lina Srivastava, Yasmin Elayat
    Published in 1936, the Green Book became an essential tool for African American travelers. The book consisted of a coast-to-coast listing of bars, hotels, and other businesses that were black-friendly in the age of Jim Crow. Traveling While Black presents a contemporary exploration of the issues related to restricted movement in modern-day America with a suite of experiences including a traveling museum exhibit, virtual reality films, and live events. Academy Award–winning director Roger Ross Williams will present a sneak peek of this compelling project, including a live performance, a teaser of the project’s first VR piece, and a panel discussion.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:43 PM.

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    FSLC announces Projections, the avant-garde showcase to accompany NYFF54.

    Here it is. Press may be shown a few of these. Indiewire listing.



    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 polyrhythmic Kindah 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 old pensionne, 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.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-16-2017 at 12:30 AM.

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    NYFF54 Main Slate addition: Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

    Key add-ons to the Main Slate continue with today's announcement (22 Aug.): a "Special Presentation" premiere of Ang Lee's Billy Lyn's Long Halftime Walk. (US theatrical release is 11 Nov. 2016.)

    The movie is an adaptation of the Ben Fountain novel penned by long-time Lee team member Jean-Christophe Castelli.

    Book and film present the flashbacks of 19-year-old protagonist Billy (newcomer Joe Alwyn) to the horrors that really happened in combat, while he and his Bravo Company and their exploits are being celebrated at an elaborate Thanksgiving Day halftime football show. The movie is presented in a new format that's supposed to rock our world: shot in 4K, in "native 3D," at "the ultra high rate" of 120 frames per second. (In release it will also be shown in 2D, thankfully.) It has a supporting cast of Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, and Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel and Steve Martin. (US theatrical release is 11 Nov. 2016.)

    I haven't read Ben Fountain's novel, but Theo Tait's review of it in the Guardian makes Fountain and it sound terrific. If Lee's version lives up to the description's literary models it's going to be one of the movies of the year, for certain. Tait starts by saying it's been called "the Catch-22 of the Iraq War. He continues:
    It doesn't particularly resemble Catch-22, but it recalls all sorts of good things: the delirious Playboy bunnies stadium scene in Apocalypse Now; the outrageous military banter in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket; the all-American cacophony of Tom Wolfe when he was still funny; Norman Mailer's anatomies of US celebrity; perhaps even the baseball game at the start of Don DeLillo's Underworld.
    Tait says the novel is "eloquent and angry, funny and poignant." Has Ang Lee got that in him? I hope so! If this description is even half true, we better find copies of this book!

    The NYFF's mutually beneficial relationship with Mr. Lee goes back to 1997 when The Ice Storm (arguably his best serous dramatic feature, along with Brokeback Mountain) opened the festival; then Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (which won him and his glossy popularization of Chinese wuxia films wider US and Western recognition) was the NYFF's closing night film in 2000. Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's grand adventure, Life of Pi, filmed in 3D, was the opener of 2012.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:47 PM.

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    NYFF54 special events and evenings with guests of honor.


    Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, in A Quiet Passion

    On this see The Wrap.

    Special Events include Jim Jarmusch's Gimme Danger (a doc about Iggy Pop and The Stooges first shown at Cannes); the World Premiere of Alex Horwitz's Hamilton’s America (another doc, to be aired on PBS, about the lead-up to the Broadway hit musical Hamilton); Film Comment Presents Terence Davies’s A Quiet Passion (a film about the poet Emily Dickenson); Lonny Price’s Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, plus special guests Jarmusch, Davies, Iggy Pop (star of Jarumush's doc), Cynthia Nixon (star of Davies' film, in which she plays the poet), Stephen Sondheim (whose cult flop Best Worst Thing is about), and others. (Cynthia Nixon was disturbingly brilliant as the dying mother in Josh Mond's James White .)

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


    Kristen and Adam are more and more in the spotlight. Stewart has become cool since she stepped away from the completed kitsch but super-popular Twilight franchise. She is in two 2016 NYFF films, starring in the Main Slate film Assayas' Personal Shopper and part of the cast of the lately added special feature, Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk . Driver plays the titular protagonist of another Main Slate film, Jim Jarmusch's Paterson. He is a current "it" boy, having risen from a funny-looking minor character in the Coens' Inside Llewyn Davis, and being featured in Lena Dunham's cool TV series "Girls" to being an anointed member of the "Star Wars" cast; his presence in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special this year also shows he is getting good roles. More than that, some of the best directors like to cast him these days, as they do Stewart.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:48 PM.

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    FSLC announces 'Spotlight on Documentary' series to accompany the 2016 NYFF


    Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds in Bright Lights

    On this see Awards Circuit. Great variety from the personal to the exotic to the universal in this eclectic 14-film selection.

    Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
    Directed by Steve James
    USA, 2016, DCP, 88m

    In English, Mandarin, and Cantonese with English subtitles
    The only bank actually prosecuted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis was NYC Chinatown's little Abacus Federal Savings founded in 1984 by Thomas Sung and specializing inmodest loans to members of the Chinese-American community. Latest documentary from Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) chronicles the legal battle mounted by Sung and his formidable daughters when the Manhattan DA’s office charged the bank with systemic fraud, larceny, and conspiracy. Abacus is a cautionary tale of family, community, and a way of life. (This film premieres at Toronto.)
    Thursday, Oct 6, 8:45pm (WRT)
    Thursday, Oct 7, 6:15pm (BWA)

    The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography
    Directed by Errol Morris
    USA, 2016, DCP, 76m

    Errol Morris visits the Cambridge, Massachusetts studio of his friend 20x24 Polaroid portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, who specifies on her website that she likes her subjects "to wear clothes (and to bring toys, skis, books, tennis racquets, musical instruments, and particularly pets…)." She takes us through her fifty-plus years of remarkable but fragile images of paying customers, commissioned subjects, family, and close friends (including the poet Allen Ginsberg), and the sense of time passing grows more and more acute. (Premieres at Toronto.)
    Sunday, Oct 9, 6pm (WRT)
    Monday, Oct 10, 9:15pm (BWA)

    Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
    Directed by Alexis Bloom & Fisher Stevens
    USA, 2016, DCP, 96m

    Carrie Fisher and her mom Debbie Reynolds are now the best of friends (they live steps away from each other in their Beverly Hills compound) and the very definition of Hollywood royalty. But unlike today’s newly minted celebrities, they are both open books. After six decades of screen and stage stardom; a couple of disastrous marriages and assorted financial ups and downs for Reynolds; and, for Fisher, well-publicized drug addiction, bipolar disorder, and deity status (see: Star Wars), neither has anything left to hide. Bright Lights is an affectionate, often hilarious, and unexpectedly moving valentine to the mother-daughter act to end all mother-daughter acts. An HBO Documentary Films release.
    Monday, Oct 10, 6pm (ATH)
    Tuesday, Oct 11, 9:15pm (BWA)

    The Cinema Travellers
    Directed by Shirley Abraham & Amit Madheshiya
    India, 2016, DCP, 96m

    In Hindi and Marathi with English subtitles
    Mohammed and Bapu are itinerant film showmen who travel through the Western Indian state of Maharashtra and show 35mm film prints on makeshift screens at village fairs. All the while, they struggle with both the growing possibility of obsolescence and the increasing fragility of their enormous rusty, clanking projectors, kept in barely working order by a repairman named Prakash (who has a beautiful invention: an "oil bath" projector). This colorful, five-years-in-the-making documentary is a real Last Picture Show, but its melancholy is leavened with joy and delight, and the wonder of still images coming to life at 24 frames per second. US Premiere. (From CAnnes; Nick Schager's Variety review copares it to CinemaParadiso.)
    Wednesday, Oct 12, 9pm (FBT)
    Thursday, Oct 13, 6:30pm (HGT)

    Dawson City: Frozen Time
    Directed by Bill Morrison
    USA, 2016, DCP, 120m

    Bill Morrison’s new film is a history in still and moving images charting the transformation of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, a fishing camp at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, into the epicenter of the Yukon gold rush at the turn of the last century. It is also a history of the 35mm film prints that were shipped to Dawson between the 1910s and 1920s, then hidden away and forgotten for 50 years until they were unearthed in the initial stages of a construction project, images from which are a key element in Morrison’s cinematic mosaic. Like all of Morrison’s work, Dawson City is a haunting experience that takes place in suspended, nonlinear time. North American Premiere. Actual date 2014 in MoMA collection. Premiered at Venice.
    Sunday, Oct 2, 12pm (BWA)
    Tuesday, Oct 4, 9pm (FBT)

    Hissen Habré, A Chadian Tragedy
    Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
    France/Chad, 2016, DCP, 82m

    In French, Chadian and Arabic with English subtitles
    Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s quiet, stately documentary begins with a personal sketch of the tragic history of his Central African home country, starting in the mid-1970s with the emergence of a romantic revolutionary figure named Hissen Habré, who seized power in 1982 and established a regime that became renowned throughout the world for its human rights abuses. From there, Haroun follows Clément Abaïfouta, a survivor of the regime who introduces us to resilient men and women whose memories and experiences are beyond horror. Two weeks after this film premiered at Cannes, Hissen Habré became the first world leader convicted of crimes against humanity by a court outside of his own country.
    Tuesday, Oct 4, 6pm (WRT)
    Wednesday, Oct 5, 9pm (FBT)

    I Am Not Your Negro
    Directed by Raoul Peck

    USA/France/Belgium/Switzerland, 2016, DCP, 93m
    Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck has taken the 30 completed pages of James Baldwin’s final, unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, in which the author went about the painful task of remembering his three fallen friends Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, and crafted an elegantly precise and bracing film essay. Peck’s film, about the unholy agglomeration of myths, institutionalized practices both legal and illegal, and displaced white terror that have long perpetuated the tragic state of race in America, is anchored by the presence of Baldwin himself in images and words, read beautifully by Samuel L. Jackson in hushed, burning tones.
    Saturday, Oct 1, 4:15pm (WRT)
    Sunday, Oct 2, 9pm (FBT)

    I Called Him Morgan
    Directed by Kasper Collin
    Sweden, 2016, DCP, 89m

    On the night of February 19, 1972, Helen Morgan walked into the East Village bar Slug’s Saloon with a gun in her handbag. She came to see her common-law husband, the great jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan, whom she had nursed through heroin addiction. They fought, he literally threw her out; then she walked back in and shot him, handed over her gun and waited for the police to arrive. Many years later, Helen was interviewed about her life with the brilliant but erratic musician, and the tapes of that interview are the backbone of this beautifully crafted and deeply affecting film from Kasper Collin (My Name Is Albert Ayler).
    Sunday, Oct 2, 6pm (WRT)
    Monday, Oct 3, 8:45pm (FBT)

    Karl Marx City
    Directed by Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker
    USA/Germany, 2016, DCP, 89m

    In English and German with English subtitles
    Having completed their series of Iraq War–era films (starting with Gunner Palace in 2004 and concluding with 2009’s How to Fold a Flag), the filmmaking team of Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker turn their attention to the former East Germany of Epperlein’s childhood, and specifically to the possibility that her father might have been one of the many thousands of citizens recruited as informers by the Stasi. Tucker and Epperlein make some bold stylistic choices (such as shooting in crystalline black and white), all of which pay off: the strange state of living under constant surveillance is both recalled and embodied in this uniquely powerful film.
    Friday, Oct 14, 8:30pm (WRT)
    Saturday, Oct 15, 12:30pm (FBT)

    Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death
    Directed by Olatz López Garmendia
    Cuba/USA, 2016, DCP, 57m

    In English and Spanish with English subtitles
    Olatz López Garmendia’s film is a sharp, vivid portrait of Cuba as it is right now, on the verge of change, seen through the eyes of a diverse group of brave individuals. On the one hand, we experience the corroded beauty of a landscape largely free of the commercially driven zoning and building that has befouled so much of the western world; on the other, we see the crumbling infrastructure, falling buildings, and desperate circumstances of a nation that’s been economically stalled by a longtime United States embargo and stubborn and repressive dictatorship. Most of all, Patria O Muerte: Cuba, Fatherland or Death is about people struggling to live freely. An HBO Documentary Films release.
    Wednesday, Oct 12, 9:15pm (BWA)
    Thursday, Oct 13, 6:45pm (FBT)

    The Settlers
    Directed by Shimon Dotan
    France/Canada/Israel, 2016, DCP, 110m

    Shimon Dotan’s film takes a good, hard look at the world of the Israeli settlers on the West Bank: the way they live, the worldview that many of them share, and, most crucially, the relaxed attitude of the Israeli government toward their presence since the first settlements in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. Dotan lays out the facts with extraordinary care and lucidity, and allows us to see the progression of actions and reactions that led to the current volatile situation, one small step at a time. Perhaps the greatest astonishment of this generally astonishing film is the casual zealotry and racism, and the apparently untroubled certainty, of many of the settlers themselves.
    Thursday, Oct 6, 6pm (WRT)
    Friday, Oct 7, 9pm (HGT)

    Two Trains Runnin’
    Directed by Sam Pollard
    USA, 2016, DCP, 80m

    In the “Freedom Summer” of 1964, hundreds of young people—including James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner—were drawn to the deep South to take part in the Civil Rights movement. At the same moment, two groups of young men (including guitarist John Fahey and Dick Waterman, the great champion of the Blues) made the same trip in search of Blues legends Skip James and Son House. That these two quests coincidentally ended in the volatile state of Mississippi, whose governor famously referred to integration as “genocide,” is the starting point for Sam Pollard’s inventive, musically and historically rich film.
    Thursday, Oct 13, 8:45pm (WRT)
    Friday, Oct 14, 9:30pm (FBT)

    Uncle Howard
    Directed by Aaron Brookner
    USA, 2016, DCP, 96m

    While Aaron Brookner was working on the restoration of Burroughs: The Movie, his uncle Howard Brookner’s 1983 documentary about William S. Burroughs, he discovered an archive that Howard left uncatalogued. It encompassed unused footage, and much more: film and video diaries capturing the downtown New York, post-Beat mosaic of writers, filmmakers, performers, and artists in the 1970s and 1980s and the devastation of that community by AIDS, which took Howard’s life in 1989. A work of love and scholarship, Uncle Howard weaves contemporary interviews with this rediscovered footage: of the legendary “Nova Convention”; Robert Wilson rehearsing the aborted L.A. production of The Civil Wars; a twentysomething Jim Jarmusch, Howard’s NYU classmate, recording sound on Burroughs; and Howard’s lyrical video self-portrait, made near the end of his life.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 5:30pm (BWA)
    Monday, Oct 10, 9pm (FBT)

    Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature
    Directed by Linda Saffire & Adam Schlesinger
    USA, 2016, DCP, 90m

    In 1984, Wendy Whelan joined the New York City Ballet as an apprentice; by 1991, she had been promoted to Principal Dancer. She quickly became a revered and beloved figure throughout the dance world. Wrote Roslyn Sulcas, “her sinewy physicality, her kinetic clarity, and her dramatic, otherworldly intensity have created a quite distinct and unusual identity.” Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger’s film follows this extraordinary artist throughout a passage of life that all dancers must face, when she must confront the limitations of her own body and adapt to a different relationship with the art form she loves so madly.
    Sunday, Oct 9, 3:30pm (WRT)
    Monday, Oct 10, 6:15pm (BWA)

    Whose Country?
    Directed by Mohamed Siam
    Egypt/USA/France, 2016, DCP, 60m

    A remarkable, one-of-a-kind film from Egypt, Whose Country? has a point of view that grows in complexity as it proceeds, alongside the shifting fortunes and affiliations of the Cairo policeman who is the film’s subject and guide. By his side, we witness the fall of Mubarak, the rise and fall of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the rise of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The level of craft in this film is extraordinary, and so is the close attentiveness that the director pays to his difficult task: illuminating the compromised lives of the protagonist and his friends and the convulsive nation they call home. (From Karlovy Vary.)
    Saturday, Oct 1, 9:30pm (WRT)
    Sunday, Oct 2, 6:45pm (FBT)
    .
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-29-2016 at 08:25 PM.

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    FSLC announces shorts programs and new section, 'Explorations'


    Jean-Pierre Léaud in The Death of Louis XIV ('Explorations')

    Including works by Bertrand Bonello, Terence Nance, Jia Zhangke, Nadav Lapid, and starring Jean-Pierre Léaud. Below FSLC blurbs with some alterations and showtimes. A reliance on selections from Locarno (excluded from the NYFF Main Slate this year) may be noted.

    Some titles the NYFF or sidebars have not chosen to weave in, from Venice, include Damien Chazelle’s La La Land (with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone), Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, Francois Ozon’s Frantz, Nick Hamm’s The Journey and Rebecca Zlotowski’s Planetarium. (She previously made Belle Épine and Grand Central.)


    FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS


    EXPLORATIONS


    The Death of Louis XIV
    Directed by Albert Serra
    France/Portugal/Spain, 2016, 115 min

    U.S. Premiere
    The great Jean-Pierre Léaud, synonymous with French cinema for over half a century, delivers a majestic, career-capping performance as the longest-reigning French monarch during his final days. Albert Serra’s elegant, engrossing contemplation of death and its representation finds the extravagantly wigged Sun King slowly wasting away from gangrene in his bedchamber, surrounded by devoted servants, pets and a retinue of hopeless doctors. Filled with ravishing candlelit images and painstaking details gleaned from Saint-Simon’s memoirs and other historical texts, Louis XIV is as darkly funny as it is moving, revealing the absurdity of the rule-bound royal court, but even more so of death itself. ND/NF 2014 gave us Serra's version of Casanova's dying in The Story of My Death, which Cahiers du Cinéma described as "two and a half hours of deadly (we insist, deadly) boredom." Be warned. (From Locarno.)
    Thursday, Oct 6, 6pm (ATH)
    Friday, Oct 7, 6pm (HGT)

    Everything Else/Todo lo demás
    Directed by Natalia Almada
    Mexico, 2016, 90m

    North American Premiere
    The first fiction feature by accomplished documentarian Natalia Almada is inspired by Hannah Arendt’s idea that bureaucratic dehumanization is the worst form of violence. Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza (Babel) gives a haunting, unsentimental performance as Dona Flor, an elderly government clerk who punishes her clients as unreasonably as life has punished her. But when she loses the last living creature she cares for, she goes into crisis. Almada reveals a cross-section of Mexico City’s population, creating an intimate portrait of one woman among the multitude who remain resilient despite oppression and corruption. (This blurb fails to mention that Natalia Almada is the great-granddaughter of Mexican president Plutarco Elias Calle, 1924-1928, one of Mexico's most controversial revolutionary figures accused of having been a "dictator.") No listing of having been shown yet.
    Friday, Oct 14, 6pm (WRT)
    Saturday, Oct 15, 4pm (HGT)

    I Had Nowhere to Go
    Directed by Douglas Gordon
    Germany, 2016, 97m

    U.S. Premiere
    Autobiography and biography merge in this often shattering, sometimes absurdly funny collaboration between two polymath artists, Douglas Gordon and Jonas Mekas. Gordon’s unlikely project, to bring to the screen Mekas’s prose memoir of his first decade in exile from Lithuania and journey from post-WWII displaced persons camps to New York, where he finds his vocation as a filmmaker, yields an operatic experience of sound and image. The film—which features Mekas reading his own text in haunting, musical voice-over—attests to one extraordinary man’s experience of loss and desire to make a new life, yet also resonates as a tale of the diaspora in which tens of millions exist today. (Another Locarno item.)
    Thursday, Oct 13, 6pm (WRT)
    Friday, Oct 14, 9:15pm (BWA)

    Kékszakállú
    Directed by Gastón Solnicki
    Argentina, 2016, 72m

    U.S. Premiere
    The new film from Argentinian director Gastón Solnicki (Papirosen) is a singularity: a playful portrait of spiritual lethargy. Partly inspired by Béla Bartók’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle (vivid passages are heard throughout the film), it is comprised of moments that seem to have been drawn from memory, with an elliptical continuity that moves according to forms, colors, sounds, and states of being. There is no protagonist in Kékszakállú, but several young women blanketed under layers of sunlit lassitude and politely tamped down discomfort. Nevertheless, this is a joyful experience, moving inexorably toward liberation. (Part of the Venice lineup.)
    Tuesday, Oct 4, 8:45pm (WRT)
    Wednesday, Oct 5, 8:45pm (BWA)

    Mimosas
    Directed by Oliver Laxe
    Spain/Morocco/France/Qatar, 2016, 93m

    U.S. Premiere
    An intense young man (the haunting Shakib Ben Omar) is tasked with escorting a caravan to safety. Taking a taxi far into the Moroccan desert, he seems to travel to another time as well, joining a band of travelers on horseback—and the dead body they are transporting—on a trek through the treacherous Atlas Mountains. Oliver Laxe’s stunningly shot, suggestively ambiguous follow-up to his acclaimed debut, You All Are Captains, is at once a quest story, a landscape study, and a Western with shades of the uncanny. With the openness of a parable, Mimosas doesn’t dramatize so much as embody the mysteries of faith. Winner of the Grand Prize (Nespresso) at the 2016 Cannes’ Critics Week. (Variety's Ben Konigsberg says this owes a debut to avangardists Ben Rivers, whose Spell to Ward Off the Darkness we waded through in ND/NF 2014, and Lisandro Alonso, whose recent slow, pretentious Jauja of NYFF 2014 lacked the punch of his earlier Los Muertos (SFIFF 2005) and Liverpool.)
    Wednesday, Oct 5, 9pm (WRT)
    Thursday, Oct 6, 6:45pm (FBT)

    The Ornithologist
    Directed by João Pedro Rodrigues
    Portugal/France/Brazil, 2016, 118 min

    U.S. Premiere
    In his most audacious film since his groundbreaking debut O Fantasma, João Pedro Rodrigues reimagines the myth of Saint Anthony of Padua as a modern-day parable of sexual and spiritual transcendence. On a bird-watching expedition in the remote wilderness of northern Portugal, Fernando (Paul Hamy) capsizes his canoe and loses his bearings. His ensuing odyssey, both intensely physical and wildly metaphysical, involves sadistic Chinese pilgrims, a deaf-mute shepherd named Jesus, pagan tribes, Amazons on horseback, and a glorious variety of feathered friends. Shot entirely outdoors and in magnificent ’Scope by Rui Pocas, The Ornithologist is a bracing exercise in queer hagiography. "Blasphemous fun," Jay Weissberg writes in his Locarno review in Variety. Possibly the director's "most accessible film to date," Weissberg writes, encouragingly.
    Wednesday, Oct 12, 9pm (WRT)
    Thursday, Oct 13, 9:15pm (BWA)
    SHORTS
    Shorts Program 1: Narrative
    Showcasing emerging filmmakers, this narrative program features seven unique films from seven countries in six different languages. Programmed by Dilcia Barrera & Gabi Madsen TRT: 103m
    Saturday, Oct 1, 4pm (BWA)
    Sunday, Oct 2, 6pm (BWA)

    The Girl Who Danced with the Devil / A moça que dançou com o Diabo
    João Paulo Miranda Maria, Brazil, 2016, 15m
    A girl from a very religious family seeks her own paradise.

    Be Good for Rachel
    Ed Roe, USA, 2015, 19m

    World Premiere
    Tonight Rachel is double-booked: a babysitting job and a nervous breakdown.

    Univitellin
    Terence Nance, France, 2016, 15m

    A classic love story in a far-from-classic reworking.

    Little Bullets / Küçük Kurşunlar
    Alphan Eseli, Turkey, 2016, 14m

    World Premiere
    Forced to flee Syria for the border region of Southeast Anatolia, a mother and daughter struggle to accept their newly found safety.

    Dobro
    Marta Hernaiz Pidal, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Mexico, 2016, 15m

    U.S. Premiere
    Selma is determined to get rid of the Romani woman sitting on her apartment’s entrance steps.

    Land of the Lost Sidekicks
    Roger Ross Williams, USA, 2016, 6m

    World Premiere
    When his home is magically transformed into a dark forest filled with animated characters from classic Disney movies, a young boy learns to confront his fears.

    And the Whole Sky Fit in a Dead Cow’s Eye / Y todo el celo cupo en el ojo de la vaca muerta
    Francisca Alegria, Chile/USA, 2016, 19m

    World Premiere
    Emeteria is visited by a ghost she believes has come to take her to the afterlife. But he has more devastating news.

    Shorts Program 2: International Auteurs
    This program features new work by four of the most adventurous directors in international cinema today. Programmed by Dennis Lim TRT: 96m
    Saturday, Oct 1, 6:45pm (BWA)
    Sunday, Oct 2, 8:45pm (BWA)

    A Brief History of Princess X
    Gabriel Abrantes, Portugal/France, 2016, 7m

    U.S. Premiere
    Abrantes’s pseudo-doc on Constantin Brancusi’s most infamous sculpture is a short, sweet, and appropriately inappropriate look at how eroticism and scandal played roles in the history of modern art.

    Sarah Winchester, Phantom Opera / Sarah Winchester, Opera Fantôme
    Bertrand Bonello, France, 2016, 24m

    North American Premiere
    A film to stand in for an opera unmade: Bonello’s moody, baroque meditation on the heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune plays like a ballet-cum-horror film, an ornate tapestry of enigmatic images, chilling synths, and traces of a tragic and eccentric life.

    The Hedonists
    Jia Zhangke, China, 2016, 25m

    U.S. Premiere
    Jia takes on an eclectic tone and tries out some bold new tricks in this comic short commissioned by the Hong Kong International Film Festival, following three unemployed coal miners searching for work in the Shanxi region.

    From the Diary of a Wedding Photographer / Myomano Shel Tzlam Hatonot
    Nadav Lapid, Israel, 2016, 40m

    North American Premiere
    Lapid’s latest provocation delves headlong into the absurdities and neuroses of matrimonial rites as an Israeli wedding photographer repeatedly finds himself embroiled in psychodramas with the brides and grooms who hire him.

    Shorts Program 3: Genre Stories
    This is the second annual edition of a program focusing on the best in new horror, thriller, sci-fi, pitch-black comedy, twisted noir, and fantasy shorts from around the world. Programmed by Laura Kern TRT: 83m
    Saturday, Oct 1, 9:15pm (BWA)
    Monday, Oct 3, 9:30pm (BWA)

    The Signalman
    Daniel Augusto, Brazil, 2015, 15m

    U.S. Premiere
    In a story adapted from Dickens, a reclusive railway worker’s routine is mysteriously disrupted.

    Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
    Johannes Kizler & Nik Sentenza, Germany, 2016, 11m

    North American Premiere
    A single mother and her teenage daughter must contend with something far more fraught than their relationship.

    New Gods
    Jack Burke, UK, 2016, 15m

    World Premiere
    Sickness challenges the resiliency of a utopian existence.

    Quenottes (Pearlies)
    Pascal Thiebaux & Gil Pinheiro, Luxembourg/France, 2015, 13m

    Small, furry, and ferocious, the tooth fairy will defend its enamel treasures at any cost.

    What Happened to Her
    Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, USA, 2016, 15m

    A biting, beautifully gruesome exploration of female corpses, as portrayed nude on screen.

    Imposter
    Adam Goldhammer, Canada, 2016, 14m

    World Premiere
    Since Father’s disappearance, Mother hasn’t quite seemed herself . . .

    Shorts Program 4: New York Stories
    This program, now in its second year, showcases work from some of the most exciting filmmakers living and working in New York today, including established names and ones to watch. Programmed by Dan Sullivan TRT: 71m
    Sunday, Oct 2, 3:30pm (WRT)
    Tuesday, Oct 4, 6:15pm (BWA)

    Kitty
    Chloë Sevigny, USA, 2016, 35mm, 15m

    North American Premiere
    Sevigny’s highly anticipated directorial debut is an adaptation of a Paul Bowles short story, a hypnotic and ethereal fairy tale for today about a young girl’s feline reveries.

    I Turn to Jello
    Andrew T. Betzer, USA, 2016, 15m

    World Premiere
    A metropolitan nightmare unfurls as a nervous cellist (Eleanore Pienta) cracks under pressure at an audition—and again, and again, and . . .

    Dramatic Relationships
    Dustin Guy Defa, USA, 2016, 6m

    North American Premiere
    Scenes from the working life of a male director: Defa sophisticatedly lampoons masculinity in filmmaking with this sly, surprising meta-movie.

    This Castle Keep
    Gina Telaroli, USA, 2016, 14m

    World Premiere
    The shapeshifting latest from the multi-hyphenate Telaroli is a moving elegy for that which gets lost over the years in a changing city.

    Los Angeles Plays New York
    John Wilson, USA, 2016, 18m

    World Premiere
    This hilarious documentary concerns the world of NYC-set courtroom reality shows filmed in L.A.

    The Honeymoon
    Tommy Davis, USA, 2016, 3m

    World Premiere
    A campy and cryptic love letter that features a new, quintessentially American take on Morse code.

    Shorts Program 5: Documentaries
    For its first documentary shorts program, NYFF showcases a selection of the most innovative nonfiction storytelling today, from profound personal chronicles to treatments of significant global issues. Programmed by Dilcia Barrera & Gabi Madsen TRT: 89m
    Monday, Oct 3, 6:30pm (BWA)
    Tuesday, Oct 4, 9:15pm (BWA)

    Legal Smuggling with Christine Choy
    Lewie Kloster, USA, 2016, 4m

    World Premiere
    Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Christine Choy undergoes a wild adventure when she illegally—and accidentally—smuggles cigarettes across the Canadian border.

    El Buzo
    Esteban Arrangoiz, Mexico, 2015, 16m

    Chief diver of the Mexico City sewerage system, Julio César Cu Cámara must repair pumps and dislodge garbage from the gutters to maintain the circulation of sewer waters.

    Jean Nouvel: Reflections
    Matt Tyrnauer, USA, 2016, 15m

    World Premiere
    A meditative portrait of Pritzker Prize–winning architect Jean Nouvel and his creation process.

    Rotatio
    Ian McClerin, USA, 2015, 4m

    As part of a healing process from trauma, Shannon May Mackenzie turned words into visual art, constructing a six-foot circle out of sentences and phrases.

    The Vote
    Mila Aung-Thwin & Van Royko, Canada, 2016, 10m

    World Premiere
    Strict military rule and international sanctions kept Myanmar sealed off from the world for decades. The Vote observes residents of the bustling city of Yangon as they navigate their first democratic election in over 50 years.

    Brillo Box (3¢ off)
    Lisanne Skyler, USA, 2016, 40m

    Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box sculpture makes its way from a family’s living room to a record-breaking Christie’s auction in this exploration of how we navigate the ephemeral nature of value. An HBO Documentary Films release.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-29-2016 at 09:18 PM.

  13. #13
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    The 54th New York Film Festival Main Slate: U.S. Theatrical Releases

    One asterisk ("NONE YET") means no U.S. release so far, but one possibly coming; two asterisks ("NONE"), that there's a chance there may not ever be one. The latter are the obvious ones to try to see at the festival if those films interest you; it could be your only chance to see them. I'd see Maclean's The Rehearsal and Hong Sang-soo's new one, particularly. Fans of Romanian cinema will want to catch the Mungiu and Puiu (but Mungiu now has a 10 Feb. 2017 release date). in case they're hard to see here. Or the James Gray or Assayas too, you might not want to wait for.


    Still from Mclean's The Rehearsal

    Opening Night
    The 13th
    Directed by Ava DuVernay
    7 OCT. (theater & internet)

    Centerpiece
    20th Century Women
    Directed by Mike Mills
    21 DEC.

    Closing Night
    *The Lost City of Z
    Directed by James Gray
    SPRING 2017


    Aquarius
    Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
    14 OCT. (limited)

    Certain Women
    Directed by Kelly Reichardt
    14 OCT.

    Elle
    Directed by Paul Verhoeven
    11 NOV.

    Fire at Sea / Fuocoammare
    Directed by Gianfranco Rosi
    21 OCT. (limited)

    **Graduation / Bacalaureat
    Directed by Cristian Mungiu
    NONE

    **Hermia and Helena
    Directed by Matías Piñeiro
    NONE

    I, Daniel Blake
    Directed by Ken Loach
    23 DEC. (limited)

    Julieta
    Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
    21 DEC.

    Manchester by the Sea
    Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
    18 NOV.

    Moonlight
    Directed by Barry Jenkins
    21 OCT.

    *My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea
    Directed by Dash Shaw
    NONE YET

    Neruda
    Directed by Pablo Larraín
    16 DEC.

    Paterson
    Directed by Jim Jarmusch
    28 DEC.

    *Personal Shopper
    Directed by Olivier Assayas
    NONE YET

    **The Rehearsal
    Directed by Alison Maclean
    NONE

    **Sieranevada
    Directed by Cristi Puiu
    NONE

    **Son of Joseph / Le fils de Joseph
    Directed by Eugène Green
    NONE

    *Staying Vertical / Rester vertical
    Directed by Alain Guiraudie
    NONE YET

    Things to Come / L’Avenir
    Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
    2 DEC. (limited)

    Toni Erdmann
    Directed by Maren Ade
    25 DEC.

    *The Unknown Girl
    Directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
    NONE YET.


    **Yourself and Yours
    Directed by Hong Sangsoo
    NONE
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-13-2016 at 11:52 AM.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2002
    Location
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    Another surprise NYFF54 addition: "Special Premiere" of Pablo Larraín's Jackie. (US release 2 Dec.)



    This portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy around JFK's assassination, starring Natalie Portman, already got raves at Venice, where it debuted, and Toronto. (Its current Metacritic rating based on 11 reviews is 93%). We have followed Larraín assiduously here through Tony Manero (NYFF 2008), Post Mortem (NYFF 20109), No (NYFF 2012) and The Club. Most of Larraín's work (supported by the NYFF early on) has reveled in the creepy world of the 30-year Pinochet dictatorship that began with the assassination of Salvador Allende September 11 (yes, another September 11th) 1973, the world Larraín grew up in. He was born in 1976.

    New York, NY (September 27, 2016) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces Pablo Larraín’s Jackie as a Special U.S. Premiere Presentation of the 54th New York Film Festival (September 30 – October 16) on Thursday, October 13 at Alice Tully Hall. Jackie is the director’s second film in this year’s festival, with Neruda, his portrait of the great Chilean poet, screening the week prior.

    Pablo Larraín’s first English-language film is a bolt from the blue, a fugue-like study of Jackie Kennedy, brilliantly acted by Natalie Portman. Dramatizing events from just before, during, and after JFK’s assassination, this carefully reconstructed, beautifully visualized film is grounded in Jackie’s interactions with her children, her social secretary (Greta Gerwig), LBJ’s special assistant Jack Valenti (Max Casella), her brother-in-law Bobby (Peter Sarsgaard), a priest (John Hurt), a journalist (Billy Crudup), and others. In this emotionally urgent film, from a script by Noah Oppenheim [who co-wrote The Maze Runner and Insurgent], we feel not only Jackie’s tragic solitude but also her precise awareness that every move she makes carries historical ramifications. A Fox Searchlight Pictures release.
    -FSLC press release.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 01:50 PM.

  15. #15
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    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    First look:

    AQUARIUS (Kleber Mendoça Filho 2016)

    Sly, beautiful, and more brightly colored than Neighboring Sounds and yes, perhaps "more conventionally structured" as D'Angelo says, but rich and surprising and close to the first film in theme and idea at many points. Portrait of a stubborn, regal woman holding onto the lone occupied apartment in a Forties building developers want to tear down for a high rise. Starring the magnificent Sônia Braga in one of her greatest performances. She owns the picture, but it's much more than just her.

    Click on the title for the CK review of the film in the Filmleaf Festival Coverage section.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 11:44 AM.

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