Film at Lincoln Center has announced its lineup of festival, repertory, and new release programming for the 2024 winter/spring season.
This winter through spring, all six new releases at FLC are selections from the 61st New York Film Festival: Pham Thien An’s Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Pictures of Ghosts, Trân Anh Hùng’s The Taste of Things, Bas Devos’s Here, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses, and Neo Sora’s Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus.
FLC welcomes Lulu Wang, director of the limited series Expats, her boldest and perhaps most moving work yet, for an in-person conversation following the New York premiere of Expats’ feature-length chapter “Central,” preceded by a selection of companion works curated by the writer-director.
Additional FLC series include: Three-time Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Dune, NYFF59) for a mid-career retrospective dedicated to the visionary artist and his continued project of crafting an intellectually and aesthetically rich variant of commercial cinema; Never Look Away: Serge Daney’s Radical 1970s, presenting a generous selection of the films the famed critic championed in the pages of La Rampe, soon to be translated in English as Footlights; a comprehensive celebration of Polish director Wojciech Jerzy Has’s singularly inventive filmography, featuring an array of new digital restorations; and the return of three annual festivals: the New York Jewish Film Festival, Dance on Camera, and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.
New releases and revival runs are organized by Florence Almozini and Tyler Wilson.
FILMS & SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
All films screen at the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St.) or Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 W. 65th St.).
January 10–24, 2024
New York Jewish Film Festival
The Jewish Museum and Film at Lincoln Center are delighted to continue their partnership to bring you the 33rd annual New York Jewish Film Festival, presenting films from around the world that explore the Jewish experience. This year’s festival presents a dynamic lineup of 28 films including narratives, documentaries, and shorts with screenings at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.
This year’s NYJFF is organized by Rachel Chanoff, Lisa Collins, Indigo Sparks, and Aviva Weintraub, with Dan Sullivan as advisor and assistance from Cara Colasanti.
Opens January 19
Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell
Pham Thien An, 2023, Vietnam, 177m
Vietnamese with English subtitles
Winner of the prestigious Camera d’Or for best first film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the enthralling Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell from Vietnamese filmmaker Pham Thien An is a reverie on faith, loss, and nature expressed with uncommon invention and depth. It’s a simple tale told with visual complexity: after a car accident claims the life of his sister-in-law and leaves his 5-year-old nephew an orphan, a thirty something man named Thien (Le Phong Vu) leaves Saigon for a trip back to his rural hometown. During his meditative, wandering visit, Thien wrestles with his own agnosticism in the face of others’ religious beliefs, summons memories of his long-disappeared brother, and reconnects with a former girlfriend who now lives as a nun at a Christian church and school. With its drifting camera, evocative use of natural light, and gratifying perambulatory nature, this is a film with the power to readjust one’s perceptions of the world around us. An NYFF61 Currents selection. A Kino Lorber release.
January 26 – February 4
Never Look Away: Serge Daney’s Radical 1970s
In 1983, French film critic Serge Daney released La Rampe, a collection of essays published in Cahiers du Cinéma over the course of the 1970s. In compiling some of his essential texts from that turbulent decade—during which filmmakers were exploring new formal, political, and emotional territory as they wrestled with the comedown from the ebullient revolutionary spirit of the ’60s—Daney created a kind of collective self-portrait of a generation of film lovers who used cinema as a means not only to understand the world, but to change it. Whether defining the moral distinction between cinema and propaganda through the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Straub–Huillet, reflecting on the legacies of Hollywood outsiders like Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller, considering the foremost political struggles of his era through the prism of landmark nonfiction films, or leading the way as one of the first French critics to take an active interest in the cinema of sub-Saharan Africa, Daney consistently held films and society to an ethical and intellectual standard that would establish him as the most influential film critic since André Bazin. To accompany the long-awaited arrival of La Rampe in English translation (published by Semiotext(e) as Footlights), Film at Lincoln Center is excited to present a generous selection of the films Daney championed in its pages, which together comprise an urgent, uncompromising account of a singular moment in the history of cinema, and of the world.
Organized by Nicholas Elliott and Madeline Whittle.
Opens January 26
Pictures of Ghosts
Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2023, Brazil, 93m
Portuguese with English subtitles
The life of a true cinephile is one constantly haunted by the dead, as the history of the movies is a corridor of ghosts. Brazilian filmmaker and unrepentant cinema obsessive Kleber Mendonça Filho’s new documentary—Brazil’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards—serves as a poignant testament to the liminal state of movie love. It tells, in three chapters, the story of his cinematic world—namely the city of Recife, where his youthful film education took place. At theaters like the Veneza and the São Luiz, Mendonça discovered a popular art form that would change his life; today, with the landscape of the city altering drastically, he surveys its empty rooms now pregnant with memories. This moving and playful film, as much about the architectural and social structures of a city as about the movies that inspire and haunt us, honors the personal spaces that are also the communal lifeblood of our urban centers. An NYFF61 Main Slate selection. A Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films co-release.
Dance on Camera Festival
Dance on Camera Festival returns with 11 programs exploring dance films from around the globe, plus three free educational programs. Featuring the work of three female first-time filmmakers and one student filmmaker, the festival also highlights innovative artists such as Eiko, Jane Comfort, and Gus Solomons Jr.; the unheralded contributions of dancer George Lee; and the lasting legacy of Merce Cunningham. Through the powerful medium of dance on film, viewers will be transported into worlds of unexpected beauty, whimsy, and humor, make haunting encounters and challenging explorations of nature, and see humanity in all its diversity.
Opens February 9
The Taste of Things
Trân Anh Hùng, 2023, France, 135m
French with English subtitle
Destined to be remembered as one of the great films about the meaning, texture, and experience of food, this sumptuous, exceptionally well-crafted work, set in late 19th-century France, stars Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel (married, decades ago, in real life) as Eugénie, a cook, and Dodin, the gourmet chef she has been working with for 20 years. As they reach middle age, they can no longer deny their mutual romantic feelings, which have so long been concentrated in their passionate professionalism. This simple narrative—based upon Marcel Rouff’s 1924 novel La passion de Dodin-Bouffant, Gourmet—sets the table for a sublime, sense-heightening exploration of pleasure, in which the play of sunlight across a late-afternoon kitchen is as meaningful as the image of a perfectly poached pear or the crisp of a buoyant vol-au-vent. Director Trân Anh Hùng (The Scent of Green Papaya, NYFF31) won the Best Director prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his bravura, scrupulously deployed feat of epicurean cinema. France’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards. An NYFF61 Spotlight selection. An IFC Films release.
Bas Devos, 2023, Belgium, 82m
Dutch, French, Romanian, and Mandarin with English subtitles
Stefan, a migrant construction worker living in Brussels, is planning a trip home to his mother in Romania. In preparing for his voyage, he reconnects with local family members over gifted bowls of homemade soup, interacts with strangers, and discovers a revivifying commune with nature. This all leads him to an unexpected connection with Shuxiu, a Chinese-Belgian bryologist, who’s studying the local moss. The gradual cultivation of this friendship—beautifully performed by actors Stefan Gota and Liyo Gong—motivates this hushed, emotionally resonant film about the power of observation, of people often deemed socially invisible, and of the larger green world surrounding us. In his lovely and tranquil fourth feature, Belgian filmmaker Bas Devos (Ghost Tropic) has created a work that finds transcendence in the simplest human encounters and the most radiant of cinematic gestures. Winner of the Best Film prize in the Berlin International Film Festival’s Encounters competition. An NYFF61 Main Slate selection. A Cinema Guild release.
Lulu Wang’s Road to Expats
With her hit breakout feature The Farewell, Lulu Wang—effortlessly observant of the nuances of human behavior as much as the peculiar cultural and generational schisms born of the hyphenated American experience—cuts through the noise of contemporary popular cinema as one of its most distinctive and sincere voices. Wang has followed up on the promise made by that 2019 feature with her recent and perhaps most moving work yet: Expats is a six-part adaptation of Janice Y. K. Lee’s widely acclaimed The Expatriates (1998). Vividly bringing Lee’s novel to life on an ambitious scale and with a peerless cast starring Nicole Kidman, Ji-young Yoo, and Sarayu Blue, Wang has fashioned an exquisite ensemble drama surrounding a trio of women bound by tragedy. She casts her penetrating gaze on the intersection of race and privilege in Hong Kong’s milieu of expats, and the migrant domestic workers employed by them, in the months leading up to the 2014 Umbrella Revolution. In celebration of the limited series launching on Prime Video on January 26, Film at Lincoln Center is thrilled to host Wang, who directed each of the six episodes, for a Q&A following a screening of the staggering feature-length fifth chapter, “Central,” preceded by a selection of companion works curated by the writer-director.
Organized by Florence Almozini, Tyler Wilson, and Lulu Wang.
The Quebecois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has distinguished himself as one of the 21st century’s great director of blockbusters—indeed, Villeneuve, following an acclaimed run of features made in Canada such as Polytechnique (2009) and Incendies (2010), has done more than perhaps any other filmmaker of his generation to shift the terms of what we talk about when we talk about the blockbuster. From his harrowingly absorbing thriller Prisoners (2013) to his more recent forays into an especially refined, magisterially atmospheric and unapologetically philosophical take on science fiction, namely Arrival (2016), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and Dune (2021), Villeneuve’s work is marked by the feeling of a great artist operating with intelligence and confidence amid the highest possible stakes in moviemaking. On the occasion of the release of Dune: Part Two, join us for a mid-career retrospective dedicated to this visionary artist and his continued project of crafting an intellectually and aesthetically rich variant of commercial cinema.
Organized by Florence Almozini & Dan Sullivan.
Opens February 23
About Dry Grasses
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2023, Turkey, 197m
Turkish with English subtitles
In a village nestled within the wintry landscape of the East Anatolia region of Turkey, an art teacher named Samet (Deniz Celiloglu) is struggling through what he hopes to be his final year at an elementary school. Already tiring of the unforgiving environment, where he has been assigned by the government’s public education system, Samet is further disillusioned and frustrated after a young girl in his class, Sevim, appears to accuse him of inappropriate behavior. The only light on the horizon for Samet is his growing friendship with—and clear attraction to—a teacher from a nearby school, Nuray (Merve Dizdar), a sharp, politically engaged woman unafraid to put the self-involved Samet in his place for his general apathy and narcissism. Turkey’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards, the latest deeply philosophical drama from Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, NYFF49) is a work of elegant, novelistic filmmaking, rigorously unpacking questions of belief versus action, the tangible versus the enigmatic, and who we wish to be versus how we live. A centerpiece conversation between Samet and Nuray—capped off by a provocative metacinematic flourish—ranks with Ceylan’s greatest sequences, and Dizdar, who won the Best Actress prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, commands every second she’s on screen. An NYFF61 Main Slate selection. A Sideshow/Janus Films release.
February 29 – March 10
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema returns in 2024 with another edition that exemplifies the variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking. The films on display, by emerging talents and established masters, raise ideas both topical and eternal, and many take audiences to entirely unexpected places. Highlights from recent Rendez-Vous with French Cinema editions include Claire Denis’s Both Sides of the Blade, Rebecca Zlotowski’s Other People’s Children, Léa Mysius’s The Five Devils, Louis Garrel’s The Innocent, and Arnaud Desplechin’s Brother and Sister. Co-presented with UniFrance, the 29th edition of Rendez-Vous will demonstrate that the landscape of French cinema is as fertile, inspiring, and distinct as ever.
Organized by Florence Almozini and Madeline Whittle in collaboration with UniFrance.
Opens March 15
Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus
Neo Sora, 2023, Japan, 102m
Japanese with English subtitles
When Ryuichi Sakamoto died in March 2023 at age 71, the world lost one of its greatest musicians: a classical orchestral composer, a techno-pop artist, and a piano soloist who elevated every genre he worked in and inspired and influenced music-lovers across the globe. As a final gift to his legions of fans, filmmaker Neo Sora (Sakamoto’s son) has constructed a gorgeous elegy starring Sakamoto himself in one of his final performances. Recorded in late 2022 at NHK Studio in Tokyo, this filmed concert is an intimate, melancholy, and achingly beautiful one-man show, featuring just Sakamoto and a Yamaha grand, as the composer glides through a playlist of his most haunting, delicate melodies (including “Lack of Love, “The Wuthering Heights,” “Aqua,” “Opus,” and many more). Shot in pristine black-and-white by Bill Kirstein and edited by Takuya Kawakami, this stirring film brings us so close to a living, breathing artist that it feels like pure grace. An NYFF61 Spotlight selection. A Janus Films release.
Wojciech Jerzy Has
One of the key Polish directors to emerge in the second half of the 20th century, few filmmakers can boast an oeuvre as intricate, kaleidoscopic, and visionarily political as that of Wojciech Jerzy Has. A consummate stylist whose films feel like worlds unto themselves, Has’s films collapse past and present, dreams and reality, cinema and literature, in order to trace an indelibly idiosyncratic portrait of Poland and its collective psyche through the turbulences of the WWII era into an uncertain future. Through films like The Saragossa Manuscript (1965), The Doll (1968), and The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973), Has cultivated an arrestingly phantasmagoric cinematic universe all his own, one whose profound influence has been acknowledged by the likes of such titans of the medium as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Join us for a comprehensive celebration of Has’s singularly inventive filmography, featuring an array of new digital restorations.
Organized by Dan Sullivan. Co-presented with DI Factory and Polish Film Institute.