32 of the most exciting new feature films from around the world.
Opening Night · World Premiere · Q&As with Joel Coen & cast at 6pm & 9pm screenings on Sept. 24Joel Coen’s boldly inventive visualization of The Scottish Play is an anguished film that stares, mouth agape, at a sorrowful world undone by blind greed and thoughtless ambition, starring a strikingly inward Denzel Washington as the man who would be king and an effortlessly Machiavellian Frances McDormand as his Lady.
Centerpiece Selection · Q&As with Jane Campion at 6pm & 9pm screening on Oct. 1Jane Campion reaffirms her status as one of the world’s greatest—and most gratifyingly eccentric—filmmakers with this mesmerizing, psychologically rich variation on the American western, in which a melancholy young widow (Kirsten Dunst) on a Montana cattle ranch in the 1920s is tormented by her new husband’s sullen and bullying brother (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Closing Night · North American Premiere · Q&As with Pedro Almodóvar at 6pm & 9pm screening on Oct. 8Two women, a generation apart, find themselves inextricably linked by their brief time together in a maternity ward, bound by a secret with ties to a deep trauma in Spanish history. Charismatic stars inhabit characters who are singular among those drawn by Almodóvar in a career defined by striking portraits of women.
Q&As with Jonas Carpignano on Oct. 2 & 3A rising star of a resurgent Italian cinema, Jonas Carpignano continues his deeply felt project of observing life in contemporary Calabria with this gripping character study of a teenage girl, Chiara (a revelatory Swamy Rotolo), who gradually comes to discover that her close-knit family is not all that it seems.
U.S. PremiereA film of radical style and splenetic anger, Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s shattering follow-up to his bat-out-of-hell Synonyms accompanies a celebrated but increasingly dissociated director to a small town in the desert region of Arava for a screening of his latest film; here he descends into a spiral of rage aimed at the Israeli government.
U.S. PremiereIn his angry, gleefully graceless Berlinale Golden Bear winner, Radu Jude crafts an invigorating, infuriating film in three movements centering around the trials of a teacher (Katia Pascariu) at a prestigious Bucharest school whose life and job are upended when her husband accidentally uploads their private sex tape to the internet.
North American PremiereBased on true events, Benedetta unearths the story of Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century nun who believed she saw visions of Christ and engaged in a sexual relationship with a fellow sister at her abbey; this delirious, erotic, and violent melodrama is told with a boundless spirit for scandal, and unabashedly courts blasphemy.
Q&As with Mia Hansen-Løve and Vicky Krieps on Sept. 25 & 26A masterful blend of the personal and the meta-cinematic, Mia Hansen-Løve’s meditation on the reconciliation of love and the creative process casts Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth as married filmmakers who venture to the remote Swedish island of Fårö, where director Ingmar Bergman lived and made many of his masterpieces.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Ryûsuke Hamaguchi on Oct. 3Inspired by a Haruki Murakami short story, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi spins an engrossing, expansive epic about love and betrayal, grief and acceptance, charting the unexpected, complex relationships that a theater actor-director forges with a trio of people out of professional, physical, or psychological necessity.
Q&A with Avi Mograbi on Sept. 25In his provocative and direct new documentary, Israeli filmmaker Avi Mograbi, acting as his own on-screen narrator, very specifically and pointedly asks what are the circumstances, logic, and day-to-day processes that have allowed the normalization of Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories.
Q&As with Jonas Poher Rasmussen on Sept. 28 and Sept. 30This illuminating and heartrending animated documentary tells the true story of Amin, whose life has been defined by escape: first from Afghanistan, then from post-Soviet Russia. Now planning to marry a man he met in his new homeland, Denmark, Amin begins to look back over his life, opening up about his past, his trauma, the truth about his family, and his own sexuality.
U.S. PremiereLéa Seydoux brilliantly holds the center of Bruno Dumont’s unexpected, unsettling new film as France de Meurs, an unflappable superstar TV journalist whose career, homelife, and psychological stability are shaken after she carelessly drives into a young delivery man on a busy Paris street.
U.S. PremiereA collective of three Italian filmmakers known for their politically acute cinema—Pietro Marcello (Martin Eden), Francesco Munzi (Black Souls), and Alice Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro)—revealingly interview a cross-section of their nation’s youth about their hopes, dreams, and fears for the future.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Silvan Zürcher on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2A minor-key symphony of inscrutable glances and irresolvable tensions, the Zürcher brothers’ alternately droll and melancholy film charts a few days in the lives of two young people on the verge of change: Lisa, who is in the process of moving into a new apartment, and her current roommate, Mara, who’s staying behind.
U.S. PremiereThe son of acclaimed, embattled Iranian master filmmaker Jafar Panahi makes a striking feature debut with this charming, sharp-witted, and ultimately deeply moving comic drama that takes the tradition of the Iranian road-trip movie and adds unexpected twists and turns.
North American PremiereAfter years of living abroad, a middle-aged former actress (Lee Hye-young) has returned to South Korea to reconnect with her past and perhaps make amends in Hong Sangsoo’s beguiling and oddly cleansing mix of the spiritual and the cynical.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Radu Muntean, Alexandru Baciu, Maria Popistașu, and Alexandru Bogdan on Oct. 5 & 6Leading Romanian filmmaker Radu Muntean knowingly plays off and subverts conventions of horror films and social realist drama as he follows a trio of well-meaning aid workers from Bucharest on a food delivery mission to the rural hinterlands of the Întregalde area of Transylvania, where they find themselves trapped.
U.S. PremiereIn this complexly structured puzzle box of unpredictable, poignant human behavior, a group of characters—most crucially parents and their grown offspring—try to relate to one another via a series of thwarted or stunted meetings and introductions, centered around a young man (Shin Seok-ho) on the cusp of adulthood.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Apichatpong Weerasethakul on Oct. 5 & 6In the grandest yet most becalmed of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s works, Jessica (Tilda Swinton), an expat botanist visiting her hospitalized sister in Bogotá, becomes ever more disturbed by an abyssal sound that haunts her sleepless nights and bleary-eyed days. It’s a personal journey that’s also historical excavation, yielding a film of profound serenity.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman on Oct. 2 & 3Multi-hyphenate, multidisciplinary artist Saul Williams brings his unique dynamism to this Afrofuturist vision co-directed with Anisia Uzeyman, a sci-fi punk musical that takes place amidst the hilltops of Burundi, where a collective of computer hackers emerges from within a coltan mining community.
Q&As with Rebecca Hall on Oct. 3 & 4A cornerstone work of Harlem Renaissance literature, Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel Passing is adapted to the screen with exquisite craft and skill by writer-director Rebecca Hall, and features meticulous performances by Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as reacquainted childhood friends whose lives have taken divergent paths.
Q&A with Tatiana Huezo on Sept. 30 & Oct. 2In her delicately wrought yet devastating first fiction feature, adapted from the 2014 book by Jennifer Clement, Tatiana Huezo naturalistically chronicles the growth of young Ana, who lives in a mountainous town in rural Mexico gripped by fear of the drug cartels who ruthlessly control the region.
North American PremiereContinuing the remarkable autobiographical saga she had begun in 2019, British director Joanna Hogg—a filmmaker of unceasing visual ingenuity and sociological specificity—creates a film about finding one’s artistic inspiration and individuality that avoids every possible cliché.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Julia Ducournau on Sept. 26 & 27The winner of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or, Titane is a thrillingly confident vision from Julia Ducournau that begins as a work of intense horror and ends as something else: a film that questions our assumptions about gender, family, and love itself.
Q&As with Kira Kovalenko on Oct. 5 & 6Kira Kovalenko won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes for this vivid, concentrated rendering of one woman’s desperate, almost bestial need to escape from her suffocating family life in North Ossetia, located in the Caucasus region of Southern Russia.
Q&A with Todd Haynes on Sept. 30Combining contemporary interviews and archival documentation of The Velvet Underground with a trove of avant-garde film from their era, Todd Haynes constructs a vibrant cinematic collage that is as much about New York of the ’60s and ’70s as it is about the rise and fall of the seminal band.
U.S. PremiereFinding new depths of tenderness without forgoing the uncompromising fatalism that defines his work, Gaspar Noé guides us through a handful of dark days in the lives of an elderly couple in Paris: a retired psychiatrist (Françoise Lebrun) and a writer (Dario Argento) working on a book about the intersection of cinema and dreams.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Alexandre Koberidze on Oct. 2 & 3Georgian director Alexandre Koberidze has created an intimate city symphony like no other with his new film, which starts out as an off-kilter romance between footballer Giorgi and pharmacist Lisa and continues to radically and pleasurably shape-shift, ultimately becoming a lovely, idiosyncratic portrait of an entire urban landscape.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Ryûsuke Hamaguchi on Oct. 2 & 3In this rapturous, altogether delightful triptych of stories, a lively and intricately woven work of imagination that questions whether fate or our own vanities decide our destinies, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi again proves he’s one of contemporary cinema’s most agile dramatists of modern love and obsession.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Joachim Trier on Sept. 25 & 26Acclaimed Norwegian director Joachim Trier catapults the viewer into the world of his most spellbinding protagonist yet: Julie (the magnetic Renate Reinsve), a med-school dropout navigating her twenties and juggling emotionally heavy relationships with two very different men.