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 Fantastic Fest: first wave of films announced

July 30, 2019

Fantastic Fest

Boyd Holbrook in “In the Shadow of the Moon”

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

The 15th edition of Fantastic Fest blasts off with the widest selection of weird and wonderful films gathered from across the world to screen in Austin, TX, from September 19 – 26, 2019, featuring an opening night with the US Premiere of highly anticipated new Taika Waititi film JOJO RABBIT with the director in attendance plus the World Premieres of Netflix titles, including Jim Mickle’s brilliant new sci-fi thriller IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON, Vincenzo Natali’s adaptation of eponymous novella by Stephen King & Joe Hill IN THE TALL GRASS, Brad Anderson’s tense and unrelenting FRACTURED, Takashi Miike in person, and much, much more.

Reaching the milestone of fifteen years, Fantastic Fest continues to champion groundbreaking international genre films, bringing a diverse array of global filmmakers to Austin in a highly-controlled explosion of curated cinematic mayhem.

Opening the festival will be the US Premiere of the brilliant Taika Waititi’s hilarious and tender anti-hate satire JOJO RABBIT, in which a lonely young boy growing up in World War II Germany finds his world-view turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism. With Taika himself playing the phantom Fuhrer and a terrific cast, including Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, with Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson.

Also coming in is the new World Premiere from returning alum Jim Mickle. IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON is a mind-bending sci-fi film starring Boyd Holbrook as a Philadelphia police officer who begins tracking a serial killer who mysteriously resurfaces every nine years, defying all scientific explanation. Joining Mickle will be Vincenzo Natali, who returns to the big screen with an adaptation of Stephen King & Joe Hill’s bone-chilling novella IN THE TALL GRASS, starring the ever-amazing Patrick Wilson as one of the unfortunates discovering what horrors hide in the tall grass, as well as Brad Anderson’s latest FRACTURED, starring Sam Worthington as a desperate father trying to find his family at any cost after they mysteriously disappear in a hospital.

“Our fifteenth year is a one-of-a-kind of celebration of the cinema we champion: brilliant and out-there,” the festival’s Creative Director Evrim Ersoy said. “It’s a 15-year-long love letter to the wide spectrum of daring, crazy films, filmmakers, and audience members whom we host in Austin each September. It’s an ode to the independent spirit of cinema that allows us to showcase the diversity of the world at large and helps us to understand it better!”

Flying into Austin to celebrate the US Premiere of his brilliant, hypnotic, and violently hilarious new film FIRST LOVE will be none other than Japan’s unmatched movie maestro Takashi Miike, giving the audience the opportunity to join the director in person to discover the film that had Cannes audiences screaming in their seats with pure joy.

Fantastic Fest will continue to bring the best of Cannes to Austin with the US Premiere of alumni Quentin Dupieux’s newest droll and gory wonder DEERSKIN, starring the ever-amazing Jean Dujardin; the US Premiere of the Romanian noir masterpiece (with a funny streak) THE WHISTLERS from director Corneliu Porumboiu; as well as one of the best discoveries of the year: the magical and highly charged S&M romantic wonder DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS.

Traveling across the globe to seek out the best of the best, Fantastic Fest will host the most unusual, challenging, interesting, and wonderful films of the year, including the World Premiere of Peter Van Goethem’s NIGHT HAS COME from Belgium which tells of a dystopian future using only archival footage. From Germany comes the North American premiere of Fatih Akin’s searing and brutal examination of a psychopath in ‘70s Hamburg in THE GOLDEN GLOVE. And Argentina delivers the North American Premiere of powerhouse high concept thriller 4X4, pitting a petty thief against an inescapable SUV.

A focus on global female filmmakers provides a quartet of mind-bending features. From Greece, Rinio Dragasaki brings the World Premiere of the shockingly whimsical and brilliantly odd COSMIC CANDY. Austria’s Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska tell the story of a very different zombie invasion in the North American Premiere of DER KINDER DER TOTEN. Italian filmmaker Sara Summa explores the final day of a family in devastating detail in THE LAST TO SEE THEM. And finally, from the USA, Jennifer Reeder brings her singular vision of a high school torn apart by a missing cheerleader in the thrilling KNIVES AND SKIN.

Documentaries make a splash at Fantastic Fest with the World Premiere of WRINKLES THE CLOWN, where your greatest real-life nightmares come true… in big, floppy shoes. The World Premiere of Michael Paszt’s NAIL IN THE COFFIN: EL VAMPIRE CANADIENSE takes an in-depth look at the man behind the El Vampiro Lucha Libre grease paint, plus Alexandre Philippe’s masterful autopsy of the classic movie ALIEN in MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN, and the often-hilarious examination of the history of SHOWGIRLS in YOU DON’T NOMI.

Twisted genre comes together in a trifecta of Fantastic Fest films to make you scream. The North America/World premiere of THE CLEANSING HOUR sees a fake exorcist confronted by some very real demons in a highly charged adaptation from the short of the same name; an Argentinian family literally goes to war over their inheritance in the North America Premiere of the black-as-night comedy ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS; and a man finds himself trapped in the deep end while facing a giant alligator in the perfect midnight movie THE POOL.

Fantastic Fest alumni are represented in a blitz of titles this year. Ant Timpson returns with his directorial debut COME TO DADDY, starring Fest friend Elijah Wood as a man with some severe father issues. Daniel Scheinert explores the meltdown of two men over the death of their friend in the hilarious and strangely moving DEATH OF DICK LONG. And Jeremy Gardner along with co-director Christian Stella ask just what is behind the door in the uneasy and masterful blend of genres SOMETHING ELSE.

Finally, AGFA celebrates fifteen years of Fantastic Fest with a beautifully expanded program! Each day of the festival will be treated to a NEW AGFA screening, including the World Premiere of restorations of such outrageous classics as BLOODY BIRTHDAY. THE MCPHERSON TAPE, REFLECTIONS OF EVIL, as well as the 4K Restoration of the “gore cut” of the once-seen-never-forgotten TAMMY AND THE T-REX and a new transfer of Tina Krause’s brilliant and unseen horror nightmare LIMBO.

FIRST WAVE FILM LINEUP

4X4
Argentina, Spain, 2019
North American Premiere, 93 min
Director – Mariano Cohn

A 4×4 car will be the battleground between a brash thief trapped inside and the mysterious man who will do anything to keep him imprisoned.

BLOODY BIRTHDAY: Presented by AGFA + Arrow Films
USA, 1981
World Premiere of Restoration, 85 min
Director – Ed Hunt

The classic Killer Kids slasher, newly restored by Arrow Films and presented by AGFA.

THE CLEANSING HOUR
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 95 min
Director – Damien LeVeck

Reverend Max and his best friend Drew have a hit web show where they make a pretty good living faking exorcisms for hundreds of thousands of fans until the evening a real demon takes over and terrorizes their crew.

COME TO DADDY
New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, 2019
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director – Ant Timpson

When 30-year-old Norval receives a letter from his estranged dad begging him to visit, he is set on a weird path of discovery, unusual encounters… and a lot of violence.

COSMIC CANDY
Greece, 2019
World Premiere, 95 min
Director – Rinio Dragasaki

Anna, an eccentric supermarket cashier with an obsessive taste for a trippy treat called Cosmic Candy, undergoes a quirky transformation when forced to care for a ten-year-old neighbor girl.

THE DEATH OF DICK LONG
USA, 2019
Austin Premiere, 107 min
Director – Daniel Scheinert

Dick is dead but no one knows how, and Zeke and Earl are desperate enough to go to any lengths to stop anyone from finding out the reason… but a small town in Alabama is not the kind of place where secrets can stay buried for long. Soon all hell breaks loose, engulfing the two men in a reckoning they had never even considered.

DEERSKIN
France, 2019
North American Premiere, 77 min
Director – Quentin Dupieux

When Georges buys himself a deerskin jacket, he will find his life on a collision course with madness, crime, and the desire to be the only man wearing an overgarment.

DIE KINDER DER TOTEN
Austria, 2019
North American Premiere, 90 min
Directors – Kelly Copper & Pavol Liška

In this experimental adaptation of an epic Elfriede Jelinek novel, a group of Austrian tourists is killed in a traffic accident before reanimating as zombies and terrorizing a local pub.

DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS
Finland, Latvia, 2019
US Premiere, 105 min
Director – Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää

A heartbroken heart surgeon is introduced to the dark and extreme when his daughter gets her tongue pierced, sending him down a path of pain, dreams, life, love, death, and awakenings.

FIRST LOVE
Japan, 2019
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Takashi Miike

When aspiring boxer Leo discovers that he may not have long to live, he goes all out to help drug-addicted call girl Monica, facing down gangsters, assassins, corrupt cops, and much more over the course of one long night.

FRACTURED
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 100 min
Director – Brad Anderson

An unfortunate accident at a truck stop means Ray has to rush his daughter to the nearest hospital for a broken arm, but when his family disappears, he soon finds himself in a frantic fight to discover what happened.

THE GOLDEN GLOVE
Germany, 2019
North American Premiere, 110 min
Director – Fatih Akin

Based on true events that transpired in the grimy slums of 1970s Hamburg, loner-turned-murderer Fritz Honka stalks his local drinking spot, The Golden Glove, in search of his next victim.

HAPPY FACE
Canada, 2018
Texas Premiere, 97 min
Director – Alexandre Franchi

In Attendance – Director Alexandre Franchi and Actor E. R. Ruiz

An attractive teenager infiltrates a support group for those with facial differences in hopes of learning how to connect with his cancer-stricken mother in Alexandre Franchi’s (THE WILD HUNT) deeply personal, often hilarious, and powerfully inclusive sophomore feature.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
USA, Canada, 2019
World Premiere, 115 min
Director – Jim Mickle

In 1988, a Philadelphia police officer doggedly hunts a serial killer whose crimes seemingly follow no pattern, but he hasn’t considered how far the repercussions of his hunt may go.

IN THE TALL GRASS
Canada, 2019
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Vincenzo Natali

Adapted from the eponymous novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, IN THE TALL GRASS follows siblings Cal and Becky who find themselves trapped within a vast field of tall grass when they venture in to answer the cries of a young boy.

JOJO RABBIT
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Taika Waititi

In Attendance – Director Taika Waititi

Writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

KNIVES AND SKIN
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 109 min
Director – Jennifer Reeder

The disappearance of popular teenager Carolyn Harper has a profound ripple effect across her small Midwest town in Jennifer Reeder’s hypnotic musical mystery.

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA
Sweden, Denmark, 2019
Texas Premiere, 86 min
Director – Johannes Nyholm

When a disconnected couple take a camping trip in an attempt to mend their marriage after tragedy, they find themselves tormented by a peculiar band of misfits.

THE LAST TO SEE THEM
Germany, 2019
Texas Premiere, 79 min
Director – Sara Summa

One summer evening in rural Italy, the Durati family is murdered during a home robbery. THE LAST TO SEE THEM chronicles the previous — and final — day of their lives.

LIMBO: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
USA, 1999
Texas Premiere of Restoration, 55 min
Director – Tina Krause

Tina Krause’s unseen and unreal shot-on-video horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

THE MCPHERSON TAPE: Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!
USA, 1989
World Premiere of Restoration, 63 min
Director – Dean Alito

The world’s first found footage horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 93 min
Director – Alexandre O. Philippe

Following up his deconstruction of PSYCHO’s shower scene in 78/52, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe is back with his analysis of ALIEN, its origins, and the impact of Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi shocker.

NAIL IN THE COFFIN: EL VAMPIRO CANADIENSE
Canada, 2019
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Michael Paszt

In Attendance – Director Michael Paszt

An intimate and heartfelt look at professional wrestler Vampiro’s past, and his new life navigating the management of a lucha libre federation in Mexico, while raising his teenage daughter in Canada.

NIGHT HAS COME
Belgium, 2019
World Premiere, 56 min
Director – Peter Van Goethem

In Attendance – Director Peter Van Goethem

In a dystopian society, the population is threatened by a virus eating its way through the brain, erasing memories. After developing a treatment to store and classify memories, the State requires citizens to comply.

THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION: Presented by AGFA + Severin Films
Canada, 1985
World Premiere 2K Restoration, 93 min
Director – Michael Rubbo

The Canadian children’s oddity takes youthful fantasy to strange new places in a brand new 2K restoration.

THE POOL
Thailand, 2018
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director – Ping Lumprapleng

When a dog trainer and his pet finish their commercial gig, it’s time to head home and enjoy a lazy afternoon floating in the pool… until he wakes up to the pool being drained and no way out.

REFLECTIONS OF EVIL: Presented by AGFA
USA, 2002
World Premiere of Restoration, 137 min
Director – Damon Packard

The new ground zero for gonzo horror surrealism in the 21st century, newly preserved by AGFA.

ROCK, PAPER, AND SCISSORS
Argentina, 2019
North American Premiere, 83 min
Directors – Macarena García Lenzi & Martín Blousson

When Magdalena returns to Argentina to confront her half-siblings about her share of the inheritance, the stage is set for a family reunion both bloody and brilliant.

SHE MOB: Presented by AGFA + Something Weird
USA, 1968
World Premiere 2K Restoration, 82 min
Director – Harry Wuest

A gang of lesbian prison escapees kidnaps a gigolo in a 2K preservation of this sexploitation classic.

SOMETHING ELSE
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 83 min
Directors – Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella

In Attendance – Directors Jeremy Gardner & Christian Stella

When Hank’s longtime girlfriend Abby leaves him, he spirals into a cycle of drinking and depression. But it’s the monster that shows up every night that’s really driving him crazy.

SON OF THE WHITE MARE
Hungary, 1981
US Premiere 4K Restoration, 81 min
Director – Marcell Jankovics

A psychedelic animated cult classic is back on the big screen in this brand-new restoration. Three brothers join forces to restore order in their kingdom, encountering bizarre and mind-bending challenges along the way.

SWALLOW
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director – Carlo Mirabella-Davis

Beautiful newlywed Hunter has a perfect home, perfect life, and perfect husband. When the pressure to maintain that perfection builds after the announcement of her pregnancy, she develops an unusual craving: swallowing random household objects.

TAMMY AND THE T-REX: Presented by AGFA + Vinegar Syndrome
USA, 1994
World Premiere of Restoration, 91 min
Director – Stewart Raffill

Fully restored and ready to tear your head off. Literally.

THE WAVE
United States, 2019
World Premiere, 87 min
Director – Gille Klabin

Frank (Justin Long), a bored corporate lawyer, decides to shake it up with a wild night out. In the process, he takes a mysterious drug that launches him into a mind-bending time travel adventure.

THE WHISTLERS
Romania, 2019
US Premiere, 97 min
Director – Corneliu Porumboiu

Corneliu Porumboiu mixes Romanian New Wave with Hollywood noir beats as he follows a corrupt detective who helps a wealthy criminal escape from jail by learning the ancient, secret language of silbo whistling.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!
Russia, 2019
Texas Premiere, 100 min
Director – Kirill Sokolov

In Attendance – Director Kirill Sokolov

After agreeing to kill his girlfriend’s father, Matvei gets in way over his head when he arrives at her parents’ apartment to learn her dad’s a cop.

WRINKLES THE CLOWN
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 78 min
Director – Michael Beach Nichols

In Attendance – Director Michael Beach Nichols

Pennywise isn’t real. But Wrinkles is. This documentary explores the story of the infamous freaky clown from Naples, Florida, who makes a living being hired by parents to terrorize their naughty children.

YOU DON’T NOMI
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 94 min
Director – Jeffrey McHale

In Attendance – Director Jeffrey McHale

Using cleverly edited clips of Paul Verhoeven’s genre-spanning filmography, Jeffrey McHale’s video essay explores the decidedly un-titillating and delightfully inexplicable SHOWGIRLS and its continued, ever-expanding legacy.

ATTEND:
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Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world. In years past, the festival has been home to the world premieres of BONE TOMAHAWK, JOHN WICK, FRANKENWEENIE, MACHETE KILLS, RED DAWN, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, APOCALYPTO, ZOMBIELAND, RED, SPLIT, HALLOWEEN, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE, MID 90s, and SUSPIRIA while the guest roster has included such talent as Tim Burton, Nicolas Winding-Refn, Lilly and Lana Wachowski, Robert Rodriguez, Rian Johnson, Bill Murray, Keanu Reeves, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Edward Norton, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Karl Urban, Josh Hartnett, The RZA, Dolph Lundgren, Paul Rudd, Bill Pullman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kevin Smith, Jon Favreau, George Romero, Darren Aronofsky, Mike Judge, Karyn Kusama, M. Night Shyamalan, James McAvoy, Vince Vaughn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jonah Hill, Barbara Crampton and Jessica Harper. Fantastic Fest also features world, national, and regional premieres of new, up-and-coming genre films. Fantastic Fest has seen the acquisition of many titles, including BULLHEAD, KILL LIST, MONSTERS, KLOWN, THE FP, PENUMBRA, HERE COMES THE DEVIL, NO REST FOR THE WICKED, VANISHING WAVES, COMBAT GIRLS, I DECLARE WAR, THE PERFECTION, and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID. Fantastic Fest is held each year at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Alamo Drafthouse has been named the best theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, Wired, and TIME. Variety included Fantastic Fest in a list of “10 Film Festivals We Love” and was also named one of the “25 coolest film festivals” by Moviemaker Magazine.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in 1997 as a single-screen mom and pop repertory theater in Austin, TX. Twenty-two years later, with 40 locations and counting, Alamo Drafthouse has been called “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly and “the best theater in the world” by Wired. Alamo Drafthouse has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star-studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse created Fantastic Fest, a world-renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of genre cinema from independents, international filmmakers, and major Hollywood studios. Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art gallery, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and movie properties, including Star Wars, Star Trek, and Universal Monsters. Alamo Drafthouse continues to expand its brand in new and exciting ways, including Birth.Movies.Death., an entertainment content platform for movie lovers, and the American Genre Film Archive, a non-profit film archive dedicated to preserving, restoring, and sharing film.

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 courtesy of Netflix)

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.

2019 Venice International Film Festival: lineup announced

July 25, 2019

by Carla Hay

Brad Pitt in “Ad Astra” (Photo by Francois Duhamel)

The 76th annual Venice International Film Festival—which takes place August 28 to September 7, 2019 in Venice, Italy—has announced its lineup. The high-profile U.S. releases competing for the festival’s biggest prize (The Golden Lion) are the outer-space drama “Ad Astra,” starring Brad Pitt; the supervillain drama “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix; the romantic drama “Marriage Story,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver; and the political drama “The Laundromat,” starring Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman.

In 2018, the Venice International Film Festival signed the 5050×2020 pledge to have 50 percent of the festival’s films directed by females, by the year 2020. But the male-dominated lineup of directors for the 2019 edition of the festival shows that it has a long way to go in fulfilling that promise. Only 14 of the 64 feature-length films (or 22 percent) announced in the list below have female directors.

Even more disturbing, considering the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, is that the Venice International Film Festival has selected director Roman Polanski’s movie “An Officer and a Spy” as one of the films competing for the festival’s grand prize. In 1977, Polanski was convicted of statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in the Los Angeles area. He fled the United States in January 1978, to avoid his prison sentence. He has been a fugitive of the law ever since, and he is currently living in France. In 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Polanski. (He won an Oscar for Best Director, for the 2002 film “The Pianist.” ) Convicted rapist Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, who is facing criminal prosecution  and numerous lawsuits for sex crimes, have also been expelled from the Academy. Polanski’s “An Officer and a Spy” stars Oscar winner Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) as a French army office investigating the Dreyfus Affair, an anti-Semitism case in France.

The Venice International Film Festival is one of the most important festivals in the world, and it serves as a launching pad for likely Oscar contenders. In 2018, movies that had their world premieres at the festival that went on to Oscar glory included “Roma,” “The Favourite,” “A Star is Born” and “First Man.”

Some of the high-profile movies that will premiere out of competition in the 2019 edition of the festival include the music documentary “Roger Waters: Us + Them,” director Alex Gibney’s political documentary “Citizen K” and Waiting for the Barbarians,” starring Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson. Mexican actor Gael García Bernal has two movies at the festival: “Wasp Network” (co-starring Penélope Cruz) and “Ema” (co-starring Mariana Di Girolamo).

The festival’s opening-night film is “The Truth,” starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke. It’s the first film from award-winning director Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”) to be made outside of his native Japan and with non-Japanese stars. The festival’s closing-night film is “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” an art-heist thriller starring Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland.

Here is the lineup for the 2019 Venice International Film Festival:

IN COMPETITION

“A Herdade,” Tiago Guedes (Portugal, France)
“Ad Astra,” James Gray (U.S.)
“About Endlessness,” Roy Andersson (Sweden)
“An Officer and a Spy,” Roman Polanski (France)
“Babyteeth,” Shannon Murphy (Australia)
“Ema,” Pablo Larrain (Chile)
“Guest of Honor,” Atom Egoyan (Canada)
“Gloria Mundi,” Robert Guediguian (France)
“Joker,” Todd Philips (U.S.)
“La Mafia non è più quella di Una Volta,” Franco Maresco
“The Laundromat,” Steven Soderbergh (U.S.)
“Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach (U.S.)
“Martin Eden,” Pietro Marcello (Italy, France, Germany)
“The Mayor of Rione Sanità,” Mario Martone (Italy, France)
“No. 7 Cherry Lane,” Yonfan (China)
“The Painted Bird,” Vaclav Marhoul (Czech Republic)
“The Perfect Candidate,” Haifaa Al-Mansour (Saudi Arabia, Germany)
“Saturday Fiction,” Lou Ye (China)
“The Truth,” Kore-eda Hirokazu (France, Japan) – *Opening Film*
“Waiting for the Barbarians,” Ciro Guerra (Italy)
“Wasp Network,” Olivier Assayas (France, Belgium)

OUT OF COMPETITION – Fiction

“Adults in the Room,” Costa-Gavras (France, Greece)
“The Burnt Orange Heresy,” Giuseppe Capotondi (U.K., Italy) – *Closing Film*
“The King,” David Michod (U.K., Hungary)
“Mosul,” Matthew Michael Carnahan (U.S.)
“Seberg,” Benedict Andrews (U.S.)
“Tutto il mio folle amore,” Gabriele Salvatores (Italy)
“Vivere,” Francesca Archibugi (Italy)

OUT OF COMPETITION – Non-Fiction

“45 Seconds of Laughter,” Tim Robbins (U.S.)
“Citizen K,” Alex Gibney (U.K., U.S.)
“Citizen Rosi,” Didi Gnocchi, Carolina Rosi (Italy)
“Collective,” Alexander Nanau (Romania, Luxembourg)
“I Diari di Angela – Noi Due Cineasti” Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi (Italy)
“Il pianeta in mare,” Daniele Segre (Italy)
“The Kingmaker,” Lauren Greenfield (U.S.)
“Roger Waters: Us + Them,” Roger Waters (U.K.)
“State Funeral,” Sergei Loznitsa (The Netherlands, Lithuania)
“Woman,” Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Anastasia Mikova (France)

OUT OF COMPETITION – Special Screenings

“Electric Swan,” Konstantina Kotzamani (France, Greece, Argentina)
“Eyes Wide Shut,” Stanley Kubrick (U.S., U.K.)
“Irreversible – Inversion Integrale,” Gaspar Noe (France)
“Never Just a Dream: Stanley Kubrick And Eyes Wide Shut,” Matt Wells (U.K.)
“The New Pope” (Episodes 2 and 7) Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, U.S.)
“No One Left Behind,” Guillermo Arriaga (Mexico)
“ZeroZeroZero,” (Episodes 1 and 2) Stefano Sollima (Italy, France)

HORIZONS

“Atlantis,” Valentyn Vasyanovych (Ukraine)
“Bik Eneich – Un Fils,” Mehdi M. Barsaoui (Tunisia, France, Lebanon, Qatar)
“Blanco en Blanco,” Theo Court (Spain, Chile, France, Germany)
“Balloon,” Pema Tseden (China)
“The Criminal Man,” Dmitry Mamuliya (Georgia, Russia)
“Giants Being Lonely,” Grear Patterson (U.S.)
“Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,” Sahara Karimi (Afghanistan)
“Just 6.5,” Saeed Roustayi (Iran)
“Madre,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain, France)
“Mes Jours de Gloire,” Antoine De Bary (France)
“Moffie,” Oliver Hermanus (South Africa)
“Nevia,” Nunzia De Stefano (Italy)
“Pelican Blood,” Katrin Gebbe (Germany, Bulgaria)
“Revenir,” Jessica Palud (France)
“Rialto,” Peter Mackie Burns (Ireland)
“Shadow of Water,” Sasidharan Sanal Kumar (India)
“Sole,” Carlo Sironi (Italy)
“Verdict,” Raymund Ribas Gutierrez (Philippines)
“Zumiriki,” Oskar Alegria (Spain)

2019 Toronto International Film Festival: gala and special presentations announced

July 23, 2019

TIFF logo

Tom Hanks in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Photo by Lacey Terrell)

The following is a press release from the Toronto International Film Festival:

TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente today announced the first round of titles selected for the Gala and Special Presentations programmes at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. This first batch of films from the 2019 Official Selection features 18 Galas and 38 Special Presentations.

“Some of the year’s biggest films will land in Toronto this September,” said Bailey, Co-Head and Artistic Director of TIFF. “We’re thrilled to unveil Galas and Special Presentations that bring the brightest lights in film to our Festival audience. Our new programming team has been hard at work for months to deliver the compelling stories, acclaimed filmmakers, and top onscreen talent that mark our two highest-profile sections.”

“I’m delighted to step into my first Festival as TIFF Co-Head to such a powerful slate of films,” said Vicente, Co-Head and Executive Director of TIFF. “Fast-paced, boundary-pushing, satirical — this lineup has films representing every corner of the cinematic landscape on top of a strong number of World Premieres. It’s a pleasure to be able to share these films with audiences for the first time.”   Of the Gala films announced today, 50% of titles are directed or co-directed by women — a record number for the programme. This year’s selection also includes 29 World Premieres, six International Premieres, 13 North American Premieres, and eight Canadian Premieres.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.

TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente today announced the first round of titles selected for the Gala and Special Presentations programmes at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. This first batch of films from the 2019 Official Selection features 18 Galas and 38 Special Presentations.

“Some of the year’s biggest films will land in Toronto this September,” said Bailey, Co-Head and Artistic Director of TIFF. “We’re thrilled to unveil Galas and Special Presentations that bring the brightest lights in film to our Festival audience. Our new programming team has been hard at work for months to deliver the compelling stories, acclaimed filmmakers, and top onscreen talent that mark our two highest-profile sections.”

“I’m delighted to step into my first Festival as TIFF Co-Head to such a powerful slate of films,” said Vicente, Co-Head and Executive Director of TIFF. “Fast-paced, boundary-pushing, satirical — this lineup has films representing every corner of the cinematic landscape on top of a strong number of World Premieres. It’s a pleasure to be able to share these films with audiences for the first time.”   Of the Gala films announced today, 50% of titles are directed or co-directed by women — a record number for the programme. This year’s selection also includes 29 World Premieres, six International Premieres, 13 North American Premieres, and eight Canadian Premieres.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.

GALAS 2019

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Directed by Marielle Heller | USA
World Premiere

Abominable
Directed by Jill Culton | USA
World Premiere

American Woman
Directed by Semi Chellas | Canada
Canadian Premiere

Blackbird
Directed by Roger Michell | United Kingdom World Premiere

Clemency
Directed by Chinonye Chukwu | USA  International Premiere

Ford v Ferrari
Directed by James Mangold | USA Canadian Premiere

The Goldfinch
Directed by John Crowley | USA World Premiere

Harriet
Directed by Kasi Lemmons | USA
World Premiere

Hustlers
Directed by Lorene Scafaria | USA
World Premiere

Joker
Directed by Todd Phillips | USA
North American Premiere

Just Mercy
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton | USA World Premiere

*Opening Night Film*
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band
Directed by Daniel Roher | Canada
World Premiere

Ordinary Love
Directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn | United Kingdom
World Premiere

*Closing Night Film*
Radioactive
Directed by Marjane Satrapi | United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Sky Is Pink
Directed by Shonali Bose | India
World Premiere

The Song of Names
Directed by François Girard | Canada
World Premiere

True History of the Kelly Gang
Directed by Justin Kurzel | Australia
World Premiere

Western Stars
Directed by Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen | USA
World Premiere

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 2019

A Herdade
Directed by Tiago Guedes | Portugal
North American Premiere

Bad Education
Directed by Cory Finley | USA
World Premiere

Coming Home Again
Directed by Wayne Wang | USA/South Korea
World Premiere

Dolemite Is My Name
Directed by Craig Brewer | USA
World Premiere

Ema
Directed by Pablo Larraín | Chile
North American Premiere

Endings, Beginnings
Directed by Drake Doremus | USA
World Premiere

Frankie
Directed by Ira Sachs | France/Portugal
North American Premiere

The Friend
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite | USA
World Premiere

Greed
Directed by Michael Winterbottom | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Guest of Honour
Directed by Atom Egoyan | Canada
North American Premiere

Heroic Losers (La odisea de los giles)
Directed by Sebastian Borensztein | Argentina/Spain
International Premiere

Honey Boy
Directed by Alma Har’el | USA
International Premiere

Hope Gap
Directed by William Nicholson | United Kingdom
World Premiere

How to Build a Girl
Directed by Coky Giedroyc | United Kingdom
World Premiere

*Opening Special Presentations Film*
I Am Woman
Directed by Unjoo Moon | Australia
World Premiere

Jojo Rabbit
Directed by Taika Waititi | USA
World Premiere

Judy
Rupert Goold | United Kingdom
Directed by Canadian Premiere

Knives Out
Directed by Rian Johnson | USA
World Premiere

La Belle Époque
Directed by Nicolas Bedos | France
North American Premiere

The Laundromat
Directed by Steven Soderbergh | USA
North American Premiere

The Lighthouse
Directed by Robert Eggers | USA
North American Premiere

Marriage Story
Directed by Noah Baumbach | USA
Canadian Premiere

Military Wives
Directed by Peter Cattaneo | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Motherless Brooklyn
Directed by Edward Norton | USA
International Premiere

No.7
Directed by Cherry Lane Yonfan | Hong Kong
North American Premiere

The Other
Directed by Lamb Malgorzata Szumowska | Belgium/Ireland/USA
World Premiere

Pain and Glory
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar | Spain
Canadian Premiere

The Painted Bird
Directed by Václav Marhoul | Czech Republic/Ukraine/Slovakia
North American Premiere

Parasite (Gisaengchung)
Directed by Bong Joon-ho | South Korea
Canadian Premiere

Pelican Blood (Pelikanblut)
Directed by Katrin Gebbe | Germany/Bulgaria
North American Premiere

The Personal History of David Copperfield
Directed by Armando Iannucci | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu)
Directed by Céline Sciamma | France
Canadian Premiere

The Report
Directed by Scott Z. Burns | USA
International Premiere

Saturday Fiction (Lan Xin Da Ju Yuan)
Directed by Lou Ye | China
North American Premiere

The Two Popes
Directed by Fernando Meirelles | USA/United Kingdom/Italy/Argentina
Canadian Premiere

Uncut Gems
Directed by Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie | USA
International Premiere

Weathering With You
Directed by Makoto Shinkai | Japan
North American Premiere

While at War (Mientras Dure La Guerra)
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar | Spain/Argentina
World Premiere

For film synopses, cast lists, images, and more information see tiff.net/galas and tiff.net/specialpresentations.

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2019 51Fest: movie reviews and recaps

July 22, 2019

by Carla Hay

Civitas Public Affairs Group partner Katherine Grainger, Supermajority co-founder Ai-jen Poo, Women in the World founder Tina Brown, Supermajority co-founder Cecile Richards, filmmaker Raphaela Neihausen, filmmaker Yoruba Richen and 51Fest program director Anne Hubbell at the Supermajority panel during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 19, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)

The inaugural 51Fest, a New York City film festival aimed at promoting movies about women, was an inspiring experience and a resounding success: All of the offerings (which took place at IFC Center, except for one screening at the SVA Theatre) sold out, and several stars attended the event, which took place from July 18 to July 21, 2019. The festival, which is presented by feminist organization Women in the World and the independent arthouse cineplex IFC Center gets its name from the fact that women make up 51 percent of the U.S. population and at least half of all moviegoers. All of the selected projects for 51Fest have at least one female producer or a female director. Each screening had a post-screening Q&A with the someone involved in the film, whether it was a star of the movie, a director, a writer and/or producer.

Most of the movies in the first 51Fest lineup already had their world premieres at the Sundance Film Festival or South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, but there are a few offerings that had their world premieres at 51Fest: The first episode of the Netflix limited series “Unbelieable,” a drama starring Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever, as well as the Netflix comedy film “Otherhood,” starring Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman.

Tina Brown and Kathy Griffin at the New York premiere of “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story” during 51Fest at SVA Theatre in New York City on July 18, 2019. (Photo by Carlos Sanfer/51Fest)

The opening-night film was “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story,” a documentary chronicling controversial comedian Kathy Griffin’s comeback tour after being blackballed from most of the entertainment industry in 2017 because she posed for a photo holding a fake, bloody head of Donald Trump. “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story” got mostly positive reviews after its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. Griffin did a post-screening Q&A with Women in the World founder Tina Brown.

On July, 19, there was a panel called “Women in the World Spotlight: Supermajority,” also moderated by Brown . The panel featured former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and Ai-jen Poo, the co-founders (along with Alicia Garza) of Supermajority, an activist organization aimed at empowering women. Also on the panel was Civitas Public Affairs Group partner Katherine Grainger. At the panel discussion, filmmaker Yoruba Richen previewed an exclusive clip of the forthcoming documentary “And She Could Be Next,” about a movement of women of color claiming political power.

According to a 51Fest press release: “The conversation highlighted the new organization and centered on the panelists’ personal stories of activism, their plan to shape a ‘New Deal’ for women and elevate women’s stories to where they belong — the center of the stage, the debate and the forefront of change.”

Women in the World founder Tina Brown, and Julianne Moore at the New York premiere of “After the Wedding” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)

Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore did a Q&A with moderator Brown after the New York premiere of her dramatic film “After the Wedding.” (Click here to read the entire interview.) “After the Wedding” (a remake of the 2006 Danish film directed by Susanne Bier) is an emotionally riveting movie about three people (played by Moore, Michelle Williams and Billy Crudup) and how they are connected to a family’s secrets and lies that get exposed in the story. The movie is set for release in select U.S. theaters on August 9, 2019.

Several of the movies had their New York premieres at 51 Fest and are based on true stories. They include the dramedy “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” starring Jillian Bell as a woman who enters the New York Marathon to improve her health; the drama “A Girl From Mogadishu” (starring Aja Naomi King), which tackles the difficult subject of female genital mutilation; “Official Secrets,” starring Keira Knightley as British whistleblower Katharine Gun, who exposed U.S. political corruption behind the war in Iraq. All three of the real-life women who inspired these respective movies (Brittany O’Neill, Ifrah Ahmed and Gun) did Q&As after each respective screening.

Besides the Griffin documentary, other non-fiction films at 51Fest were the award-winning documentary “For Sama,” set in war-torn Syria; “Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins” about the late columnist/outspoken political commentator Molly Ivins; and “Untouchable,” an examination of the rise and fall of disgraced entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein and the female accusers who say that Weinstein sexually harassed or sexually abused them.

As for the two world premieres at 51Fest (“Unbelievable” and “Otherhood”), they’re both from Netflix, but these two projects couldn’t be more different.

The Netflix limited series “Unbelievable” is a taught, well-acted thriller, based on the first episode that screened at 51Fest. In the series, which is inspired by a true story, Kaitlyn Dever plays Marie Adler, a troubled teenager in Lynnwood, Washington. Marie has spent a great deal of her life in foster homes and is now old enough to live on her own. In the beginning of the episode, Marie files a police report, claiming a masked intruder raped her in her home, where she lives alone.

The problem is that Marie keeps changing her story, by saying that she could have imagined the rape, and then changing her mind again. She also changed several details of what happened, leading to further confusion. The investigating police become increasingly frustrated with her, and even Marie’s closest confidants begin to wonder that the truth is.

Sarah Timberman, Susannah Grant, Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever, Danielle Macdonald and Lisa Cholodenko at the world premiere of “Unbelievable” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 19, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)

A good deal of the series is also about detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (played Toni Collette and Merritt Wever), who are hundreds of miles away, and are investigating a case that is similar to what Marie has reported.  The first episode of “Unbelievable” focuses primarily on introducing Marie’s storyline, but a teaser for the season shows that Emmy winners Collette and Wever give compelling performances. Dever does an outstanding job of portraying the complex character of Marie.

Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein and Danielle Macdonald at the world premiere of “Unbelievable” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 19, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)

After the premiere of the first “Unbelievable” episode, there was a Q&A with showrunner and executive producer Susannah Grant, executive producer Sarah Timberman, executive producer and episode director Lisa Cholodenko, and cast members Dever, Wever and Danielle Macdonald, who plays another rape victim in the story. (In the audience was Beanie Feldstein, Dever’s best friend and co-star in the 2019 comedy “Booksmart.”) During the Q&A, Dever said that she didn’t consult with the real Marie because “I wanted to respect her privacy.” Dever added that in her portrayal of Marie, she didn’t want to do a “carbon copy” of her, but wanted to do an interpretation of what Marie was like.

“Unbelievable” is inspired by the real events in The Marshall Project and ProPublica Pulitzer Prize-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, and the “This American Life” radio episode “Anatomy of Doubt.” Netflix will premiere “Unbelievable” on September 13, 2019.

The comedy film “Otherhood” is the feature-film directorial debut of writer/director Cindy Chupak, who’s best known for being part of the “Sex and the City” team. The story is about three longtime friends—Carol Walker (played Angela Bassett), Gillian Lieberman (played by Patricia Arquette) and Helen Halston (played Felicity Huffman)—who spontaneously take a road trip together from their homes in suburban Poughkeepsie to New York City, in order to reconnect with their adult sons, who have a habit of ignoring their mothers. The sons, who are in their 30s, have become so emotionally distant from their mothers that they don’t return calls, email or texts, and they even forget to contact their mothers on Mother’s Day, which is a snub that triggers the road trip.

The catch is that the mothers haven’t told their sons in advance that they’re coming to visit—and the plan is to stay at their bachelor sons’ homes for a few days—so the meddling mothers aren’t quite sure what to expect. All three sons appear to be the only children in their respective families, since the mothers don’t mention any other siblings for their children. The movie gets its title because the mothers’ alienation from their sons doesn’t feel like motherhood to them. It feels like “otherhood.” As Gillian says, a mother being ignored by a child is like “inhumane emotional waterboarding.”

Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman and Patricia Arquette in “Otherhood” (Photo by Linda Kallerus/Netflix)

All three of the mothers (who met through their sons when their sons were kids) are clingy and neurotic, in different ways. Carol, a widow who lives alone, is the biggest worrywart of the group. Carol’s son Matthew (played by Sinqua Walls), an art director at an upcoming magazine that’s similar to Maxim, has a tendency to date barely legal women, and he lives in a trendy loft in Manhattan.

Gillian is a hippie-ish, earth-mother type who has a loving and supportive husband, and she’s the type of mother who will clean her son’s apartment and make comfort-food meals without him even asking her. Gillian’s son Daniel (played by Jake Hoffman), a struggling writer who lives in a dumpy apartment in the working-class Long Island City neighborhood, has recently gone through a messy breakup with a woman he had hoped to marry.

Helen, who’s been divorced and is on her second marriage, is uptight, critical, and hates the idea of aging and becoming a grandmother. Helen’s openly gay son Paul (played by Jake Lacy) is a window dresser and is in a relationship with a guy that’s somewhere in between “friends with benefits” and “serious romance.” Paul lives in an upscale town home in Manhattan and comes from a privileged background.

Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett and Felicity Huffman in “Otherhood” (Photo by Linda Kallerus/Netflix)

Carol and Gillian are desperate for their sons to find a nice woman to settle down with and marry. The two mothers try to play matchmaker with their sons, which (not surprisingly) doesn’t go over too well. Gillian, who converted to Judaism when she married Daniel’s father, is the most aggressive about her matchmaking, and makes it clear that she prefers that Daniel choose a wife who is also Jewish. Gillian sets up a reluctant Daniel on a blind date, which is one of the funniest scenes in the movie. Carol invites herself to a work-related party that Matthew’s company is having at a hip nightclub. She gets drunk, and she zeroes in on a potential girlfriend for Matthew who’s close to his age, even though she knows that he might not be interested because he prefers to date much-younger women.

Meanwhile, pill-popping, booze-swilling Helen (who is by far the least likeable character in this story) still has lingering resentment that Paul never officially came out as gay to her (she figured it out on her own), and she hates that Paul told his father (Helen’s ex-husband) instead. It’s easy to see why Paul doesn’t like communicating with Helen, because she likes to pick fights over imagined insults, and she’s constantly accusing Paul of the emotional sabotage that Helen herself is inflicting. Paul spends quite a bit of time having to make apologies to Helen. He’s a lot more patient with her than other people would be.

Michael Berman, Cathy Schulman, Mario Cantone and Cindy Chupack at the world premiere of “Otherhood”during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Carlos Sanfer/51Fest)

If you’ve seen enough comedy films (especially the ones on Netflix), you can easily predict how this story is going to go. At a post-screening Q&A with Chupack and producers Cathy Schulman and Jason Michael Berman (the Q&A was moderated by “Sex and the City” alum Mario Cantone, who has a small role in “Otherhood” as one of Paul’s acquaintances), Chupak said it took about 20 years for “Otherhood” to get made because it’s the kind of movie that most movie studios don’t want to make anymore. She added that Netflix and other streaming services are a boon for creators who want their projects to get made.

Even though “Otherhood” is set in the present day (and has lots of references to social media), there’s still kind of an outdated tone to much of the screenplay, because the mothers in the movie are so old-fashioned in how they’re desperate to get approval from the men in their lives. Showing up unannounced at an adult child’s home and expecting to stay over for a few days—it’s all just so rude and cringeworthy, that it kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth because it’s not cute at all. (Although, to be fair, two of the mothers initially can’t go through with ambushing their sons to crash in their homes as uninvited guests, so these two mothers check into a hotel at first.)

The loyal friendship between the three women is admirable, and it’s great to see what seems to be natural chemistry between the three lead actresses, who all do a fine job with the mediocre screenplay that they’ve been given. A better movie would have had the three mothers focusing less on trying to manipulate their son’s love lives and more on the mothers trying to genuinely reconnect with their sons by trying to understand what makes them happy in their current lives. This is such a “made for Netflix” comedy movie, right down to the sitcom-ish musical score. “Otherhood” isn’t going to be nominated for any awards, but there are worse ways to spend 100 minutes of your time. Netflix will premiere “Otherhood” on August 2, 2019.

Here are some other photos from the inaugural 51Fest:

Kathleen Turner and director Janice Engel at the New York premiere of “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Carlos Sanfer/51Fest)
Comedian/actress Ophelia Eisenberg (panel moderator) and Brittany O’Neill at the New York premiere of “Brittany Runs a Marathon” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Carlos Sanfer/51Fest)
HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen (panel moderator), Katharine Gun and “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman at the New York premiere of “Official Secrets” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Carlos Sanfer/51Fest)
Moderator Anne Barnard, co-director Waad al-Kateab, Dr. Hamza al-Kateab and co-director Edward Watts at the New York premiere of “For Sama” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Carlos Sanfer/51Fest)
Director Mary McGuckian, actor Barkhad Abdi and activist Ifrah Ahmed at the international premiere of “A Girl From Mogadishu” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)
Harvey Weinstein accusers Hope D’Amore and Erika Rosenbaum with director Ursula Macfarlane at the New York premiere of “Untouchable” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 21, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)

Julianne Moore opens up about ‘After the Wedding,’ playing Gloria Steinem, Time’s Up and fighting for equality

July 21, 2019

by Carla Hay

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore at the New York premiere of “After the Wedding” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)

When people think of the most versatile, talented actresses in the world, Oscar-winning Julianne Moore is sure to be on that list. She’s played a diverse array of characters in such a wide variety of films, that she’s also an actress who defies predictability when it comes to what types of projects she chooses. In the drama “After the Wedding,” she plays a hard-driving New York media mogul named Theresa Young, who is thinking about making a multimillion-dollar donation to an orphanage in Calcutta, India. The orphanage is run by a modest do-gooder named Isabel (played by Michelle Williams), who is the movie’s other lead female character.

Theresa and Isabel couldn’t be more opposite, and they have completely different lives. Theresa will give the donation on the condition that Isabel come to New York and meet with her in person. During the meeting, Theresa invites Isabel to the wedding of her 21-year-old daughter, Grace (played by Abby Quinn), who is one of Theresa’s three children. She also has 8-year-old fraternal twin sons with her husband, Oscar Carlson (played by Billy Crudup), a successful artist whose specialty is sculptures. It’s at the wedding that the lives of Theresa, Isabel and Oscar collide, as secrets and lies are exposed throughout the story.

“After the Wedding” (written and directed by Moore’s husband, Bart Freundlich) is an American remake of the 2006 Danish film “Efter Brylluppet,” whose stars included Mads Mikkelsen. “After the Wedding” is Moore’s second American movie remake of 2019. She also starred in “Gloria Bell,” Sebastián Lelio’s 2019 American remake of his 2013 Chilean film “Gloria.” Whereas “Gloria Bell” is virtually identical to the original “Gloria” film, the American remake of “After the Wedding” has a dramatic overhaul by switching the genders of the three main characters. Moore and Freundlich are two of the producers of the American version of “After the Wedding,” which got mostly positive reviews after its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The movie had its New York premiere at the inaugural 51Fest, a female-focused film festival co-presented from July 18 to July 21, 2019, by the feminist organization Women in the World and the arthouse movie theater IFC Center in New York City. Here is what Moore said in a post-screening Q&A with Women in the World founder Tina Brown.

Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup and Julianne Moore in “After the Wedding” (Photo by David Giesbrecht/Sony Pictures Classics)

What was it about the original “After the Wedding” movie that made you want to do a remake of it?

Originally, this was Bart’s project. He had been approached to do an American adaptation of this really beautiful Danish film, directed by Susanne Bier. And I was just there talking to him about. We watched the [original] film, and I was really struck by this story and by one of the characters in particular. The movie was wrapping up, and I pointed to the businessman [played by Rolf Lassgård], and I was like, “Now, that’s a role I’d like to play.”

[Bart] was kind of fiddling with the script and figuring out how to adapt it. Because the [original] movie is so perfect, why do tell a story another time? Why do you make it different? And so, they came up with the idea of switching the genders. And so, immediately when he did that, I was like, “I’m in! I’m in! That part is the one I want!”

How much did that gender-flipping change the script?

A lot. In the original, there’s the issue of paternity and a lot of knowledge that people don’t have. You have the female protagonists, and obviously, there are some deliberate choices about parenting and knowledge … One of the things that I also thought was very fascinating about it too was that these women are very judgmental over each other’s choices. Both of them feel that they made the exact, right choices, and they really don’t approve of the other one’s lifestyle, but they desperately need each other. And in my case, Theresa is forced to reconcile with the one person she’d rather never, ever met.

Theresa is a very hard-driving business executive who sometimes treats people very harshly. Did you worry about playing someone who was unsympathetic?

I never saw her as unsympathetic. I think that she’s somebody who holds a lot of power … I loved the fact that she was interested in her business, that she didn’t really care about the orphanage. She was trying provide for family, provide for her employees.

[She is] somebody who controlled everything in her life, made very conscious decisions about what kind of work she wanted to do, who she wanted to marry. There’s a very veiled reference to IVF. Bart and I worked on that. I want everybody to know that she deliberately had these children [the 8-year-old twins], and tried really hard. And she’s really come up against the one thing we can’t control.

Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore in “After the Wedding” (Photo by Julio Macat/Sony Pictures Classics)

How was it working with Michelle Williams?

She was wonderful. That’s who we wanted. Bart and I talked about it. I can remember when we were making the decision. Somebody said, “So-and-so might do it,” but he said, “We really want Michelle.” I said, “If we want Michelle, let’s just go to her.”

I actually had her email from way, way back, and I emailed her directly. I thought, “All right, if you want something, go right toward it.” I said, “We have this movie. You’re our dream lead for it Would you read it?” She read it, and she committed right away, which was unbelievable. I can’t believe she actually did it. It’s a little, tiny movie. We had very few resources, but she responded very strongly to the script.

How is it working with your husband, Bart Freundlich? Do you give a lot of notes to each other about your work?

It can be challenging. This was the first time [working with him] that I actually gave really specific notes, because we were there as he was writing it … I always say that, especially in an emotional scene, an actor needs a scaffold, in the way we build our emotion as people through conversations and ideas, you want to make sure that’s present for the actor to do, so it seems like real human behavior.

There would be times when we would read it and work on it, and I’d give him notes. It’s the same thing when he’s directing. He needs plenty of information and assistance. It’s wonderful to have a collaboration like that, although it’s not so easy when your teenage daughter is also a PA [production assistant].

Was it the first time that your daughter worked with you and Bart?

Yes, it’s probably the first and the last. She’s like, “Why do people do this job? This is awful.”

Women in the World founder Tina Brown, Julianne Moore and 51Fest program director Anne Hubbell at the New York premiere of “After the Wedding” during 51Fest at IFC Center in New York City on July 20, 2019. (Photo by Lou Aguilar/51Fest)

What kind of research did you do for playing Gloria Steinem in the biopic “Gloria: A Life on the Road,” directed and co-written by Julie Taymor?

The very, very best part of working on this project was getting to meet Gloria Steinem and to spend time with her voice and her writing and her world view. When you have somebody as inspiring as that to learn from, I was really grateful for the opportunity. It’s like a lesson on how to live.

Her tolerance, her patience, her consistency of message, her non-reactivity, I think that’s really remarkable, because we’re living in a time when people are very, very reactive, and it feels very hot. And when you watch Gloria all through her entire career, when you see what’s she faced as an advocate for women and what she withstood, it’s really amazing how tolerant she was of the things she came up against, and how she continues to educate slowly and carefully, with compassion. She really is remarkable.

What did you go for, in terms of building the Gloria Steinem character from inside out?

I read her book,s and I watched all the video I could find. The movie is based on her book “My Life on the Road,” and it’s a really beautiful meditation on what her beginnings were as an activist, and her beginnings as a human being and he family. At the very end of it, she talks about how her father didn’t have a home, and her mother didn’t have a place of her own, and how you need both. You need a journey and you need a home.

And she talks about the split, the division of us as males and females, and why it doesn’t work for anybody. I think that’s really important to start with who that person was or how her ideology was shaped. It really was, even as a child, witnessing what her parents went through.

Can you talk about your involvement in the Time’s Up movement and where you think the movement is going?

Time’s Up is super-exciting. The one thing that benefits us all as human beings is contact with people who are not like ourselves. We’re often so segregated by sex, by age, by race, by culture, by jobs. So there was this opportunity to be in a room with all of these women in New York City, of various ages and various jobs, and say, “Hey, what do you do, and how can we do to help each other?” Suddenly, you have this network of people, and it’s been astonishing.

And they go, “What group do you want to be in? Do you want to be in the social group or the mentoring group?” “I want to be in legal,” so I found myself in a group with incredible legal minds. As you know, [New York governor Andrew] Cuomo just adopted the Time’s Up Safety Agenda, which is major!

Time’s Up was formed in California, which is a very progressive state. New York, much less so. As we sitting around talking about things, we realized that the statute of limitations was so short on a lot of these sexual-assault claims. Otherwise, we can’t move forward.

What’s your perception of changes for women in the entertainment industry after Time’s Up?

I think it takes a long time to turn a ship around. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I do think that because we do have these relationships with one another, Time’s Up is about safety and equity for people in the workplace, not just for women in entertainment but for all industries. We’re able to band together with other women and say, “How do I put my weight behind you? How do we solve this problem? How do we solve that problem?” It’s been wonderful to have that collective influence. It’s been only a year [since Time’s Up was formed], so it hasn’t been very long, but I do think that suddenly, there’s a conversation again, where there wasn’t one a few years ago.

Julianne Moore and Abby Quinn in “After the Wedding” (Photo by Julio Macat/Sony Pictures Classics)

How much of a role stays with you when you’re done filming a project? Can you just shed a role like skin when you’re done?

Hell yeah! They cling to you as long as you’re working on them. One of the things I hate a reshoot. I hate additional shooting. That means you have to hang on to that character maybe for six months or something. I always want to let it go, because I feel very immersed in something when I’m doing it, but then when I’m done, I’m like, “Drop it.”

One of the great things for me was having children, working in the movies and having little children, so when you go home, it’s done. You come home and shut the door. You learn to compartmentalize, and I think that’s what I like.

Acting is almost like self-hypnosis. You have to put yourself in a position where you have to actually believe the stuff is happening to you, but you also have to know that it’s not really happening to you. So, when there are actors who are like, “Oh, my God, now I know what it’s like to be blind,” it’s like, no, you don’t! You were pretending!

Because of the contemporary women’s movement, there seems to be more pressure for female actors to play strong women who live extraordinary lives. Is there a place for female actors playing “regular women”?

I’m so happy you said that, because it makes me crazy. What powerful woman do I want to play? I’m just not interested. I want to play people who are human.

I think it’s where people make a mistake. It’s not about playing somebody who’s powerful. Also, [the word] “power”—I don’t like that terminology, because that’s about status. If somebody is powerful, they are somehow “higher” than another human being. That doesn’t interest me, the idea of being the most powerful.

I want to play somebody who’s the center of their own narrative. I don’t care who they are, as long as they’re a human being, and they’re in their own story. What I don’t want is the character who kind of comes in the end and says a couple things, picks up a dish, and leaves. Nobody wants to do that, because everyone is at the center of their own narrative. We don’t have to be heroic to be the center of our own story, but we are the heroes of our story.

What’s your process for finding great material?

I don’t know. I get that question, “What character do you want to play?” And I always say, “Characters don’t exist without a narrative.” I don’t know who that is. I can describe somebody who likes to eat out and lives in Seattle, and that kind of thing, but I don’t know who they are. What’s their story? Where’s the narrative? That fascinates me. I don’t know until I read it. And when I read it, and if I get excited by it really quickly, I know it’s something I want to pursue.

There are several female candidates running for president of the United States. Which one would you want to play?

Elizabeth Warren.

Billy Crudup, Abby Quinn and Julianne Moore in “After the Wedding” (Photo by Julio Macat/Sony Pictures Classics)

What’s more pernicious in Hollywood: ageism or sexism? Is ageism worse for women than for men?

Yeah, of course. The thing that’s interesting about sexism and ageism, well, now I’m going to get into looks-ism, so I’m segueing over there. If traditionally, we have an unequal society, where women have only been valued for their marriageability, that means youth and appearance are going to be primary, unless you’ve got some huge dowry, that’s a whole other socioeconomic thing. We are still in a culture where that has seeped in.

So, this idea of women having value only when they’re young and beautiful is still in our culture. It’s going to take a long, long time for us to shed that. And it’s really only going to happen when we have equal opportunity and equal pay and equal work. So, if you are a human being who is paid the same and has the same access to a job and to opportunities, and it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, then that ageism and sexism will go away.

This thing about women feeling invisible makes me crazy. If there’s a 75-year-old man, and he is married, and he’s had a family, and he has a job and continues to be gainfully employed, and he has value, he’s never going to say that he feels invisible, because he has all this achievement behind him. But women, because they haven’t had the same opportunities, and haven’t necessarily been able to build that kind of career, are going to feel like they’re less important. Give that woman those opportunities, and she won’t feel invisible.

Is all the streaming content out there an opportunity for older actresses?

I think it’s an opportunity for everybody. One of the things I always try to remind people of is that the business doesn’t exist to give great parts to actors. The business exists to sell product globally. They’re just trying to figure out, “What can we sell all around the world?” So, it’s always been hard to find great parts for male or female actors.

I don’t know that Batman is a great part. I think it’s a fun part. I don’t think there’s an actor alive who would say, “Oh my God, that’s the role of my dreams.” People want to play complex, interesting characters—all of us, male and female. And suddenly, with all these platforms opening up, there are opportunities for everybody that are really exciting.

How long have you and Bart been married?

We’ve been together for 23 years … We lived together for seven years and had two children before we got married.

Why did you decide to get married after seven years and two children?

It just felt messy [to be unmarried]. I actually had a therapist say to me that she felt that marriage was like a container for a family. It made sense. It’s what we have as a culture to say, “We belong to each other. We’ll take care of each other. We well share each other’s money and houses and whatever.”

It’s a public proclamation of who you are in society as a couple and as a family, which is why marriage equality is so important. Everybody deserves that. Everybody needs an opportunity to say legally, “This is my family. This is who we are.”

Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore in “After the Wedding” (Photo by Julio Macat/Sony Pictures Classics)

Do you and Bart actively look to do projects together?

Well, we are now. As the business has changed, people start realizing that they can take responsibility for producing things, for developing things. Suddenly, we’re all going, “Hey, I can be a producer” or “I can hire a writer” or “I can acquire this book.” So, Bart and I are now looking at things we’d like to do together.

What’s next for you?

My next project is a Stephen King project for Apple called “Lisey’s Story” that Pablo Larraín is going to direct. I’m very excited about it because it’s a story of this marriage. These people have been together for years and years. It’s a romance but it’s also horror. It’s emotional.

I love horror. It’s interesting that it’s so popular now, because it’s so reflective of our emotional state, right? In horror, you’re always like, “Who is the monster? What is the monster? What’s happening?” This [“Lisey’s Story”] is really about this journey this woman takes to go find her husband, and it brings her literally into another place.

Except for Bart, which director do you think has gotten your best work?

I will say that your best work happens when you’re comfortable, not when you’re not comfortable. Your best work happens when you’re able to feel free, and you can do whatever you want to do, and kind of, sort of fly. I dislike it when people make an actor feel precarious. Then you don’t really go where you want to go.

I will say that think working with Todd Haynes was really extraordinary, because he does provide such an incredible amount of structure, just in terms of his language … how he frames shots, how he tells stories cinematically, how he tells them linguistically, I always feel like I have a lot of room within that structure to find stuff.

Can you talk about your relationship with Tom Ford? He’s been your director and you’ve collaborated with him in fashion.

He’s awesome! My part [in the 2009 movie “A Single Man,” Tom Ford’s directorial debut] shot in only three days. It was really, really quick … I remember it was so exciting because the music that he chose was so fantastic. It felt free! It was a beautiful set. Tom had set it up so that we were able to feel free.

After the Wedding” opens in select U.S. cities on August 9, 2019.

2019 Toronto International FIlm Festival: ‘Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band’ documentary selected as opening-night film

July 18, 2019

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band
“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” (Photo by Elliott Landy, courtesy of TIFF)

The following is a press release from the Toronto International Film Festival:

TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente announced today that the World Premiere of  Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band​, ​Daniel Roher’​s touching ​tale of Robertson’s young life  and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band, ​will be the  Opening Night Gala Presentation for the 44th Toronto International Film Festival​®  ​on Thursday, September 5,  2019, at Roy Thomson Ha​ll. The premiere marks the first time a Canadian-made documentary opens the Toronto  International Film Festival.

The documentary film, directed by​ Roher (​”Ghosts of Our Forest​”), ​inspired by Robertson’s 2016 memoir,  Testimony​, tells the moving story of Robertson’s personal journey as he overcame adversity and found  camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in music, and who together made  their mark on music history.

“Once Were Brothers​: Robbie Robertson and The Band”​ ​blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs,  and interviews with many of Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Martin Scorsese, Bruce  Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel, Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson, and Ronnie Hawkins.

“This is one of Toronto’s great stories of a hometown hero,” said Bailey, Artistic Director & Co-Head of TIFF.  “From his early years in this city, to the inspiration he took from life on the Six Nations reserve, to the impact  he’s had on generations of music lovers, Robertson emerges in Roher’s film as a truly Canadian-made  superstar. In our first year as TIFF’s Co-Heads, Joana and I are thrilled to open the Festival with a Canadian  story that speaks to the world.”

“This stirring documentary takes audiences on a musical journey and shows us just what it takes to build one  of the most significant groups in rock history,” said Vicente, Executive Director & Co-Head of TIFF. “Robertson  is a Canadian music icon, and his moving story of persistence and passion is the perfect way to begin Festival  2019 for both Cameron and me. We’re eager to share the excitement of Opening Night with Toronto’s film  lovers, and audiences can expect some very special guests joining us to help celebrate.”    “Robertson’s tale is a remarkable reminder of how vision, ambition, and hard work can empower one’s wildest  dreams,” said ​Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band​ director Daniel Roher. “Robbie took a  chance on me, and I will be forever grateful that he rolled the dice on a kid from Toronto to helm his story.  Opening the Toronto International Film Festival is beyond some wildest dreams of my own and I am thankful  for everyone who believed in me.”

“I’m so tremendously honored that the premiere of​ Once Were Brothers,​ inspired by my memoir ​Testimony​,  will be the opening movie at TIFF this year, in my hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada,” said Robertson.

In a career spanning six decades, Robbie Robertson has continued to create as a songwriter, producer,  performer, actor, author, and film composer. His raw talent thrust him into the spotlight and put him at the center of a cultural revolution, backing Bob Dylan on his notorious 1966 electric world tour and later  collaborating with Dylan on the groundbreaking ​Basement Tapes​, then as a member of The Band, inventing the  musical hybrid known as Americana with songs like “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek,​”​ and “The Night They  Drove Old Dixie Down.” Of late, Robertson has been working on a new solo album, due this fall.

Made in conjunction with Imagine Documentaries, White Pine Pictures, Bell Media Studios and Universal  Music Canada’s Shed Creative, the project is executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Imagine Entertainment  Chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein for Imagine Documentaries; White  Pines Pictures’ president Peter Raymont, and COO Steve Ord; Bell Media president, Randy Lennox; Jared  Levine; Michael Levine; Universal Music Canada president and CEO Jeffrey Remedios; and Shed Creative’s managing director Dave Harris. The film was produced by Andrew Munger, Stephen Paniccia, Sam Sutherland  and Lana Belle Mauro.    Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band​ will stream on Crave in Canada later this year.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.    TIFF announces more Gala and Special Presentations on July 23.

Festival ticket packages start at $110. Purchase packages online at ​tiff.net/tickets​,​ by phone (416.599.TIFF or  1.888.599.8433), or in person at TIFF Bell Lightbox until August 11 while quantities last.

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About TIFF 

TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through  film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival  in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and  entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates  an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors  including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the  Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more  information, visit tiff.net.

The Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC,  L’Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and the City of  Toronto.    This film is eligible for the Grolsch People’s Choice Award.    The Gala programme is made possible through the generous​ ​sponsorship of Fairmont.

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