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29 of the most exciting new feature films from around the world.

The Irishman

  • Martin Scorsese
  • 2019
  • USA

Opening Selection · World Premiere

This richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity, stars Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino; Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa; and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, each working in the closest harmony imaginable with the film’s incomparable creator, Martin Scorsese.
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Marriage Story

  • Noah Baumbach
  • 2019
  • USA
  • 136 minutes

Centerpiece Selection · New York Premiere

Noah Baumbach’s new film is about the rapid tangling and gradual untangling of impetuosity, resentment, and abiding love between a married couple—played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johannson—negotiating their divorce and the custody of their son. It’s as harrowing as it is hilarious as it is deeply moving.
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Motherless Brooklyn

  • Edward Norton
  • 2019
  • USA
  • 144 minutes

Closing Night Selection · New York Premiere

Writer-director-producer Edward Norton has transplanted the main character of Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling novel Motherless Brooklyn from modern Brooklyn into an entirely new, richly woven neo-noir narrative: a multilayered conspiracy that expands to encompass the city’s ever-growing racial divide, set in 1950s New York.
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Atlantics

  • Mati Diop
  • 2019
  • France/Senegal/Belgium
  • 105 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Winner of the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Mati Diop’s gripping, hallucinatory Senegal-set drama skirts the line between realism and fantasy, romance and horror, and, in its crystalline empathy, humanity, and political outrage, confirms the arrival of a major talent.
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Bacurau

  • Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles
  • 2019
  • Brazil
  • 130 minutes

U.S. Premiere

In this wild shape-shifter, a vibrant, richly diverse backcountry Brazilian town finds its sun-dappled day-to-day disturbed when its inhabitants become the targets of a group of armed mercenaries. Bacurau is a vividly angry power-to-the-people fable like no other.
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Beanpole

  • Kantemir Balagov
  • 2019
  • Russia
  • 130 minutes

New York Premiere

In this richly burnished, occasionally harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war, two women, Iya and Masha (astonishing newcomers Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina), attempt to readjust to a haunted post-WWII Leningrad.
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Fire Will Come

  • Oliver Laxe
  • 2019
  • Spain/France/Luxembourg
  • 85 minutes

U.S. Premiere

The beauties and terrors of nature—human and otherwise—drive the extraordinary, elemental new film from Oliver Laxe, in which the verdant Galician landscape becomes the setting for the powerful story of Amador, who has recently served time in prison for arson and has come home to live with his elderly mother.
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First Cow

  • Kelly Reichardt
  • 2019
  • USA
  • 121 minutes

New York Premiere

Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early 19th-century way of life for this tale of a taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) who has joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, but only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune.
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A Girl Missing

  • Koji Fukada
  • 2019
  • Japan
  • 111 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Middle-aged Ichiko—played by the extraordinary Mariko Tsutsui—works as a private nurse in a small town for a family; when one of the girls disappears, Ichiko gets caught up in the resulting media sensation in increasingly surprising and devastating ways. Tsutsui and director Koji Fukada have created one of the most memorable, enigmatic movie protagonists in years.
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I Was at Home, But…

  • Angela Schanelec
  • 2019
  • Germany
  • 105 minutes

U.S. Premiere

An elliptical yet emotionally lucid variation on the domestic drama, the latest film by German director Angela Schanelec intricately navigates the psychological contours of a Berlin family in crisis.
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Liberté

  • Albert Serra
  • 2019
  • France/Portugal/Spain
  • 132 minutes

U.S. Premiere

In the 18th century, somewhere deep in a forest clearing, a group of bewigged libertines engage in a series of pansexual games of pain, torture, humiliation, and other dissolute, Sadean pleasures. Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra’s latest is easily his most provocative yet.
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Martin Eden

  • Pietro Marcello
  • 2019
  • Italy
  • 129 minutes

U.S. Premiere

In this enveloping adaptation of a Jack London novel from Italian filmmaker Pietro Marcello, Martin Eden 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.
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The Moneychanger

  • Federico Veiroj
  • 2019
  • Uruguay
  • 97 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Leading light of contemporary Uruguayan cinema Federico Veiroj’s new film is his most ambitious, political, and forceful yet, starring Daniel Hendler as Humberto Brause, who takes advantage of Uruguay’s poor economy by specializing in shady offshore investing.
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Oh Mercy!

  • Arnaud Desplechin
  • 2019
  • France
  • 119 minutes

North American Premiere

Arnaud Desplechin shows a different and no less impressive side of his mastery with this taut policier, based on a true murder case in his hometown of Roubaix, where, during a somber Christmas season, a French-Algerian detective is investigating the fatal strangulation of a poor, elderly woman in her apartment, with suspicion falling on her next-door neighbors.
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Pain and Glory

  • Pedro Almodóvar
  • 2019
  • Spain
  • 113 minutes

New York Premiere

Pedro Almodóvar taps into new reservoirs of introspection and emotional warmth with this miraculous, internalized portrayal of Salvador Mallo, a director not too subtly modeled on Almodóvar himself and played by Antonio Banderas, who deservedly won Best Actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
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Parasite

  • Bong Joon-ho
  • 2019
  • South Korea
  • 132 minutes

New York Premiere

In Bong Joon-ho’s exhilarating, Palme d’Or–winning film, a threadbare family of four struggling to make ends meet gradually hatches a scheme to work for, and as a result infiltrate, the wealthy household of an entrepreneur, his seemingly frivolous wife, and their troubled kids.
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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

  • Céline Sciamma
  • 2019
  • France
  • 121 minutes

New York Premiere · Film Comment Presents

On the cusp of the 19th century, young painter Marianne travels to a rugged, rocky island off the coast of Brittany to create a wedding portrait of the wealthy yet free-spirited Héloise. An emotional and erotic bond develops between the women in Céline Sciamma’s Cannes-awarded subversion of the story of an artist and “his” muse.
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Saturday Fiction

  • Lou Ye
  • 2019
  • China
  • 125 minutes

U.S. Premiere

The incomparable Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern) gives a mesmerizing, take-no-prisoners performance in Saturday Fiction, a slow-burn spy thriller set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai on the cusp of World War II, directed by Lou Ye.
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Sibyl

  • Justine Triet
  • 2019
  • France/Belgium
  • 100 minutes

U.S. Premiere

In Justine Triet’s intricate, highly entertaining study of the professional and personal masks we wear as we perform our daily lives, a psychotherapist (Virginie Efira) abruptly decides to leave her practice to restart her writing career—only to find herself increasingly embroiled in the life of a desperate new patient (Adèle Exarchopoulos).
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Synonyms

  • Nadav Lapid
  • 2019
  • France/Israel/Germany
  • 123 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Disillusioned Israeli Yoav (Tom Mercier), who has absconded to Paris following his military training and has disavowed Hebrew, falls into an emotional and intellectual triangle with a wealthy bohemian couple in Nadav Lapid’s powerful film about language and physicality, masculinity and nationhood.
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To the Ends of the Earth

  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • 2019
  • Japan
  • 120 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s penetrating depiction of the alienation and anxiety experienced by a young reality TV host—played by former J-pop idol Atsuko Maeda—while traveling for work in Uzbekistan pushes the director’s craft into new, mysterious, and enormously emotional realms.
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The Traitor

  • Marco Bellocchio
  • 2019
  • Italy
  • 145 minutes

U.S. Premiere

In Marco Bellocchio’s compelling, decades-spanning drama, Pierfrancesco Favino commands the screen as real-life figure Tommaso Buscetta, the mafia boss turned informant who helped take down a large swath of organized crime leaders in Sicily in the eighties.
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Varda by Agnès

  • Agnès Varda
  • 2019
  • France
  • 115 minutes

New York Premiere

In her final work, partially constructed of onstage interviews and lectures, interspersed with a wealth of clips and archival footage, Agnès Varda guides us through her career, from her movies to her remarkable still photography to the delightful and creative installation work.
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Vitalina Varela

  • Pedro Costa
  • 2019
  • Portugal
  • 124 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Pedro Costa’s latest, a film of deeply concentrated beauty, stars nonprofessional actor Vitalina Varela in a truly remarkable performance, reprising and expanding upon her haunted supporting role from Costa’s Horse Money. She plays a Cape Verdean woman who has come to Fontainhas for her husband’s funeral after being separated from him for decades.
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Wasp Network

  • Olivier Assayas
  • 2019
  • France/Spain/Brazil
  • 127 minutes

U.S. Premiere

In the early nineties, a small group of Cuban defectors in Miami established a spy web to infiltrate anti-Castroist terrorist groups carrying out violent attacks on Cuban soil. Olivier Assayas brings his customary style and urgency to this unexpected subject in an epic saga starring Penélope Cruz, Édgar Ramírez, and Gael García Bernal.
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The Whistlers

  • Corneliu Porumboiu
  • 2019
  • Romania
  • 98 minutes

New York Premiere

Leading Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu has made his first all-out genre film—a playful, swift, and elegant neo-noir about an easily corruptible Bucharest police detective who must learn a clandestine, tribal language, improbably made entirely out of whistling.
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The Wild Goose Lake

  • Diao Yinan
  • 2019
  • China/France
  • 112 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Small-time mob boss Zhou Zenong (the charismatic Hu Ge) is desperate to stay alive after he mistakenly kills a cop and a dead-or-alive reward is put on his head. Chinese director Diao Yinan deftly keeps multiple characters and chronologies spinning, all the while creating an atmosphere thick with eroticism and danger.
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Young Ahmed

  • Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
  • 2019
  • Belgium
  • 84 minutes

North American Premiere

The Dardenne Brothers won this year’s Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this brave new work, another intimate portrayal-in-furious-motion, about a Muslim teenager in a small Belgian town who is gradually being radicalized into extremism.
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Zombi Child

  • Bertrand Bonello
  • 2019
  • France
  • 103 minutes

U.S. Premiere

Bertrand Bonello injects urgency and history into the well-worn walking-dead genre with this unconventional plunge into horror-fantasy, moving fluidly between 1962 Haiti, where a young man known as Clairvius Narcisse is made into a zombie by his resentful brother, and a contemporary Paris girls’ boarding school attended by Clairvius’s direct descendant.
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