The Legacy of Heaven's Gate
This past Friday, Dennis Lim, writing for the New York Times, dissected the legacy of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate. A critical and commercial catastrophe when it was released in 1980, the film has since gone on to be seen as woefully misunderstood. As Lim writes, 30 years ago, Heaven's Gate was “plainly a movie at odds with its time.” With its digital restoration set to screen at the New York Film Festival, Lim believes enough time has passed for American audiences to see the merits of Cimino's film. He notes, “present-day viewers may well find that time has been kind to 'Heaven’s Gate,' which plays more than ever like a fittingly bleak apotheosis of the New Hollywood, an eccentric yet elegiac rethinking of the myths of the West and the western.”
Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha
NYFF Press Round-Ups
Over at The Playlist, they've gathered some of their favorite tidbits shared at two NYFF press conferences. The first is for Frances Ha, in which co-writer/star of the film Greta Gerwig details her feelings on the representation of young women in cinema, stating: “I think women doing anything other than falling in love is underrepresented across the board.”
The second wrap-up focuses on the press conference following the screening of Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills. Among other things, the Romanian filmmaker discussed his own directorial beliefs, such as his preference for long takes in an effort to keep from being self-reflexive: “Every time you cut, you make it known that you are present —you make a choice, you decide when you're going to show a close up, and so forth. I try to make myself as a director as invisible as possible.”
Asghar Farhadi's A Separation
Asghar Farhadi's Master Class in Zurich
In keeping with the theme of directors as teachers, Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi was at the Zurich Film Festival this past weekend to teach the first Master Class held at the Swiss festival. Indiewire has the eight most important lessons learned in Farhadi's class, including his opinion on what is the most important scene in his Oscar-winning film (and NYFF '11 Main Slate Selection) A Separation.
Battle Royale at Fantastic Fest
Festivals were being held far and wide this past weekend, it seems; from Zurich to Austin, Texas, where the annual Fantastic Fest kicked off its week-long celebration of all things horror, sci-fi, and action. As thrilling as the Fantastic Fest's film slate is, the most talked-about event of its opening weekend was the annual Fantastic Debate that pitted independent filmmaker Joe Swanberg against Devin Faraci, a film critic and a strong opponent of Swanberg's work. These special annual debates put on by Fantastic Fest actually end in a boxing ring with a physical battle royale, but before that an intellectual, albeit somewhat testy, conversation is held. At Criticwire, Matt Singer has excerpts from the square-off, in which Faraci firmly stands against the DIY movement of recent years known as “mumblecore,” which Swanberg defends.
New Life of Pi Trailer
Just a few days away from the opening of the 50th NYFF, Yahoo! has a new breathtaking theatrical trailer for Opening Night film Life of Pi. Watch below: