December 6 – 8

One of the biggest movie stars on the planet, Ben Stiller is also among our finest comic talents, a fearless performer with a gift for turning anxiety into comedy and back again. But what doesn’t get said often enough is that he is also an inventive, risk-taking filmmaker who has repeatedly demonstrated his versatility and ambition behind the camera. From the Generation X totem Reality Bites (1994) to the dark cult comedy The Cable Guy (1996) to the wild satires Zoolander (2001) and Tropic Thunder (2008), Stiller’s work as a director reveals a sharp and distinctive comic vision, not to mention an unparalleled eye for the giddy pleasures and dark absurdities of popular culture. Following the world premiere of his new film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, at the 51st New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrates Stiller’s body of work as a director—one that happens also to include several of his greatest performances.