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New York Film Festival Salutes Artfilm Pioneer Janus Films

The New York Film Festival has announced that its Retrospective program this year is devoted to a celebration of 50 Years of Janus Films, the pioneering arthouse distribution company, who singlehandedly brought the films of such film titans as Bergman, Kurosawa, Truffaut and Fellini to the attention of American film audiences.

The program, which opens on September 30th with the screening of a new 35mm film print of the Jean Renoir humanist classic THE RULES OF THE GAME, will showcase over 30 cinema masterpieces, ranging from Italian neo-realism to the French New Wave, from existential Bergman to Kurosawa samurai....a survey of what was then and still remains "essential cinema".

"For many decades Janus Films was the gold standard for foreign film releases.....much of my own film education came from seeing these films during my teenage years", exulted Richard Pena, the chairman of the Selection Committee for the New York Film Festival and the Film Society of Lincoln Center's year-round Programming Director.

Other film classics to be screened in the series include Marcel Carne's CHILDREN OF PARADISE (1945), Jean Cocteau's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946), Akira Kurosawa's THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), Federico Fellini's LA STRADA (1954), Ingmar Bergman's THE SEVENTH SEAL 1957), Francois Truffaut's THE 400 BLOWS (1959), Michaelangelo Antonioni's THE ECLIPSE (1962) and Roman Polanski's A KNIFE IN THE WATER (1962).

Most of the Janus Film titles showcased in the series are available for video/dvd purchase via The Criterion Collection. However, the series also is presenting several films that are not yet released on video/dvd, including Spanish director Carlos Saura's rarely screened 1976 masterpiece CRIA!

The Criterion Collection is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality. For the past 17 years, Criterion has assembled cinema masterpieces from such seminal filmmakers as Renoir, Godard, Kurosawa, Cocteau, Fellini, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Hitchcock, Fuller, Lean, Kubrick, Lang, Sturges, Dreyer, Eisenstein, Ozu, Sirk, Bunuel, Powell and Pressburger in its growing video/dvd library. Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen. Specially produced supplements give viewers a deeper appreciation of these cinema classics, through audio commentaries by filmmakers and scholars, restored director's cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, shooting scripts, early shorts, and storyboards.

"These are the films we grew up with", stated Retrospective curator Kent Jones. "But there is a new generation of filmgoers who are not as familiar with these classics as they should be. That is why we are so proud to be able to show these iconic films in new film prints on the big screen, and to partner with Janus Films and Criterion on this historic undertaking."

Sandy Mandelberger
Executive Editor

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New York Film Festival
Online Dailies coverage of the 44th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL September 29 – October 15, 2006

United States

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