The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces Amy Taubin as the newest member of the New York Film Festival Selection Committee
March and April lineup announced for 50 Years of the New York Film Festival on-going series, includes in-person appearance by Michael Moore
New York, NY (February 16, 2012) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Amy Taubin will be joining the New York Film Festival Selection Committee. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the festival with the best in world cinema from celebrated filmmakers and new talent. The NYFF50 will take place September 28 to October 14, 2012. Taubin replaces critic Dennis Lim who concluded his three-year term.
“Amy Taubin has been a major influence on American film criticism for several decades, writing with equal fluidity on work ranging from the New American Cinema of the Seventies to the furthest reaches of the avant-garde. Her wide range of interests, as well as her extraordinary knowledge of film history, should prove invaluable to us, and we're delighted to welcome her onto the NYFF Selection Committee,” says FSLC Program Director Richard Peña.
The selection committee chaired by Peña also includes: Melissa Anderson, Contributor, The Village Voice; Scott Foundas, Associate Program Director, FSLC; and Todd McCarthy, Critic, The Hollywood Reporter.
Taubin notes, “Having attended NYFF since its inaugural season in 1963, I'm very pleased to be a member of the selection committee for this necessary New York event.” A contributing editor for Film Comment and Sight & Sound magazines, she is also a frequent contributor to Artforum and Artforum.com and is the author of “Taxi Driver” in the BFI's book series on Classic Films.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s year-long countdown to the New York Film Festival’s historic 50th edition continues through March and April, offering the rare opportunity to view several undisputed classics of the big screen, many of which were introduced to the world at NYFF. These include breakthrough films by Tarkovsky, Jackie Chan, Clint Eastwood, Michael Moore and a tribute to the late Raul Ruiz. A special appearance will be made by director Michael Moore at the ROGER & ME screening on Tuesday, April 24.
The serious cinephile should mark their calendars for a regular standing date at the Film Society of Lincoln Center with a special package discount – 4 tickets for the price of 3. Tickets are $13 for general public, $9 for seniors/students and $8 for members. Visit the box office or www.filmlinc.com for details.
The schedule of screenings set for the rest of the series in 2012 will be announced at a later date. The FSLC acknowledges INA/Mathieu Fournet, Michael Moore, New York Asian Film Festival/Goran Topalovic, New Yorker Films, Polish Cultural Institute/Natalia Babinski for their support for the new March and April lineup.
FILM DESCRIPTIONS & PUBLIC SCREENING SCHEDULE
MOONLIGHTING. Jerzy Skolimowski, 1982, UK, 35mm; 97m
Jerzy Skolimowski (DEEP END) made his fourth NYFF appearance with this lyrical, darkly funny, altogether remarkable portrait of five Polish construction workers living in London while renovating the home of a wealthy Polish businessman. The time is December, 1981, and as the workers work, the hard-fought Solidarity movement is collapsing at home–news that the pragmatic foreman, Nowak (Jeremy Irons), elects to keep to himself, while conniving a series of ingenious methods for keeping up appearances. Winner of Best Screenplay at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, this exile’s riposte to Andrzej Wajda’s insider MAN OF MARBLE and MAN OF IRON –inspired, the director has said, by renovations at his own London flat–finds Skolimowski in top form, and Irons (in one of his first major roles) at his deadpan best.
*Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:00pm.
“Tight, urgent and compelling, the film also boasts the most extraordinary shoplifting sequences since Bresson’s PICKPOCKET.”
–NYFF20 program note
NOSTALGHIA. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983, Italy/USSR, 35mm; 125m
The Russian word “nostalghia” carries a stronger, more forceful meaning than its English cognate, implying the pain of separation from one’s roots. Tarkovsky’s first film shot outside of Russia (and his second NYFF appearance, following ANDREI RUBLEV 17 years earlier) offers several variations on this theme in his portrait of a melancholic Russian poet, Gorchakov (played by the wonderful Oleg Yankovskiy) traveling through Italy while researching the life of an 18th-century composer. Along his way, he forms a strange bond with a local madman (Bergman stalwart Erland Josephson) who shares his feelings of alienation and despair. A work of hypnotic, sumptuous beauty, NOSTALGHIA is a cry of despair for the death of culture and tradition. But can a world that produces art like this really be beyond saving? Winner of Best Director at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.
*Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, March 13 at 8:15pm.
“As other-worldly as Solaris, more hypnotic than STALKER, NOSTALGHIA is a work of sumptuous physical beauty that inexorably builds to an awesomely emotional climax.”
–NYFF21 program note
THREE CROWNS OF THE SAILOR (LES TROIS COURONNES DU MATELOT). Raul Ruiz, 1983, France, Digital; 117m
The late Raul Ruiz (MYSTERIES OF LISBON) made his second NYFF appearance (following the short DOG’S DIALOGUE in 1980) with this dazzling opium dream of a movie about the encounter between a student who has just committed a brutal murder and the drunken sailor who persuades the fleeing youth to accompany him to a nearby dance hall and listen to his macabre life story. Years before, the sailor had shipped out of his native Valparaiso aboard a cursed vessel manned by ghosts. Discovering that he's condemned to remain the only living member of the crew, the sailor passes through a series of adventures in brothels and Latin American ports, all of which take place in a vividly surreal limbo world that Ruiz and veteran cinematographer Sacha Vierny (HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR, BELLE DE JOUR) fashioned out of real locations in Paris and Portugal using a series of ingenious optical effects. Orson Welles, Borges, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Milton Caniff have all been cited among the film's sources, but it's really quintessential Ruiz, the culmination of both his career-spanning investigation of the way meaning is derived from images and his most personal expression of the exile experience.
*Walter Reade Theater on Wednesday, March 21 at 8:30pm.
“Deliriously unsynopsizable, a triumph of lavish yet low-budget Baroque, THREE CROWNS OF THE SAILOR could be described as “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” rewritten by Jorge Luis Borges as a script for the Orson Welles of MR. ARKADIN, but the outrageously intricate plot, startling compositions, and hilarious one-liners are pure Ruiz.”
–NYFF22 program note
A YEAR OF THE QUIET SUN (ROK SPOKOJNEGO SLONCA). Krzystof Zanussi, 1984, Poland/USA/West Germany, 35mm; 107m
An NYFF mainstay throughout the 1970s and ‘80s (during which time he presented eight feature films at the festival), Krzystof Zanussi reached a new artistic peak with this enormously moving wartime romance, which won the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 1986 Venice Film Festival. IN COLD BLOOD and THE WALKING DEAD’S Scott Wilson stars as Norman, an American GI who arrives in a formerly German-occupied part of Poland after the end of WWII to investigate Nazi war crimes. There, he meets Emilia (Maja Komorowska), a war widow living with her dying mother, and although they speak scarcely a word of the same language, falls quickly, passionately in love. Brilliantly acted by Wilson and Komorowska, beautifully shot by Oscar-nominee Slawomir Idziak (BLACK HAWK DOWN) and with an original score by Wojciech Kilar (THE PIANIST), A YEAR OF THE QUIET SUN is a timeless story of love’s ability to transcend all personal and cultural barriers.
*Walter Reade Theater on Monday, April 2 at 6:15pm.
“A hauntingly beautiful film in which the protagonists don’t speak a common language, but communicate through gestures, facial expressions, and laughter.”
–NYFF23 program note
POLICE. Maurice Pialat, 1985, France, 35mm; 113m
Few NYFF alumni can claim as close a relationship with the festival as the chronically underappreciated French master Maurice Pialat (À NOS AMOURS, VAN GOGH), who presented eight of his 10 feature films at the festival, designed an NYFF poster and was the subject of a complete Film Society retrospective (including an exhibition of his paintings) following his death in 2003. In the extraordinary POLICE, an intensely physical Gérard Depardieu stars as Mangin, a jaded police inspector who finds himself drawn into a dead-end romantic triangle involving the seductive moll (Sophie Marceau) of a Tunisian drug kingpin and Mangin’s cynical, world-weary lawyer pal Lambert (Richard Anconina). A brutally efficient genre film by way of John Cassavetes’s searing interpersonal dramas, POLICE marked the second of Pialat’s four inspired collaborations with Depardieu, who won the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival for his torrential performance.
*Walter Reade Theater on Monday, April 2 at 8:30pm.
“Pialat, who combines a ferocious rawness with perfect formal control, goes further than anyone before him in establishing the policeman’s physical, moral, and emotional intimacy with the criminals he interrogates and brutalizes. A film of stunningly vivid temperament.”
–NYFF24 program note
Co-presented by New York Asian Film Festival
Jackie Chan’s POLICE STORY. Jackie Chan, 1985, Hong Kong, 35mm; 101m
Cited by Jackie Chan as his personal favorite among his more than 100 feature films, POLICE STORY marked the action superstar’s triumphant return to his home turf after an ill-fated attempt to break into the American market, and paired him with two equally legendary leading ladies of the 1980s Hong Kong new wave: Maggie Cheung and Brigitte Lin. The plot–which serves mainly to carry us from one magnificent, death-defying set piece to the next–finds Chan’s honest cop, Chan Ka-Kui, pursuing a triad kingpin while trying to protect the kingpin’s imperiled secretary (Lin) and assuaging the jealousy of his own girlfriend (Cheung). On wheels and on foot, through layers of glass and concrete he goes, resulting in several of the most crazily balletic, duly celebrated sequences in the Chan canon–including Jackie’s perilous dangle from a speeding bus with nothing more than an umbrella for support. Take that, Gene Kelly!
*Walter Reade Theater on Monday, April 9 at 6:15pm.
“Superb, unpretentious entertainment from one of the world’s two remaining centers of truly popular cinema, Hong Kong.”
–NYFF25 program note
BIRD. Clint Eastwood, 1988, USA, 35mm; 161m
One of Clint Eastwood’s most ambitious films–and his first to be selected for NYFF–drew upon its director’s long-time passion for jazz to tell the highly personal and deeply evocative biography of the great saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker. Named Best Actor by the Cannes Film Festival, Forest Whitaker gives a powerful and touching performance as Bird—a man who created extraordinarily complex and beautiful music while wrestling with his addiction to drugs and alcohol—while Diane Venora is every bit as affecting as Parker’s wife and enabler, Chan. To create the film’s extraordinary soundtrack, Eastwood and his Oscar-winning sound team used cutting-edge technology to isolate Parker’s actual performances from period recordings, then combined them with newly recorded backing tracks (played by the likes of Ray Brown, Walter Davis, Jr. and Ron Carter) in crisp, stereophonic bliss.
*Walter Reade Theater on Monday, April 9 at 8:30pm.
“Cast in the smoky hues that recall the jazz clubs of the ‘50s and the backwater joints in the south, Eastwood’s film brings Bird back to vibrant life.”
–NYFF26 program note
ROGER & ME. Michael Moore, 1989, USA; 91m
It may be “halftime in America,” but for the once prosperous GM town of Flint, Michigan, the game ended long ago. In his explosive–and explosively funny–debut feature, Michael Moore returns to Flint (where he grew up in better times) in the wake of massive layoffs at the local auto factories and surveys the damage with his signature mix of razor-sharp satire and profound compassion. His primary objective: to land an interview with elusive GM chairman Roger B. Smith. But along the way, Moore introduces us to an unforgettable cast of eccentric locals, including a woman who sells rabbits as “pets or meat” and Flint native son Bob “Newlywed Game” Eubanks. The first of Moore’s always prescient investigations of business-as-usual in America, ROGER & ME feels as relevant in the “Occupy” era as it did 23 years ago.
*Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, April 24 at 8:00pm.
**Michael Moore in attendance.
“A phenomenal film debut…Moore fails to convince the chairman to visit Flint, but triumphantly succeeds in exploring the dark irony of a city where the Miss America parade shows the beauty queen waving at boarded-up storefronts and the homeless lining the streets.”
–NYFF27 program note
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, 42BELOW, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com
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