announces highlights in November and December

for the ongoing film series,


Appearances by Martin Scorsese (MEAN STREETS) and Saadi Yacef (THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS) announced

50 Years of the New York Film Festival

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s year-long countdown to the New York Film Festival’s historic 50th edition continues through November and December, offering the rare opportunity to view several undisputed classics of the big screen, many of which were introduced to the world at NYFF. Special appearances by Saadi Yacef at THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS screening on Tuesday, November 8 and Martin Scorsese with MEAN STREETS on Tuesday, December 20 have been announced.

The serious cinephile should mark out every Tuesday on their calendar for a standing date at the Walter Reade Theater for the best in world cinema. The schedule of screenings set for 2012 will be announced at a later date.

Saadi Yacef, actor, producer and former National Liberation Front leader whose memoir Souvenirs de la Bataille d'Alger inspired the film will participate in a post-screening Q&A moderated by NYU professor Robert Stam, author of Flagging Patriotism: Crises of Narcissism and Anti-Americanism.

Martin Scorsese returns to the Film Society of Lincoln Center following his twin successes at the recently concluded 2011 New York Film Festival of the U.S. premiere of his documentary, GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD and the buzz-worthy sneak preview of his film HUGO.

Additional highlights include landmark films by Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Ken Loach, plus a special screening of Jacques Rivette’s legendary L’AMOUR FOU on Sunday, December 18.

THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS (La battaglia di Algeri) (1967) 121min

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo

Country: Italy/Algeria

Representing the 5th NYFF (1967) is a staple of “must-see” world cinema. A major achievement, as gripping and relevant today (in light of the recent Arab Spring revolutions) as it seemed 44 years ago, director Gillo Pontecorvo's brilliant re-enactment of one of the bloodiest revolts in contemporary history could easily be mistaken for newsreel footage, so powerfully immediate is the camera's participation in apparently actual events. Featuring mostly amateur actors and local crowds, shot in grainy black-and-white, the film documents both the brutality of the French and the tragedy of terrorist tactics during the brutal war for Algerian liberation that raged between 1954 and 1957. Banned by the French government until 1971, the film won numerous international awards, including the Golden Lion at Venice and Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film.

THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS screens at the Howard Gilman Theater in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Tuesday, November 8 at 7:00PM.

Saadi Yacef, one of the film’s producers, stars, and the author of the memoir upon which the screenplay was based will attend and participate in a post-screening Q&A with NYU professor Robert Stam.

2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle) (1967) 87min

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Country: France

Representing the 6th NYFF (1968) is Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 masterpiece. Presented in NYFF the same year as WEEKEND, the “her” referred to in the title of the film is Paris in the throes of redevelopment. It’s also a Parisian housewife (Marina Vlady) who moonlights—or, rather, daylights—as a prostitute in order to afford the luxuries of urban living. Less a narrative than a succession of loosely interconnected scenes laced with Godard’s whispered musings on everything from the origins of language to the war in Vietnam, the film finds one of cinema’s greatest innovators at the height of his playfulness, quoting his earlier films, making astringent observations about the individual’s relationship to the city and flooding the screen with candy-colored wide-screen compositions worthy of a Hollywood musical. To quote the film: “Living in society today is like living in a vast comic strip.”

2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER screens at the Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, November 15 at 8:45PM.

MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S (Ma nuit chez Maud) (1969) 105min

Director: Eric Rohmer

Country: France

Representing the 7th NYFF (1969) is Eric Rohmer’s Oscar-nominated masterpiece, MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S. A Clermont-Ferrand snowstorm forces a young Catholic engineer (Jean-Louis Trintignant) to spend a night with the irresistibly witty and charming divorcée of the title (Françoise Fabian). She tries to seduce him, though he has his heart set on the beautiful blond he’s spied across the pew. So instead they chat, over and under the covers, about the universe, the existence of God, and the philosophies of Blaise Pascal. Rarely has pillow talk been this heady, or this scintillating.

MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S screens at the Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, November 22 at 8:45PM.

KES (1969) 110min

Director: Ken Loach

Country: UK,

New 35mm print!

Ken Loach’s classic second feature as director represents the 8th NYFF (1970). The film tells the story of a bullied, directionless 15-year-old boy, Billy (David Bradley) who dreams of escaping an inevitably bleak future in his poor coal mining town. His life suddenly develops new meaning when he steals a young kestrel falcon from its nest and begins training the bird in the art of falconry. A lyrical, markedly unsentimental study of transitory freedom in a rigidly classist, economically and spiritually impoverished society, KES was hailed by the late Polish filmmaker Krzystof Kieslowski as one of the 10 films that most affected him in his life.

KES screens at the Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, November 29 at 6:00PM.

THE DEBUT (Nachalo) (1970) 91min

Director: Gleb Panfilov

Country: Soviet Union

A Russian Day For Night, director Gleb Panfilov’s delightfully wry movie about moviemaking—the opening night selection of the 9th edition of NYFF (1971)—stars Inna Churikova (Panfilov’s future wife) as Pasha, a factory worker and amateur actress who  gets discovered by a Moscow film director and cast as the lead in a Joan of Arc bio-pic. Soon, Pasha’s newfound stardom makes waves in her messy personal life (including a hilarious affair with a hapless married zoologist) and reveals the true nature of may supposed friends.

THE DEBUT screens at the Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, December 6 at 8:45PM.

L’AMOUR FOU (1969) 252min

Country: France

Representing 1972’s 10th NYFF is Jacques Rivette’s L’AMOUR FOU, perhaps the most remarkable of director many explorations of the intersection of life and art. Shooting in a dazzling mixture of 35mm and 16mm film stocks, Rivette cuts between an experimental theater company’s rehearsals for a production of Racine’s Andromaque, a television crew shooting a documentary of the performance, and the imploding relationship of the director Sebastian (Jean-Piere Kalfon) and his actress wife Claire (Bulle Ogier). Gradually, Sebastian and Claire pull each other deeper into a violent emotional vortex until, in the film’s startling, hour-long pièce de résistance, they lock themselves inside their apartment and embark on what the critic Tom Milne termed “a veritable orgy of passion which can be called neither love nor hate.”

L’AMOUR FOU screens at the Walter Reade Theater on a special date and time – Sunday, December 18 at 1:00PM

MEAN STREETS (1973) 112min

Director: Martin Scorsese

Country: USA

Scorsese’s breakthrough third feature gave audiences an electrifying and unforgettable portrait of small-time thugs in Little Italy that established so much of what was to come in his filmmaking: gangsters and the mafia, outsiders as antiheroes, popular music as a narrative device, and the lasting partnership with Robert De Niro. Harvey Keitel, an alum of Scorsese’s student feature WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR?, is Charlie, an aspirant gangster seeking a middle ground between his profession and his efforts to lead a morally upright life with his epileptic girlfriend Teresa (Amy Robinson). When he intervenes in a dispute between his irrepressible friend Johnny Boy (De Niro) and a loan shark, he loses any control he had over the course his life was taking.

MEAN STREETS will screen at the Walter Reade Theater on Tuesday, December 20 at 6:30PM.

Martin Scorsese will attend and participate in a post-screening Q&A.