2019 New York Film Festival: special events, shorts, talks announced

August 23, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” (Photo by Nikos Tavernise)

Film at Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Special Events, Shorts, and Talks sections for the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13).

Special Events will feature Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club Encore, an extended version of his portrait of the eponymous Harlem nightclub where legendary black musicians like Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, and Duke Ellington performed for an exclusively white clientele. Coppola recovered lost negatives to restore sound, image, and the film’s intended length, and will appear in person for a Q&A.

Joker, the highly anticipated origin story of Batman’s arch enemy, starring a brilliant Joaquin Phoenix as the nefarious villain, will screen in a special sneak preview. Phoenix will join audiences for an extended Q&A along with director Todd Phillips and the creative team behind this stunning new vision of Gotham.

Roee Messinger’s American Trial: The Eric Garner Story envisions the fictional but unscripted trial of recently fired officer Daniel Pantaleo for one of the nation’s most disturbing recent tragedies: Eric Garner’s 2014 murder by police chokehold in Staten Island, which galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement. The film features the testimony of real-life witnesses and friends of Garner, and the participation of two legal teams. American Trial will make its World Premiere at NYFF with a free screening and extended panel, featuring the director and a number of the film’s participants.

Special Events also includes a Screenwriting Master Class with Olivier Assayas, a fixture of the New York Film Festival, who will discuss the process of adapting real events into creative fictions, such as his newest film, Wasp Network, playing in this year’s Main Slate.

This year’s four Shorts programs feature a mix of narrative and documentary films from established and emerging artists, with 9 world premieres, including all titles in the annual New York Stories program and Theo Anthony’s Subject to Review (Program 2). Highlights include new work from NYFF alumni Yorgos Lanthimos, Gabriel Abrantes, Gaston Solnicki, Qiu Yang, Martin Rejtman, Pia Borg, Joe Stankus, Adinah Dancyger, Jay Giampietro, Ricky D’Ambrose, and Joanna Arnow.

NYFF Talks return with On Cinema, wherein festival director Kent Jones sits down with world-renowned filmmakers for an in-depth discussion about films that have influenced and inspired them, illustrated with film clips. This year Film at Lincoln Center presents two such talks: with Martin Scorsese, director of Opening selection The Irishman, and Pedro Almodóvar, a festival veteran and director of Main Slate selection Pain and Glory. Directors Dialogues are special Q&As with filmmakers from NYFF57, discussing the ideas and the craft behind their buzzed-about newest works. This year’s participants are Bong Joon-ho, the Palme d’Or–winning director of Parasite, and Mati Diop, who makes her NYFF debut with Atlantics.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming. Shorts are programmed by Tyler Wilson and Madeline Whittle.

HBO is the presenting sponsor of NYFF Talks, which bring wide-ranging conversations with directors featured in NYFF57 to the public and include Directors Dialogues and On Cinema. HBO also sponsors NYFF Live, which will be announced in September.

As part of their commitment to celebrating filmmaking talent, Warby Parker is proud to return this year as the presenting partner of the Screenwriting Master Class.

The NYFF Shorts section is presented by Netflix.

As previously announced, the NYFF57 Opening selection is Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is the Centerpiece, and Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn will close the festival. The complete lineup for the Main Slate, Projections, Convergence, and Spotlight on Documentary can be found here.

Tickets for Special Events and the On Cinema Talks are $30 for General Public and $25 for Members & Students. Some exceptions may apply for select programs, including Joker and the Screenwriting Master Class. Tickets for Shorts and the Directors Dialogues are $17 for General Public and $12 for Members & Students. Visit here for more information.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale through today, August 23rd and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening and Closing Night.

SPECIAL EVENTS DESCRIPTIONS

American Trial: The Eric Garner Story
Dir. Roee Messinger, USA, 100m
World Premiere

The idea is powerfully simple: engage the services of two actual legal teams to create a rigorous, legally based fictional—yet unscripted—trial that never happened for one of the nation’s most disturbing recent tragedies. The accused is Officer Daniel Pantaleo (only recently fired by New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill), charged in the July 17, 2014 death of Eric Garner with reckless manslaughter and strangulation in the first degree. The judge is played by a seasoned defense lawyer, while the officer is played by the only actor in the cast (Anthony Altieri). Eyewitnesses, bystanders, friends, and his widow, Esaw Snipes, all come to testify; meanwhile, credible expert witnesses who would have likely been called to testify in a real trial provide their testimonies for both the prosecution and the defense to create fair judicial proceedings. Roee Messinger’s film goes deep into the case, placing the audience in the position of the jury. American Trial is a one-of-a-kind film, and this special screening will be free to the public.

The Cotton Club Encore
Dir. Francis Ford Coppola, U.S., 1984, 139m

It’s now clear that Francis Ford Coppola’s eighties constituted his most fruitfully experimental period of filmmaking, when he used the clout from such behemoth masterpieces of the previous decade as the Godfather films and Apocalypse Now to try his hand at films of various genres and budget levels. At the time, The Cotton Club, Coppola’s stylish throwback to those 1930s Hollywood standbys the gangster film and the musical, was considered a costly disappointment, altered seemingly irrevocably due to behind-the-scenes conflicts with producers and financiers. Yet this sophisticated, witty, wildly ambitious movie, starring Gregory Hines and Richard Gere, about the titular Harlem nightclub, where legendary black musicians like Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, and Duke Ellington performed for an exclusively white clientele, was always something special, a rousing American entertainment that was both an evocation of the work of such directors as Raoul Walsh and William Wellman and a loving recreation of the period itself. The brilliance of Coppola’s vision is more apparent than ever in this “reawakened” version, The Cotton Club Encore, for which the director recovered lost negatives to bring the film back to its original length and luster, with restored sound and image.

Joker
Dir. Todd Phillips, USA, 122m

The Joker began life on April 25, 1940 as the anarchic enemy of DC Comics’ Batman, and his appearance was possibly inspired by Conrad Veidt’s permanently, demonically smiling face from the 1928 silent film The Man Who Laughs. The Joker has gone through many transformations and iterations, but his origin story has never been as vividly or shockingly imagined and realized as it is here, in one of the most anticipated films of the year. Join us for a special screening and discussion with the creative team behind this stunning, truly disturbing vision, led by director Todd Phillips and his brilliant star, Joaquin Phoenix. A Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative release.

Screenwriting Master Class with Olivier Assayas

Presented by Warby Parker
The amazing and eclectic career of French filmmaker Olivier Assayas has encompassed autobiography (Cold Water, Summer Hours, Something in the Air), contemporary meta-fiction (Irma Vep, demonlover, Clouds of Sils Maria), literary adaptation (Les destinées sentimentales), and in the case of the epic Carlos and his latest film in this year’s festival, the exhilarating Wasp Network, about a ring of Cuban refugees functioning as spies for the Castro government while living in Miami in the early nineties, intimate narratives based on true stories. In this special discussion, Assayas will talk about the process of turning real events into creative fictions. Starring Penélope Cruz and Édgar Ramirez, Wasp Network is based on Fernando Morais’s meticulously researched 2015 book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War.

SHORT FILM DESCRIPTIONS

Program 1: International (TRT: 89m)
A mixture of narrative and documentary, this program showcases bold, new films by emerging and established filmmakers working in international cinema today.
Programmed by Tyler Wilson.

Party Day / Dia de Festa
Sofia Bost, Portugal, 2019, 17m
Portuguese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A cash-strapped single mother is pulled into an unresolved family conflict as she struggles to host her daughter’s seventh birthday party. Sofia Bost’s 16mm-shot drama, filled with illuminating performances, renders a complicated depiction of motherhood and the inconsolable grievances inherited by each generation.

Blessed Land / Một Khu Đất Tốt
Phạm Ngọc Lân, Vietnam, 2019, 19m
Vietnamese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Searching for her deceased husband’s grave, a mother wanders with her son through a cemetery that has been partially remade into a golf course. Phạm Ngọc Lân’s intricately staged single-location film merges two disparate time periods, creating unnerving harmony between sociopolitical conspiracy and the natural erosion of memory, spiritual calm and modern decadence.

Circumplector
Gastón Solnicki, Argentina/France, 2019, 3m
U.S. Premiere
Gastón Solnicki’s miniature of Notre-Dame—filmed days before the fire—impressionistically links various media the cathedral evokes, including still-life painting and Baroque music, to present-day footage of work and performance.

San Vittore
Yuri Ancarani, Italy, 2019, 11m
Observing security guards as they search and escort children through Milan’s oldest prison, San Vittore depicts the lingering effects of the institution on its visitors. Visual artist Yuri Ancarani’s short documentary remains firmly immersed in a child’s-eye point of view, evoking the young subjects’ increasing understanding of the institution’s purpose with quiet, disturbing tension.

She Runs / Nan Fang Shao Nv
Qiu Yang, China/France, 2019, 19m
Chinese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Set in Changzhou, a city in China’s southern Jiangsu province, She Runs follows a young student after she tries to quit her school’s aerobic dance team. Eschewing close-ups for long shots—around building corners, or from entirely different rooms—Qiu Yang’s Cannes-winning short follows its protagonist’s mounting desperation, implicating the underlying foundation of Changzhou as much as people inhabiting it.

Shakti
Martin Rejtman, Argentina/Chile, 2019, 20m
Spanish with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Not long after his grandmother dies, a twenty-something man in Buenos Aires breaks up with his girlfriend and begins obsessing over her unexpected reaction—but then he meets someone else. The stylistic exactness, narrative shrewdness, and droll pacing emblematic of Martin Rejtman’s cinematic sensibility are perfectly at home in this short comedy of peculiar minutiae and casual digressions.

Program 2: Documentary (TRT: 68m)
This documentary program connects the imperfections of the human experience to the influence of technology and mass media by pairing Pia Borg’s chilling account of the Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic of the 1980s with Theo Anthony’s wry, imaginative essay film about the instant replay system of professional tennis.
Programmed by Tyler Wilson.

Demonic
Pia Borg, Australia, 2019, 30m
North American Premiere
The real and the imagined fold together in Pia Borg’s horror-documentary about the Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic of the 1980s, a mass hysteria during which people around the world “recovered” memories of debauchery and human sacrifices related to satanic cults. Using a cunning combination of archival media coverage, audio footage, and historical recreation by way of computer animation and 16mm, Demonic reframes our current moment of misinformation and distrust, revealing the forces at play between psychiatry, media, and false memory.

Subject to Review
Theo Anthony, USA, 2019, 38m
World Premiere
The latest from Theo Anthony (Rat Film) charts the rise and development of the instant replay system Hawk-Eye in professional tennis, cleverly relating innovative technology and the imperfections of the human experience to the history of cinema, sports entertainment, and humanity’s desire to objectively interpret the world. Featuring music by composer Dan Deacon, Subject to Review is another odd, imaginative, and accessible documentary essay from the Baltimore-based filmmaker.

Program 3: Narrative (TRT: 96m)
From absurdist thrillers and political fantasies to lo-fi sci-fi and body horror, these seven shorts from emerging and established international filmmakers make up this wildly eclectic narrative program.
Programmed by Tyler Wilson.

Automatic
Emma Doxiadi, Greece, 2019, 10m
Greek with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Two young women convince each other they are under threat after accidentally photographing what they believe to be a concealed automatic rifle. Shot in drawn-out, static takes, Emma Doxiadi’s comical mystery comments on Greece’s ongoing refugee crisis in real time, pointing squarely at foolish knee-jerk reactions.

Mthunzi
Tebogo Malebogo, South Africa, 2019, 9m
North American Premiere
While walking home from the store, a young man is prompted to help a seizing woman, and unknowingly demonstrates the danger of doing the right thing. Cape Town–based filmmaker Tebogo Malebogo’s briskly tense script and direction elevate Mthunzi from a simple morality tale into a nervous thriller about implicit biases in unfamiliar circumstances.

Control Plan
Juliana Antunes, Brazil, 2018, 15m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Set shortly after former President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, Control Plan follows a young Brazilian woman who uses her cell phone’s teleportation service to flee the country. Politically serious but always funny, this lo-fi sci-fi from Juliana Antunes (Baronesa) is as much a commentary on the fraught paradigm shifts of 2016 as it is a pointed takedown of limited data plans.

Nimic
Yorgos Lanthimos, Germany/UK/USA, 2019, 12m
North American Premiere
Matt Dillon stars as a professional cellist whose seemingly innocent question to a stranger results in weirdly repetitive consequences to his daily routine. Working with cinematographer Diego García (Cemetery of Splendor), Lanthimos lends his distressing, absurdist vision to the instruments, patterns, and lonesome gestures of modern city life.

Please Speak Continuously and Describe Your Experiences as They Come to You
Brandon Cronenberg, Canada, 2019, 9m
Brandon Cronenberg uses only in-camera effects to tell the hilarious, house-of-mirrors horror story of a patient at an experimental psychiatric facility (Deragh Campbell) who receives a brain implant that allows her to revisit dreams.

Austral Fever / Fiebre austral
Thomas Woodroffe, Chile, 2019, 21m
U.S. Premiere
After an injury places a teenager on bed rest, he and his adult caretaker develop an unusual attraction to his wound. Filmed mostly in dimly lit spaces with southern Chile’s mountain range as its backdrop, Austral Fever is a slow-burning, quietly perverse fantasy about cabin fever, addictive pleasures, and the mysteries of the human body.

The Marvelous Misadventures of the Stone Lady / Les Extraordinaires mésaventures de la jeune fille de Pierre
Gabriel Abrantes, France/Portugal, 2019, 20m
North American Premiere
A female sculpture escapes from the Louvre to experience the aggressive streets of contemporary Paris in this fairy-tale pastiche from Gabriel Abrantes. Slyly raising questions of liberation through crisply rendered CGI characters in direct contact with the harsher outside world, Abrantes critiques the power structures of venerable institutions without ever forgoing his ability to entertain.

Program 4: New York Stories (TRT: 98m)
This program, now in its fifth 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 Madeline Whittle and Tyler Wilson.

Good News
Joe Stankus, USA, 2019, 10m
World Premiere
Novelist Evan is excited to share the news that he’s been accepted to a prestigious summer writers’ colony with his husband and their friends over an intimate dinner party. But the big reveal doesn’t go as planned in this finely calibrated domestic-drama-in-miniature.

Caterina
Dan Sallitt, USA, 2019, 17m
World Premiere
Dan Sallitt intimately crafts a small-scale portrait of an inquisitive and compassionate young woman in this subtly episodic slice of life, following the eponymous protagonist through her ongoing, everyday search for connection among friends, lovers, and fellow travelers.

Moving
Adinah Dancyger, USA 2019, 8m
World Premiere
The act of transporting an old mattress into a new walk-up apartment becomes absurdist, cinematic one-woman choreography in this wordless vignette from Adinah Dancyger, full of humor and pathos, and painfully familiar to city-dwellers.

Foreign Powers
Bingham Bryant, USA, 2019, 17m
World Premiere
A nameless young woman recounts a peculiar dream, set in a mysterious fictional city and populated by her real-world friends and acquaintances, in Bingham Bryant’s vivid, precisely conceived exploration into the uncanny logic and banal strangeness of our subconscious wanderings.

the thing that kills me the most
Jay Giampietro, USA, 2019, 5m
World Premiere
Faces, voices, light: language itself is rendered abstract in this impressionistic fugue about fraught interpersonal dynamics at a weekly social engagement, narrated in retrospect by an exasperated fellow guest.

The Sky Is Clear and Blue Today
Ricky D’Ambrose, USA, 2019, 16m
World Premiere
Ricky D’Ambrose brings his trademark marriage of formalist rigor and sly narrative wit to this faux-documentary account of an American director developing an experimental film for German television about the events of September 11, 2001.

Fit Model
Myna Joseph, USA, 2019, 20m
World Premiere
In Myna Joseph’s deft depiction of a woman fiercely determined to get by on her own terms, Lu Simon (Lucy Owen) is a thirty-something struggling actor navigating day jobs and errands across the city, while juggling negotiations with an unhelpful hospital billing department.

Laying Out
Joanna Arnow, USA, 2019, 5m
World Premiere
This tersely lyrical meditation on sex and gender roles from Joanna Arnow features two fed-up mermaids lounging on a beach, drinks in hand, as they vent and commiserate over underacknowledged frustrations and unspoken desires.

TALKS DESCRIPTIONS

On Cinema: Martin Scorsese

In these annual special events, New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones sits down with world-renowned filmmakers for in-depth talks about films from other directors that have influenced them, their discussion illustrated with film clips. In the first of two On Cinema events that the festival is pleased to present this year, Jones will talk with Martin Scorsese, whose epic crime drama The Irishman is this year’s highly anticipated opening event. Scorsese, known as much for his work as a film historian as for his unparalleled, decades-spanning cinematic career, will guide the audience through a selection of films that inspired this remarkable new work.

On Cinema: Pedro Almodóvar

Among the world’s most beloved auteurs, Pedro Almodóvar has shown films at the New York Film Festival eleven times over the past four decades. This year’s selection is perhaps his most personal film yet: Pain and Glory, starring a Cannes Film Festival–awarded Antonio Banderas in the role of a director—essentially a surrogate Almodóvar figure—who has reached a creative block. As with all of his films, there is a deep wellspring of emotion in Pain and Glory, as well as a rich tapestry of allusions and references to a cinematic past, which this conversation will help elucidate.

Directors Dialogues
The Directors Dialogues are the New York Film Festival’s annual series of intimate conversations, in which a selection of filmmakers from this year’s festival sit down for special Q&As to discuss the ideas and the craft behind their buzzed about newest works. Participating directors include:

Bong Joon-ho

The South Korean filmmaker, whose unpredictable and diverse filmography has taken us from the gonzo monster movie The Host to the intense, bloody melodrama of Mother to the graphic novel action of Snowpiercer, has created perhaps his masterpiece with this year’s Palme d’Or–winner Parasite. Bong will discuss his spring-trap-loaded comedy-drama-thriller with a social conscience—so make sure you see it first to not spoil its many surprises.

Mati Diop

The French-Senegalese director made perhaps the year’s most talked-about debut feature with Atlantics, which earned her the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. Both ghost and love story, the film feels unlike any other, hypnotic and supernatural yet grounded in the realities of life as it’s experienced by those living in contemporary, working-class Dakar. Diop will be on hand to discuss how she negotiated these registers and how she constructed her singular film.

2019 New York Film Festival: Spotlight on Documentary lineup announced

August 21, 2019

“Cunningham 3D” (Photo courtesy of Film at Lincoln Center)

The following is a press release from Film at Lincoln Center:

Film at Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Spotlight on Documentary section of the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27–October 13). This year’s series of dispatches from the front lines of nonfiction cinema features incisive portraits of iconic figures, intimate reports from inside the American prison system, New York stories both personal and political, and much more.

Selections include three documentaries spotlighting larger-than-life subjects, including legendary dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham in Alla Kovgan’s visceral and immersive documentary Cunningham 3DBully. Coward. Victim, in which director Ivy Meeropol unflinchingly examines the life and death of conservative power broker Roy Cohn, who began his career prosecuting her own grandparents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg; and Ric Burns’s Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, which offers a glimpse into the private life of Sacks in a moving tribute to the endlessly curious writer and neurologist. The lineup also features family stories from returning filmmaker Nick Broomfield, crafting his most personal film to date with My Father and Me, a portrait of his relationship with his factory worker-turned-photographer father Maurice Broomfield; Nicholas Ma, whose short documentary Suite No. 1, Prelude captures the perfectionist tendencies of his father, the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma; and Michael Apted, showcasing a different kind of family in 63 Up, the ninth entry in the long-running film series that returns to the lives of its thirteen subjects as they come to terms with illness, death, Brexit, and more.

Two films in Spotlight on Documentary go inside the American prison system, depicting human stories with intimacy, candor, and humor. In College Behind Bars, veteran documentarian Lynn Novick has crafted a four-part chronicle of several ambitious incarcerated students in New York state correctional facilities, witnessing their debates and discussions of philosophy, science, and Shakespeare as they navigate  the daily cruelties of prison life. On the opposite coast, director Tim Robbins captures an extraordinary acting workshop for inmates inside the Calipatria State maximum-security facility in 45 Seconds of Laughter, culminating in a performance inspired by the Commedia dell’arte tradition.

Additional highlights of the lineup include the New York stories of Free Time, which features meticulously restored 16mm black-and-white footage of city life shot by Walter Hess and director Manfred Kirchheimer between 1958 and 1960, and D.W. Young’s The Booksellers, a lively tour of New York’s book world past and present with insights from Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Gay Talese, and a community of dedicated book dealers. Other standout titles are Tania Cypriano’s Born to Be, a film of astonishing access that goes behind the scenes at Mount Sinai Hospital to capture the emotional and physical processes of transgender patients in the midst of surgical transition; Abbas Fahdel’s Bitter Bread, which finds the director also acting as producer, cinematographer, and editor in his portrait of a community of Syrian refugees living in a Lebanese tent camp; and two films that offer new insights into historic political events: Nanni Moretti’s Santiago, Italia, which tells the little known story of the Italian Embassy’s efforts to save and relocate citizens targeted by the fascist regime of Augusto Pinochet after a U.S.-backed military coup, and Sergei Loznitsa’s found-footage documentary State Funeral, which features previously unseen archival images from the days following the death of Joseph Stalin.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

HBO® is the presenting sponsor of Spotlight on Documentary.

As previously announced, the NYFF57 Opening Selection is Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is Centerpiece Selection, and Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn is the Closing Selection. The complete lineup for the Main Slate, Projections, and Convergence can be found here.

NYFF Retrospectives, Revivals, Special Events, Talks, and Shorts sections, as well as filmmaker conversations and panels, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Spotlight on Documentary tickets are $30 for General Public and $25 for Members & Students. Some exceptions may apply.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale through Friday, August 23rd and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening and Closing Night.

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS

45 Seconds of Laughter
Dir. Tim Robbins, USA, 95m
U.S. Premiere

A selected group of inmates at the Calipatria State maximum-security facility have convened for a highly unlikely workshop. In prison they normally segregate themselves by gang or by race, but here they are all mixed together, sitting in a circle. Over the course of several recurring meetings, the men, many of whom have been incarcerated for serious crimes, will take part in a series of acting exercises that enhance bonding and emotional connection, each session closing with the participants bursting into 45 seconds of unbridled, cleansing laughter. The entire endeavor—part of The Prison Project, a remarkable program conducted by the L.A. theater troupe The Actors’ Gang that has proven to cut down recidivism rates—will climax in a final performance inspired by the Commedia dell’arte tradition. In his contemplative, pared down, and wildly engaging documentary, Dead Man Walking director Tim Robbins—who also appears in the film­­, taking part in the workshop—captures these extraordinary sessions, and introduces us to the individuals fearlessly investigating their own performative natures and the masculine social roles they play.

63 Up
Dir. Michael Apted, UK, 138m
U.S. Premiere

Those of us who have devotedly followed Michael Apted’s one-of-a-kind British film series for the past several decades anticipate with great warmth—and more than a little poignant anxiety—returning every seven years to the lives of Tony; Nicholas; Suzy; Symon and Paul; Jackie, Sue, and Lynn; Andrew and John; Neil and Peter; and Bruce. Charting their growth has constituted one of the most rewarding documentary projects of all time, an ongoing inquiry into economic determination and the elusive search for happiness. In the rich, searching, and entertaining latest installment, they are more introspective than ever at age 63, coming to terms with death and illness, the disappointments of a fractured England, and uneasy prospects for their children and grandchildren’s futures. But they also remain, to a person, witty, optimistic, and delightful company.

Bitter Bread
Dir. Abbas Fahdel, Lebanon/Iraq/France, 87m
World Premiere

Among the countless Syrian citizens who have fled their country, about one-and-a-half-million have relocated to neighboring Lebanon. In this patient, heart-rending portrait, Iraqi-born filmmaker Abbas Fahdel, director of the epic Homeland (Iraq Year Zero), settles in with a community of refugees living in a tent camp in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, most of them children. Hopeful to earn a meager wage as they work under the supervision of a Lebanese shawish, who owns the plot of land they’re essentially renting, the adults try to keep their families together amidst flooding and destructive seasonal weather, all the while listening to the radio for news from back home. Fahdel burrows in with his subjects in close quarters, alighting on the various human dramas that occur throughout the camp, including the frustrations of a young man waiting to bring in his fiancée from back home. Most importantly, Fahdel, working as director, producer, cinematographer, and editor, simply lets these desperate yet resilient people—so often treated as statistics—speak for themselves.

The Booksellers
Dir. D.W. Young, USA, 99m
World Premiere

What once seemed like an esoteric world now seems essential to our culture: the community of rare book dealers and collectors who, in their love of the delicacy and tactility of books, are helping to keep the printed word alive. D.W. Young’s elegant and entertaining documentary, executive produced by Parker Posey, is a lively tour of New York’s book world, past and present, from the Park Avenue Armory’s annual Antiquarian Book Fair, where original editions can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars; to the Strand and Argosy book stores, still standing against all odds; to the beautifully crammed apartments of collectors and buyers. The film features a litany of special guests, including Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Gay Talese, and a community of dedicated book dealers who strongly believe in the wonder of the object and the everlasting importance of what’s inside.

Born to Be
Dir. Tania Cypriano, USA, 92m
World Premiere

Soon after New York state passed a 2015 law that health insurance should cover transgender-related care and services, director Tania Cypriano and producer Michelle Hayashi began bringing their cameras behind the scenes at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where this remarkable documentary captures the emotional and physical journey of surgical transitioning. Lending equal narrative weight to the experiences of the center’s groundbreaking surgeon Dr. Jess Ting and those of his diverse group of patients, Born to Be perfectly balances compassionate personal storytelling and fly-on-the-wall vérité. It’s a film of astonishing access—most importantly into the lives, joys, and fears of the people at its center.

Bully. Coward. Victim. 
The Story of Roy Cohn  
Dir. Ivy Meeropol, USA, 94m
World Premiere

This thorough and mesmerizing documentary takes an appropriately unflinching look at the life and death of Roy Cohn, the closeted, conservative American lawyer whose first job out of law school was prosecuting filmmaker Ivy Meeropol’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Moving from the fifties—when he was also chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy—to the crooked deals and shady power brokering of the eighties that led Cohn to becoming the right-hand man and mentor of Donald J. Trump, this film is not merely a depiction of a brutal, ideologically diseased man—it’s an interrogatory work in search of the true character behind an icon of the political right in a deeply troubled America. Featuring interviews with such figures as Cindy Adams, Alan Dershowitz, Tony Kushner, Nathan Lane, John Waters, and a trove of fascinating, recently unearthed archive video and audio material. An HBO Documentary Films release.

College Behind Bars
Dir. Lynn Novick, USA, 222m
World Premiere

Out of the more than 50,000 men and 2500 women incarcerated in New York State, only a tiny fraction have access to higher education. The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) enrolls incarcerated men and women earning Associate and Bachelor’s degrees; it’s a program with wide-ranging benefits, including lower rates of recidivism, and it challenges our prioritization of punishment over education. Veteran filmmaker Lynn Novick, whose producing and directing credits include epochal miniseries Baseball, Jazz, Prohibition, and The Vietnam War, in collaboration with longtime producer Sarah Botstein, have created an intimate documentary event: a four-part chronicle filmed in correctional facilities in Napanoch and Bedford Hills. The film follows a handful of ambitious and inspiring incarcerated students—most of them serving time for serious crimes—as they debate and discuss American history and mathematics, philosophy and science, Moby Dick and King Lear, DuBois and Arendt, and simultaneously navigate the difficulties and cruelties of prison life and attempt to come to terms with their pasts. A PBS release.

Cunningham 3D
Dir. Alla Kovgan, Germany/France/USA, 93m
U.S. Premiere

One of the most visionary choreographers of the 20th century, Merce Cunningham could also be counted among its great modern artists, part of a coterie of important experimenters across media that included Robert Rauschenberg, Brian Eno, Jasper Johns, and his long-term romantic partner John Cage. This painstakingly constructed new documentary both charts his artistic evolution over the course of three decades and immerses the viewer in the precise rhythms and dynamic movements of his choreography through a 3D process that allows us to step inside the dance. Director Alla Kovgan has created a visceral experience that both reimagines and pays tribute to Cunningham’s groundbreaking technique. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Free Time
Dir. Manfred Kirchheimer, USA, 61m
World Premiere
Manny Kirchheimer is one of the great masters of the American city symphony, as is clear from films like Stations of the Elevated (1981) and Dream of a City, which showed at last year’s NYFF. In his latest work, the 88-year-old Kirchheimer has meticulously restored and constructed 16mm black-and-white footage that he and Walter Hess shot in New York between 1958 and 1960. This lustrous evocation of a different rhythm of life captures the in-between moments—kids playing stickball, window washers, folks reading newspapers on their stoops—and the architectural beauty of urban spaces, set to the stirring sounds of Ravel, Bach, Eisler, and Count Basie. The breathtaking footage was shot in several distinct New York neighborhoods, including Washington Heights, the Upper West Side, and Hell’s Kitchen, and features impressionistic stops throughout the city, making time for an auto junkyard in Inwood, a cemetery in Queens, and the elegant buildings of the financial district.

Preceded by
Suite No. 1, Prelude
Dir. Nicholas Ma, USA, 15m
Nicholas Ma—producer of the winning Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?—has made a short, loving portrait of his legendary father, Yo-Yo Ma. Avoiding idolatry, the film uses its casual intimacy to focus on the nuances of craft and the drive for perfection, detailing the world-renowned cellist’s endeavor, at age 61, to record Bach’s Cello Suites for the third and, he says, last time. Filmed in the splendid Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts.

My Father and Me
Dir. Nick Broomfield, UK, 97m
North American Premiere

For decades among the foremost names in documentary, Nick Broomfield (Tales of the Grim Sleeper, NYFF52) has often implicated himself in the filmmaking process, with honesty and candor. Yet never has he made a movie more distinctly personal than this complex and moving film about his relationship with his humanist-pacifist father, Maurice Broomfield, a factory worker turned photographer of vivid, often lustrous images of industrial post-WWII England. These images inspired Nick’s own filmmaking career, but also spoke to a difference in outlook between Maurice and Nick, whose less romantic, more left-wing political identity stemmed from his Jewish mother’s side. My Father and Me is both memoir and tribute, and in its intimate story of one family takes an expansive, philosophical look at the twentieth century itself.

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Dir. Ric Burns, USA, 110m
U.S. Premiere

In the early seventies, the world was watching as Chile democratically elected Socialist leader Salvador Allende. His political ideals and aspirations—among them providing education for all children and distributing land to the nation’s workers—terrified the country’s right-wing, as well as the U.S., who helped orchestrate a military coup that replaced him with dictator Augusto Pinochet. This tragic history has been well documented, but Italian director Nanni Moretti (Caro Diario, Ecce Bombo) adds an angle many viewers may not know about: the efforts of the Italian Embassy to save and relocate citizens targeted by the fascist regime. Told through the testimonies of those who were there, Santiago, Italia is a chilling depiction of living under junta rule and an ultimately inspiring expression of hope amidst dire circumstances.

State Funeral
Dir. Sergei Loznitsa, Netherlands/Lithuania, 132m
U.S. Premiere

As proven in his recent documentaries Maidan, The Event, and The Trial, versatile Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa has become one of the contemporary masters of the found-footage documentary, using the form to study the nature of the Soviet regime and uncover its darkest legacies for contemporary and future generations. In State Funeral, he has uncovered a wealth of astonishing, mostly unseen archival footage of the “Great Farewell” in the days following the death of Joseph Stalin in March 1953: the teeming mass of mourners clogging Moscow’s Red Square, the speech announcing the hasty appointment of Malenkov, and finally Stalin’s burial in Lenin’s Tomb. While speeches about the Soviet Union’s unyielding fortitude and unity in the face of tragedy blare endlessly on speakers, and the pomp and ostentation grows increasingly surreal, the brilliantly edited and sound-designed State Funeral becomes an ever-relevant meditation on not just the horrors but also the absurdity of totalitarianism and the cult of personality.

2019 New York Film Festival: Convergence lineup announced

August 15, 2019

Holy Night
“Holy Night” (Photo courtesy of Film at Lincoln Center)

The following is a press release from Film at Lincoln Center:

Film at Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Convergence section of the 57th New York Film Festival, October 10-13, 2019. The eighth edition of the annual program delves into innovative modes of storytelling via interactive experiences, featuring Virtual Reality, Immersive Cinema, game play, and more.

On this year’s Convergence lineup, programmer Matt Bolish explains, “The work in this year’s edition of Convergence really confronts some of the most pressing issues of the day: humanity’s impact on the environment, how we care for the most vulnerable among us, the terrors of homelessness and the opioid epidemic, with equal measures of pathos and humor.”

This year’s Convergence features three VR programs as well as special events to showcase today’s wide-ranging landscape of immersive storytelling, featuring virtual reality and 360-degree filmmaking from around the globe. The lineup includes the World Premiere of The Raven, a wholly original approach to storytelling combining state-of-the art augmented audio, interactive theater, and elements of game play. In honor of the 170th anniversary of the death of Edgar Allan Poe, the innovative experience guides attendees through a completely transformed historical 5th Avenue mansion where they will uncover details about Poe’s life, legacy, and the mysterious circumstances of his death. The lineup also features the World Premiere of Holy Night, a Rashomon-esque interactive iPad examination of the United States opioid crisis through the lens of three characters affected by addiction in small town America.

Program One features the Anthropocene Project, an ambitious three-film Virtual Reality documentary exploring the ways in which humans have permanently altered our environment, from the Apuan Alps to the Nairobi National Park. Programs Two and Three feature a mix of narrative and documentary VR films, many of which use the medium to present human rights issues facing our world today, including Ghost Fleet, a cinema vérité documentary that exposes human trafficking on a fishing vessel off the coast of Vietnam; Send Me Home, a powerful documentary centered on a man wrongfully imprisoned for murder for four decades; and the World Premiere of Homeless: A Los Angeles Story, a multifaceted exploration of the homeless epidemic in L.A. Other highlights from Programs Two and Three include the World Premiere of inventive experimental film EyelydianYour Spiritual Temple Sucks, a playfully bizarre portrait of a man in crisis; as well as SXSW Virtual Cinema competition selections: the moving Metro Viente,which follows the sexual awakening of a disabled woman in Argentina; and Last Whispers, a beautiful meditation on what we lose when native languages disappear.

Convergence is programmed by Matt Bolish with assistance/support from Rachel Kastner. The NYFF selection committee, chaired by Kent Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming; and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

Convergence tickets for Programs One, Two, and Three are $7 for Members & Students; $10 for General Public. Holy Night is free and open to the public. Premium pricing will apply to performances of the immersive theatrical experience, The Raven.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening and Closing Night.

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
All Convergence experiences will take place at  the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 W. 65th St.), unless otherwise noted.

Virtual Cinema: Program One

The Anthropocene Project
Nicholas de Pencier, Jennifer Baichwal, and Edward Burtynsky, Canada, 2019
TRT: 21m 

Carrara
For millennia, people have been enamored of the beautiful marble that comes from the mountains in Carrara, Italy. That pursuit has forever changed the geological region, creating vast manmade canyons and permanently changing the face of the Apuan Alps. This compelling piece follows a block of the precious stone from quarry to craftsman’s workshop, allowing viewers to grasp the qualities that make this marble so valued before it graces showrooms, galleries, and ornamental architecture.

Ivory Burn
In April 2016, over 100 million dollars worth of confiscated elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns were burned by authorities in Nairobi National Park to send an important message to the local and global community: the illegal ivory trade must come to an end. The fire served as a call to arms for local communities and officials to defend the hunted animals. Ivory Burn allows viewers to witness this historic moment first-hand.

Dandora
The vast scale of manmade waste is made comprehensible in this experience that immerses viewers in Kenya’s largest landfill. Dandora exposes the amount of waste produced by the medical, commercial, and agricultural industries, and explores how this affects the surrounding population: both for its hazardous environmental effects and, more positively, the opportunities it provides the local population to sell what they salvage from the trash.

Virtual Cinema: Program Two 
TRT: 43m

Metro Viente
Dir. Maria Belen Poncio, Argentina, 2018, 19m
Juana uses a social app to arrange a date with Felipe, without mentioning the fact that she uses a wheelchair. Together they will navigate a typically awkward first date and along the way help each other discover something about themselves in Poncio’s elegant 360-degree experience.

World Premiere
Eyelydian
Dir. Ryan Schmal Murray, USA, 2019, 3m
This evocative, wholly original 360-degree experience begins by presenting the audience with abstract images, colors, and sounds meant to replicate sunlight against closed eyelids before evolving into a meditative, dreamlike state.

Ghost Fleet
Dir. Lucas Gath and Shannon Service, USA, 2019, 8m
Modern-day slavery is explored through the eyes of Tun Lin, who at the age of 14 was kidnapped and forced into labor aboard a fishing vessel before escaping. In this VR experience, his gripping story opens a window onto a dark world where countless men and women still suffer at sea.

Send Me Home
Dir. Lonelyleap, USA, 2018, 13m
Rickey Jackson spent 40 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and was only released after a key witness recanted testimony. Now, Jackson has thrown himself into making the most of his life, asking the rest of us to reflect on our own lives as well, in this deeply personal, 360-degree film about time lost and time regained.

Virtual Cinema: Program Three
TRT: 39m

Your Spiritual Temple Sucks
Dir. John Hsu, Taiwan, 2017, 10m
Plagued by problems at home with his wife, his finances, and his . . . everything, a desperate Mr. Chang wills himself into his “Spiritual Temple,” where he seeks the help of his personal guardian to put his life back on track in this surreal and hilarious VR experience.

Last Whispers
Dir. Lena Herzog, USA, 2018, 8m
Language shapes us, defining individuals and cultures. Yet the world’s linguistic diversity is in danger of collapsing; an entire language is lost every two weeks. Herzog’s strikingly immersive VR piece is equal parts lament for disappearing languages and celebration of those on the brink of extinction.

World Premiere
Homeless: A Los Angeles Story
Dir. Jonathan Glancy, USA, 2019, 17m
This heartbreaking and revelatory immersive documentary shines a light on the Los Angeles homeless crisis and those individuals trying to make a change. The film explores multiple aspects of this crisis: how people find themselves without homes, how their belongings are treated as trash by government officials, and how the larger city community often values personal income and business interests above their dignity.
Note: Virtual Cinema: Program Three also includes EYELYDIAN; see Program Two.

Special Events

World Premiere
Holy Night
Created by: Casey Stein & Bernard Zeiger, USA, 2019, 11m

A small-town pastor, a grandmother, and a teenage girl are caught between the conflicting forces of home, family, and community as they deal with their complex relationships to prescription drugs. Both an intimate character study and a broad exploration of America’s opioid epidemic, this interactive experience allows the audience to pivot between the three unique perspectives of its key characters. Each of these storylines evolves independently and in real time, allowing the viewer to capture fleeting moments and subtle parallels between narratives that make every play-through as much a journey for the viewer as the protagonist.

World Premiere
The Raven
Created by: Lance Weiler, Ava Lee Scott, Nick Fortugno, Nick Childs, USA, 2019, 60m
“Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many but few will be grieved by it.” So begins the infamous Rufus Griswold obituary of Poe, who died penniless and unhappy days after being discovered delirious in the gutter on a cold fall morning. The author’s legacy, his ghosts, and even the mysterious circumstances of his death are examined in this immersive theater experience that blends, elements of game play, cutting-edge audio technology, and first-rate storytelling.
*This event will take place at The American Irish Historical Society (991 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028)

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO, Campari, and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Netflix, illy caffè, and Dolby, Supporting Partners Warby Parker and MUBI, and Contributing Partners Hudson New York-an SBE Hotel and IMDbPro. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WNET New York Public Media and Shutterstock serve as Media Sponsors. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

 

2019 New York Film Festival: Projections lineup announced

August 12, 2019

“Tyrant Star”

The following is a press release from Film at Lincoln Center:

Film at Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Projections section of the 57th New York Film Festival, to take place October 3-6. The slate is comprised of six features, seven shorts programs, and two videos that will be looped in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater. This international selection of film and video work expands upon our notions of what the moving image can do and be. Drawing on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques, including experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary realms, and contemporary art practices, Projections brings together a diverse offering of short, medium, and feature-length work by some of today’s most essential and groundbreaking filmmakers and artists.

“Many of the works in this year’s lineup are palpable in their political urgency—radical both in their formal innovation and in their deep engagement with the turbulence of the contemporary moment,” said Projections co-curator Aily Nash. “At the intersection of the visual arts and experimental film, Projections remains a rare platform for various approaches and cinematic traditions to jointly inform and inspire one another. This year, we foreground an array of international feature-length films as well as a strong selection of daring shorter works made by contemporary artists, as we continue to bring together today’s most inventive practitioners working with the moving image.”

Projections features 40 short and feature films, representing 21 countries with six world premieres, six North American premieres, and 19 U.S. premieres.

Among the highlights are the North American premiere of Minh Quý Trương’s striking feature The Tree House; Thomas Heise’s monumental essay film Heimat Is a Space in Time, utilizing both new material and archival footage to reflect on the fraught evolution of Germany’s national identity; a new 35mm restoration of avant-garde film pioneer Pat O’Neill’s 1974 film Saugus Series, a dazzling showcase for his groundbreaking work with the optical printer; Longa noite, the long-awaited sophomore feature from Arraianos filmmaker Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro; and a special free program dedicated to the memory of the late filmmaker and Projections alum Jonathan Schwartz, featuring seven of his 16mm films. The lineup also features new work from several Film at Lincoln Center alumni: Miko Revereza (Distancing), whose No Data Plan screened in Art of the Real 2019; Akosua Adoma Owusu (Pelourinho: They Don’t Really Care About Us), a Projections alum whose short films have also screened in the New York African Film Festival and New Directors/New Films; Luise Donschen (Entire Days Together), an alum of Art of the Real; and Burak Çevik (A Topography of Memory) and James N. Kienitz Williams (This Action Lies), both alums of New Directors/New Films 2019.

Three films in Projections will be shown on 35mm celluloid, including the North American premiere of George Clark’s Double Ghosts, inspired by an unfinished film by Raúl Ruiz, and Joshua Gen Solondz’s lyrical travelogue (tourism stories). Seven films will be exhibited on 16mm, including Tomonari Nishikawa’s Amusement Ride, which observes the inner workings of a Ferris wheel from the inside of a swinging passenger car.

Projections showcases a number of contemporary artists, including new work by Charlotte Prodger, winner of the 2018 Turner Prize, whose SaF05, featured in the 2019 Venice Biennial, marks the third entry in the artist’s autobiographical video trilogy; Beatrice Gibson, whose dream-logic thriller Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters is based on a 1929 Gertrude Stein play; Éric Baudelaire, who spent four years collaborating with students from a Parisian middle school on Un Film dramatique; Patrick Staff, whose The Prince of Homburg meditates upon contemporary issues of gender and queer resistance; Pedro Neves Marques, who imagines an anxious future in his atmospheric, sci-fi tinged The Bite; and feature films by Marwa Arsanios, whose formally audacious Who Is Afraid of Ideology? tracks the influence of the Kurdish Women’s Liberation Movement, and Mariah Garnett, whose Trouble is an intimate essay film about her father and his past as a political activist in Belfast.

Making their Projections debuts are Simon Liu, who crafts an eerie portrait of contemporary Hong Kong in the World Premiere of Signal 8; Gabino Rodríguez, co-directing alongside Projections alum Nicolás Pereda for their shape-shifting docufiction My Skin, Luminous, which follows an infirmed orphan who has lost the pigment in his skin; and Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys, whose Culture Capture: Terminal Adddition is made under the banner of their public secret society New Red Order. Projections also showcases returning filmmakers Zachary Epcar (Billy), Ben Russell (COLOR-BLIND), Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold (Black Bus Stop), Dani and Sheilah ReStack (Come Coyote), Ryan Ferko (Hrvoji, Look at You From the Tower), Peggy Ahwesh (Kansas Atlas), and Luke Fowler, who returns to NYFF with two short films, Mums’ Cards and Houses (for Margaret).

The NYFF is proud to continue its collaboration with MUBI. The curated streaming platform will be the dedicated sponsor of the Projections section for the fifth consecutive year. Following the conclusion of the festival, MUBI will proudly present a selection of titles from this year’s program, making these essential works available to audiences across the globe. Details on the film selections and schedule will be announced at a later date.
Projections is curated by Dennis Lim (FLC Director of Programming) and Aily Nash (independent curator). Shelby Shaw and Dan Sullivan are Program Assistants.

Projections tickets are $17 for General Public and $12 for Members & Students. A Projections All-Access Pass will also be available for purchase.
Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening and Closing Night. Learn more at filmlinc.org/NYFF57Passes.

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
All films screen digitally at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 W. 65th St.) unless otherwise noted.

Heimat Is a Space in Time
Thomas Heise, Germany/Austria, 2019, 218m
U.S. Premiere

Stretching from the dawn of World War I to the present day, Thomas Heise’s monumental essay film reflects on the fraught evolution of Germany’s national identity through the prism of one family’s history. The film, shot in monochrome black-and-white, combines a wealth of archival footage and materials––including letters written by Heise’s grandparents during the war––with new footage in which the director traces vestiges of his country’s national trauma to the very sites and landscapes that once played host to unspeakable violence. As he visualizes his ancestors’ forced displacement across East and West Germany, Heise achieves a moving meditation on the relationship between home and heritage.

Un Film dramatique
Éric Baudelaire, France, 2019, 114m
U.S. Premiere

Shot over a period of four years, Un Film dramatique follows the creative intuitions of 20 budding Parisian artists at Dora Maar Middle School in Saint-Denis as they experiment with cameras on their own terms, theoretically reflect on the medium, and debate issues of ethnicity, discrimination, and representations of power and identity. Humorous, intimate, and illuminating, Éric Baudelaire’s film is a testament to cinema’s collaborative nature, in which the young filmmakers become co-authors and subjects of their own lives.

Longa noite / Endless Night
Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro, Spain, 2019, 89m
U.S. Premiere

Spanish filmmaker Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro’s long-awaited follow-up to Arraianos follows a mysterious, soft-spoken man named Anxo who returns to his hometown in the Galician countryside. There, he is confronted with a series of moral and existential quandaries that bring his past transgressions to bear on a community crippled by poverty and political injustice. Unfolding as an episodic series of encounters and conversations—based on plays, memoirs, and letters from the Franco regime—the film lays bare a system quietly fostering new forms of fascism. Shot by Mauro Herce (cinematographer of Fire Will Come, playing in this year’s NYFF Main Slate), Longa noite gradually expands from a portrait of sociopolitical malaise into a metaphysical mystery in which past and present, fact and fiction, become increasingly indistinguishable.

Trouble
Mariah Garnett, USA/UK, 2019, 82m
North American Premiere

Mariah Garnett’s intimate and inventive biographical portrait of her artist father recounts in his own words his past as a political activist in Belfast and his daughter’s unlikely influence on his life. Through a combination of letters, interviews, archival footage, and uncanny reenactments of the period (featuring Garnett herself in the role of her father), this slyly self-reflexive yet deeply felt film provides crucial insights into his largely forgotten accomplishments and Ireland’s history of sociopolitical unrest, while also documenting the father and daughter’s belated reunion.

The Tree House / Nhà Cây
Minh Quý Trương, Vietnam, 2019, 84m
North American Premiere

In Minh Quý Trương’s striking second feature, a man living on Mars in the year 2045 examines footage brought back from his encounters with an indigenous community in the jungles of Vietnam. As he experiments, his thoughts drift from matters of identity, aesthetics, and the politics of imagemaking, to ritual burial practices, to the seen and unseen forces that shape cultures. Combining elements of science fiction and ethnography, The Tree House is a powerful exploration of how time and environment relate to our understanding of home.

Who Is Afraid of Ideology?
Marwa Arsanios, Lebanon, 2019, 51m
U.S. Premiere

The Kurdish Women’s Liberation Movement has been disrupting gender and ecological hierarchies across the Middle East. In this stimulating, bifurcated film, shot among the mountains of Kurdistan, a village for women in northern Syria, and a farming community in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, Marwa Arsanios uses an array of striking formal strategies––including the frequent disassociation of sound and image––to track the movement’s influence and the efforts of autonomous women’s groups to reclaim land amidst the Rojava revolution.

Preceded by
Mum’s Cards
Luke Fowler, UK, 2018, 9m
U.S. Premiere

In his intimate portrait, Luke Fowler’s mother reflects on her life’s work as a sociologist in Glasgow and, through a collection of hand-written notes, illuminates the personal and political nuances that make up a life devoted to intellectual inquiry.
Free Admission

Special Program:
Appearances and Disappearances: In Memory of Jonathan Schwartz

Taking as their subjects childhood, the transience of seasons, and our shared mortality, the 16mm films of Jonathan Schwartz (1973-2018) devote themselves to the ephemerality of external worlds and a gestural responsiveness to internal states. This program of seven, poetic films made over 15 years—combining cutout collage, lyrical camerawork, and elliptical editing—merge wonder and disquiet, elation and sorrow, moving from intimacies of fatherhood and love to contemplations of nature and culture.

Curated by Irina Leimbacher
For Them Ending (2005, 16mm, 3m)
Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums (2013, 16mm, 8m)
If the War Continues (2012, 16mm, 5m)
Den of Tigers (2002, 16mm, 19m)
Winter Beyond Winter (2016, 16mm, 11m)
A Leaf is the Sea is a Theater (2017, 16mm to digital, 17m)
New Year Sun (2010, 16mm, 3m)
TRT: 65m

Shorts Program 1: News From Home

Distancing
Miko Revereza, USA, 2019, 10m
North American Premiere

After deciding to leave the U.S. and return to the Philippines, Miko Revereza charted his journey on film, creating superimpositions of intimate 16mm images shot in his home, at the airport, and with his family. A coda of sorts to Miko Revereza’s recent feature No Data Plan, Distancing uses personal experience to reflect on the lives of displaced persons throughout the western world.

Come Coyote
Dani and Sheilah ReStack, USA, 2019, 8m
U.S. Premiere

The second in a planned trilogy of films about desire and domesticity that began with Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (2017), Come Coyote examines issues around queer reproduction, intimacy, and motherhood. Collaborators and partners Dani and Sheilah ReStack capture in fleeting, diaristic images the tender and terrifying feelings they have around ushering new life into the world, conveyed with both humor and a powerful immediacy.

Kansas Atlas
Peggy Ahwesh, USA, 2019, 17m
World Premiere

Lebanon, Kansas, is perhaps best known as the geographic center of the U.S. Constructed of aerial footage of small towns and vistas, this transfixing, split-screen essay film pairs Peggy Ahwesh’s images of the region with text by Marianne Shaneen, which borrows from Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, and other social theorists. An unassuming landscape thus becomes an emblem of America and its unnerving blend of beauty and barely suppressed bigotry.

SaF05
Charlotte Prodger, UK, 2019, 40m
U.S. Premiere

Charlotte Prodger skips across continents, charting a course through the artist’s past via the landscapes of Scotland, Botswana, and the American West, in this third entry in the artist’s autobiographical video trilogy. Via voiceover, Prodger meditates on death and desire, intimacy and identity, and, in the figure of an unusually maned lioness, finds a personal symbol for queer desire. Prodger is the winner of the 2018 Turner Prize.

Shorts Program 2: Making Contact

My Skin, Luminous
Gabino Rodríguez and Nicolás Pereda, Mexico/Canada, 2019, 39m
U.S. Premiere

Having lost the pigment in his skin, Matias, an infirmed orphan at a Michoacán primary school, has been quarantined from his classmates; however, the presence and words of novelist Mario Bellatin offer the prospect of healing. Moving from classroom to countryside to a local monastery, My Skin, Luminous is a shape-shifting docufiction that weaves its real-life subject into a subtly unfolding drama, and which speaks to the wider ongoing reforms to Mexico’s public school system.

The Bite / A Mordida
Pedro Neves Marques, Portugal/Brazil, 2019, 26m
U.S. Premiere

In Pedro Neves Marques’s atmospheric, sci-fi-tinged fiction set against the backdrop of a crisis-stricken São Paulo, a team of biologists attempt to thwart a viral outbreak through the use of genetically modified mosquitoes, while, in a parallel story, three lovers living in rural seclusion resist the reactionary politics of a newly appointed conservative government. Marques imagines an anxious present in which the promise of a better tomorrow relies on new conceptions of intimacy, identity, and reproduction.

Shorts Program 3: Signs of Life

The Prince of Homburg
Patrick Staff, USA/UK, 2019, 23m
North American Premiere

Patrick Staff’s vibrant, color-coded short, cleverly uses text from Heinrich von Kleist’s 19th-century play of the same name to explore themes of persecution and punishment, and to meditate upon contemporary issues of gender, queer resistance, and the carceral state.

Tyrant Star
Diane Severin Nguyen, USA/Vietnam, 2019, 16m
World Premiere

The star-crossed melancholy of two separated lovers is memorialized in a cathartic rendition of a beloved pop tune, intertwining the sensual and the toxic within an urban periphery of Vietnam. Tyrant Star is a musical tale of postwar emancipation and trauma.

Billy
Zachary Epcar, USA, 2019, 8m
U.S. Premiere

Zachary Epcar’s oblique psychodrama follows Billy and Allison through an evening of ominous disturbances. As flames dance, flashlights flicker, and domestic objects scatter in all directions, the couple’s home becomes a theater of contemporary anxiety.

Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters / Deux soeurs qui n’est sont pas soeurs
Beatrice Gibson, UK, 2018, 23m
U.S. Premiere

In Beatrice Gibson’s dream-logic thriller, based on a 1929 play by Gertrude Stein, two amateur sleuths—played by filmmakers Ana Vaz and Basma Alsharif—investigate a crime that may not have happened. Pushing narrative beyond its limits to the point of abstraction, Gibson offers a bewitching reflection on identity, motherhood, and storytelling itself.

Shorts Program 4: Beginnings and Endings

Entire Days Together / Ganze Tage zusammen
Luise Donschen, Germany, 2019, 23m
World Premiere

A young girl is cured of her epilepsy just as summer vacation is about to begin. During her last days with her classmates, she’ll come to experience life in a new way. Arranged as a series of elliptical tableaux, this haunting narrative from Luise Donschen (Casanova Gene) captures a simultaneous sense of discovery and disorientation as it proceeds from the confines of the classroom to a wider world of adolescent anxieties.

Hrvoji, Look at You From the Tower
Ryan Ferko, Canada/Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia, 2019, 17m
U.S. Premiere

Ryan Ferko’s mutating portrait of the former Yugoslavia descends from the verdant hillsides to the ruined underbelly of this historical no-man’s-land, linking myth and memory through first-person anecdotes, remnants of ancient artifacts and architecture, and the imported sounds of 1970s stadium rock.

Houses (for Margaret)
Luke Fowler, UK, 2019, 5m
World Premiere

Luke Fowler constructed this tribute to Scottish filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait on the occasion of her centenary. Setting off to Tait’s native Orkney, Fowler creates a record of her life and work through images of her past dwellings, filming locations and notebooks. The soundtrack consists of location recordings made in Orkney and an archival tape recording of Tait reciting her poem “Houses,” in which she reflects on the meaning of home.

Double Ghosts
George Clark, Chile/Taiwan/UK, 2018, 35mm, 31m
North American Premiere

Inspired by an unfinished film by Chilean director Raúl Ruiz, George Clark’s globetrotting short retraces Ruiz’s ill-fated production from the beaches of Viña del Mar and the port of Valparaiso to the cemeteries of New Taipei City. Framed around a conversation with Ruiz’s widow, the filmmaker Valeria Sarmiento, Double Ghosts channels the spirit of this unrealized project into a poetic reflection on the creative process and the power of influence.

Shorts Program 5: On the Move

Black Bus Stop
Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold, USA, 2019, 9m
U.S. Premiere

Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold resurrect an informal meeting ground for black students at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville in the 1980s and ’90s in this ecstatic tribute. In a collaboration with members of the student body, the filmmakers stage a nocturnal celebration of this sacred and historic space through an exuberant display of choreographed song and dance.

Amusement Ride
Tomonari Nishikawa, Japan, 2019, 16mm, 6m
U.S. Premiere

Tomonari Nishikawa’s latest visual sleight of hand, shot on 16mm with a telephoto lens, observes the inner workings of a Ferris wheel, locating intricate structural patterns and crosscurrents of movement from the inside of a swinging passenger car.
(tourism studies)

Joshua
Gen Solondz, USA, 2019, 35mm, 7m

A selection of still and moving images captured in over a half-dozen locations around the globe have been transformed into a bracing, rapidly unfolding cinematic travelogue in Joshua Gen Solondz’s lyrical film, which finds unexpected parallels and echoes among its far-flung locales.

Signal 8
Simon Liu, Hong Kong/UK/USA, 2019, 14m
World Premiere

Simon Liu’s eerie, entrancing portrait of contemporary Hong Kong tracks a series of strange disruptions to the city’s urban infrastructure. Deceptively tranquil 16mm images of everyday life are accompanied by muffled music cues, ominous radio transmissions, and intimations of an impending hazardous event that may never arrive.

Akosua
Adoma Owusu, Ghana, 2019, 9m

In 1927, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote to the U.S. Embassy of Brazil concerning the country’s discriminatory attitude toward black immigrants. Akosua Adoma Owusu conveys this correspondence through montage, juxtaposing voiceover readings of the letters, sumptuous Super-8 footage shot on the streets of Pelourinho, and interpolated images from Spike Lee’s controversial music video for Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Really Care About Us,” resulting in a film that swiftly traces nearly a century of social unrest.

COLOR-BLIND
Ben Russell, France, 2019, 30m
U.S. Premiere

Ben Russell’s visually eclectic Super 16mm work of psychedelic ethnography surveys the history of colonialism in French Polynesia through present-day forms of ritualized dance, body art, and woodworking. Shot between Brittany and the Marquesas Islands, COLOR-BLIND is guided by the spirit of post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin, whose words and art appear throughout.

Shorts Program 6: Solve for X

Saugus Series

PHX [X is for Xylonite]
Frances Scott, UK, 2019, 13m
World Premiere
Frances Scott explores the history and usage of plastic in this imaginative essay film. Using three-dimensional animations, distorted vocal recordings, and the words of Roland Barthes, she connects the founding of the first plastics factory in 1866 and the development of cellulose nitrate, a key element in the creation of film stock.

Receiver
Jenny Brady, Ireland, 2019, 15m
U.S. Premiere

Jenny Brady’s film surveys over 100 years of deaf history from the controversial and damaging Milan Conference of 1880 to a modern-day protest at a university for the hard of hearing. Drawing on a wide range of archival recordings in which communication breaks down and would-be civil conversations devolve into public altercations, Receiver bears out the old maxim that those who speak loudest rarely listen—and those with the most to say are seldom heard.

Saugus Series
Pat O’Neill, USA, 1974, 35mm, 18m
U.S. Premiere

Landscape imagery, archival footage, and animation are hybridized in this dazzling experimental film from 1974, a showcase for Pat O’Neill’s pioneering work with the optical printer. Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

This Action Lies
James N. Kienitz Wilkins, USA, 2018, 32m
U.S. Premiere

James N. Kienitz Wilkins applies his loquacious and self-reflexive sensibility to a frequently hilarious work of cinema as intellectual inquiry. Training his 16mm lens on a foam coffee cup (recalling the austerity of a Warhol screen test) while holding court on a myriad of subjects ranging from the history of Dunkin’ Donuts to new fatherhood, Wilkins offers a dizzying disquisition on looking, listening, and the slippery nature of truth.

Amphitheater Loops
Free and open to the public

A Topography of Memory
Burak Çevik, Turkey/Canada, 2019, 30m
U.S. Premiere

This subtly expansive new work by Burak Çevik (Belonging, ND/NF 2019) combines CCTV footage of urban Istanbul with audio of a family heading to vote in the controversial June 2015 Turkish general election. As talk ranges from domestic matters to political affiliations, shots of the city’s skyline, coastal architecture, and religious landmarks captured the day after the election slowly scroll past. Underlying these eerily serene images is the knowledge that in a follow-up vote five months later, the right-wing government would regain power.

Culture Capture: Terminal Adddition
Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys, USA, 2019, 7m
North American Premiere

The latest video by the public secret society known as the New Red Order is an incendiary indictment of the norms of European settler colonialism. Examining institutionalized racism through a mix of 3D photographic scans and vivid dramatizations, this work questions the contemporary act of disposing historical artifacts as quick fixes, proposing the political potential of adding rather than removing.

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO, Campari, and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Netflix, illy caffè, and Dolby, Supporting Partners Warby Parker and MUBI, and Contributing Partners Hudson New York-an SBE Hotel and IMDbPro. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WNET New York Public Media and Shutterstock serve as Media Sponsors. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

2019 New York Film Festival: main slate announced

August 6, 2019

“Parasite” (Photo courtesy of Film at Lincoln Center)

The following is a press release from Film at Lincoln Center:

NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “Cinema is the domain of freedom, and it’s an ongoing struggle to maintain that freedom. It’s getting harder and harder for anyone to make films of real ambition anywhere in this world. Each and every movie in this lineup, big or small, whether it’s made in Italy or Senegal or New York City, is the result of artists behind the camera fighting on multiple fronts to realize a vision and create something new in the world. That includes masters like Martin Scorsese and Pedro Almodóvar and younger filmmakers coming to the festival for the first time like Mati Diop and Angela Schanelec.”

This year’s Main Slate showcases films from 17 different countries, including new titles from celebrated auteurs, extraordinary work from directors making their NYFF debuts, and captivating features that earned acclaim at international festivals. Nine films in the festival were honored at Cannes, including Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or–winner Parasite; Grand Prix–winner Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story, directed by Mati Diop, an alum of annual FLC series Art of the Real and winner of the 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist award; Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, NYFF’s Film Comment Presents selection and winner of both the Queer Palm and the Best Screenplay prize; Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, awarded Best Actor for Antonio Banderas; Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Jury Prize–winner BacurauYoung Ahmed, which brought home the Best Director prize for Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; and three Un Certain Regard winners, including Oliver Laxe’s Jury Prize–winner Fire Will Come, Albert Serra’s Special Jury Prize–winner Liberté, and Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole, which collected the Best Director prize. Top prize winners from the Berlinale will also appear in the Main Slate: Nadav Lapid’s Golden Bear–winner Synonyms and Angela Schanelec’s I Was at Home, But…, which won the Silver Bear for Best Director. Olivier Assayas makes his 10th appearance at the festival with Wasp Network, while other returning filmmakers include Arnaud Desplechin, Kelly Reichardt, Corneliu Porumboiu, Bertrand Bonello, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Marco Bellocchio, Pedro Costa, and Agnès Varda, whose final film Varda by Agnès will screen posthumously. Making their New York Film Festival debuts are New Directors/New Films alum Pietro Marcello, Lou Ye, and Federico Veiroj, whose work has also screened in FLC’s Neighboring Scenes series, and additional filmmakers new to the festival include Diao Yinan, Koji Fukada, and Justine Triet, an alum of FLC’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.

This year’s New York Film Festival poster is designed by Main Slate director Pedro Almodóvar, whose film Pain and Glory marks his 11th NYFF appearance. Speaking about his inspiration for the design, Almodóvar said, “For the basis of this year’s New York Film Festival poster, I used a photo of a still life that I exhibited at the Marlborough Gallery. The masses of color on which the text is printed are reminiscent of an animated sequence that appears in my latest film, Pain and Glory, though for this version I have chosen less bright colors, using muted shades of red, blue, green, and mauve. These colors correspond to the palette in which I seem to move lately.”

As previously announced, the NYFF57 Opening Night is Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is Centerpiece, and Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn will close the festival.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

The 57th New York Film Festival Main Slate

Opening Night
The Irishman
Dir. Martin Scorsese

Centerpiece
Marriage Story
Dir. Noah Baumbach

Closing Night
Motherless Brooklyn
Dir. Edward Norton

Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story
Dir. Mati Diop

Bacurau
Dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles

Beanpole
Dir. Kantemir Balagov

Fire Will Come
Dir. Oliver Laxe

First Cow
Dir. Kelly Reichardt

A Girl Missing
Dir. Koji Fukada

I Was at Home, But…
Dir. Angela Schanelec

Liberté
Dir. Albert Serra

Martin Eden
Dir. Pietro Marcello

The Moneychanger
Dir. Federico Veiroj

Oh Mercy!
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin

Pain and Glory
Dir. Pedro Almodóvar

Parasite
Dir. Bong Joon-ho

Film Comment Presents
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Dir. Céline Sciamma

Saturday Fiction
Dir. Lou Ye

Sibyl
Dir. Justine Triet

Synonyms
Dir. Nadav Lapid

To the Ends of the Earth
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

The Traitor
Dir. Marco Bellocchio

Varda by Agnès
Dir. Agnès Varda

Vitalina Varela
Dir. Pedro Costa

Wasp Network
Dir. Olivier Assayas

The Whistlers
Dir. Corneliu Porumboiu

The Wild Goose Lake
Dir. Diao Yinan

Young Ahmed
Dir. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Zombi Child
Dir. Bertrand Bonello

NYFF Special Events, Spotlight on Documentary, Convergence, Shorts, Retrospective, Revivals, and Projections sections, as well as filmmaker conversations and panels, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening and Closing Night. Learn more at filmlinc.org/NYFF57Passes.

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO, Campari, and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Netflix, illy caffè, and Dolby, Supporting Partners Warby Parker and MUBI, and Contributing Partners Hudson New York-an SBE Hotel and IMDbPro. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WNET New York Public Media and Shutterstock serve as Media Sponsors. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.

Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram. 

2019 New York Film Festival: ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ is the closing-night film

August 2, 2019

Motherless Brooklyn
Edward Norton on the set of “Motherless Brooklyn” (Photo by Glen Wilson)

The following is a press release from Film at Lincoln Center:

Film at Lincoln Center announces Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn” as Closing Night of the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13), making its New York premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, October 11, 2019. The film will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures later this year.

In an unusually bold adaptation, writer-director Edward Norton has transplanted the main character of Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling novel “Motherless Brooklyn” from modern Brooklyn into an entirely new, richly woven neo-noir narrative, re-set in 1950s New York. Emotionally shattered by a botched job, Lionel Essrog (Norton), a lonely private detective with Tourette syndrome, finds himself drawn into a multilayered conspiracy that expands to encompass the city’s ever-growing racial divide and the devious personal and political machinations of a Robert Moses–like master builder, played by Alec Baldwin. Featuring a rigorously controlled star turn by Norton and outstanding additional supporting performances by Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Mann, and Cherry Jones, plus a haunting soundtrack (featuring a score by Daniel Pemberton, with orchestration by Wynton Marsalis, and an original song by Thom Yorke), “Motherless Brooklyn” is the kind of production Hollywood almost never makes anymore, and a complexly conceived, robust evocation of a bygone era of New York that speaks to our present moment.

New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “Edward Norton has taken Jonathan Lethem’s novel as a jumping-off point to craft a wildly imaginative and extravagant love letter to New York, a beautifully told hard-boiled yarn grounded in the mid-20th century history of the city. What a way to close the festival!”

“NYFF has been my hometown festival for nearly 30 years, and it’s consistently one of the best curated festivals in the world,” said Norton. “Every year I look forward to meeting up with old friends and colleagues to go watch the year’s best films in their program. NYFF always perfectly straddles everything I love about the movies. They balance serious audiences and thoughtful conversations about film with just the right level of glamour and celebratory fun. To have this particular film—which grew out of my love affair with New York—selected for Closing Night is just a huge thrill . . . a dream come true, actually.”

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Closing Night. Support for Closing Night of the New York Film Festival benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its non-profit mission to support the art and craft of cinema.

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO, Campari, and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Netflix, illy caffè, and Dolby, Supporting Partners Warby Parker and MUBI, and Contributing Partners Hudson New York-an SBE Hotel and IMDbPro. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WNET New York Public Media and Shutterstock serve as Media Sponsors. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.

Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

2019 New York Film Festival: ‘Marriage Story’ is the centerpiece film

July 30, 2019

Scarlett Johansson, Azhy Robertson and Adam Driver in “Marriage Story” (Photo by Wilson Webb)

The following is a press release from Film at Lincoln Center:

Film at Lincoln Center announces Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” as Centerpiece of the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13), making its New York premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, October 4, 2019. “Marriage Story” will be released in select theaters and on Netflix later this year.

Noah Baumbach’s new film is about the rapid tangling and gradual untangling of impetuosity, resentment, and abiding love between a married couple negotiating their divorce and the custody of their son. Adam Driver is Charlie, a 100-percent New York experimental theater director; Scarlett Johansson is Nicole, his principal actress and soon-to-be L.A.-based ex-wife. Their “amicable” breakup devolves, one painful rash response and hostile counter-response at a time, into a legal battlefield, led on Nicole’s side by Laura Dern and on Charlie’s side by “nice” Alan Alda and “not-so-nice” Ray Liotta. What is so remarkable about “Marriage Story” is its frank understanding of the emotional fluctuations between Charlie and Nicole: they are both short-sighted, both occasionally petty, both vindictive, and both loving. The film is as harrowing as it is hilarious as it is deeply moving. With Merritt Wever and Julie Hagerty as Nicole’s sister and mom, and Azhy Robertson as their beloved son, Henry.

“What amazed me about ‘Marriage Story’ is the way that Noah keeps the many conflicting emotions between his characters flowing into and around and under and over each other, so beautifully that the film achieves the condition of music,” said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones. “In fact, it actually flowers into song in two of the film’s loveliest and most surprising moments. ‘Marriage Story’ is a heartbreaker, it’s very funny, and it has an emotional complexity that’s worthy of Bergman.”

“I grew up coming to the New York Film Festival with my parents. And it’s where my first film ‘Kicking and Screaming’ premiered 24 years ago,” said Baumbach. “I couldn’t be more thrilled and proud that ‘Marriage Story’ has been selected as Centerpiece of the NYFF. The 14-year-old me’s mind is blown; the 49-year-old me’s mind is also blown.”

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Centerpiece. Support for the Centerpiece of the New York Film Festival benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its non-profit mission to support the art and craft of cinema.

 

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO, Campari, and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Netflix, illy caffè, and Dolby, Supporting Partner Warby Parker, and Contributing Partners Hudson New York-an SBE Hotel and IMDbPro. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WNET New York Public Media and Shutterstock serve as Media Sponsors. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.

Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

2019 New York Film Festival: ‘The Irishman’ is the opening-night film

July 29, 2019

Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in "The Irishman"
Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in “The Irishman” (Photo by Niko Tavernise/Netflix)

The following is a press release from the Film at Lincoln Center:

Film at Lincoln Center announces Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” as Opening Night of the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13), making its World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, September 27, 2019. “The Irishman” will be released in select theaters and on Netflix later this year.

“The Irishman” is a richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity. Based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” it is a film about friendship and loyalty between men who commit unspeakable acts and turn on a dime against each other, and the possibility of redemption in a world where it seems as distant as the moon. The roster of talent behind and in front of the camera is astonishing, and at the core of “The Irishman” are four great artists collectively hitting a new peak: Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino, Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, each working in the closest harmony imaginable with the film’s incomparable creator, Martin Scorsese.

“’The Irishman’ is so many things: rich, funny, troubling, entertaining and, like all great movies, absolutely singular,” said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones. “It’s the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me. All I can say is that the minute it was over my immediate reaction was that I wanted to watch it all over again.”

“It’s an incredible honor that ‘The Irishman’ has been selected as the Opening Night of the New York Film Festival. I greatly admire the bold and visionary selections that the festival presents to audiences year after year,” said Martin Scorsese. “The festival is critical to bringing awareness to cinema from around the world. I am grateful to have the opportunity to premiere my new picture in New York alongside my wonderful cast and crew.”

Campari is the exclusive spirits partner for the 57th New York Film Festival and the presenting partner of Opening Night, extending its long-standing commitment to the world of film and art.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening Night. Support for Opening Night of the New York Film Festival benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its non-profit mission to support the art and craft of cinema.

New York Film Festival Opening Night Films

2018 The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/UK/US)
2017 Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater, US)
2016    13TH (Ava DuVernay, US)
2015    The Walk (Robert Zemeckis, US)
2014    Gone Girl (David Fincher, US)
2013    Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, US)
2012    Life of Pi (Ang Lee, US)
2011    Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Poland)
2010    The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2009    Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, France)
2008    The Class (Laurent Cantet, France)
2007    The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, US)
2006    The Queen (Stephen Frears, UK)
2005    Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney, US)
2004    Look at Me (Agnès Jaoui, France)
2003    Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, US)
2002    About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, US)
2001    Va savoir (Jacques Rivette, France)
2000    Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
1999    All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1998    Celebrity (Woody Allen, US)
1997    The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, US)
1996    Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK)
1995    Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou, China)
1994    Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US)
1993    Short Cuts (Robert Altman, US)
1992    Olivier Olivier (Agnieszka Holland, France)
1991    The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, Poland/France)
1990    Miller’s Crossing (Joel Coen, US)
1989    Too Beautiful for You (Bertrand Blier, France)
1988    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1987    Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, Soviet Union)
1986    Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, US)
1985    Ran (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1984    Country (Richard Pearce, US)
1983    The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, US)
1982    Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1981    Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, UK)
1980    Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, US)
1979    Luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/US)
1978    A Wedding (Robert Altman, US)
1977    One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, France)
1976    Small Change (François Truffaut, France)
1975    Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy)
1974    Don’t Cry with Your Mouth Full (Pascal Thomas, France)
1973    Day for Night (François Truffaut, France)
1972    Chloe in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, France)
1971    The Debut (Gleb Panfilov, Soviet Union)
1970    The Wild Child (François Truffaut, France)
1969    Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, US)
1968    Capricious Summer (Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia)
1967    The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria)
1966    Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1965    Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
1964    Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, USSR)
1963    The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)

 

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.
Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO, Campari, and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Netflix, illy caffè, and Dolby, Supporting Partner Warby Parker, and Contributing Partners Hudson New York-an SBE Hotel and IMDbPro. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WNET New York Public Media and Shutterstock serve as Media Sponsors. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.

Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

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