As the 58th New York Film Festival comes to a close, Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) announces titles for its Fall/Winter Virtual Cinema slate. FLC’s Virtual Cinema was introduced in March in response to the coronavirus crisis and showcases a wide-ranging mix of new releases, recent festival favorites, and repertory titles that movie lovers can enjoy from the safety and comfort of their homes. In August, FLC launched its own virtual cinema platform, powered by Shift72, which allows audiences to access their library natively on for a seamless viewing experience that supports Airplay, Chromecast, or HDMI. 

Fall titles include two NYFF58 Revivals selections, Béla Tarr’s black-and-white noir Damnation and Joyce Chopra’s Smooth Talk, which stars Laura Dern in her breakout role; Pietro Marcello’s magnificent Jack London adaptation, Martin Eden (NYFF57), alongside a retrospective of some of the director’s transfixing, still-underseen films; Manoel de Oliveira’s Francisca in a new 4K restoration; Alexander Nanau’s Collective, the astonishing true story of a 2015 Bucharest nightclub fire and its shocking aftermath, a selection of New Directors/New Films 2020; and a retrospective of the work of documentary filmmaking partners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, whose oeuvre resonates as both political act and personal history.

All Virtual Cinema rentals support Film at Lincoln Center, helping to ensure it remains a vibrant center for the cinema community. 

Film descriptions and additional details are listed below, and more information is available here. New releases are organized by Florence Almozini, Dennis Lim, and Tyler Wilson.


Opens October 16
Martin Eden
Pietro Marcello, 2019, Italy, 129m
Italian with English subtitles
For the past 15 years, Pietro Marcello has been working at the vanguard of Italian cinema, creating films that straddle the line between documentary and fiction, but which play off both a 19th-century Romanticism and a 20th-century neorealism in their class-conscious focus on wanderers and transients. Marcello’s most straightforwardly fictional feature to date, Martin Eden is set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy’s history though adapted from a 1909 novel by American author Jack London. Martin (played by the marvelously committed Luca Marinelli) is a dissatisfied prole with artistic aspirations who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his station and marry a wealthy young university student (Jessica Cressy); the twinned dissatisfactions of working-class toil and bourgeois success lead to political reawakening and destructive anxiety. Martin Eden is an enveloping, superbly mounted bildungsroman. An NYFF57 selection. A Kino Lorber release.

Rental is $12 with a special $2 discount for Film at Lincoln Center Members.

October 16-22
Pietro Marcello
One of world cinema’s most exciting working directors, Pietro Marcello has spent the last 15 years crafting a filmography that straddles past and present, documentary and fiction, folklore and political intervention. His idiosyncratic use of archival materials paired with his penchant for capturing, enlarging, and exalting the sensuous details of the physical world yields films that have distinguished themselves within today’s Italian cinema, or indeed, world cinema at large. In Marcello’s work, history, mythology, and the political situation of today cohere to forward a by-turns neorealist and fabulist image of the modern world as one shaped by invisible metaphysical and economic forces. On the occasion of the release of his latest feature, Martin Eden (NYFF57), join us for a look back at four of the most striking films to date by a contemporary Italian master. Films include Crossing the Line, Lost and BeautifulThe Silence of Pelesjan, and The Mouth of the Wolf.

Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan.

Crossing the Line (2007, 60m) – $5
The Mouth of the Wolf (2009, 68m) – $10 GP/$8 Members
The Silence of Pelesjan (2011, 55m) – $5
Lost and Beautiful (2015, 87m) – $5

Pietro Marcello Retrospective Bundle (Martin Eden excluded) – $20 GP/$16 Members

October 23 – November 5
Telling Pictures: The Documentaries of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
For more than 30 years, Oscar-winning directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have borne powerful witness to gay life, creativity, and activism — documenting lost aspects of LGBTQ+ history and chronicling unfolding events with humor, compassion, and fierce urgency. In their films, extraordinary interviews make the political personal and unforgettable. With Paragraph 175 and The Celluloid Closet, Epstein and Friedman examined the persecution of gay men in Nazi Germany and Hollywood’s history of hidden homophobia. Their documentaries The AIDS Show, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, The Times of Harvey Milk, and Where Are We? have both chronicled and helped change history. Starting October 23, we look at their essential partnership and the endlessly empathetic, consciousness-building films it has yielded.

Organized by Dan Sullivan and Madeline Whittle.

Rentals are $10, with a special $2 discount for Film at Lincoln Center Members. Check back for additional details about the on-sale date and discount bundle pricing.

Opens October 30 – First Week NY Exclusive
Béla Tarr, 1986, Hungary, 116m
Hungarian with English subtitles
A key turning point in Béla Tarr’s career, the first of the director’s six collaborations with novelist László Krasznahorkai signaled a visible shift away from the verité realism of his early features and toward the highly stylized, black-and-white otherworldliness that would become his signature. The story is a kind of desiccated film noir, focusing on the efforts of a dour loner, Karrer (Miklós Székely B.), to steal back his estranged lover—a lounge singer (Vali Kerekes) in a funereal bar named Titanik—from her debt-addled husband. Karrer lures the husband into a smuggling scheme that will force him to leave town, but these well-laid plans soon go awry, and the characters play out their doomed destiny through enveloping layers of rain, shadow, and despair. New 4K restoration by the Hungarian National Film Institute – Film Archive. An NYFF58 selection. An Arbelos Films release. 

Rental is $10, with a special $2 discount for Film at Lincoln Center Members.



Opens November 6 – First Week FLC Exclusive
Smooth Talk
Joyce Chopra, 1985, USA, 92m
In her first lead role, 18-year-old Laura Dern gave one of her most stirring, layered performances in an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s 1966 short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” She stars as Connie Wyatt, a teenager who spends her summer days moping around the house and exploring her sexuality in the Northern California suburbs. But the thrills and innocence of youth are forever shaded by the predatory behavior of an older man named Arnold Friend (Treat Williams) whom she encounters at a drive-in. Smooth Talk won the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in 1986 and remains a carefully observed, shockingly powerful story of manipulation and deviance. New 4K restoration undertaken by the Criterion Collection. An NYFF58 selection. A Janus Films release.

Rental is $12, with a special $2 discount for Film at Lincoln Center Members.

Opens November 13 – First week NY Exclusive
Manoel de Oliveira, 1981, Portugal, 166m
Portuguese with English subtitles
Camilo Castelo Branco, the author of the novel from which Oliveira adapted Doomed Love, emerged as a character in the director’s next film—a sinister, absorbing portrait of a mutually destructive love affair. Oliveira’s source text for Francisca was a novel by Agustina Bessa-Luís, whose work he’d later adapt twice more. The book’s re-telling of a troubled passage in Camilo’s life—his friend José Augusto (Diogo Dória) embarked on a perverse game of marital cat and mouse with Francisca (Teresa Menezes), the woman the novelist loved—led Oliveira to new levels of stylistic and formal imagination. (It helped that his wife, a distant relative of the historical Francisca, gave him access to a cache of the woman’s letters.) With its elaborate title cards, its abundance of shots in which the action is oriented directly toward the camera, its gloomy interiors, and its show-stopping gala set-pieces, Francisca is an exacting, sumptuous and utterly inimitable cinematic experience, and one of Oliveira’s crowning achievements. New 4K digital restoration by the Cinemateca Portuguesa. A Grasshopper Film release.

Rental is $12, with a special $2 discount for Film at Lincoln Center Members.

Opens November 20
Alexander Nanau, Romania, 2019, 109m
Romanian with English subtitles
What begins as a seeming exposé into a tragic accident gradually turns into something deeper and more shocking in this heartrending and revelatory documentary about state neglect and corruption. In October 2015, a devastating fire broke out at the Bucharest nightclub Colectiv, killing 27 people that night; in the following weeks, while the country was still reeling, nearly 40 more people who had suffered burns and other injuries died in hospital. As the film begins, newspaper journalists are investigating the suspicious reasons how this could possibly have happened—the beginning of a search for truth that uncovers an increasing litany of misappropriations, malfeasance, and lies, from medical officials to corrupt pharmaceutical company owners. With astonishing access, director Alexander Nanau follows the trail of evidence along with the film’s journalists and the newly installed Minister of Health, creating a universally relatable nonfiction thriller that uncovers the depths of governmental rot. A 2020 New Directors/New Films selection. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Rental is $12, with a special $2 discount for Film at Lincoln Center Members. 

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