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Main Slate

From the grandly scaled to the intimate, from narrative to nonfiction, from Asia to North America, this year’s NYFF Main Slate covers a vast range of emotions and styles and concerns, and offers 26 individual answers to the question “What is cinema?”

The Walk

  • Robert Zemeckis
  • 2015
  • USA
  • 3-D DCP
  • 124 minutes

Opening Night · World Premiere · Robert Zemeckis and cast in person!

Robert Zemeckis’s enthralling film about Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his walk between the Twin Towers plays like a heist movie in the grand tradition of Rififi and Bob le flambeur. A heart-stopping technical marvel and a perfect 3-D re-creation of Lower Manhattan in the 1970s, The Walk also stars Ben Kingsley as Petit’s mentor.

Steve Jobs

  • Danny Boyle
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP

Centerpiece · Danny Boyle, Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, and Seth Rogen in person at 6pm and 9pm screenings!

Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin joined forces to create this dynamically character-driven portrait of the brilliant man at the epicenter of the digital revolution, working from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography and starring Michael Fassbender in the title role, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, and Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan.

Miles Ahead

  • Don Cheadle
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 100 minutes

Closing Night · World Premiere · Don Cheadle in person at 6pm and 9pm screenings!

How do you make a movie about Miles Davis? You get to know him inside and out, which is exactly what Don Cheadle does as a director, a writer, and an actor with this remarkable portrait of the artist, refracted through his crazy days in the late ’70s.

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One

  • Miguel Gomes
  • 2015
  • Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland
  • DCP
  • 125 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Miguel Gomes in person!

An up-to-the minute rethinking of what it means to make a political film today, Miguel Gomes’s epic paean to the art of storytelling—filmed during Portugal’s recent plunge into austerity—is a generous, radical chronicle of these troubled times, one that honors its fantasy life as fully as its hard realities.

Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One

  • Miguel Gomes
  • 2015
  • Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland
  • DCP
  • 131 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Miguel Gomes in person!

Unfolding in a more melancholic register, the second part of Miguel Gomes’s monumental yet light-footed magnum opus shifts tones and genres at will (deadpan neo-Western, Brechtian courtroom farce, tear-jerking melodrama), all the while treating its fantasy dimension as a path to a more meaningful truth.

Arabian Nights: Volume 3, The Enchanted One

  • Miguel Gomes
  • 2015
  • Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland
  • DCP
  • 125 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Miguel Gomes in person!

As enthralling as it is eccentric, the final installment of Miguel Gomes’s sui generis epic features a sunny interlude of freedom for the heroine Scheherazade and an affectionate documentary chronicle of Lisbon-area bird trappers and birdsong competitions.

The Assassin

  • Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • 2015
  • Taiwan/China/Hong Kong
  • DCP
  • 105 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Hou Hsiao-hsien in person!

Crystalline in beauty and oblique in narrative, this year’s Cannes Best Director winner Hou Hsiao-hsien’s eagerly awaited wuxia stars Shu Qi as a Tang Dynasty assassin, dedicated to the art of killing until memory transforms her course of action.

Bridge of Spies

  • Steven Spielberg
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 135 minutes

World Premiere · Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Amy Ryan, and Mark Rylance in person at 10/4 screening!

Steven Spielberg brings every strange turn to vivid and tactile life in this complex Cold War story of the 1962 exchange of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for Soviet agent Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance), negotiated by James Donovan (Tom Hanks).

Brooklyn

  • John Crowley
  • 2015
  • UK/Ireland/Canada
  • 35mm
  • 112 minutes

John Crowley, Saoirse Ronan, Colm Toibin, Nick Hornby, and Finola Dwyer in person!

Saoirse Ronan, as vibrantly alive as a silent-screen heroine, plays Eilis, who leaves her native Ireland at the turn of the century, slowly builds a better life for herself, and is then called back home, to another possible future, in this lovely adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel.

Carol

  • Todd Haynes
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 118 minutes

Todd Haynes and cast in person!

A wealthy suburban wife and mother (Cate Blanchett) and an aspiring photographer (Rooney Mara, Best Actress winner at Cannes this year) fall in love and risk everything to be together in Todd Haynes’s achingly romantic adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s early novel about closeted desire in the early 1950s.

Cemetery of Splendor

  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • 2015
  • Thailand/UK/France/Germany/Malaysia
  • DCP
  • 122 minutes

A hospital ward full of comatose soldiers wage war in their sleep on behalf of long-dead feuding kings in the wondrous new film by Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a sun-dappled reverie that induces in the viewer a sensation of lucid dreaming. An NYFF53 selection.

Les Cowboys

  • Thomas Bidegain
  • 2015
  • France
  • DCP
  • 104 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Thomas Bidegain & Finnegan Oldfield in person!

In this unpredictable update of John Ford’s The Searchers, a father embarks on an obsessive quest to bring back his daughter, who has disappeared with her Muslim boyfriend. As the years pass and his life falls apart, the father passes the mission on to his son and the action assumes near-epic proportions as it shifts to post-9/11 Afghanistan.

Don’t Blink – Robert Frank

  • Laura Israel
  • 2015
  • USA/Canada
  • DCP
  • 82 minutes

World Premiere · Laura Israel and Robert Frank in person at select screenings!

Robert Frank friend and collaborator Laura Israel’s assembled portrait of the great Swiss-born photographer and filmmaker is a lively rummage sale of images and sounds and recollected passages from the working life of an artist who reinvented himself the American way.

Experimenter

  • Michael Almereyda
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 98 minutes

Michael Almereyda and cast in person for select screenings!

Michael Almreyda’s portrait of Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard), the social scientist whose 1961 “obedience study” reflected back on the Holocaust and anticipated Abu Ghraib, is both appropriately uncompromising and surprisingly compassionate.

The Forbidden Room

  • Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
  • 2015
  • Canada
  • DCP
  • 120 minutes

Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson in person!

In his insane magnum opus, cinema’s reigning master of feverish filmic fetishism embarks on a phantasmagoric narrative adventure of stories within stories within dreams within flashbacks in a delirious globe-trotting mise en abyme, diving deeper than ever.

In the Shadow of Women

  • Philippe Garrel
  • 2015
  • France
  • DCP
  • 73 minutes

The exquisite new film by the great Philippe Garrel is a close look at infidelity—not merely the fact of it, but the particular, divergent ways in which it’s experienced and understood by men and women. An NYFF53 selection.

Journey to the Shore

  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • 2015
  • Japan/France
  • DCP
  • 127 minutes

U.S. Premiere

The beauty of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s adaptation of Kazumi Yumoto’s 2010 novel, about a young widow (Eri Fukatsu) who goes on the road with the ghost of her dead husband (Tadanobu Asano), lies in its flowing sense of life as balance between work and love, existence and nonexistence, you and me.

The Lobster

  • Yorgos Lanthimos
  • 2015
  • France/Netherlands/Greece/UK
  • DCP
  • 118 minutes

Yorgos Lanthimos and Rachel Weisz in person at select screenings!

In the future, single people are rounded up and sent to a seaside compound, given a finite number of days to find a match, and turned into animals if they fail. Welcome to the latest dark, dark comedy from absurdist Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. Winner of a Cannes Jury Prize.

Maggie’s Plan

  • Rebecca Miller
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 92 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Rebecca Miller and cast in person!

Rebecca Miller’s New York romantic comedy, starring Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, and Julianne Moore, is as wise, funny, and suspenseful as a Jane Austen novel.

The Measure of a Man

  • Stéphane Brizé
  • 2015
  • France
  • DCP
  • 93 minutes

North American Premiere

Dispassionately monitoring the progress of its stoic unemployed everyman (Vincent Lindon, in his finest performance to date, which earned him the Best Actor prize at Cannes) as he submits to a series of quietly humiliating ordeals in his search for work, this powerful and troubling film reveals the realities of our new economic order.

Mia Madre

  • Nanni Moretti
  • 2015
  • Italy/France
  • DCP
  • 106 minutes

U.S. Premiere · John Turturro and Nanni Moretti in person!

A filmmaker (Margherita Buy) tries to cope simultaneously with a mercurial American movie star (John Turturro) and the impending death of her mother (Giulia Lazzarini) in Nanni Moretti’s moving, hilarious, and subtly disquieting new film.

Microbe & Gasoline

  • Michel Gondry
  • 2015
  • France
  • DCP
  • 103 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Michel Gondry in person!

Michel Gondry’s fresh, lyrical, handmade-SFX comedy is a story of two teenage misfits who build a house on wheels and take to the road, sputtering, pushing, and coasting their way across France.

Mountains May Depart

  • Jia Zhangke
  • 2015
  • China/France/Japan
  • DCP
  • 131 minutes

An epically scaled canvas of life in contemporary China, Jia Zhangke’s new film spans three decades in the lives of its increasingly estranged characters, from the dawn of the capitalist explosion to the near future.

My Golden Days

  • Arnaud Desplechin
  • 2015
  • France
  • DCP
  • 123 minutes

Arnaud Desplechin reaches Shakespearean heights with his intimate yet expansive new film, three varied but interlocking episodes in the life of his hero, with the wondrous experience of first love between Paul (Quentin Dolmaire) and Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet) at its core. An NYFF53 selection.

No Home Movie

  • Chantal Akerman
  • 2015
  • Belgium/France
  • DCP
  • 115 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Chantal Akerman’s intimate portrait of her mother in the last years of her life is as much a masterpiece as her 1975 career-defining Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.

Right Now, Wrong Then

  • Hong Sangsoo
  • 2015
  • South Korea
  • 121 minutes

A middle-aged art-film director and a fledgling artist meet—she knows he’s famous but doesn’t know his films, he’d like to see her paintings. Every word, pause, facial expression, and movement in Hong Sangsoo’s masterful new film is a negotiation between revelation and concealment. An NYFF53 selection. A Grasshopper Films release.

Where To Invade Next

  • Michael Moore
  • 2015
  • USA
  • DCP
  • 110 minutes

U.S. Premiere · Michael Moore in person!

In his new film, Michael Moore ponders the current state of the nation from a fresh perspective—that is, from the outside looking in—and gives us a film that is as provocative, funny, and impassioned as the rest of his work.

Shorts Programs

Shorts Program 1: International

  • 85 minutes

Select filmmakers in person!

Featuring films by a selection of new talents, this year’s lineup of shorts includes lyrical work from Australia and Chile, a pair of Buenos Aires–set romps from Argentine co-productions, and a bittersweet goodbye story from Austria.

Shorts Program 2: Genre Stories

  • 93 minutes

Select filmmakers in person!

In a program brand-new to the NYFF focusing on the best in genre film—horror, thrillers, sci-fi, twisted noir, and fantasy shorts from around the world—this handful of tales from the dark side features a period piece of terror in distant lands from the co-director of Persepolis, a haunted psyche that reveals itself in very strange ways, a lesson in being bad, horror-film love turned life-threatening, and some silent but deadly revenge.

Shorts Program 3: Animation

  • 56 minutes

Select filmmakers in person!

An eclectic mix of styles and themes, this program of animated shorts brings New York audiences a selection of stunning recent works from around the globe. Please note: this program is not for children!

Shorts Program 4: New York

  • 75 minutes

Select filmmakers in person!

A new addition to the New York Film Festival, this program showcases recent short-form work from some of the most exciting filmmakers living and working in New York today, an eclectic mix of familiar faces, established names, and unheralded ones to watch.