The Film Society of Lincoln Center's new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center opened to the public last week with Andrew Rossi's acclaimed new documentary, Page One: Inside The New York Times. Throughout the summer, new films will be coming to the Film Center regularly for extended runs at the Francesca Beale and Howard Gilman theaters.
“The golden age of New York moviegoing is now,” wrote The New York Times film critic A.O. Scott recently, praising the new venue and calling it “a charming two-screen jewel box carved (by the architect David Rockwell) out of garage and office space at Lincoln Center.”
The 17,500 square foot Film Center is a state-of-the-art facility that will welcome popular new films from the festival circuit all year long. For our summer launch, the Film Society programmers have selected a high profile roster of new movies to inaugurate the space.
A look inside the hallowed halls of the 'paper of record', documentarian Andrew Rossi's Page One: Inside The New York Times — a hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival — hones in on the paper's Media Desk, where he finds reporters David Carr and Brian Stelter, two writers who seem to come from opposite worlds. Carr, famously a former drug addict and welfare dad who raised two kids on his own before pulling his life together, writes a popular weekly column in The Times. Meanwhile, youngster Stelter is a computer geek turned blogger who was plucked up by The Times' brass recently to join veteran reporters in tracking the ups and downs of the business during a time of dramatic change for the media industry (including The Times itself).
“Andrew Rossi’s vibrant film hones in on a handful of colorful figures on The Times staff in order to personalize the story and give it focus,” wrote critic Leonard Maltin in a recent review of Page One. “By profiling them and their work he provides a razor-sharp picture of how a story is generated, reported, edited, and showcased in print.”
For a few intense weeks a national drama played out daily in the media and on Twitter as Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien were pitted against each other in competition for the coveted 11:30PM slot hosting the Tonight Show. The jockeying eventually ended with NBC backing Leno and giving him his talk show back, while settling a contract with O'Brien that gave him millions of dollars but prevented him from working in television. The redhead hit the road for the “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour,” a series of live shows that drew large crowds. Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, a hit in Austin at this year's SXSW Film Festival, follows O'Brien and his cast of characters (Jon Stewart, Jim Carrey and Stephen Colbert) across the country with onstage sketches and behind-the-scenes footage of the experience. Along the way, O'Brien offers candid insights into his life during that period.
Calling the documentary “a highly entertaining cross-country extravaganza,” Variety's Joe Jeydon continued in a review, “He kvetches, he cracks wise, he self-mockingly comports himself as a prima donna — but, mostly, he goes with the flow. And the audience is left to wonder whether, had O'Brien not landed a new latenight series with TBS, he might not still be on the road. For all its enjoyable hilarity, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop often raises a provocative question: How much must a man do to forget, if only temporarily?”
Eve Annenberg’s utterly enchanting meditation on life and love in New York yields a rapprochement between Secular and ultra Orthodox Worlds. The film was a big hit at this year's New York Jewish Film Festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Based on its tremendous success at the festival, we've decided to give Romeo & Juliet in Yiddish an extended run at our new Film Center.
ANOTHER EARTH: Coming July 22
On the night of the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident. Mike Cahill's Another Earth was a major breakthrough at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Swiftly acquired at the festival by Fox Searchlight, the new film is an anticipated summer release that New Yorkers will get to see first at the Film Society during an extended run at the Film Center.
MYSTERIES OF LISBON: Coming August 5
In 19th-century Lisbon, a teenage boy raised by priests learns the secret of his aristocratic lineage; a French heiress (the wonderful Clotilde Hesme) seeks revenge against the man who sullied her honor; and a kindly padre changes identities as it suits the occasion. Raul Ruiz' Mysteries of Lisbon was a hit from last year's New York Film Festival and The New York Times' critic Manohla Dargis called it, “one of the finest selctions from this year's offerings.”
MOZART'S SISTER: Coming in August
René Feret's new film, Mozart's Sister, is the story of the composer's older sister. “Feminist without the arrogance of 20-20 hindsight, vividly precise in its depiction of 18th-century pre-revolutionary France (the filmmakers were allowed to shoot inside Versailles), alive with exuberantly thesped personages and awash in the joy and power of music, the pic is a stunner,” wrote Ronnie Scheib in Variety, calling it, “A treat for classical music lovers and cinephiles alike.”
I'M GLAD MY MOTHER IS ALIVE: Coming in September
Directed by Claude Miller and Nathan Miller, I'm Glad That My Mother is Alive is based on the true story of a troubled teen who is given up for adoption and sets out in search of his birth mother. After years of searching Thomas finds her single, with a small child, living in a nearby suburb and introduces himself. Traumatized by years of emptiness and longing for his mother, he starts an ambiguous relationship with her (part courtship, part obsession) which slowly drives him to an act of madness.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU: Coming in September
Directed by Andrei Ujica, The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu was praised by Reverse Shot after the film's debut at last year's New York Film Festival: “The new film The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu—a thrilling three-hour whirlwind through tumultuous late twentieth-century Romanian history that focuses exclusively on the deposed president and tyrant—reminds us that the public face is often all we are privileged to see. As the title jestingly implies, we’re only getting things, troublingly, from one point of view.”