omplete QPORIT: MAIN SLATE: NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

 

MAIN SLATE: NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL 2013


THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
(FSLC)
51st NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
(NYFF 2013)

http://www.filmlinc.com/nyff2013

Main Slate


Ralph Fiennes as Charles Dickens and Felicity Jones as Nelly Ternan
Photo by David Appleby, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
NYFF 2013

36 Features include new films by
Catherine Breillat, J.C. Chandor, Joel & Ethan Coen,
Richard Curtis, Claire Denis, Arnaud Desplechin,
Ralph Fiennes, James Gray, James Franco,
Jim Jarmusch, Claude Lanzmann, Alexander Payne,
Hong Sang-soo, Frederick Wiseman,
and Jia Zhangke among others!


The 2013 51st New York Film Festival, 2013 (NYFF 2013), the first for new Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones, suggests a change of direction for the Festival.

Under the founding Director of Programming, Richard Roud, the Festival brought new European, especially French and Italian directors, to the Festival. Richard Pena brought a new wave of films from all over the world to the Festival, and under the leadership of FSLC Executive Director Rose Kuo, the Film Society of Lincoln Center built several new theaters. For the 50th NYFF, last year, (Richard Pena’s final year) the Festival program grew from screenings that were originally mostly at Alice Tully Hall, to screenings now at many venues, vastly increasing the number of special films the Festival can show, and even including a special weekend devoted to Transmedia/Convergence projects (which transcend pure film to include elements of audience interaction, immersive theater, and other special features). 

Under Kent Jones, this year’s festival Main Slate contains many American Films and there are quite a few comedies… And a few films with explicit sex. Also, unlike recent festivals (with Melancholia and 4:44), and current popular tent-poles, there are no films about the end of life on Earth (or Everywhere).

There are two time related romances (ABOUT TIME  and ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE) and one human-cyber romance (HER).

Many of the Main Slate films were award winners at other festivals, making their New York Premiere appearance here.

It should be noted that the Festival now exists in the context of very broad programming year-round by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. There are min-festivals now of French films, Italian Films, Asian Films and many other geographical, language, and thematic groupings of films, so that during the course of a year FSLC probably shows more European films outside the NYFF than it ever did during the early years when it was Euro-centric.

Many films (much more than half) are by returning directors. Even some of the new directors have long established credentials: Ben Stiller is presenting THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, adapted from Thurber’s classic short story; and James Franco also has a film in the festival. (This has been a hard year for new directors to break into the Main Slate of NYFF.) 

Many films have formidable star power, including Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Scarlett Johansson (at least her voice), Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Ben Stiller, Marion Cotillard, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Huppert, Rachel McAdams, Joaquin Phoenix (with two films in the Festival, THE IMMIGRANTS and Closing Night ‘s HER), Kristen Wiig, rising star Domhnall Gleeson, and Lea Seydoux – co-winner of the Cannes Palme D’Or for her sexually explicit role in BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (La vie d’adele).

In addition to the Main Slate, there are many other sections to the Festival this year, including Avant Garde films, Revivals (with even a special pre-festival week devoted to earlier films by some directors with new films in this Festival), Documentaries, another Transmedia/Convergence weekend, and special Galas honoring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett.

Here are some specific notes about the Main Slate:

Award winners from the Cannes Film Festival presented for the first time to New York audiences include:

• Abdellatif Kechiche’s BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, the winner of the 2013 Cannes Palme d’Or (which in a first, was awarded to both of its lead actresses, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, as well as the director);

• Joel and Ethan Coen’s INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, which won the festival’s Grand Prix Award;

• Jia Zhangke’s A TOUCH OF SIN, winner for Best Screenplay;

• Rithy Panh’s THE MISSING PICTURE, winner of the Certain Regard Prize

• Hany Abu-Assad’s OMAR, which won the Certain Regard Jury Prize; and

• Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA, which features Cannes Best Actor winner Bruce Dern.

Additional award winners were

• Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s AMERICAN PROMISE, which won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and

• Sebastián Lelio’s GLORIA, whose star Pauline Garcia took home the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for Best Actress.


 
American and British comedies are a significant presence in this year’s lineup of main slate official selections with


• Richard Curtis’s ABOUT TIME, a romantic comedy about a family whose men have the ability to travel in time, starring Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams;

• Declan Lowney’s ALAN PARTRIDGE, which brings Steve Coogan’s legendary television character to the big screen for the first time;

• Roger Michell’s LE WEEK-END, featuring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as a couple visiting Paris with hopes of rekindling their relationship;

• and Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA, about a father and son (Bruce Dern and Will Forte) on a road trip to pick up a million dollar prize that may or may not await them; 

• and the Centerpiece and Closing Night Gala selections, Ben Stiller’s THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and 

• Spike Jonze’s HER.


Documentary filmmaking legends Claude Lanzmann and Frederick Wiseman each make their third appearances in NYFF’s Main Slate. Lanzmann returns with THE LAST OF THE UNJUST, a portrait of Benjamin Murmelstein, the last Jewish elder of Theresienstadt, once despised by many of its surviving inhabitants. Wiseman turns his camera toward the University of California, Berkeley, with his latest film, AT BERKELEY.


Filmmakers returning to the NYFF who have had multiple films selected in the Main Slate in past editions include:

• Catherine Breillat with ABUSE IS WEAKNESS -- 
(36 FILLETTE, NYFF 1988; FAT GIRL, NYFF 2000; THE LAST MISTRESS, NYFF 2007; and BLUEBEARD, NYFF 2009)

• Ethan and Joel Coen with INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS -- 
(BLOOD SIMPLE, NYFF 1984, MILLER’S CROSSING, NYFF 1990 and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, NYFF 2007)

• Claire Denis with BASTARDS -- 
(BEAU TRAVAIL, NYFF 1999; FRIDAY NIGHT, NYFF 2002; and WHITE MATERIAL, NYFF 2009)

• Arnaud Desplechin with JIMMY P: PSYCHOTHERAPY OF A PLAINS INDIAN --
 (LA SENTINELLE, NYFF 1992; MY SEX LIFE…OR HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT, NYFF 1996; KINGS AND QUEENS, NYFF 2004; and A CHRISTMAS TALE, NYFF 2008)

• Agnieszka Holland with BURNING BUSH -- 
(ANGRY HARVEST, NYFF 1985; OLIVIER OLIVIER, NYFF 1992; and WASHINGTON SQUARE, NYFF 1997)

• Jim Jarmusch with ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE -- 
(STRANGER THAN PARADISE, NYFF 1984; DOWN BY LAW, NYFF 1986; MYSTERY TRAIN, NYFF 1989; and NIGHT ON EARTH, NYFF 1991) 

• Alexander Payne with NEBRASKA --  
(ABOUT SCHMIDT, NYFF 2002; SIDEWAYS, NYFF 2004; and THE DESCENDANTS, NYFF 2011)

• Kiyoshi Kurasawa with REAL -- 
(LICENSE TO LIVE, NYFF 1999, TOKYO SONATA, NYFF 2008)
   
• Hong Sang-soo with NOBODY’S DAUGHTER (HAEWON) -- 
(TURNING GATE, NYFF 2002; WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN, NYFF 2004; TALE OF CINEMA, NYFF 2005; WOMAN ON THE BEACH, NYFF 2006; NIGHT AND DAY, NYFF 2008; and OKI’S MOVIE, NYFF 2010)

• Frederick Wiseman with AT BERKELEY --  
(NEAR DEATH, NYFF 1989, PUBLIC HOUSING, NYFF 1997, BOXING GYM, NYFF 2010 and CRAZY HORSE, NYFF 2011)

• Jia Zhangke with A TOUCH OF SIN -- 
(PLATFORM, NYFF 2000; UNKNOWN PLEASURES, NYFF 2002; THE WORLD, NYFF 2004; USELESS, NYFF 2007; and 24 CITY, NYFF 2008)


Rounding out the list of returning NYFF Main Slate alumni are;

• Hany Abu-Assad (PARADISE NOW, NYFF 2005) 
with OMAR;

• French filmmakers Philippe Garrel (THE INNER SCAR, NYFF 1972 and REGULAR LOVERS, NYFF 2005) with JEALOUSY; and Alain Guiraudie (THAT OLD DREAM THAT MOVES, NYFF 2002)  
with STRANGER BY THE LAKE;

• Cannes award winner Abdellatif Kechiche (BLACK VENUS, NYFF 2010) 
with BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR.

• the director of the Opening Night Gala selection Paul Greengrass (BLOODY SUNDAY, NYFF 2002) 
with CAPTAIN PHILLIPS;

• the director of the Closing Night Gala selection Spike Jonze (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, NYFF 1999) 
with HER;

• Hayao Miyazaki (PRINCESS MONONOKE, NYFF 1997) 
with THE WIND RISES;

• Tsai Ming-liang (WHAT TIME IS IT THERE?, NYFF 2001 and GOOD BYE, DRAGON INN, NYFF 2003) 
with STRAY DOGS;

• documentarian Claude Lanzmann (ISRAEL, WHY, NYFF 1973 and SOBIBOR, OCTOBER 14, 1943, 4PM, NYFF 2001) 
with THE LAST OF THE UNJUST;

• Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu (POLICE, ADJECTIVE, NYFF 2009) 
with WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM; and

• Roger Michell, who returns to the New York Film Festival just one year after screening his film HYDE PARK ON HUDSON (NYFF 2012
with LE WEEK-END.
     

FilmLinc Daily Managing Editor Brian Brooks spoke with Kent Jones about the Main Slate official selections, the lead up to NYFF and looking ahead to his first NYFF as the festival’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair. That interview can be found at 

http://www.filmlinc.com/blog/entry/nyff-programming-chair-kent-jones-talks-comedy-dark-imagery-and-more-for-51



51st NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
Main Slate
Films & Descriptions

Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson
ABOUT TIME
NYFF 2013

ABOUT TIME (2013) 123min
Director: Richard Curtis
Country: UK
Richard Curtis adds a touch of time-travel to this hilarious romantic comedy, a perfect vehicle for the comic talents of Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Duncan, and emerging star Domhnall Gleeson. A Universal Pictures release.

Catherine Breillat
ABUSE OF WEAKNESS
NYFF 2013

ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (Abus de Faiblesse) (2013) 105min
Director: Catherine Breillat
Country: France
Catherine Breillat’s haunting film about her 2004 stroke and subsequent self-destructive relationship with star swindler Christophe Rocancourt, starring Isabelle Huppert.

ALAN PARTRIDGE (2013) 90min
Director: Declan Lowney
Country: UK/France
In the long-awaited big-screen debut of Steve Coogan’s singular comic creation, the vain and obliviously tactless Alan Partridge must serve as an intermediary when North Norfolk Digital is seized at gunpoint by a down-sized DJ.

Robert Redford
ALL IS LOST
NYFF 2013
Credit: Richard Foreman

ALL IS LOST (2013) 107min
Director: J.C. Chandor
Country: USA
Robert Redford, as you’ve never seen him before, gives a near-wordless all-action performance as a lone sailor trying to keep his yacht afloat after a collision with a discarded shipping container in the middle of the Indian Ocean. A Roadside Attractions release.

AMERICAN PROMISE (2013) 135min
Directors: Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson
Country: USA
Two Brooklyn filmmakers follow their son Idris and his friend Suen from their enrollment in the Dalton School as children through their high school graduations in this devastating, years-in-the-making documentary that takes a hard look at race and class in America.

AT BERKELEY
NYFF 2013
Credit: Berkeley Film Inc


AT BERKELEY (2013) 244min
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Country: USA
Another masterfully constructed documentary from Frederick Wiseman, examining the University of California, Berkeley from multiple angles - the administrators, the students, the surrounding community - to arrive at a portrait that is as rich in detail as it is epic in scope.

BASTARDS (Les Salauds) (2013) 100min
Director: Claire Denis
Country: France/Germany
Claire Denis’s jagged, daringly fragmented and deeply unsettling film inspired by recent French sex ring scandals is the rarest of cinematic narratives—a contemporary film noir, perfect in substance as well as style.

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
With Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos
NYFF 2013

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (La Vie d’Adèle) (2013) 179min
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Country: France
The sensation of this year’s Cannes Film Festival is an intimate - and sexually explicit - epic of emotional transformation, featuring two astonishing performances from Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux. A Sundance Selects release.
Please be advised that this film has scenes of a sexually explicit nature.

BURNING BUSH (Hořicí Keř) (2013) 234min
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Country: Czech Republic
A passionately brilliant Czech mini-series from Agnieska Holland about the events that followed student Jan Palach’s public self-immolation in protest against the Soviet invasion after Prague Spring.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (2013) 143min
Director: Paul Greengrass
Country: USA
Paul Greengrass has crafted an edge-of-your-seat thriller based on the true story of the seizure of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship in 2009 by four Somali pirates, with remarkable performances from Tom Hanks and four first-time actors, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahet M. Ali. A Sony Pictures release.

CHILD OF GOD (2013) 104min
Director: James Franco
Country: USA
James Franco’s uncompromising excursion into American Gothic, adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s 1973 novel, about an unstable sociopath in early 60s rural Tennessee who descends into an animal-like state - not for the faint-hearted.

GLORIA (2013) 110min
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Countries: Chile/Spain
A wise, funny, liberating movie from Chile, about a middle-aged woman who finds romance but whose new partner finds it painfully difficult to abandon his old habits.

HER (2013)
Director: Spike Jonze
Country: USA
In Spike Jonze’s magical, melancholy comedy of the near future, lonely Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his new all-purpose operating system (the voice of Scarlett Johansson), leading to romantic and existential complications. A Warner Bros. Pictures release.

THE IMMIGRANT (2013) 120min
Director: James Gray
Country: USA
In James Gray’s richly detailed period tragedy, set in a dusty, sepia-toned 1920s Manhattan, a young Polish immigrant (Marion Cotillard) is caught in a dangerous battle of wills with a shady burlesque manager (Joaquin Phoenix). A Radius-TWC release.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (2013) 105min
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Country: USA/France
Joel and Ethan Coen’s picaresque, panoramic and wryly funny story of a singer/songwriter is set in the New York folk scene of the early 60s and features a terrific array of larger-than-life characters and a glorious score of folk standards. A CBS Films release.

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (2013) 111min
Director: Ralph Fiennes
Country: UK
Ralph Fiennes directs and stars as Charles Dickens in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s revelatory 1992 biography, which brought the upright Victorian author’s secret 13-year affair with a young actress to light. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.

JEALOUSY (La Jalousie) (2013) 77min
Director: Philippe Garrel
Country: France
Another intimate, handcrafted work of poetic autobiographical cinema from French director Philippe Garrel, in which his son Louis and Anna Mouglalis star as actors and lovers trying to reconcile their professional and personal lives.

JIMMY P: PSYCHOTHERAPY OF A PLAINS INDIAN
NYFF 2013

JIMMY P: PSYCHOTHERAPY OF A PLAINS INDIAN (2013) 114min
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Country: France
In Arnaud Desplechin’s intelligent and moving depiction of a successful “Talking Cure,” the encounters between patient (Benicio del Toro) and therapist (Mathieu Amalric) are electric with discovery.

THE LAST OF THE UNJUST (Le Dernier des injustes) (2013) 218min
Director: Claude Lanzmann
Countries: France/Austria
This moral and cinematic tour de force from the creator of SHOAH will cause you to reconsider your understanding of Adolph Eichmann and of Benjamin Murmelstein, the last Jewish elder of Theresienstadt and the film’s central figure.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (Soshite Chichi ni Naru) (2013) 120min
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Country: Japan
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s sensitive drama takes a close look at two families’ radically different approaches to the horribly painful realization that the sons they have raised as their own were switched at birth. A Sundance Selects release.

THE MISSING PICTURE (L’image manquante) (2013) 92min
Director: Rithy Panh
Country: Cambodia
Filmmaker Rithy Panh’s brave new film revisits his memories of four years spent under the Khmer Rouge and the destruction of his family and his culture; without a single memento left behind, he creates his “missing images” with narration and painstakingly executed dioramas. A Strand release.

 Lou-Lélia Demerliac, Douglas Gordon
MY NAME IS HMMM… (Je m’appelle Hmmm…)
NYFF 2013

MY NAME IS HMMM… (Je m’appelle Hmmm…) (2013) 121min
Director: agnès B
Country: France
In this deeply personal, incandescent first feature from designer agnès B, a young girl holding her family together and bearing the weight of sexual abuse runs away from home and enjoys a carefree idyll with a kindly Scottish trucker.

Bruce Dern (center)
NEBRASKA
NYFF 2013

NEBRASKA (2013) 115min
Director: Alexander Payne
Country: USA
This masterful film from Alexander Payne, about a quiet old man (Bruce Dern) whose mild-mannered son (Will Forte) agrees to drive him from Montana to Nebraska to claim a non-existent prize, shades from the comic to multiple hues of melancholy and regret. A Paramount Pictures release.

NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAEWON (Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon) (2013) 90min
Director: Hong Sang-soo
Country: South Korea
A young student at loose ends after her mother moves to America tries to define herself one encounter and experience at a time, in reality and in dreams, in another deceptively simple chamber-piece from South Korean master Hong Sang-soo.

NORTH, THE END OF HISTORY
NYFF 2013

NORTH, THE END OF HISTORY (Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan) (2013) 250min
Director: Lav Diaz
Country: Philippines
Filipino director Lav Diaz’s twelfth feature - at four-plus hours, one of his shortest - is a careful rethinking of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, with a tortured anti-hero who is a haunting embodiment of the dead ends of ideology.

OMAR (2013) 96min
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Country: Palestinian Territories
A tense, gripping, ticking clock thriller about betrayal, suspected and real, in the Occupied Territories, from Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now).

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
NYFF 2013

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (2013) 123min
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Country: USA
Jim Jarmusch’s wry, tender and moving take on the vampire genre features Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as a centuries-old couple who watch time go by from separate continents as they reflect on the ever-changing world around them. A Sony Pictures Classics release. 

REAL (2013) 127min

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Country: Japan

REAL is at once the most romantic and tender film of Kurosawa’s career, and entirely consistent with the rest of his unparalleled body of work. It is also, as always, as visually and tonally exquisite as it is unsettling. A star manga artist (Haruka Ayase) is in a coma, the result perhaps of a suicide attempt. In an experimental medical procedure, her husband (Takeru Satô) enters her unconscious in an attempt to awaken her. But when one psyche merges with another, mirror opposites are the possible, troubling result. A haunting successor to the mother of all time travel films, Chris Marker’s LA JETÉE, with a tip of the hat to Bong Joon-ho’s THE HOST, REAL finds its mysteries in the ordinary. What does it mean to be coupled? Can love conquer death? A unique film from one of the most unique artists in contemporary cinema.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (2013)
Director: Ben Stiller
Country: USA
Ben Stiller stars in and directs this sweet, globe-trotting (but New York-based) comic fable about an up-to-the-minute everyman, co-starring Kristen Wiig as the woman of his dreams, Sean Penn as a legendary photographer and Shirley MacLaine as Walter’s mother. A Twentieth Century Fox release.

THE SQUARE (2013) 104min
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Country: USA/Egypt
Jehane Noujaim’s tense, vivid verité portrait of events as they unfolded in Tahrir Square through Arab Spring and beyond, in a newly revised, up-to-the-minute version.

STRANGER BY THE LAKE (L’Inconnu du lac) (2013) 97min
Director: Alain Guiraudie
Country: France
Alain Guiraudie’s lethally precise, sexually explicit film, which unfolds entirely in the vicinity of a gay cruising ground, is both a no-holds-barred depiction of a hedonistic subculture and a perverse and unnerving tale of amour fou. A Strand release.
Please be advised that this film has scenes of a sexually explicit nature. 

STRAY DOGS
Photographer William Laxton ©Homegreen Films and Jba Production
NYFF 2013

STRAY DOGS (Jiao You) (2013) 138min
Director: Tsai Ming-liang
Country: Taiwan/France
Tsai Ming-liang’s fable of a homeless family living the cruelest of existences on the ragged edges of the modern world is bracingly pure in its anger and its compassion, and as visually powerful as it is emotionally overwhelming.

A TOUCH OF SIN
NYFF 2013


A TOUCH OF SIN (Tian Zhu Ding) (2013) 133min
Director: Jia Zhangke
Country: China
Jia Zhangke’s bloody, bitter new film builds a portrait of modern-day China in the midst of rapid and convulsive change through four overlapping stories of marginalized and oppressed citizens pushed to murderous rage. A Kino Lorber release.

LE WEEK-END (2013) 93min
Director: Roger Michell
Country: UK
A magically buoyant, bittersweet comedy drama about a middle-aged and middle class English couple who go to Paris for a weekend holiday, starring two of Britain’s national treasures, Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan. A Music Box Films release.

WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM (2013) 89min
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
Countries: Romania/France
A rigorously structured and fascinatingly oblique new film from Corneliu Porumboiu that examines the life of a film director during the moments on a shoot when the camera isn’t rolling.

THE WIND RISES (Kaze Tachinu) (2013) 126min
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Country: Japan
The great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s new film is based on the life of Jiro Hirokoshi, the man who designed the Zero fighter. An elliptical historical narrative, THE WIND RISES is also a visionary cinematic poem about the fragility of humanity.

 
For more about CAPTAIN PHILLIPS -- the Opening Night Gala film with Tom Hanks:
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2013/07/tom-hanks-stars-opening-night-in-2013.html

For more about HER -- the Closing Night Gala film with Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson:
http://qporit.blogspot.com/2013/08/spike-jonzes-her-will-close-nyff-2013.html



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