Tag Archives: New York Film Festival

New York Film Festival Recap

As the 53rd New York Film Festival wrapped with Closing Night selection Miles Ahead, a bio-drama on “social music” (don’t call it jazz) legend Miles Davis, starring and helmed by Don Cheadle in his directorial debut, it’s time to look back on some of the Festival’s best offerings.

BRIDGE OF SPIES

In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War-era drama, Tom Hanks plays a Brooklyn insurance lawyer who must broker a sensitive prisoner exchange with the USSR. Once again, Spielberg proves he’s at the top of his craft. Hanks turns in a solid performance, but it’s supporting player Mark Rylance who steals his scenes as a Soviet spy with his too-cool-it’s-unnerving performance.

In Theaters: October 16

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Spotlight on New York’s Film Festivals

It’s a good time to be a movie fan in New York. Two of the country’s preeminent film festivals—New York Film Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival—are upon us. The 53rd edition of the New York Film Festival (NYFF) kicks off tonight, September 25, and runs through October 11 at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center. The 23rd edition of Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) is next in line with a program running from October 8–12 in Long Island. (I’ve proudly served on the screening committee of HIFF for the past five years.) Given their fall festival dates, both have historically made good on delivering some of that year’s top Oscar contenders, and this year will likely be no different. Here are each festival’s Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night films. Check out each festival’s website for its full slate of programming. (All film synopses below are courtesy of their respective festivals’ websites.)

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New York Film Festival Review: Foxcatcher

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell in FOXCATCHER

Series: Main Slate

Haunting. There’s perhaps no better word to describe the true story of DuPont chemicals heir John E. du Pont and his curious relationship with Olympic champion wrestlers, brothers Mark and David Schultz. In filmmaker Bennett Miller’s third feature, Steve Carell plays against type (superbly) to embody the eccentric—if not mildly psychopathic—du Pont in this 1980s-set true story. To call Foxcatchera “sports movie” is providing it a disservice. Yes, wrestling provides more than just a backdrop for the narrative, but the most compelling aspect of the two-hour-plus drama is the character study it provides, especially among the three leads. These include du Pont, a man who’s perhaps never heard the word no in his life, striving to gain his mother’s approval; Mark (Channing Tatum), a man, who despite his champion status, struggles to step out of his older brother’s shadow; and David (Mark Ruffalo), a family man who must balance what’s best for his wife and children with his brotherly duties.

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New York Film Festival Review: Citizenfour

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Edward Snowden and reporter Glenn Greenwald in CITIZENFOUR

Series: Special Presentation (World Premiere)

Who would have thought the year’s greatest thriller would be a documentary? In the days following Citizenfour’s world premiere at the New York Film Festival last Friday, various news and entertainment outlets have been lauding filmmaker Laura Poitras’s achievement, and rightfully so. Of all the films this reviewer screened at the 52nd New York Film Festival, none has left an impact quite as deep as Citizenfour.

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New York Film Festival Review: Clouds of Sils Maria

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart in CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

Series: Main Slate (US Premiere)

Set in the breathtaking Swiss Alps, veteran actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) prepares to star in the revival of a play that made her famous many years earlier. The role that catapulted her into stardom, that of Sigrid, a savvy vixen who engages in a power struggle with her older boss, Helena, will be played by troubled “it girl” Jo-Ann Ellis (a mesmerizing Chloë Grace Moretz). Enders will be taking on the role of Helena, one that she is not mentally prepared to play. With the help of her loyal assistant, Valentine (Kristen Stewart), Maria reluctantly faces the challenge head on, and in the process must come to grips with themes of aging—both in terms of the play and in her own life.

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New York Film Festival Review: Inherent Vice

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Joaquin Phoenix in INHERENT VICE

Series: Main Slate (World Premiere, Centerpiece Film)

Movies like this make me feel stupid. I should have known better. Paul Thomas Anderson has made a career on inaccessible, heady, and masturbatory films. No doubt, his work is nothing if not polarizing, but it’s always superbly crafted and will inevitably find its cheerleaders.Inherent Vice is no different. Mind you, it’s not that I don’t have a penchant for deeper, thought-provoking fare. I do. But Anderson has a tendency of dialing it up to eleven. (Before moving forward, I feel compelled to express that I usually make a point never to write reviews in the first person, but with this particular film, I find it difficult writing otherwise, simply because I admit to not understanding what this movie is about, so I’ll tell you how it made me feel.)

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NYFF Live Panels Announced

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msko8dyx5Hs]

The 51st New York Film Festival is upon us, bringing some of the world’s best film’s to New York from September 27 – October 13. And with that, the lineup for its annual NYFF Live panels has just been released. These talks are FREE and open to the public.

(Full schedule and more information after the jump.)

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New York Film Festival Preview: The Gatekeepers

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZepXBymtkUQ]

Screening: Thursday, October 11, 9pm

Venue: Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC

Series: NYFF50: Main Slate

In The Gatekeepers, documentarian Dror Moreh does something unprecedented by interviewing six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s Secret Service. Individually, the “gatekeepers” reflect on their successes and failures during the ongoing struggles between Israel and Palestine and the mission for peace. In what is surely considered a strong contender for a Best Documentary Oscar nomination, this film is among the most astonishing documentaries of the year. (Moreh sites 2004 Oscar-winning documentary The Fog of War as an inspiration.) The level of access Moreh achieves is remarkable, offering a point of view never previously heard in such a medium. The film is ripe with strong narratives as told by each of the six men, as well as varied “textures” that are achieved through sit-down interviews, revealing archival footage, well-composed graphics, and a score that underlines the visuals in a subtle-yet-impactful manner. The narrative can be a bit cumbersome to follow for those not familiar with the political and social struggles between Israel and Palestine, but even still one would be hard-pressed not to appreciate the film’s obvious achievements.

Limité Rating: 4/5

Director: Dror Moreh

Genre: Documentary

Countries: Israel, France, Germany, Belgium

Language: Hebrew with English subtitles

Runtime: 97 min.

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

New York Film Festival Preview: Amour

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekjfj8sLFqs]

Screening: Saturday, October 6, 3pm

Venue: Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC

Series: NYFF50: Main Slate

Winner of this year’s prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, legendary filmmaker Michael Haneke’s Amour tells the story of an octogenarian couple living in France. After Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) suffers multiple strokes, her devoted husband Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) loyally stays by her side, caring for her throughout the duration of her deteriorating health. Amour tells a simple, truthful, emotional, tragic, haunting, and beautiful story—one that is likely to remain with the viewer long after the end credits roll. Both veteran French actors Riva and Trintignant offer exceptionally brave performances, only achieved by baring every bit of themselves to each other and on screen. Though the film’s pacing is slow, it reflects a feeling of quiet sadness that hangs heavily over the couple’s Parisian apartment. Amour is Austria’s official 2012 Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film and is considered an easy favorite for a nomination.

Limité Rating: 4/5

Director: Michael Haneke

Genres: Narrative, Drama

Country: Austria

Language: French with English subtitles

Runtime: 127 min.

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

New York Film Festival Preview: Not Fade Away

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j71yt23H5vw]

Screenings: Saturday, October 6, 6pm & 9pm

Venue: Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC

Series: NYFF50: Gala Tributes

*CENTERPIECE FILM*

*WORLD PREMIERE*

Suburban New Jersey. Mid 1960s. A group of teens form a band in the shadow of some of the biggest names of the time—Rolling Stones, The Beatles. In his film directorial debut, Sopranos creator David Chase crafts a film that’s as much a love letter to the 1960s as it is to the classic tunes of his youth. Joining forces with an ideal music supervisor, the legendary Steven Van Zandt of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and himself a patron saint of New Jersey, the duo captures the essence of the era in great detail, though at times the constant in-your-face references breach on annoying. Not Fade Away feels a bit disjointed at times and is not as strong as Cameron Crowe’s 2000 Oscar-winning Almost Famous (an easy comparison), but the film does manage to stand on its own two feet and will surely be enjoyed by any child of the ’60s with a garage band. Above all else, the soundtrack is pretty boss.

Limité Rating: 3/5

Director: David Chase

Genres: Narrative, Comedy, Drama

Country: USA

Language: English

Runtime: 112 min.

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