New York Film Festival Preview: Final Cut – Ladies and Gentlemen

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Screening: Monday, October 1, 9pm

Venue: Francesca Beale Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC

Series: NYFF50: Cinema Reflected

Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy and girl get married. Girl gets pregnant. Boy and girl split up. Etc. Etc. It’s a rather simple tale, but this reviewer can guarantee you’ve never seen it done quite like this. In Final Cut – Ladies and Gentlemen, Hungarian filmmaker Pálfi György uses brief scenes from nearly 500 films (and some TV shows) to tell this plain story. It’s a remarkable achievement and is the greatest celebration of cinema to hit the big screen in a long time. This is the ultimate movie about movies.

Employing a hodgepodge of scenes from films ranging from The Birth of a Nation (1915) to Avatar (2009), from live-action to animation, from comedy to drama—and everything in between—Final Cutamazingly tells a cohesive narrative from start to finish—one that could have been easily ruined in the hands of a less-skilled filmmaker. The amount of visual and auditory texture in this “epic” is staggering, and yet this visual collage does not strain the eye and is not distracting. Recognizing that so much of what makes a great movie great are the little moments on screen—waking up in bed, a loving stare, an expression of joy—György embroidered a fine tapestry that highlights these singular moments, and in doing so he tells a story of love and loss, of happiness and sorrow—a simple story with great depth, as told through the voice of cinema through the ages.

Limité Rating: 4/5

Director: Pálfi György

Genres: Experimental, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Country: Hungary

Language: Mostly silent with some lines in English

Runtime: 85 min.

The 50th New York Film Festival runs from September 28 – October 14, 2012.

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