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A ROCKY For Our Troubled Times

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  Sunday, October 12-----Every generation deserves its own Rocky.....a reminder that guts can lead to glory. In 1976, Sylvester Stallone's sentimental tale of a past-his-prime boxer who finds love and redemption both in and out of the ring, was an unlikely hit and major Oscar winner. In the next 30 years, films about bucking the odds have become their own uniquely American genre.   This year's Rocky is also the comeback story of the year....both for its lead actor an...

Spotlight On Directors At New York Film Festival

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Lucretia Martel (THE HEADLESS WOMAN)Matteo Garone (GOMORRAH)Clint Eastwood (The Changeling)Mike Leigh (Happy Go Lucky)Oliver Assayas (Summer Hours)Ari Folman (WALTZ WITH BASHIR)Benicio del Toro and Steven Soderbergh (CHE)Kiyoshi Kurosawa (TOKYO SONATA) ...

A European Cinema Feast At New York Film Festival

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  HUNGER (Steve McQueen, UK) Friday, October 10---------As it enters its final weekend, The New York Film Festival, which celebrated its 46th anniversary, has again been an extraordinary showcase of the pulse of contemporary European cinema.  Over almost five decades, the Festival has introduced and cemented the reputations in the United States of such iconic filmmakers as Michaelangelo Antonioni, Jean Luc Godard, John Schlesinger, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pedro Almodovar,...

Film In Focus: TULPAN

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Thursday, October 9-----Despite its simple story and subtle cinematic form, I cannot get the images of the film Tulpan out of my head. Perhaps because the film takes one to a truly exotic location (the vast emptiness of the Hunger Steppe plain in southern Kazakhstan) and brings you up-close-and-personal with the toughened people who inhabit that truly forlorn environment, that it has made an impression that is light years away from a National Geographic special (although its visuals are comparab...

French Frenzy For IFC Films At New York Film Festival

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  Tuesday, October 7-----Agnes Jaoui's Let It Rain has been acquired by IFC Films for North American distribution. The French film has its North American premiere this week at the New York Film Festival. The company is planning a day-and-date release via its IFC In Theaters platform next year.   The film, set in the South of France, features Jaoui as a feminist novelist pondering politic...

Celebrity Sightings At New York Film Festival

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Clint Eastwood Brad Pitt and Angelina JolieMike LeighMickey Rourke, Darren Aronofsky and Marisa TomeiOliver Assayas ...

Views From The Avant-Garde At New York Film Festival

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A Movie (Bruce Conner)  Friday, October 3------One of the more intriguing traditions of the New York Film Festival is its commitment to showcase experimental work that often goes neglected in the go-go atmosphere of the film business. Now in its 11th year, Views From The Avant-Garde is a treasure trove of new ideas, new media and inspiration from visual artists looking to smash tradition and test the horizons of the new.   Most of the films and video pieces presen...

Clint Eastwood At The New York Film Festival

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Thursday, October 2------When you have one of the most recognizable faces in film in the same room as you, there is undoubtedly a level of excitement. Clint Eastwood came to New York City today for a press conference for his new film Changeling, which serves as the centerpiece of the New York Film Festival.   Being his affable, laconic self is easy for the still handsome Clint, whose directing career is even surpassing his accomplishments as an actor. With such recent films as M...

An Israeli Animated Fog of War

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Wednesday, October 1------The effects of combat take on an added dimension, caught somewhere between nightmares and surrealism, in the celebrated Israeli animated epic Waltz With Bashir. The film, which had its US Premiere at the New York Film Festival tonight, brings the viewer in the furtive and fervent imagination of director Ari Folman.   Beginning with the startling image of wild dogs running straight towards the camera, the film exists between psychological turmoil and exi...

Film In Focus: TONY MANERO

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  Tuesday, September 30--------The name Tony Manero may be familiar to you....it is the name of the character that John Travolta immortalized in the film Saturday Night Fever. The image of the strong but sensitive Italian guy from Brooklyn, who rebels against the restrictions of his life by dancing at the local disco is an iconic one, and not only in America.   In Tony Manero, a startling film from Chilean director Pablo Larrain, the film walks a fine line between c...

Nagisa Oshima Retrospective at New York Film Festival

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  Monday, September 29-----One of the things that is most satisfying about the New York Film Festival is its loyalty to certain filmmakers and its interest ien rediscovering the films of cinema masters. This year, the Festival will screen a Max Ophuls romantic melodrama classic (Lola Montes, 1955), an Albert Lewin cult film (Pandora And The Flying Dutchman, 1951) and a Pakistani realist drama (The Day Shall Dawn, 1959). But its major retrospective program sidebar is devoted to the Japan...

Weekend Highlights At The New York Film Festival

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HUNGER (Steve McQueen, UK)  Sunday, September 28--------I definitely do subscribe to the shitty weather theory for festival success. In short, the more dismal the weather, the better the attendance. And whether it was planned or not, this weekend's soggy, rather depressing weather has made people make a beeline for the screenings of the New York Film Festival in its first weekend. An added incentive is undoubtedly the use of the Ziegfield Theater as the Festival's main screen...

Critics Roundtable at New York Film Festival

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Saturday, September 27-----As newspapers drop local film critics and rely on syndicated national opionionmakers, what is the role of the film critic in today's go-go film culture? Can film critics help a more specialized film find its audience? Is the existence of film critics online and the notion that anyone with a blog receives instant critical entitlement dilute the discerning talents of the critical establishment?   These and other issues will be examined at the first of...

French Films Highlight New York Film Festival

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The Class (Entres Les Murs)   Friday, September 26-----The New York Film Festival, one of the oldest and most prestigious showcases of international cinema in the US, opens this evening with the US Premiere of the Cannes Palme d'Or winner, The Class by director Laurent Cantet. The film, a neo-realistic look at the crumbling standards of the French educational system, is one of several French films and co-productions that are highlighted at...

A Full Final Weekend

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Festival Closing Night Gala Saturday, October 14---The 44th edition of the New York Film Festival is drawing to a close, but not without one more weekend of film excitement and diversity. Saturday sees repeat screenings of two of the Festival's most anticipated and debated films, Sofia Coppola's post-modern take on the French Revolution, MARIE ANTOINETTE, and Emmanuel Bordieu's homo-erotic POISON FRIENDS. Another film having its final screening on Saturday is the Turkish drama CLIMATES by d...

The French Are Coming, The French Are Coming

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Thursday, October 12----New Yorkers have long had a love affair with French cinema. Each year for the past 44, the New York Film Festival has peppered its program with intriguing films from French talents, old and new. This year, the love affair continues with four films in the main section, as well as seven film classics in the 50 YEARS OF JANUS FILMS retrospective sidebar. As the Festival enters its final weekend, lovers of French cinema still have an opportunity to sample some tasty hors d...

Essential Cinema: The Lady Vanishes

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Tuesday, October 10----If it had not been for the success of THE LADY VANISHES, David O. Selznick perhaps would not have imported its director, Alfred Hitchcock, to Hollywood. If Hitchcock did not have his astonishly long and prolific career in Hollywood, who knows what the landscape of film art would look like. Yes, he was (and is) that influential. Hitchcock was not only the most popular director in Hollywood history because of his films, although their continued shelf life remains an indus...

Special Programs on New York Film and Jazz On Film

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Woody Allen's MANHATTAN Monday, October 9----The New York Film Festival is presenting two provocative and highly entertaining special programs this week....the first a paen to New York filmmaking, filmmakers and New York as a magical shooting location. The second looks at the 70 year history of jazz, as captured on film. The New York film program, with the splashy title of SCENES FROM THE CITY: 40 YEARS OF FILMMAKING IN NEW YORK, is a kind of tribute to the city's film and television commissi...

A Busy Weekend At The New York Film Festival

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Scene from Almodovar's VOLVER As the New York Film Festival moves into its second weekend, a diverse and tantalizing plate of cinematic offerings is on tap, catered to every kind of viewer. The Festival has created a mix of hotly anticipated films, some unknown gems and new works from some cinematic masters, all of which have their initial premieres this weekend. Three filmmakers who have showcased their past work at the event are presenting their newest films this weekend. Veteran French dire...

49 UP Continues The Award Winning Film Series

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Thursday, October 5----Certainly one of the most unique film series of all time has been the "UP" series of documentaries that have chronicled the lives of 12 protagonists at age 7 through to their current age of 49. The series, which began with the landmark television documentary 7 UP, made by Granada Television in 1964, and continues with the newest entry 49 UP, has been the on-going obsession of UK director Michael Apted. He worked on the first film as a researcher, but starting with 7 PLU...

Photo Highlights From Festival's First Week

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Helen Mirren On The Red Carpet James Cromwell On The Red Carpet Jeremy Irons On Red Carpet Inside Alice Tully Hall LITTLE CHILDREN Press Conference: Director Todd Field, Actors Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson Warren Beatty Intros REDS ...

An Audience With Warren Beatty

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Wednesday, October 4---Warren Beatty would be the first to admit it. When he talks, he tends to ramble and to answer an interview question at such great length that both he and the questioner have forgotten the original query. At the press conference held on Tuesday afternoon at Alice Tully Hall, following the press screening of his masterpiece REDS, Beatty covered a lot of territory in a wise, witty and rambling style that had the audience eating out of his hand. Such is the power of the mo...

When The Dust Settles....An Expanded Film Society

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Alice Tully Hall Tuesday, October 3----Audiences attending the NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL screenings cannot help but notice that there is massive construction going on in and around Lincoln Center these days. The front of the Festival's main screening venue, Alice Tully Hall, is being remodeled, and the overpass on West 65th Street has been torn down to create a more airy environment. Missing is the escalator entrance from Broadway and the colonaded walkway that took adventurous filmgoers past the...

Essential Cinema: WR: Mysteries Of The Organism

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Monday, October 2----Has there ever been a film as transgressive, as outrageous, as experimental as the classic WR: MYSTERIES OF THE ORGANISM, directed by the iconoclastic Yugoslav pioneer Dusan Makavejev? The film, a mind-bending cult hit when first released in 1971, mixes Stalinism, sexual freedom and Freudian analysis in an intoxicating mix that leaves the viewer guessing, or simply asking out loud "Did I really see that?". The film screens this week as part of the 50 Years of Janus Films ...

A Dialogue With Stephen Frears

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Sunday, October 1----It would be hard to find a more entertaining guest for afternoon tea than the director Stephen Frears. His self-deprecating humor, off-kilter sensibility and ingratiating personality were in rousing form on Saturday afternoon, with the director participating in the first of three HBO Films Directors Dialogues at the New York Film Festival. For almost 90 minutes, Frears regaled his audience in a mix of interview and question and answer, moderated by New York Film Festival ...
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