'The Irishman', Martin Scorsese's masterpiece with many never befores! #NYFF

There has been a lot of buzz about Scorsese’s upcoming masterpiece THE IRISHMAN, which was the opening night film at the 57th New York Film Festival. And the film is worth all the buzz and anticipation with every thing you may expect from Scorcese and along with many never befores - first time Scorcese and Al Pacino work together and some amazing de-ageing of multiple actors.

The film is produced and directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 memoir I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. The film stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci as Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and Russell Bufalino, respectively, and follows Sheeran as he recounts his alleged jobs as a hitman for the Bufalino crime family. It is the ninth feature collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese and their first since 1995's Casino; the fourth film to star both De Niro and Pacino (following The Godfather Part II, Heat, and Righteous Kill); the fifth to star both De Niro and Pesci (following Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America, Goodfellas, and Casino); the first to star both Pacino and Pesci; and the first time Pacino has been directed by Scorsese.

Scorcese presented the film at the festival, you can check out the video below.

Here’s what’s good about the film:

  • After watching the film, you realize why Scorcese decided to go with the daunting process of de-ageing. No one else could have done what these actors have done in the film. No one!

  • An amazing perfomance by Robert De Niro. Many of his recent films haven’t been able to use his talents appropriately. This one does. There’s humor, there’s drama, there’s action and there’s pain. AN Oscar worthy performance from a great actor, which this film really benefits from .

  • Al Pacino is back! Similar to De Niro, Pacino hasn’t had much great work in recent years. This role was made for him. He brings so much charisma and power to his Hoffa. The role has everything that we love about Al Pacino, and he brings it fully.

  • Same goes for Joe Pesci. He’s menacing, he’s charming, he’s funny, he’s amazing. So good to see him back.

  • It’s a good story of a man struggling with keeping up with his family, friends, and loyalty to his work. It’s a a great character study done masterfully.

  • The visuals are just amazing. The film is visually stunning.



  • It’s long. At 3.5 hrs, it is long. It’s entertaining, but long. Only Scorcese would be allowed to do this, so there’s that.

  • The de-ageing, although valuable, is still not 100% at every place. Some scenes, specially in the beginning, do seem off-ish.

Overall, it’s a wonderful and must-watch film. It’s also worth watching in a theater, if you can. If not, then definitely watch it once it’s on Netflix on Nov 1, 2019.


The Film Society of Lincoln Center unveiled today the poster for the 54th New York Film Festival (September 30 – October 16), designed by acclaimed filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. NYFF posters are looked upon as a yearly artistic “signature” for the film festival, and Weerasethakul joins a stellar lineup of artists whose work has been commissioned for the festival, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, and last year’s artist, Laurie Anderson. A link to download the new poster design, alongside the complete list of NYFF poster artists to date, can be found below.

“Apichatpong Weerasethakul is more than just a ‘logical’ choice to do our poster—he’s one of the world’s greatest filmmakers and he works in the visual arts,” said New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones. “I knew that he would send us something extraordinary: a beautifully wrought, self-contained little world. The more you concentrate on the image, the more detail you see, and the further your dream extends. The NYFF has had many great posters designed by a long list of great artists, but this is one of the very best.”

The renowned Thai filmmaker and artist, whose works deal with memory and subtly address personal politics and social issues, has had a fruitful relationship with the New York Film Festival for over a decade. Four of his films have been selected for the official NYFF lineup: Tropical Malady (2004), Syndromes and a Century (2006), the Palme d’Or–winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), and Cemetery of Splendor (2015). In 2002, Apichatpong’s debut narrative feature Blissfully Yours won the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Along with his features, Apichatpong is known for his short films and art installations. His work has been featured in exhibitions across the globe, including solo shows at the New Museum in New York, the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Munich Film Museum, and many more. His art prizes include the Sharjah Biennial Prize (2013), the prestigious Yanghyun Prize (2014) in South Korea, and the Thai Ministry of Culture’s Silpatorn Award (2005).

The poster will be available for purchase at all venues during the New York Film Festival, September 30 – October 16.

The complete list of NYFF poster artists:
Larry Rivers, 1963
Saul Bass, 1964
Bruce Conner, 1965
Roy Lichtenstein, 1966
Andy Warhol, 1967
Henry Pearson, 1968
Marisol (Escobar), 1969
James Rosenquist, 1970
Frank Stella, 1971
Josef Albers, 1972
Niki de Saint Phalle, 1973
Jean Tinguely, 1974
Carol Summers, 1975
Allan D’Arcangelo, 1976
Jim Dine, 1977
Richard Avedon, 1978
Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1979
Les Levine, 1980
David Hockney, 1981
Robert Rauschenberg, 1982   
Jack Youngerman, 1983
Robert Breer, 1984
Tom Wesselmann, 1985
Elinor Bunin, 1986
Sol Lewitt, 1987
Milton Glaser, 1988
Jennifer Bartlett, 1989
Eric Fischl, 1990
Philip Pearlstein, 1991
William Wegman, 1992
Sheila Metzner, 1993
William Copley, 1994
Diane Arbus, 1995
Juan Gatti, 1996
Larry Rivers, 1997
Martin Scorsese, 1998
Ivan Chermayeff, 1999
Tamar Hirschl, 2000
Manny Farber, 2001
Julian Schnabel, 2002
Junichi Taki, 2003
Jeff Bridges, 2004
Maurice Pialat, 2005
Mary Ellen Mark, 2006
agnès b., 2007
Robert Cottingham, 2008
Gregory Crewdson, 2009
John Baldessari, 2010
Lorna Simpson, 2011
Cindy Sherman, 2012
Tacita Dean, 2013
Laurie Simmons, 2014
Laurie Anderson, 2015

For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

FSLC announces Main Slate Selections for 53rd New York Film Festival

"26 features include the World Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and new films from Chantal Akerman, Arnaud Desplechin, Todd Haynes, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Rebecca Miller, Michael Moore, Nanni Moretti, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jia Zhangke, and more"

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today the 26 films that will comprise the Main Slate official selection of the 53rd New York Film Festival (NYFF, September 25 – October 11). Tickets go on sale to the general public on Sunday, September 13. 

New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said: “I could talk about the geographical range of the films in the selection, the mix of artistic sensibilities from Hou Hsiao-hsien to Steven Spielberg to Chantal Akerman, the astonishments of Miguel Gomes’s three-part Arabian Nights or Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s heartbreaking Journey to the Shore or Michael Almereyda’s surprising Experimenter, the points in common among the various titles, but the only thing that really matters is how uniformly beautiful and vital each of these movies are. If I were 17 again and I looked at this lineup from far away, I’d be figuring out where I was going to stay in New York for two weeks this autumn.”

The 2015 Main Slate will host four World Premieres: Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance in the Cold War story of the 1962 exchange of a U-2 pilot for a Soviet agent; Laura Israel’s Don’t Blink: Robert Frank, a documentary portrait of the great photographer and filmmaker; as well as the previously announced Opening Night selection The Walk and Closing Night selection Miles Ahead.

Award-winning films from Cannes will be presented to New York audiences for the first time, including Best Director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin; Todd Haynes’s Carol, starring Best Actress winner Rooney Mara; Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure of a Man, starring Best Actor winner Vincent Lindon; Jury Prize winner The Lobster; Un Certain Regard Best Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Journey to the Shore; and Un Certain Talent Prize winner Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Treasure.

Other notables among the many filmmakers returning to NYFF with new works include Michael Moore with Where To Invade Next, which takes a hard and surprising look at the state of our nation from a fresh perspective; NYFF mainstay Hong Sangsoo, who will present his latest masterwork, Right Now, Wrong Then, about the relationship between a middle-aged art-film director and a fledgling artist; and French director Arnaud Desplechin, who is back with the funny and heartrending story of young love My Golden Days, starring Mathieu Amalric and newcomers Quentin Dolmaire and Lou Roy-Lecollinet.

Two filmmakers in this year’s lineup make their directorial debuts: Don Cheadle with Miles Ahead, a remarkable portrait of the artist Miles Davis (played by the Cheadle), during his crazy days in New York in the late-70s, and Thomas Bidegain withLes Cowboys, a film reminiscent of John Ford’s The Searchers, in which a father searches for his missing daughter across a two-decade timespan—pre- to post-9/11—from Europe to Afghanistan and back.

Several titles also add a comedic layer to this year’s lineup, including Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan, a New York romantic comedy starring Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, and Maya Rudolph; the moving and hilarious Mia Madre from Nanni Moretti, starring John Turturro; Michel Gondry’s Microbe & Gasoline, a new handmade-SFX comedy thatfollows two adolescent misfits who build a house on wheels and travel across France; and Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Treasure, a modern-day fable in which two men look for buried treasure in their backyard.

The 53rd New York Film Festival Main Slate

Opening Night
The Walk
Director: Robert Zemeckis

Steve Jobs
Director: Danny Boyle

Closing Night
Miles Ahead
Director: Don Cheadle

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One
Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One
Arabian Nights: Volume 3, The Enchanted One
Director: Miguel Gomes

The Assassin
Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien

Bridge of Spies
Director: Steven Spielberg

Director: John Crowley

Director: Todd Haynes

Cemetery of Splendour
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Les Cowboys
Director: Thomas Bidegain

Don’t Blink: Robert Frank
Director: Laura Israel

Director: Michael Almereyda

The Forbidden Room
Directors: Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson

In the Shadow of Women / L’Ombre des femmes
Director: Philippe Garrel

Journey to the Shore / Kishibe no tabi
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Maggie’s Plan
Director: Rebecca Miller

The Measure of a Man / La Loi du marché
Stéphane Brizé

Mia Madre
Director: Nanni Moretti

Microbe & Gasoline / Microbe et Gasoil
Director: Michel Gondry

Mountains May Depart
Director: Jia Zhangke

My Golden Days / Trois Souvenirs de ma jeunesse
Director: Arnaud Desplechin

No Home Movie
Director: Chantal Akerman

Right Now, Wrong Then
Director: Hong Sangsoo

The Treasure / Comoara
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu

Where To Invade Next
Director: Michael Moore

Additional NYFF special events, documentary section, and filmmaker conversations and panels, as well as NYFF’s Projections and the full Convergence programs, will be announced in subsequent days and weeks.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Senior Programming Advisor; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound.

Tickets for the 53rd New York Film Festival will go on sale to Film Society patrons at the end of August, ahead of the General Public. Learn more about the patron program at
filmlinc.org/patrons. Becoming a Film Society Member offers the exclusive member ticket discount to the New York Film Festival and Film Society programming year-round plus other great benefits. Current members at the Film Buff Level or above enjoy early ticket access to NYFF screenings and events ahead of the general public. Learn more at filmlinc.org/membership.

For even more access, VIP Passes and Subscription Packages give buyers one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “ An Evening With…” Dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. A limited number of VIP Passes and Subscription Packages are still available.

***For information about purchasing Subscription Packages and VIP Passes, go to filmlinc.org/NYFF.

Films & Descriptions

Opening Night
The Walk
Robert Zemeckis, USA, 2015, 3-D DCP, 100m

Robert Zemeckis’s magical and enthralling new film, the story of Philippe Petit (winningly played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his walk between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, plays like a heist movie in the grand tradition of Rififi and Boble flambeur. Zemeckis takes us through every detail—the stakeouts, the acquisition of equipment, the elaborate planning and rehearsing that it took to get Petit, his crew of raucous cohorts, and hundreds of pounds of rigging to the top of what was then the world’s tallest building. When Petit steps out on his wire, The Walk, a technical marvel and perfect 3-D re-creation of Lower Manhattan in the 1970s, shifts into another heart-stopping gear, and Zemeckis and his hero transport us into pure sublimity. With Ben Kingsley as Petit’s mentor. A Sony Pictures release. World Premiere

Steve Jobs
Danny Boyle, USA, 2015, DCP, TBC

Anyone going to this provocative and wildly entertaining film expecting a straight biopic of Steve Jobs is in for a shock. Working from Walter Isaacson’s biography, writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Charlie Wilson’s War) and director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) joined forces to create this dynamically character-driven portrait of the brilliant man at the epicenter of the digital revolution, weaving the multiple threads of their protagonist’s life into three daringly extended backstage scenes, as he prepares to launch the first Macintosh, the NeXT work station and the iMac. We get a dazzlingly executed cross-hatched portrait of a complex and contradictory man, set against the changing fortunes and circumstances of the home-computer industry and the ascendancy of branding, of products, and of oneself. The stellar cast includes Michael Fassbender in the title role, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld. A Universal Pictures release.

Closing Night
Miles Ahead
Don Cheadle, USA, 2015, DCP, 100m

Miles Davis was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. And how do you make a movie about him? You get to know the man inside and out and then you reveal him in full, which is exactly what Don Cheadle does as a director, a writer, and an actor with this remarkable portrait of Davis, refracted through his crazy days in the late-70s. Holed up in his Manhattan apartment, wracked with pain from a variety of ailments and sweating for the next check from his record company, dodging sycophants and industry executives, he is haunted by memories of old glories and humiliations and of his years with his great love Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi). Every second of Cheadle’s cinematic mosaic is passionately engaged with its subject: this is, truly, one of the finest films ever made about the life of an artist. With Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, the “reporter” who cons his way into Miles’ apartment. A Sony Pictures Classics release. World Premiere

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One
Miguel Gomes, Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland, 2015, DCP, 125m
Portuguese with English subtitles

An up-to-the minute rethinking of what it means to make a political film today, Miguel Gomes’s shape-shifting paean to the art of storytelling strives for what its opening titles call “a fictional form from facts.” Working for a full year with a team of journalists who sent dispatches from all over the country during Portugal’s recent plunge into austerity, Gomes (Tabu, NYFF50) turns actual events into the stuff of fable, and channels it all through the mellifluous voice of Scheherazade (Crista Alfaiate), the mythic queen of the classic folktale. Volume 1 alone tries on more narrative devices than most filmmakers attempt in a lifetime, mingling documentary material about unemployment and local elections with visions of exploding whales and talking cockerels. It is hard to imagine a more generous or radical approach to these troubled times, one that honors its fantasy life as fully as its hard realities. A Kino Lorber release. U.S. Premiere

Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One
Miguel Gomes, Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland, 2015, DCP, 131m
Portuguese with English subtitles

In keeping with its subtitle, the middle section of Miguel Gomes’s monumental yet light-footed magnum opus shifts into a more subdued and melancholic register. But within each of these three tales, framed as the wild imaginings of the Arabian queen Scheherazade and adapted from recent real-life events in Portugal, there are surprises and digressions aplenty. In the first, a deadpan neo-Western of sorts, an escaped murderer becomes a local hero for dodging the authorities. The second deals with the theft of 13 cows, as told through a Brechtian open-air courtroom drama in which the testimonies become increasingly absurd. Finally, a Maltese poodle shuttles between various owners in a tear-jerking collective portrait of a tower block’s morose residents. Attesting to the power of fiction to generate its own reality, the film treats its fantasy dimension as a license for directness, a path to a more meaningful truth. A Kino Lorber release. U.S. Premiere

Arabian Nights: Volume 3, The Enchanted One
Miguel Gomes, Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland, 2015, DCP, 125m
Portuguese with English subtitles

Miguel Gomes’s sui generis epic concludes with arguably its most eccentric—and most enthralling—installment. Scheherazade escapes the king for an interlude of freedom in Old Baghdad, envisioned here as a sunny Mediterranean archipelago complete with hippies and break-dancers. After her eventual return to her palatial confines comes the most lovingly protracted of all the stories in Arabian Nights, a documentary chronicle of Lisbon-area bird trappers preparing their prized finches for birdsong competitions. Right to the end, Gomes’s film balances the leisurely art of the tall tale with a sense of deadline urgency—a reminder that for Scheherazade, and perhaps for us all, stories can be a matter of life and death. A Kino Lorber release. U.S. Premiere

The Assassin
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/China/Hong Kong, 2015, DCP, 105m
Mandarin with English subtitles

A wuxia like no other, The Assassin is set in the waning years of the Tang Dynasty when provincial rulers are challenging the power of royal court. Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi), who was exiled as a child so that her betrothed could make a more politically advantageous match, has been trained as an assassin for hire. Her mission is to destroy her former financé (Chang Chen). But worry not about the plot, which is as old as the jagged mountains and deep forests that bear witness to the cycles of power and as elusive as the mists that surround them. Hou’s art is in the telling. The film is immersive and ephemeral, sensuous and spare, and as gloriously beautiful in its candle-lit sumptuous red and gold decor as Hou’s 1998 masterpiece, Flowers of Shanghai. As for the fight scenes, they’re over almost before you realize they’ve happened, but they will stay in your mind’s eye forever. A Well Go USA release. U.S. Premiere

Bridge of Spies
Steven Spielberg, USA, 2015, DCP, 135m

The “bridge of spies” of the title refers to Glienicke Bridge, which crosses what was once the borderline between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR. In the time from the building of the Berlin Wall to its destruction in 1989, there were three prisoner exchanges between East and West. The first and most famous spy swap occurred on February 10, 1962, when Soviet agent Rudolph Abel was traded for American pilot Francis Gary Powers, captured by the Soviets when his U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down over Sverdlovsk. The exchange was negotiated by Abel’s lawyer, James B. Donovan, who also arranged for the simultaneous release of American student Frederic Pryor at Checkpoint Charlie. Working from a script by Matt Charman and Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Spielberg has brought every strange turn in this complex Cold War story to vividly tactile life. With a brilliant cast, headed by Tom Hanks as Donovan and Mark Rylance as Abel—two men who strike up an improbable friendship based on a shared belief in public service. A Touchstone Pictures release. World Premiere

John Crowley, UK/Ireland/Canada, 2015, 35mm/DCP, 112m

In the middle of the last century, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) takes the boat from Ireland to America in search of a better life. She endures the loneliness of the exile, boarding with an insular and catty collection of Irish girls in Brooklyn. Gradually, her American dream materializes: she studies bookkeeping and meets a handsome, sweet Italian boy (Emory Cohen). But then bad news brings her back home, where she finds a good job and another handsome boy (Domhnall Gleeson), this time from a prosperous family. On which side of the Atlantic does Eilis’s future live, and with whom? Director John Crowley (Boy A) and writer Nick Hornby haven’t just fashioned a great adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel, but a beautiful movie, a sensitively textured re-creation of the look and emotional climate of mid-century America and Ireland, with Ronan, as quietly and vibrantly alive as a silent-screen heroine, at its heart. A Fox Searchlight Pictures release.

Todd Haynes, USA, 2015, DCP, 118m

Todd Haynes’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s debut novel stars Cate Blanchett as the titular Carol, a wealthy suburban wife and mother, and Rooney Mara as an aspiring photographer who meet by chance, fall in love almost at first sight, and defy the closet of the early 1950s to be together. Working with his longtime cinematographer Ed Lachman and shooting on the Super-16 film he favors for the way it echoes the movie history of 20th-century America, Haynes charts subtle shifts of power and desire in images that are alternately luminous and oppressive. Blanchett and Mara are both splendid; the erotic connection between their characters is palpable from beginning to end, as much in its repression as in eagerly claimed moments of expressive freedom. Originally published under a pseudonym, Carol is Highsmith’s most affirmative work; Haynes has more than done justice to the multilayered emotions evoked by it source material. A Weinstein Company release.

Cemetery of Splendour
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/UK/France/Germany/Malaysia, 2015, DCP, 122m
Thai with English subtitles

The wondrous new film by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (whose last feature, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, was a Palme d’Or winner and a NYFF48 selection) is set in and around a hospital ward full of comatose soldiers. Attached to glowing dream machines, and tended to by a kindly volunteer (Jenjira Pongpas Widner) and a young clairvoyant (Jarinpattra Rueangram), the men are said to be waging war in their sleep on behalf of long-dead feuding kings, and their mysterious slumber provides the rich central metaphor: sleep as safe haven, as escape mechanism, as ignorance, as bliss. To slyer and sharper effect than ever, Apichatpong merges supernatural phenomena with Thailand’s historical phantoms and national traumas. Even more seamlessly than his previous films, this sun-dappled reverie induces a sensation of lucid dreaming, conjuring a haunted world where memory and myth intrude on physical space. A Strand Releasing release. U.S. Premiere

Les Cowboys

Thomas Bidegain, 2015, France, DCP, 114m
French and English with English subtitles

Country and Western enthusiast Alain (François Damiens) is enjoying an outdoor gathering of fellow devotees with his wife and teenage children when his daughter abruptly vanishes. Learning that she’s eloped with her Muslim boyfriend, he embarks on increasingly obsessive quest to track her down. As the years pass and the trail grows cold, Alain sacrifices everything, while drafting his son into his efforts. The echoes of The Searchers are unmistakable, but the story departs from John Ford’s film in unexpected ways, escaping its confining European milieu as the pursuit assumes near-epic proportions in post-9/11 Afghanistan. This muscular debut, worthy of director Thomas Bidegain’s screenwriting collaborations with Jacques Audiard, yields a sweeping vision of a world in which the codes of the Old West no longer seem to hold. A Cohen Media Group release. U.S. Premiere

Don’t Blink: Robert Frank
Laura Israel, USA/Canada, 2015, DCP, 82m

The life and work of Robert Frank—as a photographer and a filmmaker—are so intertwined that they’re one in the same, and the vast amount of territory he’s covered, from The Americans in 1958 up to the present, is intimately registered in his now-formidable body of artistic gestures. From the early ’90s on, Frank has been making his films and videos with the brilliant editor Laura Israel, who has helped him to keep things homemade and preserve the illuminating spark of first contact between camera and people/places. 
Don’t Blink is Israel’s like-minded portrait of her friend and collaborator, a lively rummage sale of images and sounds and recollected passages and unfathomable losses and friendships that leaves us a fast and fleeting imprint of the life of the Swiss-born man who reinvented himself the American way, and is still standing on ground of his own making at the age of 90. World Premiere

Michael Almereyda, USA, 2014, DCP, 94m

Michael Almereyda’s brilliant portrait of Stanley Milgram, the social scientist whose 1961, Yale-based “obedience study” reflected back on the Holocaust and anticipated Abu Ghraib and other atrocities carried out by ordinary people who were just following orders, places its subject in an appropriately experimental cinema framework. The proverbial elephant in the room materializes on screen; Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) sometimes addresses the camera directly as if to implicate us in his studies and the unpleasant truths they reveal. Remarkably, the film evokes great compassion for this uncompromising, difficult man, in part because we often see him through the eyes of his wife (Winona Ryder, in a wonderfully grounded performance), who fully believed in his work and its profoundly moral purpose. Almereyda creates the bohemian-tinged academic world of the 1960s through the 1980s with an economy that Stanley Kubrick might have envied. A Magnolia Pictures release.

The Forbidden Room
Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson, Canada, 2015, DCP, 120m

The four-man crew of a submarine are trapped underwater, running out of air. A classic scenario of claustrophobic suspense—at least until a hatch opens and out steps… a lumberjack? As this newcomer’s backstory unfolds (and unfolds and unfolds in over a dozen outlandish tales), Guy Maddin, cinema’s reigning master of feverish filmic fetishism, embarks on a phantasmagoric narrative adventure of stories within stories within dreams within flashbacks in a delirious globe-trotting mise en abyme the equals of any by the late Raúl Ruiz. Collaborating with poet John Ashbery and featuring sublime contributions from the likes of Jacques Nolot, Charlotte Rampling, Mathieu Amalric, legendary cult electro-pop duo Sparks, and not forgetting muses Louis Negin and Udo Kier, Maddin dives deeper than ever: only the lovechild of Josef von Sternberg and Jack Smith could be responsible for this insane magnum opus. A Kino Lorber release.

In the Shadow of Women / L’Ombre des femmes
Philippe Garrel, France, 2015, DCP, 73m
French with English subtitles

The new film by the great Philippe Garrel (previously seen at the NYFF with Regular Lovers in 2005 and Jealousy in 2013) is a close look at infidelity—not merely the fact of it, but the particular, divergent ways in which it’s experienced and understood by men and women. Stanislas Merhar and Clotilde Courau are Pierre and Manon, a married couple working in fragile harmony on Pierre’s documentary film projects, the latest of which is a portrait of a resistance fighter (Jean Pommier). When Pierre takes a lover (Lena Paugam), he feels entitled to do so, and he treats both wife and mistress with disengagement bordering on disdain; when Manon catches Pierre in the act, her immediate response is to find common ground with her husband. Garrel is an artist of intimacies and emotional ecologies, and with In the Shadow of Women he has added narrative intricacy and intrigue to his toolbox. The result is an exquisite jewel of a film. U.S. Premiere

Journey to the Shore / Kishibe no tabi
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/France, 2015, DCP, 127m
Japanese with English subtitles

Based on Kazumi Yumoto’s 2010 novel, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest film begins with a young widow named Mizuki (Eri Fukatsu), who has been emotionally flattened and muted by the disappearance of her husband Yusuke (Tadanobu Asano). One day, from out of the blue or the black, Yusuke’s ghost drops in, more like an exhausted and unexpected guest than a wandering spirit. And then Journey to the Shore becomes a road movie: Mizuki and Yusuke pack their bags, leave Tokyo, and travel by train through parts of Japan that we rarely see in movies, acclimating themselves to their new circumstances and stopping for extended stays with friends and fellow pilgrims that Yusuke has met on his way through the afterworld, some living and some dead. The particular beauty of Journey to the Shore lies in its flowing sense of life as balance between work and love, existence and nonexistence, you and me. 
U.S. Premiere

The Lobster
Yorgos Lanthimos, France/Netherlands/Greece/UK, 2015, DCP, 118m

In the very near future, society demands that we live as couples. Single people are rounded up and sent to a seaside compound—part resort and part minimum-security prison—where they are given a finite number of days to find a match. If they don’t succeed, they will be “altered” and turned into an animal. The recently divorced David (Colin Farrell) arrives at The Hotel with his brother, now a dog; in the event of failure, David has chosen to become a lobster… because they live so long. When David falls in love, he’s up against a new set of rules established by another, rebellious order: for romantics, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Welcome to the latest dark, dark comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth), creator of absurdist societies not so very different from our own. With Léa Seydoux as the leader of the Loners, Rachel Weisz as David’s true love, John C. Reilly, and Ben Whishaw. An Alchemy release. 

Maggie’s Plan
Rebecca Miller, USA, 2015, DCP, 92m

Rebecca Miller’s new film is as wise, funny, and suspenseful as a Jane Austen novel. Greta Gerwig shines brightly in the role of Maggie, a New School administrator on the verge of completing her life plan with a donor-fathered baby when she meets John (Ethan Hawke), a soulful but unfulfilled adjunct professor. John is unhappily married to a Columbia-tenured academic superstar wound tighter than a coiled spring (Julianne Moore). Maggie and the professor commiserate, share confidences, and fall in love. And where most contemporary romantic comedies end, Miller’s film is just getting started. In the tradition of Woody Allen and Paul Mazursky, Miller approaches the genre of the New York romantic comedy with relish and loving energy. With Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph as Maggie’s married-with-children friends, drawn to defensive sarcasm like moths to a flame, and Travis Fimmel as Maggie’s donor-in-waiting. U.S. Premiere

The Measure of a Man / La Loi du marché
Stéphane Brizé, France, 2015, DCP, 93m
French with English subtitles

Vincent Lindon gives his finest performance to date as unemployed everyman Thierry, who must submit to a series of quietly humiliating ordeals in his search for work. Futile retraining courses that lead to dead ends, interviews via Skype, an interview-coaching workshop critique of his self-presentation by fellow jobseekers—all are mechanisms that seek to break him down and strip him of identity and self-respect in the name of reengineering of a workforce fit for an neoliberal technocratic system. Nothing if not determinist, Stéphane Brizé’s film dispassionately monitors the progress of its stoic protagonist until at last he lands a job on the front line in the surveillance and control of his fellow man—and finally faces one too many moral dilemmas. A powerful and deeply troubling vision of the realities of our new economic order. A Kino Lorber release. North American Premiere

Mia Madre
Nanni Moretti, Italy/France, 2015, DCP, 106m
Italian and English with English subtitles

Margherita (Margherita Buy) is a middle-aged filmmaker contending with shooting an international co-production with a mercurial American actor (John Turturro) and with the fact that her beloved mother (Giulia Lazzarini) is mortally ill. Underrated as an actor, director Nanni Moretti, offers a fascinating portrayal as Margherita’s brother, a quietly abrasive, intelligent man with a wonderfully tamped-down generosity and warmth. The construction of the film is as simple as it is beautiful: the chaos of the movie within the movie merges with the fear of disorder and feelings of pain and loss brought about by impending death. Mia Madre is a sharp and continually surprising work about the fragility of existence that is by turns moving, hilarious, and subtly disquieting. An Alchemy release. U.S. Premiere

Microbe & Gasoline / Microbe et Gasoil
Michel Gondry, France, 2015, DCP, 103m
French with English subtitles

The new handmade-SFX comedy from Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) is set in an autobiographical key. Teenage misfits Microbe (Ange Dargent) and Gasoline (Théophile Baquet), one nicknamed for his size and the other for his love of all things mechanical and fuel-powered, become fast friends. Unloved in school and misunderstood at home—Microbe is overprotected, Gasoline is by turns ignored and abused—they decide to build a house on wheels (complete with a collapsible flower window box) and sputter, push, and coast their way to the camp where Gasoline went as a child, with a stop along the way to visit Microbe’s crush (Diane Besnier). Gondry’s visual imagination is prodigious, and so is his cultivation of spontaneously generated fun and off-angled lyricism, his absolute irreverence, and his emotional frankness. This is one of his freshest and loveliest films. With Audrey Tatou as Microbe’s mom. U.S. Premiere

Mountains May Depart
Jia Zhangke, China/France/Japan, 2015, DCP, 131m
Mandarin and English with English subtitles

The plot of Jia Zhangke’s new film is simplicity itself. Fenyang 1999, on the cusp of the capitalist explosion in China. Shen Tao (Zhao Tao) has two suitors—Zhang (Zhang Yi), an entrepreneur-to-be, and his best friend Liangzi (Liang Jin Dong), who makes his living in the local coal mine. Shen Tao decides, with a note of regret, to marry Zhang, a man with a future. Flash-forward 15 years: the couple’s son Dollar is paying a visit to his now-estranged mother, and everyone and everything seems to have grown more distant in time and space… and then further ahead in time, to even greater distances. Jia is modern cinema’s greatest poet of drift and the uncanny, slow-motion feeling of massive and inexorable change. Like his 2013 A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart is an epically scaled canvas. But where the former was angry and quietly terrifying, the latter is a heartbreaking prayer for the restoration of what has been lost in the name of progress. A Kino Lorber release. U.S. Premiere

My Golden Days / Trois Souvenirs de ma jeunesse
Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2015, DCP, 123m
French with English subtitles

Arnaud Desplechin’s alternately hilarious and heartrending latest work is intimate yet expansive, a true autobiographical epic. Mathieu Amalric—Jean-Pierre Léaud to Desplechin’s François Truffaut—reprises the character of Paul Dédalus from the director’s groundbreaking My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument (NYFF, 1996), now looking back on the mystery of his own identity from the lofty vantage point of middle age. Desplechin visits three varied but interlocking episodes in his hero’s life, each more surprising and richly textured than the next, and at the core of his film is the romance between the adolescent Paul (Quentin Dolmaire) and Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet). Most directors trivialize young love by slotting it into a clichéd category, but here it is ennobled and alive in all of its heartbreak, terror, and beauty. Le Monde recently referred to Desplechin as “the most Shakespearean of filmmakers,” and boy, did they ever get that right. My Golden Days is a wonder to behold. A Magnolia Pictures release. North American Premiere

No Home Movie

Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France, 2015, DCP, 115m
French and English with English subtitles

At the center of Chantal Akerman’s enormous body of work is her mother, a Holocaust survivor who married and raised a family in Brussels. In recent years, the filmmaker has explicitly depicted, in videos, books, and installation works, her mother’s life and her own intense connection to her mother, and in turn her mother’s connection to her mother. No Home Movie is a portrait by Akerman, the daughter, of Akerman, the mother, in the last years of her life. It is an extremely intimate film but also one of great formal precision and beauty, one of the rare works of art that is both personal and universal, and as much a masterpiece as her 1975 career-defining Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 BruxellesU.S. Premiere

Right Now, Wrong Then
Hong Sangsoo, South Korea, 2015, DCP, 121m
Korean with English subtitles

Ham Chunsu (Jung Jaeyoung) is an art-film director who has come to Suwon for a screening of one of his movies. He meets Yoon Heejung (Kim Minhee), a fledgling artist. She’s never seen any of his films but knows he’s famous; he’d like to see her paintings and then go for sushi and soju. Every word, every pause, every facial expression and every movement, is a negotiation between revelation and concealment: too far over the line for Chunsu and he’s suddenly a middle-aged man on the prowl who uses insights as tools of seduction; too far for Heejung and she’s suddenly acquiescing to a man who’s leaving the next day. So they walk the fine line all the way to a tough and mordantly funny end point, at which time… we begin again, but now with different emotional dynamics. Hong Sangsoo, represented many times in the NYFF, achieves a maximum of layered nuance with a minimum of people, places, and incidents. He is, truly, a master. U.S. Premiere

The Treasure / Comoara
Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania, 2015, DCP, 89m
Romanian with English subtitles

Costi (Cuzin Toma) leads a fairly quiet, unremarkable life with his wife and son. He’s a good provider, but he struggles to make ends meet. One evening there’s a knock at the door. It’s a stranger, a neighbor named Adrian (Adrian Purcarescu), with a business proposal: lend him some money to find a buried treasure in his grandparents’ backyard and they’ll split the proceeds. Is it a scam or a real treasure hunt? Corneliu Porumboiu’s (When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism, NYFF 2013) modern-day fable starts like an old Honeymooners episode with a get-rich-quick premise, gradually develops into a shaggy slapstick comedy, shifts gears into a hilariously dry delineation of the multiple layers of pure bureaucracy and paperwork drudgery, and ends in a new and altogether surprising key. Porumboiu is one of the subtlest artists in movies, and this is one of his wryest films, and his most magical.

Where To Invade Next
Michael Moore, USA, 2015, DCP, 110m

Where are we, as Americans? Where are we going as a country? And is it where we want to go, or where we think we haveto go? Since Roger & Me in 1989, Michael Moore has been examining these questions and coming up with answers that are several worlds away from the ones we are used to seeing and hearing and reading in mainstream media, or from our elected officials. In his previous films, Moore has taken on one issue at a time, from the hemorrhaging of American jobs to the response to 9/11 to the precariousness of our healthcare system. In his new film, he shifts his focus to the whole shebang and ponders the current state of the nation from a very different perspective: that is, from the outside looking in.Where To Invade Next is provocative, very funny, and impassioned—just like all of Moore’s work. But it’s also pretty surprising. U.S. Premiere

For more information, visit: www.filmlinc.org. 

FSLC announces Special Events & Revivals lineup for NYFF53

Special Events include Film Comment Presents: Son of Saul; World Premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun; 15th Anniversary screening of O Brother, Where Art Thou?; North American Premiere of De Palma
Revivals highlights include new restorations of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran, King Hu’s A Touch of Zen, the 25th Anniversary of The Film Foundation with Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl, Ernst Lubitsch’s Heaven Can Wait, Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers, and Visit, or Memories and Confessions from the late, great Manoel de Oliveira

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the lineup for Special Events and Revivals taking place during the 53rd New York Film Festival (NYFF), September 25 – October 11. The Special Events lineup includes important new works and premieres, as well as a very special celebration of a beloved musical fantasia. The Revivals selections includes 11 international masterpieces from renowned filmmakers whose diverse and eclectic works have been digitally remastered, restored, and preserved with the assistance of generous partners, including Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, celebrating its 25th anniversary. 

The Special Events lineup returns with Film Comment Presents, originally launched during NYFF in 2013 with the premiere of the award-winning 12 Years a Slave. This year’s selection, Son of Saul, László Nemes’s shattering film about the horror of Auschwitz, recently won the Grand Prix at Cannes, and has been selected as Hungary’s official entry for the foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards. Making its North American Premiere in the festival is Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s film portrait De Palma, chronicling director Brian De Palma’s illustrious six-decade-long career, his life, and his personal views on the filmmaking process (De Palma’s masterful Blow Out will also screen in Revivals). Another established American filmmaker turning his attention from narrative to intimate documentary study is Paul Thomas Anderson, whose latest film, Junun, will World Premiere in the Special Events section. Junun follows the musical journey of his close friend and collaborator Jonny Greenwood to northern India, to record an album with an Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur and illustrious local musicians. 

Additional highlights include renowned artist Laurie Anderson (this year’s NYFF poster designer!) who will premiere her first feature in 30 years, a personal essay entitled Heart of a Dog. Anderson’s response to a commission from Arte, the film is a work of braided joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved piano-playing and finger-painting dog Lolabelle. The recently announced NYFF Filmmaker in Residence, Athina Rachel Tsangari, will also present her latest film, Chevalier, which will be making its U.S. Premiere fresh on the heels of the Locarno and Toronto International Film Festivals.

Following the NYFF tradition of special anniversary screenings (which in the past have included The Princess Bride’s 25th anniversary, This Is Spinal Tap’s 30th anniversary, and Dazed and Confused’s 20th anniversary), the festival is proud to present a special evening celebrating the 15th anniversary of Joel and Ethan Coen’s beloved roots-musical fantasia O Brother, Where Art Thou?, set in the rural south in the 1930s and based on Homer’s The Odyssey. The Coen Brothers and cast members will be on hand for this journey, and there will be a special musical performance.

The Revivals selection for this year’s festival includes a diverse group of 11 international offerings from master filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa, Brian De Palma, Hou Hsiao-hsien, King Hu, Manoel de Oliveira, and more. These restorations include a suite of movies that have been restored with the assistance of Martin Scorsese’s nonprofit Film Foundation. Established in 1990, the Foundation has helped to save, protect, and preserve over 700 films, working in partnership with archives and studios from around the globe. This year’s Revivals section includes seven films restored with the Foundation’s help: Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Boys from Fengkuei, Ernst Lubitsch’s Heaven Can Wait, Lino Brocka’s Insiang, John Ford’s The Long Voyage Home, Marcel Ophüls’ The Memory of Justice, and Luchino Visconti’sRocco and His Brothers. The Lubitsch film will be screened in a new 35mm print, courtesy of 20th Century Fox. 

Not to be missed is Akira Kurosawa’s astonishing Ran, the NYFF’s 1985 Opening Night selection, returning to the festival in a newly restored version, where the color palette is unlike that of any other movie made before or since. King Hu’s three-years-in-the-making masterpiece, A Touch of Zen, will also be shown in a beautiful restoration, which was presented at this year’s edition of Cannes, 40 years after the film’s first unveiling to Western eyes. The late, great Manoel de Oliveira’s 1982 film Visit, or Memories and Confessions will also be included in the Revivals lineup this year, after having been hidden away from audiences by the filmmaker himself for over 30 years. 

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Kent Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Senior Programming Advisor; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound

Tickets for the General Public go on sale Sunday, September 13. Revival tickets are $15 for General Public; $10 for Members & Students; and a discounted 3+ film package will also be available for purchase. Special Event programs will have slightly higher pricing based on venue. Visit filmlinc.org/NYFF
 for more information.

Tickets for the 53rd New York Film Festival will go on sale to Film Society patrons at the end of August, ahead of the General Public. Learn more about the patron program at
filmlinc.org/patrons. Becoming a Film Society Member offers the exclusive member ticket discount to the New York Film Festival and Film Society programming year-round plus other great benefits. Current members at the Film Buff Level or above enjoy early ticket access to NYFF screenings and events ahead of the general public. Learn more at filmlinc.org/membership.

For even more access, VIP Passes offer buyers the earliest opportunity to purchase tickets and secure seats at the festival’s biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “ An Evening With…” Dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass type. For more information about purchasing VIP Passes, go to
filmlinc.org/NYFFor contact patrons@filmlinc.org.




Special Events

Filmmaker in Residence Screening:
Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece, 2015, DCP, 104m

Greek with English subtitles
Six men set out on the Aegean Sea aboard a yacht, and before long, male bonding and one-upmanship give way to a loosely defined yet hotly contested competition to determine which of them is “the best in general.” As the games and trials grow more elaborate and absurd—everything is up for judgment, from sleeping positions to cholesterol levels to furniture-assembly skills—insecurities emerge and power relations shift. As in her 2010 breakthrough, Attenberg, Athina Rachel Tsangari, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 2015 Filmmaker in Residence, balances anthropological precision with a wry and wholly original sense of humor. Impeccably staged, crisply photographed, and buoyed by eclectic soundtrack choices (Petula Clark, Mark Lanegan), this maritime psychodrama becomes both funnier and richer in its implications as it progresses. What begins as a lampoon of bourgeois machismo and male anxiety develops into an incisive allegory for the state of contemporary Greece, and leaves a final impression as an empathetic, razor-sharp study of human nature itself.The Filmmaker in Residence program was launched in 2013 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre as an annual initiative designed to support filmmakers at an early stage in the creative process against the backdrop of New York City and the New York Film Festival (NYFF). U.S. Premiere

De Palma
Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow, USA, 2015, DCP, 107m

Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s fleet and bountiful portrait covers the career of the number one iconoclast of American cinema, the man who gave us Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, and Carlito’s Way. Their film moves at the speed of De Palma’s thought (and sometimes works in subtle, witty counterpoint) as he goes title by title, covering his life from science nerd to New Hollywood bad boy to grand old man, and describes his ever-shifting position in this thing we call the movie business. Deceptively simple, De Palma is finally many things at once. It is a film about the craft of filmmaking—how it’s practiced and how it can be so easily distorted and debased. It’s an insightful and often hilarious tour through American moviemaking from the 1960s to the present, and a primer on how movies are made and unmade. And it’s a surprising, lively, and unexpectedly moving portrait of a great, irascible, unapologetic, and uncompromising New York artist. In conjunction with this film, we will also be showing De Palma’s masterpiece Blow Out. North American Premiere

Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, USA/France, 2015, DCP, 75m

In Laurie Anderson’s plainspoken all-American observational-autobiographical art, voices and harmonies and rhythms and images are juxtaposed and layered, metaphors are generated, and the mind of the viewer/listener is sent spinning into the stratosphere. It’s been nine years since her last film and almost 30 since her last feature. Heart of a Dog is her response to a commission from Arte, a work of braided joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved piano-playing and finger-painting dog Lolabelle. Life in the neighborhood—downtown New York after 9/11... the archiving of surveillance records in ziggurat-like structures… Lolabelle’s passage through the bardo… recollections of deaths and near-deaths, terrors personal and global, sad goodbyes and funny ones, dreams and imagined flights… acceptance: Heart of a Dog is as immediate as a paragraph by Kerouac, as disarmingly playful as a Cole Porter melody, as rhapsodically composed as a poem by Whitman, and a thing of rare beauty.

Paul Thomas Anderson, USA, 2015, English and Indian, DCP, 54m
English, Hindu, Hebrew, and Urdu with English subtitles

Earlier this year, Paul Thomas Anderson joined his close friend and collaborator Jonny Greenwood on a trip to Rajasthan in northwest India, where they were hosted by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, and he brought his camera with him. Their destination was the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, where Greenwood (with the help of Radiohead engineer Nigel Godrich) was recording an album with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and an amazing group of musicians: Aamir Bhiyani, Soheb Bhiyani, Ajaj Damami, Sabir Damami, Hazmat, and Bhanwaru Khan on brass; Ehtisham Khan Ajmeri, Nihal Khan, Nathu Lal Solanki, Narsi Lal Solanki, and Chugge Khan on percussion; Zaki Ali Qawwal, Zakir Ali Qawwal, Afshana Khan, Razia Sultan, Gufran Ali, and Shazib Ali on vocals; and Dara Khan and Asin Khan on strings. The finished film, just under an hour, is pure magic. Junun lives and breathes music, music-making, and the close camaraderie of artistic collaboration. It’s a lovely impressionistic mosaic and a one-of-a-kind sonic experience: the music will blow your mind. World Premiere

Anniversary Screening:
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Joel and Ethan Coen, 2000, USA, DCP, 107m

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Joel and Ethan Coen’s beloved roots-musical fantasia, “based upon The Odyssey, by Homer,” about three escaped convicts (George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, and John Turturro) trying to get back home in the rural South of the 1930s. Bigger than life, endlessly surprising, eye-popping (“they wanted it to look like an old hand-tinted picture,” said DP Roger Deakins), and as giddily and defiantly unclassifiable as all other Coen films, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is, among many other things, a celebration of American music. With a score curated and produced by T-Bone Burnett, the movie sings with voices and sounds of some of the best musicians in the country, including Ralph Stanley, the Fairfield Four, Alison Krauss, John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch, and the melodies of classics like “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and the film’s touchstone, “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Cast members, musical guests, and Joel and Ethan Coen will be on hand. Bring your instrument! A Touchstone Pictures and Universal Pictures release.

Film Comment Presents:
Son of Saul
László Nemes, Hungary, 2015, 35mm, 107m
Hungarian and German with English subtitles

A film that looks into the abyss, this shattering portrait of the horror of Auschwitz follows Saul (Géza Röhrig), aSonderkommando tasked with delivering his fellow Jews to the gas chamber. Determined to give a young boy a proper Jewish burial, Saul descends through the death camp’s circles of Hell, while a rebellion brews among the prisoners. A bombshell debut from director and co-writer László Nemes, Son of Saul is an utterly harrowing, ultra-immersive experience, and not for the fainthearted. With undeniably virtuoso plan-séquence camerawork in the mode of Nemes’s teacher Béla Tarr, this startling film represents a new benchmark in the historic cinematic depictions of the Holocaust. A deeply troubling work, sure to be one of the year’s most controversial films. A Sony Picture Classics release.


Blow Out
Brian De Palma, USA, 1981, 35mm, 107m

One of Brian De Palma’s greatest films and one of the great American films of the 1980s, Blow Out is such a hallucinatory, emotionally and visually commanding experience that the term “thriller” seems insufficient. De Palma takes a variety of elements—the Kennedy assassination; Chappaquiddick; Antonioni’s Blow-Up; the slasher genre that was then in full flower; elements of Detective Bob Leuci’s experiences working undercover for the Knapp Commission; the harshness and sadness of American life; and, as ever, Hitchcock’s Vertigo—and swirls and mixes them into a film that builds to a truly shattering conclusion. With John Travolta, in what is undoubtedly his greatest performance, as the sound man for low-budget movies who accidentally records a murder; Nancy Allen, absolutely heartbreaking, as the girl caught in the middle; John Lithgow as the hired killer; and De Palma stalwart Dennis Franz as the world’s biggest sleaze. This was the second of three collaborations between De Palma and the master DP Vilmos Zsigmond. MGM Home Entertainment.

Akira Kurosawa, Japan/France, 1985, DCP, 160m
Japanese with English subtitles

The 1985 New York Film Festival opened with Akira Kurosawa’s astonishing medieval epic, inspired by the life of Mori Motonari, a 16th-century warlord with three sons. It was only after he began writing that the filmmaker started to see parallels with King Lear. It took a decade for Kurosawa to bring his grand conception to the screen—he actually painted storyboards of every shot along the way, and made another great film, Kagemusha, as a dry run. The finished work he eventually gave us was, to put it mildly, a mind-blowing experience. Tatsuya Nakadai is the warlord, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, and Daisuke Ryu are his sons, Mieko Harada is the terrifying Lady Kaede, the score is by Toru Takemitsu, but the dominant force looming over every single element of this film, down to the smallest detail, is Kurosawa himself. The color palette of Ran is unlike that of any other movie made before or since, as you’ll see in this newly restored version.Restoration by StudioCanal with the participation of Kadokawa Pictures. A Rialto Films release.

A Touch of Zen
King Hu, Hong Kong, 1971/75, DCP, 200m
Mandarin with English subtitles

When it comes to the wuxia film, all roads lead back to the great King Hu: supreme fantasist, Ming dynasty scholar, and incomparable artist. For years, Hu labored on his own, creating one exquisitely crafted film after another (with astonishing pre-CGI visual effects), elevating the martial-arts genre to unparalleled heights and, as the film critic and producer Peggy Chiao noted in her obituary for Hu, single-handedly introducing Chinese cinema to the rest of the world. Hu’s three-years-in-the-making masterpiece, A Touch of Zen, was released in truncated form in Hong Kong in 1971 and yanked from theaters after a week. A close-to-complete version was constructed by Hu and shown at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, where Hu won a grand prize for technical achievement (which earned King Hu an apology from his studio heads). This beautiful restoration of A Touch of Zen was presented at this year’s edition of Cannes, 40 years after the film’s first unveiling to Western eyes. Restored in 4K by L’Immagine Ritrovata, with original materials provided by the Taiwan Film Institute. A Janus Films release.

Visit, or Memories and Confessions
Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal, 1982, 35mm, 73m
Portuguese with English subtitles

The late, great Manoel de Oliveira stipulated that this film—made in 1982—be screened publicly only after his death. One of the Portuguese master’s most exquisite and moving films, and certainly his most personal, Visit assumes the rare form of an auto-elegy. A prowling camera finds Oliveira, who died at 106 this past April, in the Porto house where he had lived for four decades and that he is preparing to leave due to mounting debts. He addresses the audience directly, setting the film’s droll, convivial tone, and discusses a wide range of topics (family history, cinema, architecture), shares home movies, and reenacts his run-in with the military dictatorship. Oliveira’s improbable career took the form of a long goodbye, but this actual farewell is no less touching in its simplicity and lucidity. He made the film at age 73, presumably expecting he was near the end of his life. He would in fact live another 33 years and make another 25 or so films, some of them among his greatest, in an extended twilight that was also an artistic prime unlike any other. An Instituto Portugues de Cinema release.

Celebrating 25 Years of The Film Foundation

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Film Foundation. Following his successful campaign in the early ’80s to develop a more durable color film stock, Martin Scorsese founded the organization to raise awareness of the fragility of film and to create a genuine consciousness of film preservation. Since its inception in 1990, TFF has partnered with archives, studios, and labs around the world to restore over 700 films. We’re presenting seven of their newest restorations.

Black Girl / La Noire de…
Ousmane Sembene, France/Senegal, 1965, DCP, 65m
French with English subtitles

Ousmane Sembene’s first feature—really, the movie that opened the way for African cinema in the West—is by turns tough, swift, and true in its aim. A young woman (Mbissine Thérèse Diop) leaves Senegal with dreams of a more carefree and glamorous existence in France, where she procures a job as a live-in maid and nanny for a young couple in the French Riviera. She is gradually deadened by the endless routines and tasks and rhythms of life in the tiny apartment, and by the dissatisfactions felt by the husband and wife, which they project onto their “black girl.” Sembene’s “perfect short story,” wrote Manny Farber, naming it as his movie of 1969, “is unlike anything in the film library: translucent and no tricks, amazingly pure, but spiritualized.” A formative and eye-opening work, and one of Sembene’s finest. Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Sembene Estate, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, INA, Eclair laboratories, and Centre National de Cinématographie. Restoration carried out at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory. A Janus Films release.

The Boys from Fengkuei
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan, 1983, DCP, 101m
Mandarin with English subtitles

This “group portrait of four laddish adolescents on the razzle in Kaohsiung as they approach the onset of adult life” (Tony Rayns) is Hou Hsiao-hsien’s fourth film, but he has long considered it to be the real beginning of his career as a moviemaker. “I had very intense feelings at the time,” Hou told Sam Ho, “and I think the film has an intense energy. An artist’s early work might be lacking in craft but, at the same time, be very powerful, very direct. Later, when I wanted to return to that initial intensity, I no longer could.” In the tradition of Fellini’s I Vitelloni, The Boys from Fengkuei is a deeply personal look back at the director’s own adolescence—at the boredom of living in the middle of nowhere and the overwhelming need to get up and move, and get out and away to the big city. A glorious young-man’s film, and the first great work of the Taiwanese New Wave. Restoration by the Cineteca di Bologna. A Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique release.

Heaven Can Wait
Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1943, 35mm, 112m

The legendary Ernst Lubitsch’s portrait of a turn-of-the-century hedonist extraordinaire begins at the gate of hell—not Dante’s Inferno but a handsome art-deco waiting room, where a courtly Satan (Laird Cregar) conducts an admission interview with the recently deceased Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche). Henry’s leisurely stroll through the past is a very funny comedy of manners and a lovely rendering of Old New York. Lubitsch’s writing with Samson Raphaelson — Satan: “I presume your funeral was satisfactory.” Henry: “Well, there was a lot of crying, so I believe everybody had a good time.”—and his meticulous direction are all of a piece. The film’s glorious, candy-box Technicolor has now been beautifully restored by Schawn Belston and his team at 20th Century Fox, just in time for the 100th Anniversary of the Fox Film Corporation. With Gene Tierney, Louis Calhern, Eugene Pallette, Marjorie Main, and Charles Coburn as Henry’s grandfather and fellow black sheep. Restored by 20th Century Fox in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation. A 20th Century Fox release.

Lino Brocka, Philippines, 1976, DCP, 95m
Tagalog and Filipino with English subtitles

In Lino Brocka’s searing 1976 melodrama (one could use the same adjective to describe all of his melodramas), the eponymous heroine, played by Hilda Koronel, is raped by her mother’s boyfriend, then blamed for provoking the act and forced out of her own home. “Insiang is, first and foremost, a character analysis,” wrote the director. “I need this character to recreate the ‘violence’ stemming from urban overpopulation, to show the annihilation of a human being, the loss of human dignity caused by the physical and social environment…” The people in Brocka’s films live in dire circumstances, offset by their extreme vitality and their electrically charged encounters. Insiang, a failure on its home ground but the first film from the Philippines to be invited to Cannes, is one of its director’s best. It is also the second of Brocka’s works to be restored by the World Cinema Project. With Mona Lisa as Insiang’s mother. Restored in 2015 by Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. A Film Foundation release.

The Long Voyage Home
John Ford, USA, 1940, DCP, 105m

Independently produced by Walter Wanger, John Ford’s soulful, heartbreaking film is based on four Eugene O’Neill one-acts about life at sea (the playwright himself loved the movie so much that he acquired his own 16mm print). Ford, working with his screenwriter Dudley Nichols and his brilliant cameraman Gregg Toland (they had just collaborated on The Grapes of Wrath), updates the plays to World War II and condenses the action, creating tonal variations on the aching loneliness of life at sea and the longing for home. In the words of Ford biographer Joseph McBride, the director and his DP “broke all the rules of conventional Hollywood cinematography” and created “a doom-laden mood with deep pools of light and shadow”—seen to full advantage in this beautiful restoration. The Long Voyage Home is a true ensemble piece featuring many of the actors that comprised Ford’s “stock company,” including Thomas Mitchell, Barry Fitzgerald and his brother Arthur Shields, John Qualen, and, unforgettably, John Wayne as the Swedish sailor Ole. Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. A Westchester Films and Shout! Factory release.

The Memory of Justice
Marcel Ophüls, UK/USA/France/Germany, 1976, DCP, 278m
French with English subtitles

The third of Marcel Ophüls’ monumental inquiries into the questions of individual and collective guilt fueling the calamities of war and genocide, The Memory of Justice examines the defining tragedies of the Western world in the second half of the 20th century, from the Nuremberg trials through the French-Algerian war to the disaster of Vietnam, building from a vast range of interviews, from Telford Taylor (Counsel for the Prosecution at Nuremberg, later a harsh critic of our escalating involvement in Vietnam) to Nazi architect Albert Speer to Daniel Ellsberg and Joan Baez. As Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times when The Memory of Justice was screened at the 1976 New York Film Festival, Ophüls’ film “expands the possibilities of the documentary motion picture in such a way that all future films of this sort will be compared to it.” Seldom seen since its premiere and then only in rare 16mm prints, the film has now been painstakingly restored. Restored by the Academy Film Archive in association with Paramount Pictures and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by The Material World Charitable Foundation, Righteous Persons Foundation, and The Film Foundation. A Film Foundation release.

Rocco and His Brothers
Luchino Visconti, Italy/France, 1960, DCP, 177m
Italian with English subtitles

Luchino Visconti’s rich and expansive masterpiece, the story of a mother and her grown sons who head north from Lucania in search of work and new lives, has an emotional intensity and a tragic grandeur matched by few other films. Visconti turned to Giovanni Testori, Thomas Mann, Dostoyevsky, and Arthur Miller for inspiration, and he achieved an truly epic sweep: in one beautifully realized scene after another, we observe the tragic progress of a tightly knit family coming apart, one frayed thread at a time. Alain Delon is Rocco, Renato Salvatori is his brother Simone, Annie Girardot is the woman who comes between them, and Katina Paxinou is the matriarch, Rosaria. Rocco and His Brothers, one of the great and defining films of its era, has now been beautifully restored, and Giuseppe Rotunno’s black-and-white images are once again as pearly and lustrous as they were meant to be. Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata in association with Titanus, TF1 Droits Audiovisuels, and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by Gucci and The Film Foundation. A Milestone Film release.

For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org.


The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the complete lineup for Projections at the 53rd New York Film Festival, taking place from Friday, October 2 through Sunday, October 4. This year’s lineup, which includes 14 programs, presents an international selection of film and video work that expands upon our notions of what the moving image can do and be. Drawing on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques, including experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary and ethnographic realms, and contemporary art practices, Projections brings together a diverse offering of short, medium, and feature-length work by some of today’s most vital and groundbreaking filmmakers and artists. 

“We think of Projections, now in its second year, as the festival’s ever-shifting zone of discovery, a survey of inventive and unconventional work that updates and challenges our idea of what constitutes experimentation in cinema,” said Dennis Lim, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Programming and one of the curators of Projections. “In the spirit of its venerable predecessor, Views from the Avant-Garde, the program remains committed to the experimental film tradition, but it has been no less important for us to bring new voices and fresh approaches into the mix. This year we have a more varied slate than ever, one that I hope audiences will find invigorating in its breadth, and for its implicit assertion that there are still myriad ways to reimagine the possibilities of cinema and its relationship to the world.“
This year, the NYFF welcomes a new collaboration with the curated video on demand service MUBI, which will be a dedicated sponsor of the Projections section. Several titles from past Projections lineups will be made available on MUBI leading up to the festival, and a selection from the 2015 lineup will be offered after premiering. Details on the films and schedule will be announced at a later date.    

Highlights in Projections this year include the U.S. Premiere of two new films from Ben Rivers (A Distant Episode, THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS; Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s return to the festival after Leviathan with the World Premiere of Ah humanity!, co-directed with Ernst Karel; andWorld Premieres from previous Kazuko Trust Award winners Dani Leventhal (Hard as Opal, co-directed with Jared Buckhiester), Laida Lertxundi (Vivir para Vivir / Live to Live), and Michael Robinson (Mad Ladders). This year’s recipient of the Kazuko Award, which recognizes artistic excellence and innovation and is awarded to an emerging filmmaker in the Projections lineup, will be announced in early October.  

Other World Premieres of note include returning regulars to Projections (and formerly Views from the Avant-Garde): Janie Geiser (Cathode Garden), Jim Finn (Chums from Across the Void), Jodie Mack (Something Between Us), Fern Silva (Scales in the Spectrum of Space), Mike Stoltz (Half Human, Half Vapor), and Vincent Grenier (Intersection).

Directors with medium- and feature-length works in this year’s selection include Nicolas Pereda (Minotaur), whose work has shown in New Directors/New Films and Art of the Real previously; FIDMarseille award winner Riccardo Giacconi (Entangled / Entrelazado); and Isiah Medina (88:88), whose film was a selection at the recent Locarno Film Festival and will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. 

Several esteemed contemporary visual artists will also make their first appearance at the NYFF this year, including James Richards (Radio at Night), Basim Magdy (The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys), Simon Fujiwara (Hello), Michael Bell-Smith (Rabbit Season, Duck Season), Takeshi Murata (OM Rider), Jon Rafman (Erysichthon), and Cécile B. Evans (Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen).

Discovery and rediscovery will also take center stage throughout the weekend. Among the first-timers at the NYFF are Louis Henderson, who has two films in the festival, including the World Premiere of Black Code/Code Noir; and Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias, with his bold riff on Roberto Bolaño, Santa Teresa & Other Stories. Projections will also showcase restorations of the late Chick Strand’s Soft Fiction and Curt McDowell’s Confessions, both on 16mm and restored by the Academy Film Archive.

Projections is curated by Dennis Lim (Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center), Aily Nash (independent curator), and Gavin Smith (Editor, Film Comment and Senior Programmer, Film Society of Lincoln Center). 

Tickets are $15 for General Public; $10 for Members & Students, and a $99 Projections All Access Pass will also be available for purchase. Visit
 filmlinc.org/NYFF for more information. Additional NYFF special events, documentary section, and filmmaker conversations and panels will be announced in subsequent days and weeks.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. 

Tickets for the 53rd New York Film Festival will go on sale to Film Society patrons at the end of August, ahead of the General Public. Learn more about the patron program at filmlinc.org/patrons. Becoming a Film Society Member offers the exclusive member ticket discount to the New York Film Festival and Film Society programming year-round plus other great benefits. Current members at the Film Buff Level or above enjoy early ticket access to NYFF screenings and events ahead of the general public. Learn more at filmlinc.org/membership.

For even more access, VIP Passes and Subscription Packages give buyers one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “ An Evening With…” Dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. A limited number of VIP Passes and Subscription Packages are still available. For information about purchasing Subscription Packages and VIP Passes, go to filmlinc.org/NYFF.

Films, Descriptions & Schedule

All screenings will take place at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street

Program #1
Friday, October 2, 2:00pm
Friday, October 2, 9:00pm
TRT: 82m

The entanglement of the psychological and physical worlds, as reflected in architecture, domestic space, and everyday objects.

Neither God nor Santa María
Samuel M. Delgado & Helena Girón, Spain, 2015, DCP, 12m

“Since airplanes did not exist, people moved around using prayers; they went from one land to another and returned early, before dawn. In old audio recordings, the voices of pastors speak of the mythical existence of witches and their travels. In the daily life of a woman, the magic of her tales begin to materialize as night falls. Night is the time when travel is possible.”—Samuel Delgado & Helena Girón U.S. Premiere

Something Horizontal
Blake Williams, USA/Canada, 2015, HDCAM, 10m

“Three-dimensional flashes of Victorian domestic surfaces and geometric shadows transform the physical world into a somber, impressionistic abstraction, while elsewhere a specter emerging from the depths of German Expressionism reminds us that what goes up always comes down.”—Blake Williams U.S. Premiere

Analysis of Emotions and Vexations
Wojciech Bakowski, Poland, 2015, digital projection, 13m

“This movie is a representation of my spirit’s volatile state. I used animation with poetic comment to analyze my emotions and vexations. I used pencil drawings in translucent frames to show a state of lightness. On the drawings you can see the elements taken from imagination and from real external sights. I did so because our mental states are built from what we can see and what we remember or imagine in abstraction.”—Wojciech Bakowski U.S. Premiere

Scott Stark, USA, 2015, 35mm, 9m

“Discarded Christmas trees, colorfully arranged flea-market finds, a museum of animal kills, microscopic views of kitchenware, and other overlooked cultural artifacts are interwoven with flickering journeys through mysterious, shadowy realms. Traces/Legacy uses a device called a film recorder to print a series of still digital images onto 35mm film. The 35mm projector can only show a portion of the image at a time, so the viewer sees alterations between the top and bottom half of each frame. The images also overlap onto the optical sound area of the film, generating their own unique sounds.”—Scott Stark

Entangled / Entrelazado
Riccardo Giacconi, Colombia/Italy, 2014, digital projection, 37m

“In quantum physics, if two particles interact in a certain way and then become separated, regardless of how distant they are from each other they will share a state known as ‘quantum entanglement.’ That is, they will keep sharing information despite their separation. This theory used to upset Einstein. In his theory of relativity, no transmission of information could occur faster than the speed of light, therefore he couldn’t understand how the two particles could be simultaneously connected.”—Riccardo Giacconi North American Premiere

Program #2
Friday, October 2, 4:15pm
Saturday, October 3, 2:00pm
TRT: 78m

The raw and the cooked: from elemental particles and nature vs. culture to doomed transcendental urges and, out of the ashes, renewal in fresh visions of the material world.

Prima Materia
Charlotte Pryce, USA, 2015, 16mm, 3m

“Delicate threads of energy spiral and transform into mysterious microscopic cells of golden dust: these are the luminous particles of the alchemist’s dream. Prima Materia is inspired by the haunting wonderment of Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura. It is an homage to the first, tentative photographic records that revealed the extraordinary nature of phenomena lurking just beyond the edge of human vision.”—Charlotte Pryce

Vincent Grenier, USA, 2015, DCP, 7m

“On the corner of Brooktondale Rd. and Route 79 near Ithaca is an amazing planting of forget-me-nots and dandelions. An improbable dance between different layers of reality, one organic, the other mechanical, and another the numbing everyday. Timeless fragility jousts with fleeting enamels and the upstanding violence.”—Vincent Grenier World Premiere

Port Noir
Laura Kraning, USA, 2014, digital projection, 11m

“Within the machine landscape of Terminal Island, the textural strata of a 100-year-old boat shop provides a glimpse into Los Angeles Harbor’s disappearing past. Often recast as a backdrop for fictional crime dramas, the scenic details of the last boatyard evoke imaginary departures and a hidden world at sea.”—Laura Kraning

Centre of the Cyclone
Heather Trawick, USA/Canada, 2015, 16mm, 18m

“‘In the province of the mind there are no limits. However, in the province of the body there are definite limits not to be transcended’ (John C. Lilly). An invocation for the transcendence between the corporeal and metaphysical, the passage is guided by marooned sailors, a moment of celestial chance, demolition derbies, and a slipping into the ether.”—Heather Trawick World Premiere

Le Pays Dévasté / The Devastated Land
Emmanuel Lefrant, France, 2015, 35mm, 12m

"A look back to the geological age when humans were just starting to learn to control the powers of nature that had dominated them up to that point. Traces—chemical, consumption, and nuclear—of their existence will remain in the planet’s geological code for thousands or even millions of years. Making use of negative images, Le Pays Dévasté presents an ominous picture of Earth’s future."—Emmanuel Lefrant U.S. Premiere

Cathode Garden
Janie Geiser, USA, 2015, DCP, 8m

“A young woman moves between light and dark, life and death; a latter-day Persephone. The natural world responds accordingly. Neglected negatives, abandoned envelopes, botanical and anatomical illustrations, and found recordings reorder themselves, collapsing and reemerging in her liminal world.”—Janie Geiser World Premiere

Something Between Us
Jodie Mack, USA, 2015, 16mm, 10m

“A choreographed motion study for twinkling trinkets, beaming baubles, and glaring glimmers. A bow ballet ablaze (for bedazzled buoyant bijoux brought up to boil). Choreographed costume jewelry and natural wonders join forces to perform plastic pirouettes, dancing a luminous lament until the tide comes in.”—Jodie Mack World Premiere

brouillard - passage 15
Alexandre Larose, Canada, 2014, 35mm, 10m

“With this project I fabricate sequences by in-camera layering of repeated trajectories inside a path extending from my family’s home into Lac Saint-Charles. The image-capturing process produces a sedimented landscape that gradually unfolds while simultaneously disintegrating under temporal displacement. Approximately 30 long takes begin at the same frame on the film strip, all shot at a high frame rate. My walking rhythm varies for each trajectory, resulting in the space progressively expanding in depth until I reach the edge of a dock. The duration of the long take corresponds to the length of the celluloid reel, a thousand feet of 35mm film.”—Alexandre Larose

Program #3
Friday, October 2, 6:30pm
Saturday, October 3, 4:00pm
TRT: 86m

Disorienting visions, both near and far, of an apocalyptic world reveal the warped landscapes of the Anthropocene.

A Distant Episode
Ben Rivers, UK/Morocco, 2015, 16mm, 18m

“A meditation on the illusion of filmmaking, shot behind the scenes on a film being made on the otherworldly beaches of Sidi Ifni, Morocco. The film depicts strange activities, with no commentary or dialogue; it appears as a fragment of film, dug up in a distant future—a hazy, black-and-white hallucinogenic world.”—Ben Rivers U.S. Premiere

In Girum Imus Nocte
Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Italy, 2015, digital projection, 13m

“I imagine a wooden boat on fire. A fire that illuminates the night and slowly consumes and transforms the fishing boat into coal. A fire that accompanies the traveling distance of the miners and fishermen. Change of a substance from one physical state to another. An entropic event transforming matter and symbols.”—Giorgio Andreotta Calò North American Premiere

Half Human, Half Vapor
Mike Stoltz, USA, 2015, 16mm, 11m

“This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture. I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy. Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.”—Mike Stoltz World Premiere

Ana Vaz, France/Portugal, 2014, 16mm/digital projection, 15m   
“Filming in Lisbon in search of the origins of our colonial history, I found copies. Brazilians, the new worlders fluent in glitz, entertain the Portuguese in awe and discomfort, colonial norms applied and reapplied. Chinese porcelain seem to signal hybrids to come: the Chinese dressed as Europeans, the Brazilian maid dressed as a 19th-century European servant. Porcelain from the 15th-century becomes reproducible ready-mades that set the tables for the new colonies—a transatlantic calling. Ouro novo reads new money. As a poem without periods, as a breath without breathing, the voyage travels eastward and westward, marking cycles of expansion in a struggle to find one’s place, one’s seat at the table.”—Ana Vaz     

Ben Russell, USA/South Africa, 2015, DCP, 7m

“Filmed in the remains of Soweto's historic Sans Souci Cinema (1948-1998), YOLO is a makeshift structuralist mash-up created in collaboration with the Eat My Dust youth collective from the Kliptown district of Soweto, South Africa. Vibrating with mic checks and sine waves, resonating with an array of pre-roll sound—this is cause and effect shattered again and again, temporarily undone. O humanity, You Only Live Once!”—Ben Russell U.S. Premiere

Ah humanity!
Ernst Karel, Verena Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Japan/France/USA, 2015, DCP, 22m

“Ah humanity! reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the age of the Anthropocene.  Taking the 3/11/11 disaster of Fukushima as its point of departure, it evokes an apocalyptic vision of modernity, and our predilection for historical amnesia and futuristic flights of fancy.  Shot on a telephone through a handheld telescope, at once close to and far from its subject, the audio composition combines excerpts from Japanese genbaku film soundtracks, audio recordings from scientific seismic laboratories, and location sound.”—Ernst Karel, Verena Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor World Premiere

Program #4
Saturday, October 3, 1:00pm
Saturday, October 3, 6:00pm
TRT: 74m

When the worlds of fantasy and desire collide in a dissociative dance of bodies in motion, what’s love got to do with it? 

Hard as Opal
Jared Buckhiester & Dani Leventhal, USA, 2015, digital projection, 29m

“A soldier’s trip to Syria is complicated when he accidentally impregnates a friend. Meanwhile, a horse breeder from Ohio is driven away from home by her own desire to become pregnant. In Hard as Opal the lines between truth and fiction, fact and fantasy, are reined in and treated not as fixed, divisive markers but as malleable threads of narrative potential. Buckhiester and Leventhal perform alongside other non-actors who are filmed in their own varying domestic and professional environments. The result is a rich accumulation of narratives held together by questions concerning the nature of objectification, loneliness, and dissociative fantasy.”—Brett Price World Premiere

Curt McDowell, USA, 1971, 16mm, 11 min

“How much joy and lust and friendship can be crammed into one 11-minute movie? ‘To put it into words is just not that easy to do.’ After a tearful confession, Curt casts one true love as a leading man and lets the images do most of the talking, so what you know about him is felt. The difference between a messy guy in bloom and a perfect lifeless doll. The beauty of women’s faces and men’s cocks in close-up, and dirty bare feet, stepping forward. A live-wire radio built by editing that switches from folk to blues in a heartbeat. Fanfare, a cum shot, and a burst of applause as the director walks away from the camera, into San Francisco daylight. There’s no happier ending in cinema."
—Johnny Ray Huston, from The Single and the LP

Restored print courtesy of Academy Film Archive. Confessions is the first in a large-scale project at the Academy Film Archive to restore the majority of Curt McDowell’s extant films.

Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies
Alee Peoples, USA, 2015, 16mm, 9m

“I use Super 8 and 16mm film as a vehicle for loose storytelling with history and humor. Simple props and gestures are part of a playful aesthetic. Glimpses into the culture of a place are given while playing with truth and representation. Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies is a Los Angeles street film starring empty signs, radio from passing cars, and human sign spinners, some with a pulse and some without.”—Alee Peoples

Mars Garden
Lewis Klahr, USA, 2014, DCP, 5m

“Mars Garden is episode 5 of my 12-film series Sixty Six, which on its most foundational level, splices Greek mythology with 1960s pop culture. In Mars Garden I employ a light box to excavate the chance superimpositions of the two-sided comic book page in vintage mid-1960s superhero comics.”—Lewis Klahr

The Exquisite Corpus
Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2015, 35mm, 19m

“The Exquisite Corpus is based on several different films, with reference to the surrealist ‘exquisite corpse’ technique. It combines rushes from commercials, an American erotic thriller from the 1980s, a British comedy from the 1960s, a Danish and a French porn film (both most likely from the 1970s), an Italian softcore sex movie from 1979, and a (British?) amateur “nudist film.” In addition to the found footage, many indexical signs and images are imprinted upon the film. By focusing on these erotic fragments The Exquisite Corpus brings the body of film itself to the forefront and finds its central theme.”—Peter Tscherkassky U.S. Premiere

Program #5
Saturday, October 3, 3:30pm
TRT: 64m

Soft Fiction
Chick Strand, USA, 1979, 16mm, 54m

“Chick Strand’s Soft Fiction is a personal documentary that brilliantly portrays the survival power of female sensuality. It combines the documentary approach with a sensuous lyrical expressionism. Strand focuses her camera on people talking about their own experience, capturing subtle nuances in facial expressions and gestures that are rarely seen in cinema. The film’s title works on several levels. It evokes the soft line between truth and fiction that characterizes Strand's own approach to documentary, and suggests the idea of softcore fiction, which is appropriate to the film's erotic content and style. It's rare to find an erotic film with a female perspective dominating both the narrative discourse and the visual and audio rhythms with which the film is structured. Strand continues to celebrate in her brilliant, innovative personal documentaries her theme, the reaffirmation of the tough resilience of the human spirit.”
—Marsha Kinder, Film Quarterly

Restored by the Academy Film Archive. Restoration funding provided by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and The Film Foundation.

Lost Note
Saul Levine, USA, 1969/2015, 16mm, 10m

“Scenes drawn from the home and life of Isa Milman (the woman I was then married to) and me, made together with our dog Jesse, our friends Bruce Blaney and Patti Tanaka, their children Sean and Jason, and many others. I began this as a love poem to Isa, but before I finished the film everything had changed. For many of us, 1968/69 was a period of violent transition. The film was formally challenging, editing footage with in-camera superimpositions and cutting black and white with color.”—Saul Levine

Program #6
Saturday, October 3, 5:30pm
TRT: 63m

Nicolas Pereda, Mexico/Canada, 2015, DCP, 53m

“Minotaur takes place in a home of books, of readers, of artists. It’s also a home of soft light, of eternal afternoons, of sleepiness, of dreams. The home is impermeable to the world. Mexico is on fire, but the characters of Minotaur sleep soundly.”—Nicolas Pereda U.S. Premiere

Vivir para Vivir / Live to Live
Laida Lertxundi, USA/Spain, 2015, 16mm, 10m

“The body, a space of production, creates structures for a film.”—Laida Lertxundi
World Premiere

Program #7
Saturday, October 3, 7:15pm
Sunday, October 4, 5:00pm
TRT: 69m

Modern conflicts of labor and race, traced from their complex origins to the chaotic present.

Simon Fujiwara, Germany, 2015, digital projection, 10m

“Hello explores changes in the working lives of two people: Maria, a Mexican trash picker who separates and collects recyclable materials from landfills to sell by the kilo, and Max, a German freelance computer-animation designer working for the advertising industry in Berlin. The double interview is controlled and manipulated by a computer-generated severed hand that Maria describes as an object once discovered in the trash while working in the violent northern town of Mexicali. This CGI hand was in turn produced by Max who was born with no arms and sought refuge in computer imaging as a means to operate and manipulate a digital reality.”—Simon Fujiwara U.S. Premiere

F for Fibonacci
Beatrice Gibson, UK, 2014, DCP, 16m

“F for Fibonacci takes as its departure point William Gaddis’s epic 1975 modernist novel JR. Unfolding through the modular machine aesthetics of the video game Minecraft, text-book geometries, graphic scores, images from physics experiments, and cartoon dreams blend with images from Wall Street: stock-market crashes, trading pits, algorithms, and transparent glass. As well as the writing of Gaddis, the film draws on the work of little-known British experimental educator and composer John Paynter. Gibson worked closely with 11-year-old Clay Barnard Chodzko on a number of the film’s production elements, commissioning him to design an office in Minecraft and develop an existing character of his, Mr. Money. Gibson and Chodzko’s ramblings on the subject of his protagonist lead the viewer through F for Fibonacci’shallucinatory soup.”—Beatrice Gibson

Black Code/Code Noir
Louis Henderson, France, 2015, DCP, 21m

“Black Code/Code Noir unites temporally and geographically disparate elements into a critical reflection on two recent events: the murders of Michael Brown and Kajieme Powell by police officers in the U.S. in 2014. Archaeologically, the film argues that behind this present situation is a sedimented history of slavery, preserved by the Black Code laws of the colonies in the Americas. These codes have transformed into the algorithms that configure police Big Data and the necropolitical control of African Americans today. Yet how can we read in this present? How can we unwrite the sorcery of this code as a hack? Through a historical détournement the film suggests the Haitian Revolution as the first instance of the Black Code’s hacking and as a past symbol for a future hope.”—Louis Henderson World Premiere

Lessons of War
Peggy Ahwesh, USA, 2014, digital projection, 6m

“Five little narratives—newsworthy stories from the 2014 war on Gaza—retold in order to not forget the details, to reenact the trauma and to honor the dead. The footage is lifted from a YouTube channel that renders the news in animation, fantastic and imaginative, providing several protective layers away from reality. The footage is repurposed here to critique that safe distance from the violence, foregrounding the antiseptic nature of the virtual narrative. Video courtesy of Microscope Gallery.”—Peggy Ahwesh

Scales in the Spectrum of Space
Fern Silva, USA, 2015, DCP, 7m

“Commissioned by the Chicago Film Archive and in collaboration with legendary jazz musician Phil Cohran, Scales in the Spectrum of Space explores the documented histories of urban life and architecture in Chicago. Culled from 70 hours of footage and incorporating 35 different films, Scales in the Spectrum of Space weighs in on the pulse of the Midwest metropolis.”—Fern Silva World Premiere

Many Thousands Gone
Ephraim Asili, USA/Brazil, 2015, digital projection, 9m

“Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York (an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to create an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real-time “sight reading” of the score.”
—Ephraim Asili

Program #8
Sunday, October 4, 1:00pm
TRT: 65m

Isiah Medina, Canada, 2014/15, DCP, 65m

“You cannot pay your bill. - . Your heat and lights are cut off. -. You pay. The clocks initially flash 88:88, --:--. You set the clocks. You cannot pay. -. You pay. 88:88. --:--. Repeat. 88:88, --:--. Cut. -. You stop setting your clock to the time of the world. 88:88, --:-- . Subtracted: - : you make do with suspension. 88:88, --:--, -.”—Isiah Medina U.S. Premiere

Program #9
Sunday, October 4, 3:30pm
Sunday, October 4, 7:00pm
TRT: 76m

Life in the Cloud: What are the material and emotional consequences of a digital world that has altered our bodily existence?

Radio at Night
James Richards, Germany/UK, 2015, digital projection, 8m

“Responding to Derek Jarman’s visual strategies and montage techniques, Radio at Night carves out a sensual and sonic space of representation. The video is an assemblage of distorting and looping audiovisual material, including industrial documentation, medical imaging, news broadcasts, and a specially composed soundtrack sung in C minor.”—James Richards

All That Is Solid
Louis Henderson, France/UK/Ghana, 2014, DCP, 15m

“As technological progress pushes forward, piles of obsolete computers are discarded and recycled. Sent to the coast of West Africa, these computers are thrown into wastegrounds such as Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana. The e-waste is recovered and burned to extract the precious metals contained within. Eventually the metals are melted and reformed into new objects to be sold—it is a strange system of recycling, a kind of reverse neocolonial mining, whereby the African is searching for mineral resources in the materials of Europe. Through showing these laborious processes, the video challenges the capitalist myth of the immateriality of new technology, revealing the mineral weight with which the Cloud is grounded to its earthly origins.”—Louis Henderson

Mad Ladders
Michael Robinson, USA, 2015, digital projection, 9m

“A modern prophet’s visions of mythical destruction and transformation are recounted across a turbulent geometric ceremony of rising curtains, swirling setpieces, and unveiled idols from music television’s past. Together, these parallel cults of revelation unlock a pathway to the far side of the sun.”—Michael Robinson World Premiere

Jon Rafman, Canada, 2015, digital projection, 8m

“Erysichthon is the third and final film in a Dante-esque adventure across the far-flung corners of the Web. Plunging into the depths of Internet obsessions and transgressions, the videos assemble an unsettling parade of images from the mundane to the erotic to the violent, presenting the full breadth and depth of human desires as mediated by the flow of data.”—Jon Rafman World Premiere

Slow Zoom Long Pause
Sara Magenheimer, USA, 2015, digital projection, 13m

“Q: How do we know it’s real?

A: It feels real

Q: What if fake feels real?

A: Then it’s real

Q: What color is the sound of your name?

A: Peach

Q: What comes next?

A: A

Q: Can you think of a thing that itself is a symbol, too?

A: A

Q: Do you know anyone whose name is just one letter?

A: I

Q: If your first name was only one letter, which letter would it be?

A: I”
—Sara Magenheimer
World Premiere

Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen
Cécile B. Evans, UK, 2014, digital projection, 22m

“Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen is narrated by the failed CGI rendering of a recently deceased actor (PHIL). In an intensification of so-called hyperlink cinema, the lives of a group of digital agents—render ghosts, spambots, holograms—unfold across various settings, genres, and modes of representation. Multiple storylines build, converge, and collapse around overarching ideas of existence without anatomy: the ways in which we live and work within the machine. Throughout, questions are raised about what it means to be materially conscious today and the rights of the personal data we release.”
—Cécile B. Evans

Program #10
Sunday, October 4, 6:00pm
TRT: 84m

Santa Teresa & Other Stories
Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias, Dominican Republic/Mexico/USA, 2015, DCP, 65m

“This film arises from the urgent need to talk about violence from another position, conscious of the over-used statement ‘Third World society places violence at the center of its meaning.’ Accordingly, let’s forget the modes of representation that my cinema has used and consider that where an idea manages to take control and become hegemonic, an anarchic rebellion of multiple narratives, colors, and formats emerges in a drive toward permanent revolution. The Caribbean reinvented European tongues; my montage is inspired by that far-from-standard orality, mutating constantly into different modes of representation as it stalks its freedom.”—Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias U.S. Premiere

Bunte Kuh
Ryan Ferko, Faraz Anoushahpour & Parastoo Anoushahpour, Canada, 2015, DCP, 6m

“Through a flood of images and impressions, a narrator attempts to recall a family holiday. Produced in Berlin and Toronto,Bunte Kuh combines a found postcard, a family photo album, and original footage to weave together the temporal realities of two separate vacations.”—Ryan Ferko, Faraz Anoushahpour & Parastoo Anoushahpour

The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys
Basim Magdy, Egypt, 2014, digital projection, 13m

“Layered and manually altered 16mm footage intertwines with the soundtrack and the narrative, presented through subtitles, to tell the story of a man who moves away from the sea to escape death by water. He soon finds himself alone when his co-workers go to the beach and never return. Society becomes a stranger and his imagination becomes his only friend. He dials a random number and a romantic conversation about loneliness and the absurdity of reality ensues. His world starts acquiring meaning as he realizes part-time-singer monkeys are running the show.”—Basim Magdy World Premiere

Program #11
Sunday, October 4, 8:30pm
Sunday, October 4, 9:00pm
TRT: 98m

Ben Rivers, UK/Morocco, 2015, 35mm, 98m

A labyrinthine and epic film that moves between documentary, fantasy, and fable, shot against the staggering beauty of the Moroccan landscape, from the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains to the stark and surreal emptiness of the Moroccan Sahara, with its encroaching sands and abandoned film sets. Rivers’s work contains multiple narratives, the major strand being an adaptation of “A Distant Episode,” the savage short story by Paul Bowles. The film also features the enigmatic young film director Oliver Laxe, whose on-screen presence becomes interwoven with the multiple narratives that co-exist amid the various settings of Rivers’s cinematic exploration. U.S. Premiere


Program A
Friday, October 2, 12:00-6:00pm, 9:00-11:00pm, Q&A 9:00pm
TRT: 38m (on loop)

Chums from Across the Void
Jim Finn, USA, 2015, DCP, 18m

“Little Radek, the step-dancing Bolshevik; Machera, the Andean Robin Hood; and Maria Spiridonova, the Russian socialist assassin are your guides for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy. In this third Inner Trotsky Child video, narrator Lois Severin—a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife—attempts to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self-help scene. Like the Christian fundamentalist activists in the 1970s who prepared the way for the Reagan Revolution, the Inner Trotsky Child movement was a way to cope with life in the Prime Material Plane of Corporate Capitalism and to create a 21st-century revolution of the mind.”—Jim Finn World Premiere

The Two Sights
Katherin McInnis, USA, 2015, DCP, 4m

“Between 1015 and 1021 C.E., the great Muslim scientist Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) wrote The Book of Optics (while feigning madness and under house arrest). The Book of Optics debunks theories that the eyes emit rays, or that objects project replicas of themselves, and accurately describes the strengths and weaknesses of human vision. Translations of this work reached the West in the 13th century and influenced Roger Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, and Descartes.The Two Sights is a false translation of this work, using images from the LIFE magazine photo archive.”—Katherin McInnis World Premiere

A Disaster Forever
Michael Gitlin, USA, 2015, digital projection, 16m

“Derived from a 25-year-old cassette tape, transcribed and reenacted on a recording stage, A Disaster Forever positions us on the unfamiliar terrain of an idiosyncratic cosmology. Turning between prismatic abstractions and hand-painted entanglements, a world-system is suspended in the play of light by a voice that floats loose in a cinema for the ear.”—Michael Gitlin World Premiere

Program B
Saturday, October 3, 12:00-6:00pm, 9:00-11:00pm, Q&A 5:00pm
TRT: 34m (on loop)

Calum Michel Walter, USA, 2015, digital projection, 11m

“The observations of an object in motion: A mobile device captures the trajectories of objects liberated from and bound to earth, against a backdrop of uniquely human dissonance. Terrestrial is in part an attempt to articulate a desire to transcend bodily limits with things like mobile devices and machines etc. while acknowledging an unavoidable level of dysfunction.The film was inspired by an incident in 2014 where a Blue Line train in Chicago failed to stop at its final destination, the O’Hare airport, and eventually came to a stop halfway up the escalator at the airport’s entrance. Terrestrial reimagines this crash as an earthbound machine’s failed takeoff.”—Calum Michel Walter U.S. Premiere

Noite Sem Distância
Lois Patiño, Portugal/Spain, 2015, DCP, 23m

“An instant in the memory of landscape: the smuggling that for centuries crossed the line between Portugal and Galicia. The Gerês Mountains knows no borders, and rocks cross from one country to another with insolence. Smugglers also disobey this separation. The rocks, the river, the trees: silent witnesses that help them to hide. They just have to wait for the night to cross the distance that separates them.”—Lois Patiño North American Premiere

Program C
Sunday, October 4, 12:00-6:00pm, 9:00-11:00pm, Q&A 3:00pm
TRT: 37m (on loop)

Rabbit Season, Duck Season
Michael Bell-Smith, USA, 2014, digital projection, 5m

“In Rabbit Season, Duck Season, a scene from the 1951 Warner Bros. cartoon “Rabbit Fire” is retold as an allegory for the present day. The cartoon’s iconic encounter between the hunter, the rabbit, and the duck frames a web of tightly constructed sequences that move across various forms of video, including traditional animation, live action, and 3-D animation. A loose essay film, the video adopts a variety of tones and genres to touch upon themes of resistance, taste, the construction of meaning, and the exhaustion of choice.”—Michael Bell-Smith

All My Love All My Love
Hannah Black, UK, 2013-15, digital projection, 7m

“In a famous experiment intended to mechanize the procedures of parenting and love, baby monkeys were given ‘wire mothers.’ The experiment failed, just like real mothers sometimes fail. It continues to be cheaper for the complex procedures of care to be performed by women, often impoverished women of color. But the vanguard of tech keeps producing new technologies of love: the Gchat that fills the empty space of a solitary day, for example, or the dancing robot in the video. The ambivalent need for contact remains, as a wound or a breach, threaded through all our relations. The living mother is also a technology, i.e., a social form, and one day she too might be rendered obsolete.”—Hannah Black North American Premiere

Velvet Peel 1
Victoria Fu, 2015, USA, digital projection, 13m

“Velvet Peel 1 depicts performing bodies in cinematic space interacting with flat layers of digital effects. Featuring performers Polina Akhmetzyanova and Matilda Lidberg, their movements are based on physical enactments of touchscreen interfaces. The figures are composited in a variety of settings—scenes from previous exhibition venues and contexts where the work was installed, the artist’s studio during production, appropriated footage from the Internet, desktop screensavers, and abstracted 16mm color film. Layered together to create a “viable” or “habitable” cinematic space, the scenes are simultaneously deconstructed by making the layers of post-production visible, and the flatness of surfaces called to the fore.

OM Rider
Takeshi Murata, USA, 2014, digital projection, 12m

“In a vast desert bathed in neon hues, a misfit werewolf blasts syncopated techno rhythms into the night. Meanwhile, an old man sits at a large, round table in a void-like space, rigidly sipping coffee and rolling snake-eyed dice as the faint sound of the werewolf’s pulsating, phantasmic synth grows louder. Hopping onto his motorcycle, the werewolf tears full speed ahead over forbidding terrain while his hoary counterpart becomes increasingly anxious...”—Takeshi Murata

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Time to mark your calendars for 2014. Starting January 14-29, 2015 it’s time for the 24th Annal NY Jewish Film Festival

SALVATION ARMY (L’armée du salut)

Abdellah Taïa, France/Morocco/Switzerland, 2013, DCP, 81m
French and Arabic with English subtitles
Like the book it’s based on—Abdellah Taïa’s own 2006 landmark novel—the Moroccan author’s directorial debut is a bracing, deeply personal account of a young gay man’s awakening that avoids both cliché and the trappings of autobiography. First seen as a 15-year-old, Abdellah (Saïd Mrini) habitually sneaks away from his family’s crowded Casablanca home to engage in sexual trysts with random men in abandoned buildings. A decade later, we find Abdellah (now played by Karim Ait M’hand) on scholarship in Geneva, involved with an older Swiss professor (Frédéric Landenberg). With a clear-eyed approach, devoid of sentimentality, this wholly surprising bildungsfilm explores what it means to be an outsider, and with the help of renowned cinematographer Agnès Godard, Taïa finds a film language all his own: at once rigorous and poetic, worthy of Bresson in its concreteness and lucidity. A New Directors/New Films 2014 selection. A Strand Releasing release.
Opens January 23 for exclusive one-week engagement

Opening Night
The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer
Asaf Galay & Shaul Betser, Israel, 2014, 72m
English, Hebrew, and Yiddish with English subtitles
Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer was a charming enchanter both on the page and in his romantic life. This surprising and unflinching documentary explores, through poignant interviews and exclusive archival footage, the unknown history of one of his most vital sources of creative inspiration: his translators. Dozens of women throughout Singer’s life worked with him to open the doors to his singular Yiddish prose for the rest of the world to enjoy, and his relationships with many of them blurred the lines between the professional and the personal. This is their story, and his—as well as a story of the arts of literature, translation, love, and life itself. U.S. Premiere
Wednesday, January 14, 4:00pm & 8:45pm (Q&A with Asaf Galay and Shaul Betser at both screenings)
Closing Night
Felix and Meira
Maxime Giroux, Canada, 2014, 105m
French, English, and Yiddish with English subtitles
In the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal, hipsters and Hasidim coexist amicably but independently. When Meira, an Orthodox wife and mother with an undercurrent of rebelliousness, meets Felix, a middle-aged atheist adrift without family ties, a slow-booming affair takes shape that will present Meira with a difficult fork in the road. Felix and Meira unfolds like a classic forbidden-love novel, stylized by cinematographer Sara Mishara’s shadowy, underlit lensing and set on overcast wintery streets. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release. U.S. Premiere
Thursday, January 29, 3:30pm & 9:00pm (Q&A with Maxime Giroux at both screenings)
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz, Israel/France/Germany, 2014, 115m
Hebrew and French with English subtitles
Israel’s Foreign Language Oscar submission, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is a dramatic adaptation of a harrowing true story set in a Mizrahi Orthodox enclave in Israel. The title heroine has spent five years in a stalemate fighting for a divorce that, according to religious law, requires her husband’s full consent. As he continues to refuse, Viviane fears that her life may never proceed freely, and the courtroom struggles grow increasingly surreal. Ronit Elkabetz (who co-directed with her brother) delivers an unforgettable performance in the lead role. A Music Box Films release. New York City Premiere
Wednesday, January 21, 3:15pm & 9:00pm (Q&A with Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz at both screenings)
The King of Nerac
Guy Natanel & Annie Sulzberger, UK/Denmark, 2013, 76m
David Breuer-Weil’s vast, apocalyptic canvases stare unflinchingly at the horrors of 20th-century history, and his colossal, dynamic sculptures dominate public spaces around the world from London to Jerusalem. This pure and meditative film takes advantage of unique access to illuminate a thoughtful portrait of its fascinating, reclusive subject: a modern-day Gauguin who gave up a career as one of the world’s leading art dealers to embark on a life of creativity and contemplation. World Premiere
Tuesday, January 20, 9:00pm (Q&A with Guy Natanel, Annie Sulzberger, and producer Paul Goldin)
Wednesday, January 21, 1:00pm (Q&A with Guy Natanel, Annie Sulzberger, and producer Paul Goldin) 
Now playing, until January 11th 
December 19 – January 11
Let There Be Light: The Films of John Huston, is a retrospective spanning five decades of the filmmaking legend’s iconic works, mostly as director, but also as screenwriter and actor. Huston was one of the greatest filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age: an artist of great toughness, conviction, and eloquence; a master storyteller; a hardened cynic; a reluctant romantic; a stellar director of actors, and a brilliant actor himself.
Long before striding in front of the camera to show Jack Nicholson’s character in Chinatown what men at the right place and time are capable of, John Huston established himself as one of the 20th century’s most accomplished film artists. With over a decade of writing credits by the time he assumed the director’s chair, he would later add producing and acting to his arsenal, racking up 15 Oscar nominations. His father, Walter, and daughter Anjelica both earned statuettes under his baton as director, making for one of the medium’s most formidable and collaborative dynasties. They are the only family to win Oscars in three successive generations.
Huston received his first Academy Award nomination for writing Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet in 1940, and in 1941 he directed his first feature, the film noir masterpiece The Maltese Falcon, quickly securing his place among Hollywood’s great directors (as well as turning Humphrey Bogart into a leading man; Bogart would routinely be cast in Huston’s next few films). In 1948, he won Academy Awards for writing and directing The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (which also netted his father a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), and in 1951 earned two more Oscar nominations and a Best Actor Oscar for Bogart in The African Queen.
Across his career, Huston directed over 40 films, wrote more than 20, and acted in nearly 30, including his notorious turn as villain Noah Cross in Roman Polanski’s crime masterpiece, Chinatown, in 1974. He experimented with different genres and in 1982, at the age of 76, he directed his spirited first musical, Annie. His magisterial final work, The Dead (1987), starred his daughter Anjelica (two years after she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for his crime caper Prizzi’s Honor).
Huston has been called “cinema’s Ernest Hemingway… never afraid to tackle tough issues head on,” and though he was by no means a “message man” like Stanley Kramer, a glance at his filmography reveals incisive treatments of racism, sexual identity, religion, alcoholism, psychoanalysis, and war. A renaissance man unbound to genre, Huston was also a painterly stylist attuned to the look of each scene. His films continuously circle back to questions of faith and doubt, concealment and revelation, failure and victory, empathy and the limits of consciousness. And though one of Huston’s great talents was for finding robust, flexible cinematic vocabularies for literary texts, his films were consistently imbued with a wise, reflective, open-minded voice entirely his own.