g The Film Panel Notetaker: Falling For the New York Film Festival

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Falling For the New York Film Festival

I know we still have about a month and a half of summer left, but I was reminded today when I received the press release for the 46th New York Film Festival line-up that fall will soon be upon us, and I for one cannot wait! It's no secret that fall is The Film Panel Notetaker's favorite season for film festivals. There's one nearly every week in and around New York starting in late September and going through most of the rest of the season. But let's stick to the New York Film Festival for now. I started going in 2001 with my friend Marissa (my first film festival experience ever being David Lynch's Mulholland Drive and a panel on Making Movies that Matter right after 9/11 with Oliver Stone and Christine Vachon), but didn't officially start notetaking there till 2006. Last year, I took to the ticket line at Jazz at Lincoln Center for my annual sojourn of sitting for hours in line for tickets as they go on sale to the public. Even though I now go as press, I still make my way to the box office (this year at Avery Fisher Hall) for nostalgic purposes and to see the same people I see every year (only in that line and at the festival and never anywhere else). Here's a quick glance (here, here, and here) at some notes I've taken at the festival since 2006.

This year's opening night film is the Cannes Golden Palm winner The Class (Entre Les Murs) from France by Laurent Cantent. The centerpiece is Clint Eastwood's Changeling starring Angelina Jolie and featuring Eddie Alderson (Matthew Buchanan of TV's One Life to Live). Finally, closing night is Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale Sunday, Sept. 7, at 12:00 noon at Avery Fisher Hall, corner of Columbus Avenue and 65th St.; Monday, Sept. 8, online at filmlinc.com; and on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Ziegfeld Theater, 141 West 54th St. For all other details and further information, please visit filmlinc.com.

Without further adieu, here is the entire lineup for the 46th New York Film Festival taking place Sept. 26 - Oct. 12.

Main slate, screening at the Ziegfeld Theatre, 141 West 54th St., except where noted

OPENING NIGHT (AVERY FISHER HALL / ZIEGFELD THEATRE)
The Class / Entre les murs
Laurent Cantet, France, 2008; 128m
A tough, lively and altogether revelatory look inside a high school classroom, enacted by
real teachers and students.

CENTERPIECE
Changeling
Clint Eastwood, USA, 2008; 140m
Angelina Jolie is a single mother whose troubles are just beginning when her son goes
missing in Clint Eastwood’s majestic fact-based period drama.

CLOSING NIGHT (AVERY FISHER HALL)
The Wrestler
Darren Aronofsky, USA, 2008; 109m
Mickey Rourke gives the performance of a lifetime in Darren Aronofsky’s raw and raucous new movie.

24 City / Er shi si cheng ji
Jia Zhangke, China/Hong Kong/Japan, 2008; 112m
The rise and fall of a Chinese factory town is chronicled in this film, straddling the border
between fiction and documentary.

Afterschool
Antonio Campos, USA, 2008; 122m
When two students at a posh prep school accidentally overdose, a student filmmaker
struggles to create an appropriate tribute for them.

Ashes of Time Redux
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 2008; 93m
The final, definitive version of Wong Kar Wai’s modernist take on the classic Chinese
martial arts tale.

Bullet in the Head / Trio en la cabeza
Jaime Rosales, Spain/France, 2008; 85m
A powerful, engrossing meditation on politics and the contemporary cult of surveillance.

Che
Steven Soderbergh, France/Spain, 2008; 268m
Steven Soderbergh’s two-part Spanish-language epic about Che Guevara’s revolutionary
military campaigns in Cuba and Bolivia features a brilliant lead performance by Benicio del Toro.

Chouga / Shuga
Darezhan Omirbaev, France/Kazakhstan, 2007; 91m
A Kazakh, minimalist adaptation of Anna Karenina.

A Christmas Tale / Un conte de Noël
Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2008; 150m
Arnaud Desplechin’s grand banquet of a movie brims with life, as Catherine Deneuve,
Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos and the other members of a marvelous ensemble
cast come home for Christmas.

Four Nights with Anna / Cztery noce z Anna
Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/France, 2008; 87m
This visually mesmerizing tale of a shy man and his obsession with the woman across the
way marks the triumphant return of Polish maestro Jerzy Skolimowski.

Gomorrah / Gomorra
Matteo Garrone, Italy, 2008; 137m
A blistering version of Roberto Saviano’s modern true crime classic about the modern-day
Neapolitan mafia.

Happy-Go-Lucky
Mike Leigh, UK, 2008; 118m
An affectionate portrait of an unattached, 30-something London schoolteacher coming to
terms with the fact that she’s no longer young.

The Headless Woman / La mujer sin cabeza
Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain, 2008; 87m
Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s powerful third feature takes us into an altered
perceptual state with a woman who hits something with her car.

Hunger
Steve McQueen, UK, 2008; 96m
British visual artist Steve McQueen’s feature film debut is an uncompromising look at the
hunger strike led by IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in 1974.

I’m Going to Explode / Voy a explotar
Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico, 2008; 103m
Two Mexican teenagers go into hiding to see the reactions their disappearance will get
from relatives and friends.

Let It Rain / Parlez-moi de la pluie
Agnès Jaoui, France, 2008; 110m
A portrait of a rising feminist politician may be the ticket to fame and jobs for two aspiring
filmmakers.

RETROSPECTIVE
Lola Montès
Max Ophuls, France/West Germany, 1955; 115m
The life of the legendary courtesan and circus performer—lover of kings, knaves and
Franz Liszt—is presented in its definitive, restored version.

Night and Day / Bam guan nat
Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2008; 144m
When his life in Seoul becomes too complicated, an artist hightails it to Paris—but things
don’t get any easier.

The Northern Land / A Corte do Norte
João Botelho, Portugal, 2008; 101m
A woman searches for the truth about her life in the stories of ancestors and the distant
manor house they inhabited.

Serbis
Brillante Mendoza, Philippines/France, 2008; 90m
A family tries to quell the tensions tearing it apart while it struggles to keep the family
business—a porn movie theater—afloat

Summer Hours / L’heure d’eté
Olivier Assayas, France, 2008; 103m
Juliette Binoche is one of three siblings brought face-to-face with time and mortality by the
sudden death of her mother in this moving new film from Olivier Assayas.

Tokyo Sonata
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands, 2008; 85m
A Japanese family struggles to re-define itself after the father loses his corporate job.

Tony Manero
Pablo Larrain, Chile/Brazil, 2008; 98m
In the dark days of the Pinochet dictatorship, a John Travolta wannabe blazes a
murderous trail through the back alleys of Chile.

Tulpan
Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Kazakhstan/Poland/Russia/Switzerland, 2008; 100m
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Tulpan charts
an aspiring herdsman’s efforts to win the attention of his intended.

Waltz with Bashir / Vals in Bashir
Ari Folman, Israel/Germany/France, 2008; 90m
Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman’s haunting autobiographical memory piece about his
experiences as a soldier during the 1982 war in Lebanon are given a hyper-real spin by
state-of-the-art animation.

Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt, USA, 2008; 80m
In Kelly Reichardt’s follow-up to her acclaimed Old Joy, Wendy (Michelle Williams)
searches for her dog Lucy. The troubled spirit of modern America is beautifully evoked
along the way.

The Windmill Movie
Alexander Olch, USA, 2008; 80m
Filmmaker Alexander Olch, using material left by the late filmmaker Richard Rogers for a never completed film autobiography, attempts to make sense of the life of his former
teacher and friend.

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