Alan Berliner's First Cousin Once Removed
IDFA Award Winners
The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, the world's largest documentary festival, presented its awards this past weekend, the highest honor going to NYFF Main Slate Selection First Cousin Once Removed. The film, directed by Alan Berliner, chronicles the story of Edwin Honig's mental and physical decline after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Along with Berliner's film, fan-favorite Searching for Sugar Man won the Audience Award and Best Music Documentary.
New Directors/New Films Alumnia Win Big at the Gotham Awards
Awards season kicked into high gear last night with IFP's Gotham Awards, which honor the best independent cinema of the year. Among the big winners were three ND/NF favorites: Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild (Bingham Ray Award, Breakthrough Director), David France's How to Survive a Plague (Best Documentary), and Terence Nance's An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You). Lynn Shelton's Your Sister's Sister, which played Film Society as a New Release earlier this year, took home the Best Ensemble Performance Award. Check out our full coverage.
The Film vs. Digital Debate Rages On
In a piece published by The Atlantic, Daniel Eagan surveys the discontinuation of celluloid and its impact on classic films. Much of Eagan's evidence pointing to film's extinction and its effect on film culture is corroborated by Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese's long-time editor. Schoonmaker is well-versed in this issue, as Scorsese and she have helped preserve prints of The Red Shoes and other films through The Film Foundation, Scorsese's non-profit dedicated to preservation. But it would seem the problem is growing more dangerous as many classics are losing their grainy texture to digitized prints. “I saw a digitized version of a film that David Lean made during World War II,” says Schoonmaker, “and it looked just like a TV commercial that was shot yesterday.”
Michael Haneke's Amour
The Making of Amour
Following in the pattern of 50th NYFF Main Slate selections dominating end-of-year cinema news, The Hollywood Reporter recently published an extensive piece on the making of Michael Haneke's Amour. The Austrian-born auteur provides unique details behind the film's germination—the idea was sparked by the death of a relative in recent years—as well as the casting and production of the film. On casting Jean-Louis Trintignant, Haneke offered: “I don't know any other actor who exudes the same human warmth as he does.” After stunning audiences at Cannes, where it won the Palme d'Or, and seeing similar praise here at the New York Film Festival, Amour will be released in the U.S. on December 19.
Watch Lars Von Trier Short Film Nocturne
Despite Lars von Trier having one of the most widely-discussed careers in modern cinema, there are works of his that have rarely been seen by the general public. Case in point: today, The Playlist revealed they'd found a YouTube video of Nocturne, one of von Trier's earliest short films. Released in 1971—thirteen years before von Trier's feature debut, The Element of Crime—the film won the Best Film award at the Munich International Festival of Film Schools.