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Thread: Nyff 2016

  1. #16
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    Fri. 30 Sept. NYFF opens with Ava DuVernay's The 13th

    Ava DuVernay's documentary, which critics describe as "a film that hits hard, but it also nails its targets with precision" (Alonso Duralde, TheWrap), premieres on opening night of the NYFF. It opens on Netflix Friday. The theme in this, first documentary to open a NYFF, is mass incarceration, and how it is another form of slavery. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution said "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. . ." DuVernay develops the theme with demonstration of the burgeoning and increasingly privatized prison industry in the US. Metacritic rating of the film is 91%.

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

  2. #17
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    PATERSON (Jim Jarmusch 2016)

    Some notes on this new film from Jarmusch starring Adam Driver as the titular character, who also lives in Paterson, New Jersey, drives a bus, and writes poetry - like the major American poet William Carlos Williams, who was a physician who lied in New Jersey and wrote an epic poem called Paterson. This may have most in common among Jarmusch's other films with Broken Flowers.


  3. #18
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    THE 13TH (Ava DuVernay 2016)

    Opening night film at the NYFF, first time in its history a documentary has held that position. Surprisingly, it's not an original work of investigative filmmaking, more just forceful synthesis of ideas with graphics, archival footage, and well-informed and notable talking heads. Theme: the 13th Amendment that ended slavery provides an exception: prisons. And the thesis is that incarceration has always been and still is a form of slavery that, in the US, disproportionally targets the black man. But though most of the information in itself isn't new, DuVernay's connecting of the dots is enlightening and shocking.



    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 03:39 PM.

  4. #19
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    Glenn Raucher leaving his post as Film Society of Lincoln Center Director of Theater Operations.


    Glenn Raucher [CK photo]

    October 7, 2016.

    For years he has managed the Film Society of Lincoln Center's increasingly complicated cinema complex with superb skill. Encountering Glenn's warmth, wit, and accomplishment has been a highlight of times spent covering Lincoln Center film events for years now. A week from today he departs his post. I am only one of many who will miss him greatly. The Hudson Valley Center, where he will be able to exercise more of his wide-ranging skills, is lucky to get him -- and happily, they seem well aware of that:

    From Facebook:
    Hudson Valley Writers Center
    September 24 at 12:04am ·
    Everyone at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center is thrilled to welcome the wonderful Glenn Raucher to our team. HVWC is fortunate that Glenn has decided to leave his job at Lincoln Center as director of Theatre Operations to join us. Glenn has a lot of experience in the arts but he is returning to his first love—writing. He spent many years at The Writers' Voice and he is going to be a tremendous asset to the Center. The Board, the co-editors of Slapering Hol Press, and the Program Director are all very excited to begin our fruitful collaboration. We cannot wait for all of the students, instructors, and readers to meet Glenn.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 06:53 PM.

  5. #20
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    FIRE AT SEA/FUOCOAMMARE (Gianfranco Rosi 2016)

    Rosi's patiently observational Italian documentary of a one-of-a-kind kid on the eight-mile-square Italian island of Lampedusa and arrivals of some of the hordes of refugees from Africa who wash up there packs a quiet wallop. And in fact it won the top prize Golden Bear at Berlin and other awards and nominations and is Italy's entry in the Best Foreign Oscar competition of 2016.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-08-2016 at 03:43 PM.

  6. #21
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    THE B-SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN'S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY (2016)

    A casual, perhaps too casual, portrait of a longtime Cambridge, MA friend, who was was close to Allen Ginsberg for many years and photographed Beats, some rock stars and Harvard people and was a faithful user of Polaroid's unusual 20x40 and 40x80 giant instant view cameras. At the NYFF showing of the film there was a special feature. The FSLC owns one of these cameras now, and a stash of the now defunct film and chemistry needed to make the Polaroids. At the Q&A, the camera was rolled onto the stage and demonstrated. Across the street several photographers have been making a series of 20x40 portraits of filmmakers and artists featured in Lincoln Center series.


  7. #22
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    MOONLIGHT (Barry Jenkins 2016)

    A powerful and beautiful black gay coming of age movie, almost a black Brokeback, and a huge leap forward from Jenkins' fine, but relatively tame, debut eight years ago.


  8. #23
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    GRADUATION (Cristian Mungiu 2016)

    Cannes darling Mungiu has made another closely-plotted Romanian film about dim futures and bureaucratic corruption in the post-Soviet world. His emphasis may be less clear and less urgent than before, as he focuses on a doctor and his flailing efforts to ensure his daughter a better future.


  9. #24
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    NERUDA (Pablo Larraín 2016)

    An elaborate metafictional phantasmagoria of the great Chilean communist poet in flight - pursued by a semi-imaginary little martinet of a police nemesis (Gael García Bernal) is gorgeous, elaborate, also overblown, uncertain in tone, and Larraín's first epic failure. Go back instead and watch his wonderfully creepy triumphs about the Pinochet dictatorship, with the great Alfredo Castro, Tony Manero and Post Mortem.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-13-2016 at 07:00 PM.

  10. #25
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    A view across the street to the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, which has two smaller auditoriums and a small amphitheater for open events. There is also a restaurant, Indie, and good popcorn

  11. #26
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    STAYING VERTICAL/RESTER VERTICAL (Alain Guiraudie 2016)

    A refreshingly nutty and unpredictable film and a great palate cleanser after more conventional festival entries like Neruda and Graduation, which seem hopelessly square by comparison. A screenwriter goes haywire, has sex, has a baby. She abandons them, he tries to raise it himself, but is on the skids, while sexual boundaries keep breaking down. But you can't summarize it easily. The value of it is its energy and its sense of freedom. Something of fable and the surreal too, and wolves become a sort of symbol, but also quite dangerous and real.

    Guiraudie is the director whose Stranger by the Lake/L'inconnu du lac won the Best Director award in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2013 (and a lot of César nominations and a prize for its main actor), and this one, his fifth feature film, was in Competition there.


  12. #27
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    A pair of Isavelle Huppert starrers that highlight her versatility and penchant for roles as women undergoing intense challenges. The two stories are so different, yet have things in common, a cat, a dying mother, becoming a grandmother, marital issues.

    THINGS TO COME/L'AVENIR (Mia Hansen-Love 2016)


    A Paris philosophy prof whose mother dies, cat runs away, daughter moves out, best student abandons her to live in the country, and academic publisher fires her. She says she's experienced such freedom.

    ELLE (Paul Verhoeven 2016)

    A lurid French novel adapted by an American for Hollywood, which rejected it. Isabelle Huppert took on the lead role, and it's amazing, and a revival for Verhoeven, who hadn't made a film in ten years, and enjoyed working in France so much he expects to continue directing there. A successful businesswoman with a ghoulish past is raped, and enters a cat-and-mouse game with the rapist, not seeking revenge but connection.


  13. #28
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    CERTAIN WOMEN (Kelly Reichardt 2016)

    Three stories set in rural Montana involving women, of which only the third becomes briefly, powerfully, involving, of newcomer Lily Gladstone's lonely cowgirl who falls for a Kristen Stewart, who's driving four hours each way to teach a night class in school law. Laura Dern and Michelle Williams are both involved with James Le Gros.

    That cowgirl disappointment is powerful, and there is lovely earth-colored cinematography. But Reichardt carries low-key rather far here.


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-18-2016 at 08:13 AM.

  14. #29
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    catching up on some of the Main Slate films in Paris. An arguably great one, Toni Erdmann, and one of the Dardennes' less powerful efforts, The Unknown Girl.

    TONI ERDMANN (Maren Ade 2016)

    A highly competent but stressed out international corporate lady is pursued to her Bucharest HQ by her goofy schoolteacher father, who's taking a long break after the death of his beloved shaggy dog. And he's a shaggy dog himself, and an inveterate prankster, who can't help himself: he keeps invading his daughter's space at the most serious times and clowning compulsively, like some German contemporary Lord of Misrule. And it winds up humanizing her and making her realize things like, love. A meandering, unexpected masterpiece that looks messier than it really is.

    THE UNKNOWN GIRL/LA FILLE INCONNUE (Luc, Jean-ierre Dardennes 2016)

    A young woman general practitioner in Liège (Adèle Haenel) doesn't answer banging on the door one night and learns that the women knocking died by the river a little later. Feeling guilty,
    she doggedly pursues (Dardennes' habitual mode) details of the woman's identity, while intermittently continuing her practice, and along the way begging a young intern not to give up medicine. Haenel isn't the reason this is rather dry material. Her character does not change, and her pursuit has no personal heft for her. So reaction to the film has been lukewarm. I have to agree. I want to be disturbed by a Dardennes film as I was by La promesse, The Son, THe Child or The Kid with the Bike. Nothing less will do.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 10-21-2016 at 12:29 PM.

  15. #30
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    I, DANIEL BLAKE (Ken Loach 2016)

    Loach's film shows how a good English carpenter is ground down by the current English welfare system when he takes a break from work after a heart attack. In his kindness, he aids a young single mom with two little kids also down on her luck. Loach, now eighty, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year for this work of touching, angry neorealism. Only the hard hearted can leave it unmoved.



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