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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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