Review: IFC film ‘VESPER’ is an exquisite sci-fi tale of morality and mortality.

VESPER

Alone in a cruel near-future world, 13-year-old Vesper experiments with what’s left of her surroundings to nourish her and her paralyzed father. Abandoned by her mother, Vesper keeps Darius’ body alive with her bio-hacking skills and uploads his full consciousness into a small droid. While she and others suffer immensely, the wealthy exist in private, enclosed spaces called “Citadels.” They produce seeds that the remaining poor vie for to survive in the harsh environment. After someone sabotages their generator, she reaches out to her Uncle, the leader of a group that cultivates children’s blood for seed trade. When Vesper discovers a young woman from the nearby Citadel passed out in the woods, she imagines a way out. VESPER is a gorgeous film about control and climate change wrapped in a glorious sci-fi narrative.

Richard Brake‘s performance is predominantly a voiceover. The enveloping tone of his vocals is perfection. But, the expression in his eyes speaks volumes. Eddie Marsan as Uncle Jonas is spectacularly vile. As his “survival at all costs” attitude becomes increasingly disturbing, Marsan nails the villain role.

Rosy McEwan plays Camellia with a complex mix of yearning and practicality. She is a slick foil for Vesper. McEwan’s grace and control are all the more stunning when given the opportunity to break. Our titular role comes to life with the sensational performance of Raffiella Chapman. Her raw vulnerability jumps off the screen. There is no denying she is a star. Her ability to carry this film from beginning to end is a wonder.

Captivating production design from Ramūnas Rastaukas and Raimondas Dicius lures you into a bleak but visually curious existence. The costumes are unlike anything I’ve seen before. Dan Levy‘s score is ethereal and hypnotic. The script by Brian Clark and directors Bruno Samper and Kristina Buozyte is endlessly intriguing. There is never a dull moment in Vesper’s nearly 2-hour run. Each scene provides an opportunity to expand the canon of this story. The metaphor of Vesper’s creations and her place in the world is beautiful. I could easily see this developed into an entire franchise. Overflowing with nuance, it is a mesmerizing sci-fi film that grabs you by the conscience. A stark and endlessly creative warning about Earth’s near-future mortality, Vesper is easily one of the best films of the year.


 

US Release Date: September 30, 2022

Starring: Eddie Marsan, Raffiella Chapman, Rosy McEwen

Director: Bruno Samper

Fantastic Fest 2022 capsule review: Martika Ramirez Escobar brings every writer’s fantasies to life in ‘LEONOR WILL NEVER DIE’

LEONOR WILL NEVER DIE

Fiction and reality blur when retired filmmaker Leonor falls into a coma after a television lands on her head, compelling her to become the action hero of her unfinished screenplay.

As a writer, this script is essentially a dream, pun intended. Leading lady Sheila Francisco is an absolute joy to watch, and her energetic narration/script reading is a blast. In her coma, she is living inside her story. The recreations of 80s action films are astounding, from the perfectly hokey score to the fight sequences. The visual jump from these to real life and then to memories keeps you on your toes. The semi-autobiographical nature of Leonor’s writing makes for a haunting, present circumstance. The nonchalance in which her son and ex-husband converse with their lost loved one is bizarre. But that’s only half of the wackiness that ensues. Leonor Will Never Die is weird meta fun. You cannot help but adore the heart behind it.


 
 
A film by Martika Ramirez Escobar
Philippines / Filipino / 2022 / 99 minutes
 
Cast: Sheila Francisco, Bong Cabrera, Rocky Salumbides, Anthony Falcon.
LEONOR WILL NEVER DIE Screening Schedule
 
Festival Screening
Sat, Sep 24th, 1:50 PM @ Theater 1 
Sat, Sep 24th, 1:50 PM @ Theater 5 
 
 
Festival Screening
Wed, Sep 28th, 11:30 AM @ Theater 3 
Wed, Sep 28th, 11:30 AM @ Theater 4 
Wed, Sep 28th, 11:30 AM @ Theater 7

Review: Writer-director Valerie Buhagiar brings the enchanting tale of ‘CARMEN’ to life with help from Natascha McElhone.

CARMEN

In a small Mediterranean village, Carmen has looked after her brother, the local priest, for her entire life. When the Church abandons Carmen, she is mistaken for the new priest. Carmen begins to see the world, and herself, in a new light.


A tongue-in-cheek story of sacrifice and reward inspired by actual events, CARMEN finds Natascha McElhone recapturing the youth she lost to familial duty and heartache. After a life spent taking care of her brother, the local priest in Malta, his death pushes Carmen, quite literally, out the door.

Carmen’s years of demure nature allow her to become a ghost, eavesdropping on the townsfolk that ignored her. With the unlikely help of a pigeon, Carmen takes control of the very church that kicked her to the curb, fooling the locals for personal entertainment. But, her mischievous advice from the confessional booth changes everything.

Natascha McElhone is elegant and effortlessly charming. CARMEN is essentially a later coming-of-age tale. McElhone’s wide-eyed exploration of life is enchanting, funny, and honest. Shot on the beautiful island of Malta, which if you’ve never been, I suggest you visit. The script’s structure utilizes flashbacks of Carmen’s elusive backstory. Writer-director Valerie Buhagiar brings unbridled joy and hidden complexity to audiences. CARMEN is a delight.


CARMEN will be released in the US Theatrically in major cities and on VOD in the US and Canada on Friday, September 23.

Director: Valerie Buhagiar

Starring: Natascha McElhone, Michaela Farrugia, Steven Love.

 

Theaters include:

NEW YORK – Cinema Village

LOS ANGELES – Laemmle Monica

With exclusive engagements in Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco (Bay Area), Columbus and more.

 

VOD Platforms include:

US: Apple TV/iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, XFinity Cable, and more.


 

Review: ‘The Justice of Bunny King’ is a tale of morality, redemption, and unconditional love.

Bunny King (Essie Davis, THE BABADOOK), a headstrong mother of two with a sketchy past, earns her keep by washing windows at traffic lights. Using her razor-sharp wit to charm money from gridlocked motorists, she saves every cent to get back the custody of her kids. After promising her daughter a birthday party, Bunny must fight the social services and break the rules to keep her word, but in doing so risks losing her children altogether. Accompanied by her niece Tonya (Thomasin McKenzie, Film Independent Spirit Award nominee, LEAVE NO TRACE, LAST NIGHT IN SOHO), a fierce teenager running away from home, Bunny is in a race against the clock and headed towards an epic showdown with the authorities.


Essie Davis helms this tale of morality, redemption, and love. Davis’ no holds bar performance of raw reactive emotion will have you on your feet. You cannot help but root for Bunny. Every opportunity comes with an unexpected challenge, but Davis’ slick attitude and ingenuity keep the audience in the palm of her hand. Bunny’s backstory is heartbreaking. The weight of her unresolved trauma is in every breath. It’s a stunning turn.

The Justice of Bunny King pits a broken system against a desperate mother. Boasting a heart-pounding climax, The Justice of Bunny King is an intriguing dive into survival and unrelenting determination.

Opens in Theaters September 23rd

Director: Gaysorn Thavat
Story By: Gregory David King, Gaysorn Thavat, Sophie Henderson
Writer: Sophie Henderson
Producer: Emma Slade
Director of Photography: Ginny Loane
Editor: Cushla Dillon

Country: New Zealand
Genre: Drama
TRT: 101 minutes


 

Documentary Review: ‘WE ARE ART – Through the Eyes of Annalaura’ finds emotional catharsis in creation.

We Are Art – Through the Eyes of Annalaura

Filmed on location in Naples, Italy, We Are Art Through the Eyes of Annalaura was written, produced and directed by acclaimed artist Annalaura di Luggo, in collaboration with production supervisor and creative consultant Stanley Isaacs, and is an inspirational story of creativity, second chances and new beginnings. The documentary feature depicts Annalaura’s journey as she undertakes her most artistic challenge, creating Colloculi, an immersive, multi-media, interactive art installation constructed in the shape of a Giant Eye made of recycled aluminum, symbolizing environmental rebirth and recycling. She incorporates her artistic visualization of the lives of four young people who, in their own way, found a spiritual path out of the darkness into the light and reclaimed their self-esteem and found new value in life.


From concept to fruition, Italian artist Annalaura di Luggo takes inspiration for a multimedia art installation from the Bruegel painting, “The Blind Leading The Blind.” She intends to not only is to inspire but include the viewer in the experience of the piece. They are the fourth layer. WE ARE ART- Through The Eyes of Annalaura is a whirlwind journey through redemption and creation.

The casting process for the four individuals Annalaura wants to include in the project gives the audience a taste of the local Naples community. Each person has a story, a work of art unto themselves. Pino grew up surrounded by drugs, violence, and neglect. His future goal is to avoid a similar path as his parents and thrive through education. Noemi approaches the world through experiences, sports, and animals. Born blind, she longs to break any preconceived notion the world might have about her and to live as fully as any sighted person. Her description of what color is to her is awe-inspiring.

Youssouf arrived on the shores of Naples in a rubber dinghy from the Ivory Coast in 2016. Alone and with nothing to his name, he endured discrimination, educated himself, and began to work. Engaged and with a child, his goal is to be present for her. Adopted at the age of five from Moscow, Larissa found herself bullied for her appearance, leading her to abuse alcohol. Resiliency and self-love push her forward in life.

Like any artist, Annalaura possesses eccentric energy. Her mind is in constant creative mode. Each media artist she approaches finds themselves immediately sucked into her vortex of ideas and enthusiasm. Beyond that first impression, her genuine care for Pino, Noemi, Youssouf, and Karissa is clear as day. Their work together becomes a therapy session melded into Annalaura’s final creation. Her profound words for her subjects will take the viewer aback.

WE ARE ART escapes pretentiousness by keeping the audience involved in each intimate and intentional step. There are a staggering amount of minds and hands touching this project. “Colloculi,” the final work of art, is dazzling, simultaneously speaking to the uniqueness of each life and the universal nature of humanity. Annalaura di Luggo should be proud. Bravo.


Opening At The Laemmle Monica In Los Angeles On September 16
And The Village East In New York September 23

 

Q&A to follow after both Opening Nights

Written & Directed By

Annalaura di Luggo


TIFF 22 short film review: Sophy Romvari’s ‘IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS’ pulls the run out from underneath you with its intimacy.


IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS

Filmmaker Sophy Romvari features a young woman named Becca Willow Moss as she embarks on a unique journey of self-discovery with others. IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS has the audience eavesdropping on phone conversations. The voices on the other end of the line each desire something different. The men seem to seek romance, while others lean more sexual. Her other calls engage an entirely different demographic; the elderly. These chats revolve around memory, singing, reassurance, and pure love.

Becca has a knack for discovering what motivates each person. She describes herself to people as a multi-faceted artist. A label I covet myself. She is the most genuine and gentle communicator. She is giving and authentic. I remain completely enamored by her.

The cinematography is 90% comprised of closeup shots of mannerisms, objects in the room, Becca’s hair and clothes, and her face as she speaks and listens to those she calls. Combined with the fact that the 11-minute run has us solely inside Becca’s apartment lends to the intimacy already created by her words. It’s a brilliant choice, frankly.

Romvari had me thoroughly engrossed from the very beginning. I could have easily watched a feature-length version of Becca and her callers. Therein lies the irony of IT’S WHAT EACH PERSON NEEDS. As we get comfortable with the narrative structure, Romvari steps in, via voice only, and asks Becca what she thinks the project’s meaning might be. Her answer takes you aback. While we enjoy the film for unconsciously selfish reasons, Becca has her own motivation that I did not expect. Undoubtedly one of the best short films at TIFF22. It’s about the universal need for human connection. Everyone needs someone to listen. Everyone needs to feel seen.


Short Cuts Programme 06.
Sophy Romvari
CANADA | 2022 | English
11 minutes


Fri, Sep 16
IN-PERSON
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
5:30pm


Sat, Sep 17
IN-PERSON
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
9:05am


 

TIFF22 review: Midnight Madness selection ‘THE PEOPLE’S JOKER’ is a trans coming-of-age tale with eye-popping visuals and laughs to spare.

THE PEOPLE’S JOKER

An aspiring clown grappling with her gender identity combats a fascistic caped crusader, in writer-director Vera Drew’s uproariously subversive queer coming-of-age origin story.


Vera Drew‘s TIFF22 Midnight Madness feature, THE PEOPLE’S JOKER, is a visual explosion of mixed media deliciousness. Creatively autobiographical, watching the film is like taking ecstasy while simultaneously receiving an important message. Drew’s script overflows with biting satire about gender politics, comedy, and emotional healing. While we’re busy laughing and wondering how she got away with parodying DC, Disney, and other trademarks, she slyly exposes cyclical and deep-seated trauma.

 

I have to mention Nathan Faustyn by name. He plays Penguin with an unfiltered edge. Faustyn has incredible comic timing, and his chemistry with Vera is perfect. I want to see more of him in anything. Vera Drew speaks truth to power in a raw and undeniably hilarious manner. The writing is fearless, the performance is vulnerable, and her vision as a filmmaker is endlessly engrossing and quirky.

I adored the “bleeping” to avoid deadnaming. It was a quietly powerful device allowing Drew to address it head-on later in the film. Keep your ears sharp for voice cameos from Tim Heidecker and Bob Odenkirk. The original music is super catchy. Stick around through the credits for some extra treats. You’ll finally realize how expansive THE PEOPLE’S JOKER is. Each visual aspect comes from a different creative’s brilliant mind. This wild fandom mash-up is part confessional therapy session and another part cult coming-of-age indie.


United States of America, 2022
English
WORLD PREMIERE
92 minutes
Director
Vera Drew
Cast
Vera Drew, Vera Drew, Lynn Downey, Kane Distler, Nathan Faustyn, David Liebe Hart, Christian Calloway, Griffin Kramer, Phil Braun, Tim Heidecker, Ember Knight, Sarah Sherman
Cinematography
Nate Cornett
Editing
Vera Drew, Vera Drew
Executive Producers
Lindsay Cohen, Brian Alkerton, Bee Frederickson, Leo Kovalik, Jr., Johnee Reyna
Producer
Joey Lyons
Production Company
Haunted Gay Ride Productions
Production Designers
Laura Wheeler, Courtney McIntosh, Amy Smoot, Yesi Rego, Lauren Kezon
Screenplay
Vera Drew, Bri LeRose
Sound
Jake Robinson
Original Score
Justin Krol, Quinn Scharber, Ember Knight, Danni Rowan, Elias and the Error

TIFF 22 review: ‘CHARCOAL’ is a fiery and biting feature debut from writer-director Carolina Markowicz.

CHARCOAL

In her brilliant feature-film debut, writer-director Carolina Markowicz brings TIFF22 audiences a one-of-a-kind dramedy in CHARCOAL (CARVÃO). Irene and Jairo find themselves barely scraping from the money earned from their Charcoal factory, saddled with an ailing father and precocious 9-year-old son, Jean. Suddenly offered money to hide an Argentinian drug kingpin, things get weird for everyone. 

Rômulo Braga plays Jairo with passion, but not for his wife. Jairo is a miserable soul. Braga brings a slovenly and combative manner that breaks in private. 

How do you keep a nine-year-old from spilling the beans? Jean Costa brings the perfect amount of sass to the role of young Jean. His performance is so natural you might think he’s improvising each line. 

Cesar Bordon is Juan. His confusion only matched by his oblivious, holier-than-thou nature. His scenes with Costa are incredibly amusing. But it is his feisty chemistry with Jinkings that you’ll remember most.

Maeve Jinkings plays Irene with slick confidence and a fearless attitude. She is never intimidated by Juan’s presence. On the contrary, she sees him as a nuisance and a necessary means to an end. Jinkings casual delivery under pressure makes Markowicz’s screenplay shine. It’s a real wow.

I was entirely unprepared for the dark humor in this undeniably genius script. You’ll find yourself smirking as Juan prepares for his unexpected pitstop. After his arrival, the hilarity ensues with the utmost seriousness. Almost every scene drips with sarcasm, and it is glorious. One of the best films at TIFF22, CHARCOAL boasts twist after twist. Part satire, part social commentary, do not miss it.


Brazil, Argentina, 2022
Portuguese, Spanish
WORLD PREMIERE
107 minutes
Director
Carolina Markowicz
Cast
Maeve Jinkings, Cesar Bordon, Jean Costa, Romulo Braga, Camila Mardila, Pedro Wagner, Aline Marta
Cinematography
Pepe Mendes


TIFF22 review: Marie Clements’ ‘BONES OF CROWS’ is an exquisite cinematic experience of trauma and hope.

BONES OF CROWS

Centuries of trauma reveal themselves on the big screen in the TIFF22 feature film BONES OF CROWS by writer-director Marie ClementsIt’s a visceral but undeniably important watch. The film occurs over the span of 100 years. Watching the Catholic church, aided by the government, nonchalantly discussing the planned eradication of the poor is infuriating. Indigenous children were ripped from the arms of their parents, under threat of incarceration, and placed in residential homes run by severe priests and nuns. Children were stripped of their culture and used as lab rats. The number of children buried in unmarked graves is unfathomable. 

In the film, we bounce in time as unresolved trauma and abuse rear their ugly head through decades. Actress Grace Dove plays Aline Spears beginning at age 16. Once a promising concert pianist, her hopes and dreams were dashed by physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Her memories, accompanied by those of one of her siblings and husband, intertwine to paint a harrowing picture of torture and fear. But, the pain inflicted upon her never extinguishes her soul. As she endures continued racism, Aline has the last word through a chance visit to the Vatican and the legacy of her children. 

While BONES OF CROWS predominantly follows the fallout of one family, their story is tragically universal. Dove carries the weight of the film on her shoulders, reminding the audience of the strength of the Canadian native population. Her unrelenting and raw bravery lets the audience reside in her psyche with a quiet discomfort needed for BONES OF CROWS to succeed as it does.

The beauty and triumph of BONES OF CROWS occur in unexpected moments. The appearance of the titular birds becomes a recurring theme of hope. You cannot ignore the striking cinematography. The film’s finale is a much-needed emotional catharsis. When you hear and feel the song “You Are My Bones,’ co-written by Marie Clements, you won’t be able to hold back any longer. Bones of Crows is a soul-changing film. It’s simply exquisite storytelling. TIFF22 audiences are privileged to experience this first. BONES OF CROWS is a jaw-dropping cinematic experience. 


An epic account of the life of Cree matriarch Aline Spears that spans generations, Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows is a powerful indictment of the abuse of Indigenous peoples as well as a stirring story of resilience and resistance.

This programme contains scenes that may distress some viewers, especially those who have experienced harm, abuse, violence, and/or intergenerational trauma due to colonial practices.

Support is available 24 hours a day for anyone affected by their experience at residential schools and for those who may be triggered by content dealing with residential schools, child abuse, emotional trauma, and racism. The national Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available at 1-866-925-4419.


Canada, 2022
English, Cree, ʔayʔajuθəm, Italian
WORLD PREMIERE
127 minutes
Director
Marie Clements
Cast
Grace Dove, Phillip Forest Lewitski, Alyssa Wapanatâhk, Michelle Thrush, Glen Gould, Gail Maurice, Carla Rae, Cara Gee, Rémy Girard, Karine Vanasse, Jonathon Whitesell, Patrick Garrow, Summer Testawich, Sierra McRae, Tanaya Beatty, Joshua Odjick, Alanis Obomsawin


Found-footage horror-comedy ‘DEADSTREAM’ is coming to Shudder October 6th! Check out the newest trailer.

One of my favorite SXSW 22 films, DEADSTREAM is making its way to Shudder audiences on October 6th. Zero surprise the horror platform picked up the film. I know their audience will eat it up. Filmmaker couple Vanessa Winter & Joseph Winter gives up laughs and jump scares galore, taking advantage of internet narcissism. The duo’s work can next be seen in a segment from Shudder’s hotly-anticipated V/H/S/99, the latest installment in the celebrated found-footage horror series, which premieres out of TIFF’s Midnight Madness later this month. Deadstream is produced by Joseph and Vanessa Winters, alongside cinematographer Jared Cook and actress Melanie Stone, who also star in the film. The Winters co-edited the film, with Joseph contributing to music for the project as well.

Check out the newest trailer for the film and our original SXSW22 coverage below. Put this one on your calendar for sure. 

DEADSTREAM

Directed byJoseph and Vanessa Winter (V/H/S/99)  DEADSTREAM Streams Exclusively on Shudder Thursday, October 6, 2022

Available on Shudder U.S., Shudder CA, Shudder UKI, and Shudder ANZ


Review:’Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul’ is In Theaters and streaming only on Peacock now!

HONK FOR JESUS. SAVE YOUR SOUL.

To overcome a scandal, a viral pastor and his wife hire an up-and-coming festival filmmaker to revamp their image with a cinema verité documentary. Their goal is to refill their megachurch with its previous 25000 parishioners. But, it quickly becomes evident that Lee-Curtis and Trinitie are out of touch with reality. Based on writer-director-producer Adamma Ebo’s short film of the same name, Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. is gloriously biting satire to the nth degree.

As revelations of the allegations against Lee-Curtis come to light, the complex nature of the story gets stickier. The dialogue is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Ebo makes full use of righteous indignation to excuse/cover sins. The script mirrors real life so accurately it is shocking. The hidden shame, faux outrage, and especially the hypocrisy, every character in Honk For Jesus is lying to themselves.

Regina Hall plays Trinitie Childs. Doing her best dutiful wife with a plastered smile, Hall is perfection. Each beat jumps off the screen. But there are cracks beneath the surface, waiting for the precise moment to break free. Sterling K. Brown as Lee-Curtis Childs is an explosive ball of energy. It’s a powerful and physical performance. Brown’s relentless commitment to the absurd makes this film as intriguing as it is funny. The chemistry between Hall and Brown is spectacular. It is an equal partnership of fierceness. The support they give to one another in every scene is palpable.

Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. is a fight for the Childs’ last remaining shred of dignity. The balance of over-the-top farce and deep-seated issues creates a hell of a story. Blind faith is a dangerous thing. Adamma Ebo knows it, and so too shall audiences.


Written and Directed by Adamma Ebo

Produced by Adanne Ebo, Daniel Kaluuya, Rowan Riley, Amandla Crichlow, Jesse Burgum, Matthew Cooper

Starring Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown


For more coverage of Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul from AWFJ members, click here!

Film lovers unite! TIFF 2022 is upon us. Here’s what we’re excited to see. #TIFF22

TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2022 has arrived! This year there is a little bit (or a lot) for everyone, from In Conversation With Taylor Swift and a screening of All Too Well: The Short Film on 35mm, Viola Davis in The Woman King, to the Midnight Madness world premiere of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. TIFF never disappoints and this year, in its 47th edition, the stars come out to entertain the masses. With so many options, here are a few titles we’re keeping our eyes on.


CHARCOAL (PLATFORM SECTION–WORLD PREMIERE)

Brazil, 2022. In a remote area in São Paulo’s countryside, a rural family who lives beside a charcoal factory accepts a proposal to host a mysterious foreigner. The home soon becomes a hideout as the so-called guest happens to be a highly wanted drug lord. The mother, her husband and child will have to learn how to share the same roof with this stranger, while keeping up appearances of an unchanged peasant routine.

Writer-director Carolina Markowicz has had many of her short films play the festival. This will be her feature debut and I cannot wait to experience her storytelling in long form.


BONES OF CROWS (Contemporary World Cinema, World Premiere)

 

Unfolding over 100 years, BONES OF CROWS is a feature film told through the eyes of Cree Matriarch Aline Spears as she survives a childhood in Canada’s residential school system to continue her family’s generational fight in the face of systemic starvation, racism, and sexual abuse.

We’re all aware by now of the horror stories of the children forced to live in Canada’s residential schools. So much so that the Pope apologized for the abuse the children endured after innumerable graves were discovered on the former grounds. Bones of Crows is a vastly important story.

*This program contains scenes that may distress some viewers, especially those who have experienced harm, abuse, violence, and/or intergenerational trauma due to colonial practices.

Support is available 24 hours a day for anyone affected by their experience at residential schools and for those who may be triggered by content dealing with residential schools, child abuse, emotional trauma, and racism. The national Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available at 1-866-925-4419.


BROTHER (Special Presentations, World Premiere)
Propelled by the pulsing beats of Toronto’s early hip hop scene, BROTHER is the story of Francis (Aaron Pierre) and Michael (Lamar Johnson), sons of Caribbean immigrants maturing into young men. Director Clement Virgo expertly tackles themes of masculinity, identity and family as a mystery unfolds during the sweltering summer of 1991, and escalating tensions set off a series of events that change the course of the brothers’ lives forever.

Writer-director Clement Virgo brings TIFF audiences a tale more relevant today than ever. A study in grief, Brother is bound to impact viewers is a visceral manner.


DALÍLAND (Gala Presentation, World Premiere, **Closing Night**)
Mary Harron’s DALÍLAND is both a coming of age story and a searing, funny and sympathetic portrait of crisis in the late life of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Experienced through the eyes of young gallery assistant James Linton (Christopher Briney) as he is invited into a glamorous new world, audiences will uncover the true Dalí (Sir Ben Kingsley) – the complex, flawed, and deeply human man behind the brilliant paintings, wild theatrics, and iconic mustache and explore his especially tempestuous relationship with Gala (Barbara Sukowa), his wife and muse.\

Sir Ben Kingsley releases Dali from an enigmatic caricature and humanizes the genius, his life, and his work.


THE PEOPLE’S JOKER (Midnight Madness, World Premiere)
After years numbing herself with irony and an inhalant called Smylex, an unfunny aspiring clown grapples with gender identity, first love, and old foes all while founding an illegal comedy theater in Gotham City. It’s a queer coming-of-age Joker Origin story. Completely unlicensed by DC and Warner Brothers. Starring and directed by Vera Drew (“Beef House,” “Who Is America”) and featuring the work of 200 independent artists on three separate continents, all made during a global pandemic!

A queer coming-of-age satire and multi-media extravaganza, this mashup of fandoms I never knew I needed.


MY SAILOR, MY LOVE (Contemporary World Cinema, World Premiere)
MY SAILOR, MY LOVE is a heart-warming drama on timeless love and forgiveness. Howard (James Cosmo) is a retired sailor and widower, his daughter Grace (Catherine Walker) hires a caregiver Annie (Bríd Brennan). Reclusive and stubborn, Howard rejects Annie’s company, but eventually opens his heart and gives final love a chance.

A raw and compelling family drama, My Sailor, My Love is teeming with complexity and outstanding performances.


THE WOMAN KING  (World Premiere — Gala Presentations)

Synopsis: The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Oscar®-winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Some things are worth fighting for…

Listen, if you tell me that Viola Davis is starring in a film, my butt is in a seat. Based on a true story? Well, that’s solidly in Davis’ wheelhouse, but really what isn’t? This is one highly anticipated film already.


ALLELUJAH (SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS)

This glorious reunion of Oscar winner Judi Dench and director Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal) is a spirited homage to the idiosyncrasies of old age and the noble fortitude of health-care workers everywhere. Adapted by Heidi Thomas from Alan Bennett’s stage play, Allelujah assembles a stunning ensemble of veteran British actors, including Jennifer Saunders, David Bradley, and Derek Jacobi.

There is every chance this will be an absolute crowd pleaser. The premise alone has me making up scenarios in my head of pure shenanigans. With a hell of a cast, Allelujah cannot go wrong.


FIXATION (Contemporary World Cinema)

Maddie Hasson (Malignant) plays a young woman committed to an unorthodox institution by a pair of enigmatic doctors (Genesis Rodriguez and Stephen McHattie).

Another feature debut from a female filmmaker, Mercedes Bryce Morgan brings to life an ambitious physiological thriller that will mesmerize with wild production design. I don’t think any of us are ready for such treatment. (pun intended)


LIVING (CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA)

In this exquisitely realized remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film Ikiru, director Oliver Hermanus teams with Nobel- and Booker Prize–winning author Kazuo Ishiguro to renew a classic. LIVING is the story of an ordinary man, reduced by years of oppressive office routine to a shadow existence, who at the eleventh hour makes a supreme effort to turn his dull life into something wonderful – into one he can say has been lived to the full

The magnificent Bill Nighy helms this film about humanity and mortality. With Mothering Sunday vets, cinematographer Jamie Ramsay and production designer Helen Scott, Living will undoubtedly be a feast for the eyes.

THE LOST KING (SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS)

Synopsis: In the archaeological find of a century, the remains of King Richard III — presumed scattered over 500 years ago — were discovered beneath a parking lot in Leicester in 2012. The search had been conceived and motivated by an amateur historian, Philippa Langley, whose passion and unrelenting research were met with skepticism. THE LOST KING is the inspiring true story of a woman who refused to be ignored and who took on Britain’s most eminent historians, forcing them to rethink the legacy of one of the most controversial kings in England’s history. A tale of discovery, obsession, and stolen glory (both then and now), THE LOST KING is a magical adventure illuminated by one woman’s growing sense of purpose.

My husband and I are history nerds. We’ve seen the documentary of this very story and it was nothing short of fascinating. For those who may not know the vile things said about King Richard III, it’s rather shocking. Sally Hawkins is the perfect choice to capture Philippa Langley‘s determined journey to uncover the truth.

MOVING ON (GALA PRESENTATIONS)

Synopsis: Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star in this fusion of audacious comedy and bracing drama about estranged pals who are reunited when a beloved mutual friend dies, leaving her widower the target of a revenge plan.

Perhaps some of the most notable chemistry we’ve seen between two women in years bounds off the screen when Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda work together. These two powerhouse ladies bring heart and humor to a story much more complex than at first sight. TIFF audiences are bound to cheer for Moving On.


ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE (Discovery)

Based on the book by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, two teenage Mexican-American loners in 1987 El Paso explore a new, unusual friendship and the difficult road to self-discovery.

Another female director’s feature debut (in case anyone is counting and cheering along with me), Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is more than a queer coming-of-age story. You’d never guess Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales were first-time leads. Lin-Manuel Miranda joins a powerhouse team of producers after narrating Sáenz‘s audiobook in 2013 and then reading writer-director Aitch Alberto’s screenplay. He knows a little something about quality writing, so his seal of approval is huge.


TIFF 2022 runs from September 8th to the 18th.

For more information on the fest, visit tiff.net


ICYMI: Fantastic Fest 2022’s massive full lineup includes, ‘SMILE,’ ‘WOUNDED FAWN,’ ‘TRIANGLE OF SADNESS,’ & ‘BLOOD RELATIVES’

FANTASTIC FEST ANNOUNCES A COLOSSAL 2022 LINEUP

There’s only one place where you’ll find killer teddy bears, man-eating sharks, elderly zombies, cocktail-serving robots, and Park Chan-wook… all under one roof. That’s right, the world-famous genre festival Fantastic Fest is back for its seventeenth edition featuring 21 World Premieres, 14 North American Premieres, and 21 U.S Premieres. The festival will once again take over the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin, TX from September 22nd – 29th and on the web via a virtual FF@Home experience from September 29th – October 4th.

“It’s been far too long since we’ve all been able to gather together and celebrate film the Fantastic Fest way,” says Festival Director Lisa Dreyer. “We’ve really put our all into crafting an extraordinary week, from the exceptional programming that spans exciting discoveries to highly-anticipated features, to our signature events that will inject a much-needed dose of fun into 2022.”

Badges are available now at FantasticFest.com.


The opening night film for Fantastic Fest 2022 is the world premiere of Paramount Pictures’ SMILE, the intensely creepy debut feature from Parker Finn that’ll have even the seasoned FF crowd gripping their armrests in genuine fright.

This year’s edition of Fantastic Fest will also honor a legendary genre filmmaker and show his latest masterpiece. Park Chan-wook, the South Korean director of OLDBOY, SNOWPIERCER, and THE HANDMAIDEN has been defining (and defying) genre films for decades, and his latest work – MUBI’s DECISION TO LEAVE – is a stunning achievement. In conjunction with the U.S. Premiere of his new film, Park Chan-wook will be present at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar to accept a lifetime achievement award from Fantastic Fest in celebration of his mind-bending, artfully-crafted body of work.

The closing night film at Fantastic Fest 2022 will be director Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning pitch black comedy from Neon, TRIANGLE OF SADNESS. The latest Drafthouse Recommends selection, TRIANGLE OF SADNESS is an outrageously funny and audacious social satire, with a second act that could have been engineered in a lab specifically to delight Fantastic Fest audiences. It’s a joyful romp that’ll serve as a fitting capper to the fest, and the perfect segue to closing night festivities.

Other major studio films include two Searchlight films perfectly tuned to the Fantastic Fest palate – the U.S. Premiere of THE MENU, a sharp satire about a destination-dining experience with unexpected surprises, and the U.S. Premiere of director Martin McDonagh’s THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, chronicling the dissolution of a friendship that escalates with shocking consequences.

A24 brings us the North American premiere of MEDUSA DELUXE, a murder mystery set in the world of competitive hairdressing, MGM and Distributor United Artist Releasing’s BONES AND ALL, from director Luca Guadagnino and starring Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Chloë Sevigny, David Gordon-Green, Jessica Harper, Jake Horowitz and Mark Rylance, and the U.S. premiere of Miramax’s SICK, the latest slasher from John Hyams.



Other World Premieres include:


Noah Segan’s directorial debut, BLOOD RELATIVES, a father-daughter vampire comedy.
Dark Side of the Ring co-creator Jason Eisener’s KIDS VS. ALIENS, which sees a group of friends face off against evil space invaders.
An anthology horror film featuring many Fantastic Fest alumni, SATANIC HISPANICS, from Epic Pictures.


“Fantastic Fest has always been the purest expression of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s founding principle: share the joy of cinema with people you love,” says Fantastic Fest founder Tim League. “I am beyond proud of the team for forging one of, if not the all-time best, Fantastic Fest experiences ever. This is my favorite week of the year, and I cannot wait to share it with all of you.”


The Parties
For the first time since 2019, Fantastic Fest’s legendary parties and events are back.

A special performance in The Highball from the experiential sonic sorcerers Itchy-O while they’re in Austin for a show at the Far Out Lounge.
Hailing all the way from Vienna, Roboexotica makes its Texas-debut at the Fantastic Fest opening night party, bringing their famous cocktail-concocting robots to astonish and amuse.
Podcast recordings and live events on The Highball stage with Leonard Maltin, Scripts Gone Wild, The Kingcast and Screen Drafts.
Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of The Found Footage Festival fame will perform a live show after their documentary CHOP & STEELE.
And finally, Fantastic Fest essentials like 100 Best Kills, the Fantastic Feud and the Fantastic Debates will return at this year’s festival.


FF@Home
For the second year in a row, Fantastic Fest will be a hybrid festival that offers in-person and virtual screenings. The Burnt Ends lineup will headline the online festival, with programming that seeks to champion eccentric and obscure indie cinema. Two in-person screenings will introduce audiences at South Lamar to the new series: THE PEOPLE’S JOKER and ALL JACKED UP AND FULL OF WORMS, both with filmmakers in attendance. The rest of this virtual lineup will be announced at a later date, featuring a selection of films from this year’s in person fest and will also include virtual exclusives such as a retrospective of cult DIY filmmakers Matt Farley and Charles Roxburgh’s MOTERN MEDIA movies.

 


Shark Attack & AGFA Takeover

This year’s sidebar is dedicated to the man-eater from the deep blue sea. Centered around the North American Premiere of FF alumni Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma’s YEAR OF THE SHARK, Fantastic Fest programmers dug deep to bring audiences the most entertaining shark movies from around the world. Many of them have never before screened in the USA and are now available thanks to our friends at AGFA.


The shark sidebar features TINTORERA! (Mexico) — which will be shown on 35mm from a print coming directly from Quentin Tarantino’s vault — as well as AATANK (India), GAMERA VS ZIGRA (Japan), MAKO: THE JAWS OF DEATH (USA), and 12 DAYS OF TERROR (USA).


We are thrilled to present 85 feature film titles and episodics, as well as a variety of short film selections to be announced at a later date — all showcasing World, North American, U.S. and Regional Premieres. See below for the full lineup of feature film programming at this year’s festival.


FESTIVAL FILM LINEUP BELOW:



12 DAYS OF TERROR

USA, 2004

Retrospective, 95 min

Director – Jack Sholder

In attendance – Director Jack Sholder

During the record-breaking summer heat of 1916, beachgoers on the Jersey shore are threatened by a shark that has developed a taste for human flesh.



AATANK

India, 1996

North American Premiere, 113 min

Directors – Prem Lalwani & Desh Mukherjee

A gangster’s hunt for black pearls sparks a series of vicious shark attacks. No diver, boat, or helicopter is safe in this B-grade Bollywood oddity.



ALL JACKED UP AND FULL OF WORMS (Burnt Ends Selection) *Previous coverage here*

USA, 2022

Texas Premiere, 72 min

Director – Alex Phillips

In attendance – Director Alex Phillips

A psychedelic journey of self-discovery leads to romance when a man shares his addiction to psychotropic worms… and Chicago will never be the same.



AMAZING ELISA

Spain, 2022

World Premiere, 104 min

Director – Sadrac Gonzalez-Perellon

In attendance – Director Sadrac Gonzalez-Perellon

In the aftermath of a horrific accident, Elisa believes that she’s been given super powers and will stop at nothing to avenge her mother’s death.



THE ANTARES PARADOX

Spain, 2022

World Premiere, 96 min

Director – Luis Tinoco Pineda

In attendance – Director Luis Tinoco Pineda

An astrophysicist working for the SETI project risks her career and family to verify an extraterrestrial radio signal before her access is cut off.



ATTACHMENT (see our previous coverage)

Denmark, 2022

Texas Premiere, 105 min

Director – Gabriel Bier Gislason

In attendance – Director Gabriel Bier Gislason

Maja and Leah’s relationship is off to a great start, but they face two perilous threats: the whims of a Jewish demon and Leah’s overbearing mother. Read More →

Capsule Review: Henrika Kull’s ‘BLISS’ (Glück) is a raw and realistic depiction of love.

BLISS

An unconventional LGBTQ love story set in the world of sex workers, Bliss is set in a world where femininity is considered a commodity. Two sex workers fall in love with each other while working in a Berlin brothel. Together – and yet each on her own – they experience the one moment when happiness seems possible – but their love is threatened by different ideas of life and their own abysses.


In private, there is an uncomplicated intimacy between Maria and Sascha, but judgment bubbles to the surface once in mixed company. Self-loathing and regret are deep-seated, a deadly combination for sabotage. The script slowly but slickly reveals Sascha’s inner demons, putting Maria and the audience in an uncomfortable position. The second half of Bliss deals with the ripple of her emotional instability. It’s tricky but familiar. Performances from Katharina Behrens and Eva Collé are spectacular, fearless, and raw. It’s stylistically similar to a docu-drama, and I dug the energy of the entire film. Writer-director Henrika Kull gives audiences a gem.


Available On Digital August 16th

 

Directed by Henrika Kull

Starring Katharina Behrens, Eva Collé (as Adam Hoya), Nele Kayenberg, Jean-Luc Bubert


 

Review: ‘Get Away If You Can’ provides a sea-side meditation on gender and love.

GET AWAY IF YOU CAN


Hopeful that an open-ocean sail might relight the spark of their passion, a troubled married couple (played by filmmakers Terrence Martin and Dominique Braun) hits a breaking point when one’s refusal to explore a foreboding deserted island sends them on a deep internal journey that will require drastic decisions in order to survive.


With a title like Get Away if You Can, I sat down expecting a 90-minute sea-set thriller with the potential for a high body count. Instead, I was treated to a thoughtful meditation on love, purpose, and gender.

Co-directors (and real-life spouses) Dominique Braun and Terrence Martin star as a married couple on a solo sailing trip. The journey is long, and the destination is unknown, but Martin’s TJ is in a hurry to get them there. When he resists his wife’s request to take a few days to explore a deserted island, things quickly spiral out of control.

The filming locations are stunning – the filmmakers deftly navigate the cramped interiors and deck of the sailing yacht, giving a sense of scale and place at all times. The island drawing Domi’s (Dominique Braun) attention might be part of the “islands of despair”, but it is truly gorgeous. As in, I can understand having a fight with your spouse over an island like this. If despair looks like this, sign me up. Scenes away from the boat and island are purposeful, and further our associations with the two leads. Through flashbacks and phone calls, Domi’s world is shown to be lush, green, and free. TJ’s flashbacks, on the other hand, are grounded in steel, machinery, and work. The settings smartly reinforce the opposing dynamics pulling at the two lovers.

Since much of the film’s plot finds TJ and Domi in conflict, we don’t get to see much direct chemistry between the two leads. Braun’s Domi has a heavy load to carry, and we feel her appetites and frustrations. Martin’s TJ is given less to work with, expressing his frustrations by guzzling red wine and gorging himself on saltines. Ed Harris gives a compelling supporting turn as Alan, the father of Martin’s character. Alan is a stern man from a military background. But, more than this, he seems to embody toxic masculinity itself. Harris’ restrained physical performance speaks volumes – this is a man who can make chewing a piece of steak simultaneously hilarious, intimidating, and hostile. Harris’ energy lurks even in scenes where is physically absent.

I found the film’s climax to be brave and thoughtful. You may not agree with the choices the characters make, but you can understand the journey that has brought them to that moment. Despite some choppy waves, there’s ultimately a lot to like about this boat trip.


IN SELECT THEATERS AND ON DIGITAL
Friday, August 19 

Los Angeles, CA // Laemmle Monica
Colorado Springs, CO // Icon 14
Middletown, DE // Westown Movies
Rogers, MN // Emagine Rogers 18
Chicago, IL // Cinema 14 Chatham
Birmingham, MI // Emagine Palladium 15

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Terrence Martin and Dominique Braun
STARRING: Terrence Martin, Dominique Braun, Ed Harris, Riley Smith, Martina Gusman 
EXECUTIVE PROUCED BY: Andrew Davies Gans, Cary Wayne Moore
PRODUCED BY: Terrence Martin and Dominique Braun
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY: Lucio Bonelli, Michael Lockridge, Guillermo Nieto
EDITING BY: Russell Lichter, Andrés Quaranta


 

Disney+ review: Marvel Studios ‘SHE-HULK: Attorney At Law’ (Episode 1) Judging from the pilot, Tatiana Maslany flexes her muscles.

 

A quippy takedown of misogyny, the highly anticipated She-Hulk: Attorney At Law had its first trial run. Episode 1, titled “A Normal Amount of Rage,” is another way for Tatiana Maslany to flex her muscles, not just the new green ones. The dialogue is unapologetically specific to gender dynamics. It’s like watching incel fanboys argue with any female online but in a more to-the-point and genuinely humorous way. And from the 30K+ reviews on the internet, those same dudes are what we ladies call “Big Mad.” You know Disney has done something right.

The improvements to the CG are hella cool. I think She-Hulk looks better than Hulk! Sorry, Mr. Ruffalo. I still love you, and I hope we see more of you in the remaining episodes.

After watching Maslany wow the world in Orphan Black over and over, She-Hulk allows the audience to appreciate her unequivocal comedic skills. Her take on Jennifer Walters is perfection. She’s at a place in her life and career where she’s fearless in her speech. She’s a new feminist hero that millions, myself including, can cheer on.

Breaking the fourth wall is another device that sets this series apart. Written and created for television by Jessica Gao and directed by Kat Coiro (who both executive produce), the structure of the pilot is straightforward; a flashback to a few weeks ago when Jennifer became a hulk. The final scene takes us full circle, and it’s everything you’d want in a Marvel series starring a badass lawyer with acerbic wit who just so happens to have gamma rays in her bloodstream. No big deal.

If you pay attention to the credits, and you always should in any Marvel film or series, you’ll notice how many women are part of the crew in every aspect of She-Hulk. And, we have to talk about the credits scene without spoilers. Jessica Walters is a Captain America fangirl, and damnit, it’s hilarious. Could this rival Jessica Jones as my favorite female comic book development? Yeah, I think there’s a solid argument to be made.

New episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney At Law will release on Disney+ every Thursday.

In Marvel Studios’ “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany)—an attorney specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases—must navigate the complicated life of a single, 30-something who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk. The nine-episode comedy series welcomes a host of MCU vets, including Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination, and Benedict Wong as Wong, as well as Jameela Jamil, Josh Segarra, Ginger Gonzaga, Jon Bass and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The series is directed by Kat Coiro (Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9) and Anu Valia (Episodes 5, 6, 7) with Jessica Gao as head writer. Executive producers are Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Coiro and Gao, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” streams exclusively on Disney+ beginning August 18, 2022.


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The 60th New York Film Festival teaser trailer. #NYFF60

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema and takes place September 30 – October 16, 2022. Tickets go on sale September 19, with Passes on sale now:: https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff/

An annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture since 1963, the festival continues a long-standing tradition of introducing audiences to bold and remarkable works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent.

NYFF60 tickets will go on sale to the general public on September 19 at noon ET, with early access opportunities for FLC members prior to this date. For details about ticket prices and passes visit: https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff60-passe…

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Film at Lincoln Center announces Currents for the 60th New York Film Festival (September 30–October 16, 2022). #NYFF60

 

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER ANNOUNCES
CURRENTS FOR THE 60th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

Opening Night João Pedro Rodrigues‘s Will-o’-the-Wisp 

New York, NY (August 18, 2022) – Film at Lincoln Center announces Currents for the 60th New York Film Festival (September 30–October 16, 2022).

“Each Currents lineup is an attempt to distill the spirit of innovation and playfulness in contemporary cinema, and this is, by design, the most expansive section of the festival,” said Dennis Lim, artistic director, New York Film Festival. “There are familiar names here—including multiple filmmakers who will be known to NYFF and FLC audiences—as well as some electrifying new talents, all testing and stretching the possibilities of the medium.”

The Currents slate includes 15 features and 44 short films, representing 23 countries, and complements the Main Slate, tracing a more complete picture of contemporary cinema with an emphasis on new and innovative forms and voices. The section presents a diverse offering of short and feature-length productions by filmmakers and artists working at the vanguard of the medium.

The Opening Night selection is the João Pedro Rodrigues (The Ornithologist, NYFF54) film Will-o’-the-Wisp, a “musical fantasia” about a young prince who shocks his riotously wealthy royal family by becoming a volunteer fireman—both to battle climate change and, it seems, to douse his own dormant desires amidst a bevy of beefcake firefighters. Others include the North American premiere of Human Flowers of Flesh, Helena Wittmann’s depiction of an enigmatic reconfiguration of space and time as Idi (Angeliki Papoulia) follows a crew of French Foreign Legionnaires, fascinated by their male rituals and camaraderie; and the world premiere of Heinz Emigholz’s Slaughterhouses of Modernity, a quiet observation and historical excavation, focusing on creation and destruction in cities and provinces in Argentina, Germany, and Bolivia.

Noteworthy filmmakers whose works will appear in this year’s Currents include Bertrand Bonello with Coma (Berlinale FIPRESCI Prize), a sui generis work of pandemic-era interiority, tracking the anxiety and estrangement of a teenage girl (Louise Labeque, from Bonello’s Zombi Child, NYFF57) who appears to live alone during COVID lockdown; Alain Gomis (Félicité, NYFF55) with Rewind & Play, a subtle yet searing exposé of casual racism using newly discovered footage from the recording of a 1969 French television interview of the legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk; artist Mika Rottenberg, whose first feature and collaboration with Mahyad Tousi, Remote, follows the daily routines of a quarantined woman (Okwui Okpokwasili) in her sealed-off, ultra-modern apartment; Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf) with Queens of the Qing Dynasty, which charts the budding friendship of a suicidal teen and a volunteer immigrant hospital worker; Alessandro Comodin (Happy Times Will Come Soon, ND/NF 2017) with The Adventures of Gigi the Law, a slippery, often funny, occasionally surreal slice-of-life portrait of a good-natured, contemplative policeman in a small village in northern Italy; Lebanese visual artist Ali Cherri with The Dam, a debut feature about a bricklayer in northern Sudan that straddles the line between nonfiction naturalism and supernatural mysticism, and merges ancient and contemporary worlds; Abbas Fahdel (Bitter Bread, NYFF57) with Tales of the Purple House, focusing on the experiences of Nour Balllouk, a Lebanese artist living in the house she shares with director Fahdel (her husband, who stays off-screen) in the dramatic mountainous countryside outside of Beirut; and Jonás Trueba (Every Song Talks About Me, 20th Spanish Cinema Now) with You Have to Come and See It, portraying a reunion between two couples for a concert and drinks after they have been kept apart from each other for months by the pandemic and major life changes, which paints an alternately rapturous and neurotic impression of contemporary Western living.

Notable award-winning features in this year’s Currents include The Unstable Object II (winner of the Main Prize at FIDMarseille), Daniel Eisenberg’s dynamic triptych that patiently observes people working at three factories around the world, continued from a project started in 2011; Ruth Beckermann’s Mutzenbacher (Berlinale Encounters Award for Best Film), a playful yet charged project featuring a vast group of men, who volunteered to appear on camera, perched on a floral pink couch in a cavernous abandoned factory, discussing a work of infamous erotica; Gustavo Vinagre’s loose-limbed comic marvel Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter (Berlinale Teddy Award), set during a vibrant São Paulo afternoon amidst a peculiar pandemic that affects people’s short-term memory; and Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós’s Dry Ground Burning (Cinéma du Réel Grand Prize), a lightning rod dispatch from contemporary—and maybe future—Brazil, an astonishing mix of documentary and speculative fiction that takes place in the nearly post-apocalyptic environs of the Sol Nascente favela in Brasilia.

World premieres of shorts are abundant in this year’s selection, with new works from Alex Ashe, Mary Helena Clark, Sarah Friedland, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mark Jenkin, Josh Kline, Mackie Mallison, Angelo Madsen Minax, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, Dani and Sheilah ReStack, Kim Salac, Joshua Gen Solondz, Courtney Stephens, and Jordan Strafer.

Additional notable voices in the visual arts featured as part of the Currents program include Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau and Natalia Escobar with Aribadawith Aribada, a space between documentary and dreamlike imagery of Colombia’s coffee region; Ellie Ga with Quarries, a potent, digressive triptych of palimpsestic imagery that uncovers various histories of humans’ relationships to stone; Sophia Al-Maria’s oneiric jaunt through an alternative art history, Tiger Strike Red; Fox Maxy’s compelling montage F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now, which documents the artist’s homecoming to Mesa Grande, California, ancestral lands of the Mesa Grande band of Iipay/Kumeyaay/Diegueño Mission Indians in what is now called San Diego County; Eva Giolo with The Demands of Ordinary Devotion, a catalog of moments that captures the elegance and banality of creation; and Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel with Watch the Fire or Burn Inside it, a work of noise, pyromania, and rage against a world of concrete. New works are also presented by Meriem Bennani, Lloyd Lee Choi, Sara Cwynar, Charlotte ErcoliArne Hector with Luciana Mazeto, Minze Tummescheit and Vinícius Lopes, and Simón Veléz.

Artists returning to NYFF include Ute Aurand, Alexandra Cuesta, Riccardo Giacconi, Simon Liu, Pablo Mazzolo, Jamil McGinnis, Diane Severin Nguyen, Lois Patiño, Nicolás Pereda, James Richards, Ben Russell, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Tiffany Sia.

Three of this year’s Currents shorts are paired with features from the section: Bi Gan’s A Short Story, preceding Remote; Pedro Neves Marques’s Becoming Male in the Middle Ages, preceding You Have to Come and See It; and Elisabeth Subrinand’s Maria Schneider, preceding Rewind & Play.

Radu Jude (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, NYFF59) revisits the history of the battleship Potemkin—as a comic dialogue between a sculptor and a representative from Romania’s Ministry of Culture, in The Potemkinists, which will screen with a to-be-announced Revivals program.

Finally, this year’s Currents shorts program features a restoration of the Edward Owens film Remembrance: A Portrait Study, depicting the filmmaker’s mother and her friends, arrayed in feather boas and pearls, drinking beer, smoking, gossiping, and posing leisurely in Owens’s ethereal chiaroscuro frames and extravagant superimpositions. Owen’s film will also screen as part of a shorts program in the Revivals section, with information forthcoming in the Revivals announcement.

The Currents selection committee, chaired by Dennis Lim, includes Florence Almozini, Aily Nash, Rachael Rakes, and Tyler Wilson. Nash and Wilson are the head shorts programmers for NYFF. Shelby Shaw and Madeline Whittle are programming assistants for short films, and Micah Gottlieb, Marius Hrdy, Almudena Escobar López, Vikram Murthi, Maxwell Paparella, Mariana Sánchez Bueno and Matthew Thurber are submissions screeners. Violeta Bava, Michelle Carey, Leo Goldsmith, and Gina Telaroli serve as NYFF program advisors.

NYFF60 Currents feature films are sponsored by MUBI, a curated streaming service for award-winning cinema.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema and takes place September 30–October 16, 2022. An annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture since 1963, the festival continues an enduring tradition of introducing audiences to bold and remarkable works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent.

As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, the New York Film Festival will offer festival screenings in all five boroughs of New York City in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Staten Island), BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) (Brooklyn), the Bronx Museum of the Arts (Bronx), Maysles Documentary Center (Harlem), and the Museum of the Moving Image (Queens). Each venue will present a selection of films throughout the festival; a complete list of films and showtimes will be announced later this month. NYFF60 tickets, including those for partner venue screenings, will go on sale to the General Public on September 19 at noon.

FLC invites audiences to celebrate this milestone anniversary by reflecting on their NYFF experiences with our NYFF Memories survey and by taking part in our Letterboxd Watch Challenge.

Please note: Masks are required for all staff, audiences, and filmmakers at all times in public spaces at FLC indoor spaces. Proof of full vaccination is not required for NYFF60 audiences at FLC indoor spaces, but full vaccination is strongly recommended. Visit filmlinc.org/safety for more information. For health and safety protocols at partner venues, please visit their official websites.

 

Festival Passes are on sale now in limited quantities. NYFF60 single tickets, including those for partner venue screenings, will go on sale to the General Public on Monday, September 19 at noon ET, with pre-sale access for FLC Members and Pass holders prior to this date. This Friday, August 19, is the last day to secure pre-sale access by becoming a Member––save 30% with the code NYFF60. Support of NYFF benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its nonprofit mission to promote the art and craft of cinema. NYFF60 press and industry accreditation is now open and the application deadline is August 31. NYFF60 volunteer call is now open

 

 

Currents Features:

Opening Night

Will-o’-the-Wisp
João Pedro Rodrigues, 2022, Portugal, 67m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Transgressive queer auteur João Pedro Rodrigues’s outré “musical fantasia” begins in the year 2069, when Portugal’s King Alfredo recalls from his deathbed his erotic exploits and social activism as a fresh-faced, curly-haired prince in the early years of the 21st century. The young man shocks his riotously wealthy royal family by becoming a volunteer fireman—both to do his part for a rural landscape prone to devastating wildfires and, it seems, to douse his own dormant desires amidst a bevy of beefcake firefighters. Rodrigues’s delirious and delicious anything-goes style has never felt more joyous than in this curiously hopeful, sexually frank confection that engages in questions of climate change, racial and economic inequity, and governmental inadequacy, while also indulging in bawdy humor and song-and-dance flights of fancy. A Strand Releasing release.

 

The Adventures of Gigi the Law
Alessandro Comodin, 2022, Italy/France/Belgium, 98m
Italian and Friulian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Gigi, a good-natured, contemplative policeman in a small village in northern Italy, spends his workdays making inquiries into minor infractions, checking on residents, listening to his car radio, and flirting with a pretty new colleague. Yet even in this uneventful town, there is a dark undercurrent of melancholy, indicated by a wave of recent suicides on the local train tracks. Alessandro Comodin follows his breakthrough shape-shifter Happy Times Will Come Soon with a slippery, often very funny slice-of-life portrait that drifts into occasional glimmers of surreality. Comodin’s brilliantly expressive use of off-screen space unsettles even as it amuses, creating a world whose contours are just barely discernible, whether cloaked in a nighttime thicket of trees or against the bright sun-dappled countryside.

Coma
Bertrand Bonello, 2022, France, 81m
French with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Director Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama) is among his generation’s most accomplished makers of disquieting imagery; his latest, a sui generis work of pandemic-era interiority, functions as an alternately humorous and horrifying sketch of our current existential miasma. This unsettling film tracks the anxiety and estrangement of a teenage girl (Louise Labeque, from Bonello’s Zombi Child) who appears to live alone during COVID lockdown and gradually begins to experience the dissolution of boundaries between her real and imagined zones. Utilizing an array of media—computer animation, Zoom chats, internet video, stop-motion dolls, surveillance footage—the filmmaker constructs a dreamlike limbo that increasingly feels ruled by some invisible supernatural realm. Created as a personal communiqué to the director’s 18-year-old daughter, Coma expresses, poignantly yet without sentimentality, a father’s fears in passing a troubled world along to his child.

The Dam
Ali Cherri, 2022, France/Lebanon/Sudan/Germany/Serbia/Qatar, 80m
Arabic with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Maher (Maher El Kahir) works as a bricklayer in northern Sudan, not far from the massive hydroelectric Merowe Dam located on the Nile. He spends his off hours laboring over another, more mysterious building project: a towering creature he’s making out of mud. In his debut feature, Lebanese visual artist Ali Cherri has constructed his own indefinable work, a riveting film that straddles the line between nonfiction naturalism and supernatural mysticism. Co-written with Bertrand Bonello and Geoffroy Grison, The Dam metaphorically evokes the destruction caused by the dam’s creation, while also situating the lives of Maher and his fellow workers against the political backdrop of former Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir’s 2019 military deposition. Cherri merges ancient and contemporary worlds in this meditative film about displacement, illusion, and mythmaking.

Dry Ground Burning
Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós, 2022, Brazil, 154m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
A lightning rod dispatch from contemporary—and maybe future—Brazil, this astonishing mix of documentary and speculative fiction takes place in the nearly postapocalyptic environs of the Sol Nascente favela in Brasilia. Here, fearsome outlaw Chitara (Joana Darc Furtado) leads an all-female gang that siphons and steals precious oil from the authoritarian, militarized government, while her sister, Léa (Léa Alves da Silva), recently released from prison, is brought into the criminal enterprise. Working together as directors for the first time, Queirós and Pimenta (who served as cinematographer on Queirós’s ethnographic sci-fi Once There Was Brasilia) effortlessly combine dramatized narrative with electrifying captured footage, which integrates the characters into rallies against Bolsonaro and fervent religious services. Presiding over it all are the regal Furtado and da Silva, playing alternate-reality versions of themselves, the fully liberated stars of an epic, hopeful vision. A Grasshopper Film release.

Human Flowers of Flesh
Helena Wittmann, 2022, Germany/France, 106m
English, French, Portuguese, Tamazight, and Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Director and cinematographer Helena Wittmann creates distinctive and unexpected cinematic experiences, dissolving narratives into environments that move to the inexpressible contours of human communication and physicality. In her second feature, following the revelatory, bifurcated Drift, she limns the interior world of Idi (Angeliki Papoulia) by focusing on the external, sensual landscape surrounding her. Fascinated by the male rituals and camaraderie of a crew of French Foreign Legionnaires, Idi follows them on a journey across the Mediterranean, which Wittmann depicts as an enigmatic reconfiguration of space and time, connecting the past and present, body and spirit, earth and water—including, in one remarkable moment, a complete submersion into the sea’s mysterious depths. Human Flowers of Flesh features a cameo from Denis Lavant, in tribute to Claire Denis’s thematically evoked Beau travail, yet Wittmann’s film moves to its own meditative, differently embodied rhythms.

Mutzenbacher
Ruth Beckermann, 2022, Austria, 101m
German with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
In this playful yet charged project from Austrian filmmaker Ruth Beckermann (The Waldheim Waltz, NYFF56), a vast group of men, from teenage to nonagenarian, have volunteered to appear on camera, perched on a floral pink couch in a cavernous abandoned factory, discussing, and in some cases reading aloud from, a work of infamous erotica. Published anonymously in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, Josephine Mutzenbacher or The Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself, graphically details the sexual awakening of a teenage girl. In the voices of these men, who are variously befuddled, defensive, and eager, the book’s explicit content becomes at once absurd, neutralized, and purposefully dislocated. Beckermann uses this controversial text as a catalyst for a surprising, humorous, and nonjudgmental treatise on contemporary male sexual attitudes toward women, fantasy, pornography, and the ever-moving targets of morality.

Queens of the Qing Dynasty
Ashley McKenzie, 2022, Canada, 122m
English, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
After the latest in a series of suicide attempts, 18-year-old Star (Sarah Walker) wakes up in the hospital and remains dazed and disaffected as doctors and nurses try to rehabilitate, or at least break through to, them. The only person there who is able to penetrate Star’s consciousness is a volunteer named An (Ziyin Zheng), a kind-souled Chinese immigrant who becomes a lifeline for the similarly genderqueer but otherwise radically different Star. Ashley McKenzie’s follow-up to her breakthrough addiction drama Werewolf takes Star and An’s budding friendship as an anchor for something much stranger and more complex than a simple tale of recovery against odds. Instead, this is an aesthetically audacious two-hander constructed of insistent sonic landscapes and visual textures that convey the almost metastatic nature of love. McKenzie’s strategy of expressing her characters’ intense interiority forces normal definitions of space and time to expand and contract.

Remote
Mika Rottenberg and Mahyad Tousi, 2022, U.S., 89m
English, Korean, Persian, Spanish, Croatian, Hindi with English subtitles
Mika Rottenberg’s expansive, often giddily absurd video and installation art in part interrogates our increasing reliance on technology and connection to what we used to call reality. In her first feature, she collaborates with filmmaker Mahyad Tousi on a film she has described as “Jeanne Dielman during a pandemic in the future.” Remote follows the daily routines of a quarantined woman (Okwui Okpokwasili) in her sealed-off, ultra-modern apartment, a paradise of vibrant colors, thriving plant life, and virtual screens. While some unknown global crisis unfolds outside her window, she joins a watch party of women from around the world keen on the same South Korean dog-grooming show, eventually falling down a rabbit hole playing an inexplicable interactive game with them. Rottenberg and Tousi’s film finds new cinematic language to express the desire for physical contact in our increasingly isolated, mediated, and highly consumer-driven environments.

Preceded by:
A Short Story / Po Sui Tai Yang Zhi Xin
Bi Gan, 2022, China, 15m
Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
With his signature long-takes and tightly controlled mise-en-scène, Bi Gan weaves a darkly surrealist fairy tale that follows the odyssey of an anthropomorphic feline across the empty cities and fog-bound exurban spaces of contemporary China. In his encounters with a strange cast of characters—a scarecrow, a robot, an amnesiac, a little girl—Black Cat is on a quest to answer a single question: What is the most precious thing in the world?

Rewind & Play
Alain Gomis, 2022, France/Germany, 66m
English and French with English subtitles
In December 1969, Thelonious Monk arrived in Paris for a concert at the tail end of a European tour. While there, the legendary jazz pianist was invited to appear on a television interview program, where he would perform and answer questions in an intimate, one-on-one studio stage. Using newly discovered footage from the recording of the interview, versatile French-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis (whose dazzling music-tinged drama Félicité played in NYFF’s Main Slate in 2017) reveals the troubling dynamic between Monk and his white interviewer, Henri Renaud, and how Monk stands his ground despite being antagonized by Renaud’s trivializing approach. Gomis’s gripping film is a fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary; a subtle yet searing exposé of casual racism; and, above all, a chance to see one of the monumental geniuses of 20th-century music at work.

Preceded by:
Maria Schneider, 1983
Elisabeth Subrin, 2022, France, 25m
English and French with English and French subtitles
Actresses Manal Issa, Aïssa Maïga, and Isabel Sandoval recreate a 1983 French TV interview with Maria Schneider, which takes a turn when she’s asked about the traumatic filming of Last Tango in Paris with Bernardo Bertolucci and Marlon Brando a decade before. Taken together, they not only perform Schneider’s words and gestures, but inhabit them through their own identities—along with all those silenced, before and after.

Slaughterhouses of Modernity
Heinz Emigholz, 2022, Germany, 80m
German with English subtitles
World Premiere
Contemporary cinema’s preeminent chronicler of architecture and its intersection with the ever-present crisis of 20th-century modernity, Heinz Emigholz returns with an alternately mournful and sly treatise on how the presence—and, in some cases, absence—of municipal and communal building architecture is inseparable from capitalist ideology. Focusing mainly on cities and provinces in Argentina, Germany, and Bolivia, Emigholz’s latest film is a work of quiet observation and historical excavation. From slaughterhouses in Salamone to the flooded former spa city of Epecuén to the newly built Humboldt Forum in Berlin, the film demonstrates the effect of capital on public spaces, where creation and destruction go hand in hand, and as always, Emigholz makes the journey one of intellectual force and cinematic beauty.

Tales of the Purple House
Abbas Fahdel, 2022, Lebanon/Iraq/France, 184m
Arabic with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Iraqi-French filmmaker Abbas Fahdel, whose Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (NYFF53) captured everyday experiences of his homelands citizens in the years before and after the U.S. invasion, has returned with another extraordinary, expansive cinematic vision combining images of mundane observation with social and political upheaval. Filmed over more than two years, Tales of the Purple House centers on the experiences of Nour Balllouk, a Lebanese artist living in the house she shares with Fahdel (her husband, who stays off-screen) in the dramatic mountainous countryside outside of Beirut. As she works on her latest paintings, communes with stray cats, and bonds with Syrian refugee neighbors, the nation struggles with turmoil, from the breakout of the COVID pandemic to citizens protesting the corruption of the political elite to ongoing violent attacks from neighboring Israel; meanwhile, the vibrant beauty of their home and its surroundings provides solace and regeneration. With the simplest of brushstrokes, Fahdel’s meditative film captures the creation of art amidst pain, the ongoing hope for revolution, and the struggle to live in the present while constantly bearing witness to the past.

Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter
Gustavo Vinagre, 2022, Brazil, 84m
Portuguese with English subtitles
A warm, bittersweet queer utopia bursts from the sidelines of Bolsonaro’s Brazil in Gustavo Vinagre’s loose-limbed comic marvel. Set during a peculiar pandemic that affects people’s short-term memory, the film follows a trio of 20-somethings—roommates Isabella (Isabella Pereira) and Pedro (Pedro Ribeiro), and Pedro’s visiting, same-age nephew, Jonata (Jonata Vieira)—as they explore a vibrant São Paulo one sunny afternoon. Lightly but movingly drawing parallels between the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s and the governmental treatment of disease today, Vinagre’s film nevertheless provides an ultimately hopeful, even joyous picture of the marginalized, an alt universe of people living both online and IRL, indulging in fantasy and pleasure, and maintaining humor despite the specter of death, past and present. Winner of the Teddy Award for Best LGBTQ-themed Feature at the Berlin Film Festival.

The Unstable Object II
Daniel Eisenberg, 2022, U.S./Germany/France/Turkey, 204m
U.S. Premiere
Continuing a project he began in 2011, filmmaker Daniel Eisenberg presents a dynamic triptych that patiently observes people working at three factories around the world: a prosthetics manufacturer in the German city of Duderstadt, a glove maker in the southern French commune Millau, and a jeans plant in Istanbul. Each discrete section of the film presents a place with its own distinct process and scale of production, yet taken together, they create an indelible image of a global workforce, one that never loses sight of the humans at the center, despite the industrial machines they are often seen operating. Eisenberg’s stationary camera pays close attention to both the individual and the collective, showing the rigorous labor as well as the intricate design and craft that go into every detail, encouraging a rich, active viewership. Winner of the Grand Prix of the International Competition at this year’s FIDMarseille Film Festival.

You Have to Come and See It
Jonás Trueba, 2022, Spain, 64m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Jonás Trueba paints an alternately rapturous and neurotic impression of contemporary Western living in his small-scale yet endlessly rich new feature. Two couples reunite for a concert and drinks after they have been kept apart from each other for months by the pandemic and major life changes. During two movements, in winter and summer, set in Madrid and in the countryside, Trueba allows us to eavesdrop on conversations that subtly reveal their emotional and intellectual lives, personal resentments and fears, and ruminations on our modern political limbo. Trueba’s gentle, clear-eyed film is both a cosmopolitan fable and a return to nature, buoyed by a chorus of living artists and philosophers—pianist and composer Chano Domínguez, cultural theorist Peter Sloterdijk, poet Olvido García Valdes—whose words and music are as integral to the overall experience as the characters’ enveloping dialogue.

Preceded by:
Becoming Male in the Middle Ages / Tornar-se um Homem na Idade Média
Pedro Neves Marques, 2022, Portugal, 22m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Two couples, two quandaries of parenthood and age: a straight couple struggle with infertility and its possible environmental causes, while Vicente undergoes an experimental procedure to implant an ovary in his body so that he and his partner, Carl, can have a biological child. With delicate touches of science fiction, director Pedro Neves Marques explores the bleeding edge of the biopolitics of reproduction and the normative boundaries of the natural and the artificial.

Currents Shorts

 

Program 1: Field Trips
TRT: 78m

Flora
Nicolás Pereda, 2022, Mexico, 11m
World Premiere
A metacinematic reflection on the nature of representation and the ongoing drug war in Mexico, Nicolás Pereda’s Flora revisits locations and scenes from the mainstream 2010 narco-comedy El Infierno, exploring the paradoxes of depicting narco-trafficking on film—its tendency both to romanticize and to obscure. To screen is both to project and to conceal.

Underground Rivers / Los mayores ríos se deslizan bajo tierra
Simón Veléz, 2022, Colombia, 19m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Omens abound in Simón Veléz’s Underground Rivers, which follows the quotidian journey of a young woman from Medellín’s center to the verdant forests beyond—all captured on grainy, desaturated film stock. Archery, fortunetelling, and even an acting audition figure in this loose itinerary, which eventually circles back to the film’s unsettled beginnings.

Watch the Fire or Burn Inside It / Il faut regarder le feu ou brûler dedans
Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel, 2022, France, 18m
French with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
As water-bombers fight wildfires scorching the island of Corsica, a young woman learns to embrace the flames in an act of resistance. Part mordant karaoke video, part eco-terrorist manifesto, Watch the Fire or Burn Inside It is a work of noise, pyromania, and rage against a world of concrete.

Aribada
Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau and Natalia Escobar, 2022, Germany/Colombia, 30m
Emberá Chamí with English subtitles
In Aribada, the scintillating color and dreamlike imagery of Colombia’s coffee region become a vivid landscape—a space between documentary and mythology, where Las Traviesas, a group of trans women from the Emberá people share knowledge and reinvent rituals. Here, Aribada, a half-jaguar, half-human monster awakens to the formation of their utopic alliance informed by the power of the jais (spirits).

Program 2: Fault Lines
TRT: 78m

Quarries
Ellie Ga, 2022, U.S., 40m
North American Premiere
In the wake of her brother’s paralysis, artist Ellie Ga traces a psychogeography from New York to the Aegean Sea to Kenya to Lisbon, threading narratives about agency in the face of being forgotten. What results is a potent, digressive triptych of palimpsestic imagery that uncovers various histories of humans’ relationships to stone—from prehistoric tools to stonemasonry. Quarries unfolds through sifting juxtapositions and stories of resistance in unlikely places.

45th Parallel
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 2022, U.K., 15m
World Premiere
Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s 45th Parallel analyzes the contradictions of borders and the laws that govern the liminal space of the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, a municipal building constructed in 1904 that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. This peculiar site becomes the stage for an investigative monologue about the 2010 shooting of an unarmed 15-year-old Mexican by a U.S. Border Patrol agent and America’s remote murders-by-drone in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan.

Tiger Strike Red
Sophia Al-Maria, 2022, U.K., 23m
U.S. Premiere
Remixing the collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Tiger Strike Red is an oneiric jaunt through an alternative art history that finds playful linkages between classical marble sculpture, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, representations of Judith’s beheading of Holofernes, AI art, and an 18th-century South Indian automaton depicting a tiger mauling a British colonial soldier.

Program 3: Action Figures
TRT: 68m

Fingerpicking / Diteggiatura
Riccardo Giacconi, 2021, Italy, 18m
Italian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Voiceover narration written by an artificial neural network guides us through the workshop of the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla e Figli in Milan, one of the oldest puppet theaters in the world. Here, artisans and performers build and manipulate their multitude of phantasmagoric creations, grotesque and uncanny facsimiles of human and animal life.

Glass Life
Sara Cwynar, 2021, Canada, 20m
U.S. Premiere
A swirling constellation of images—press photos, ads, animal pics, fashion shots, Instagram profiles, emojis, book covers, sports footage, selfies, cartoons, and clippings from an art history textbook—unfurl under the bird’s-eye gaze of Sara Cwynar’s Glass Life, which performs a vivisection of contemporary digital culture, plunging us deep into the hermetic pleasures and traps of the infinite scroll.

F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now
Fox Maxy, 2022, U.S., 11m
U.S. Premiere
Fox Maxy’s vertiginous montage documents the artist’s homecoming to Mesa Grande, California, ancestral lands of the Mesa Grande Band of Iipay/Kumeyaay/Diegueño Mission Indians in what is now called San Diego County. An exuberant mixtape of songs; portraits of friends, family, animals, and landscapes; and documents of confrontations with tribal cops, F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now is an exhilarating, joyful, and relentless disruption. No more drama.

IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS
Diane Severin Nguyen, 2021, U.S./Poland, 19m
A militant K-pop opera set in Warsaw, artist Diane Severin Nguyen’s IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS poses post-socialist theatrics enacted by a new generation whose influences span from Mao to Blackpink. Meshing revolutionary writings with collaboratively choreographed sequences featuring a young Vietnamese girl and a dance troupe of Polish teenagers, Nguyen’s film is a euphoric and paradoxical conflation of socialist and capitalist iconographies and post-Cold War diasporas.

Program 4: Vital Signs
TRT: 71m

Exhibition
Mary Helena Clark, 2022, U.S., 19m
World Premiere
Pivoting between two stories of women and their relationships with objects—a Swedish woman’s marriage to the Berlin Wall, and a suffragette’s hatcheting of Velásquez’s The Toilet of Venus—Mary Helena Clark’s Exhibition is a maze-like tour through images and artifacts, a dense cryptography of the forms and objects that hold us in.

Remembrance: A Portrait Study
Edward Owens, 1967, U.S., 16mm, 6m
As a gay African-American 18-year-old filmmaker, Edward Owens was a marginal figure in the New York avant-garde of the late 1960s. One of his four completed films, Remembrance: A Portrait Study (1967) depicts the filmmaker’s mother and her friends, arrayed in feather boas and pearls, drinking beer, smoking, gossiping, and posing leisurely in Owens’s ethereal chiaroscuro frames and extravagant superimpositions. A program of Edward Owens’s films will also screen in the Revivals section to be announced at a future date.

Restored by Chicago Film Society, The New American Cinema Group, Inc./The Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and the John M. Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant Program and the Film Foundation. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER
Jordan Strafer, 2022, U.S., 21m
World Premiere
A private jet over the Atlantic Ocean, in which a family transports their ailing patriarch, becomes the stage, alternately, for ebullient musical theater and morbid fantasies. With its opulent production design, sinister soundscapes, and its flair for the grotesque, Jordan Strafer’s PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER is a psychodrama in miniature.

NE Corridor
Joshua Gen Solondz, 2022, U.S., 35mm, 7m
World Premiere
Accumulated over three years, Joshua Gen Solondz’s film is a crowded collage of gurgling paint, jagged splices, errant sprocket holes, and puzzling images that conjure the densely material frames of the late queer avant-garde filmmaker Luther Price. A messy assemblage in purples and oranges, NE Corridor is at once a visceral explosion of color and a tortured object.

Qualities Of Life: Living in the Radiant Cold
James Richards, 2022, Germany, 18m
U.S. Premiere
James Richards’ Qualities of Life: Living in the Radiant Cold is a descent into a maelstrom of images and objects—from glitched medical optics, photos from the archive of Horst Ademeit, who documented the impact of radiation on his body, to Richards’ own collection of erotic objects, drug paraphernalia, and other ephemera that swim in a dark techno-pharmacological miasma.

Program 5: After Utopia
TRT: 75m

Adaptation
Josh Kline, 2022, U.S., 11m
World Premiere
The setting for Josh Kline’s Adaptation is the contaminated canyons of a flooded New York City in the near future—here rendered with resolutely analog special effects, including matte shots and scale models. Amid the ruins, life and work continue, as the city’s remaining relief workers adapt to the strange beauty of their newly transformed home and the consequences of a slow, preventable apocalypse.

urban solutions
Arne Hector, Luciana Mazeto, Minze Tummescheit, and Vinícius Lopes, 2022, Germany/Brazil, 16mm, 30m
Portuguese and German with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A German artist on a picturesque journey to Brazil ruminates on the country’s lush floral beauty and its orderly architectures of civilization and security, as apartment complex doormen reflect on their experiences as caretakers, security guards, and confidants for the rich. Shot in vivid 16mm, urban solutions builds a complex, multi-perspectival portrait of the country’s class inequities, in which insurgent energies of the colonial past begin to break through its pristine surfaces.

Life on the CAPS
Meriem Bennani, 2022, Morocco/U.S., 34m
English and Arabic with English subtitles
Interweaving live action and computer graphics, and blending the aesthetics of documentary, music video, surveillance, and viral videos, Meriem Bennani constructs a rich, disorienting vision of a dystopian future on CAPS, a fictional migrant enclave located somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Featuring a score by Fatima Al Qadiri, Life on the CAPS is a vibrant and intricately layered audiovisual commentary on the meaning of data, diaspora, and collective resistance.

Program 6: Inside Voices
TRT: 77m

Bigger on the Inside
Angelo Madsen Minax, 2022, U.S., 12m
U.S. Premiere
Outer and inner space collapse in Angelo Madsen Minax’s cosmic essay film, which diffracts feelings, memories, and longings during a blurry sojourn in a remote cabin in the woods. Looking at the stars, flirting with guys on dating apps, taking ketamine (or not), and watching YouTube lecture videos, Minax draws a warped cartography of desire and distance.

The Sky’s In There
Dani and Sheilah ReStack, 2022, U.S., 11m
World Premiere
In Dani and Sheilah ReStack’s intimate album of sensations, the camera becomes a communal tool, weaving between domestic scenes with children, friends, animals, and collaborators, miniature art worlds, and abstracted natural formations. Threading these scenes with their trademark strategies of feral domesticity, these quotidian spaces of play and repose become models of transformation, experience, and care.

Lesser Choices
Courtney Stephens, 2022, U.S., 8m
World Premiere
The bleached palette and home-movie aesthetics of Super 8 footage provide the image track for this testimonial about an illegal abortion in Mexico City in the 1960s, delivered in voiceover by the filmmaker’s mother. In its account of this intimate and disorienting memory, Lesser Choices summons a time of profound uncertainty—a moment from an era without rights—and offers a warning to the present.

Diana, Diana
Kim Salac, 2022, U.S., 10m
English and Tagalog with English subtitles
World Premiere
In this fractured double-portrait, artist Kim Salac superimposes the story of Princess Diana onto images and narratives drawn from their mother’s life. Through palimpsests of voices and images, the artist’s own dance performances, and archival interviews with the princess just before her divorce, Diana, Diana meditates on iconography and celebrity, globalization and colonization, and women’s shared struggle for autonomy across class lines.

It Smells Like Springtime
Mackie Mallison, 2022, U.S., 16m
Chinese, English, and Japanese with English subtitles
World Premiere
Through family conversations, home movies, still-lifes, and portraiture, Mackie Mallison’s It Smells Like Springtime explores the complexity of Asian-American identity and experience in dialogue with the artist and jeweler Ada Chen and a riotous cadre of kids. Together, they grapple with their ties to their family’s homelands, the paradoxes of representation, and their sense of belonging.

Into The Violet Belly
Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, 2022, Belgium/Germany/Iceland/Malta/Denmark, 20m
Vietnamese and English with English subtitles
World Premiere
Interweaving family lore, mythology, science fiction, and digital abstraction, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi’s film follows the collaboration between the artist and her mother, Thuyen Hoa, who fled Vietnam after the end of the American War via a near-calamitous sea journey. Oscillating between voices, visual registers, and timescales—was it seven months or seven thousand years?— Into The Violet Belly offers up an image of its multiplicitous structure: a massive digital swarm, tiny avatars of migrating bodies, swimming in an infinite blue.

Program 7: Ordinary Devotion
TRT: 73m

The Demands of Ordinary Devotion
Eva Giolo, 2022, Belgium, 12m
U.S. Premiere
Flipping a coin, pumping a breast, hand-rolling pasta, winding a Bolex: The Demands of Ordinary Devotion is an accumulation of small gestures, ordinary affects, and cryptic rites—a catalog of moments that captures the elegance and the banality of creation, which Eva Giolo documents through juxtapositions of rich 16mm images and precise sonic events.

Renate
Ute Aurand, 2021, Germany, 16mm, 6m
North American Premiere
Ute Aurand’s delicate portrait of her friend and fellow filmmaker Renate Sami is rich with quiet micro-events, intimating a wealth of shared histories, songs, and readings (including an untranslated passage from the Austrian poet Friederike Mayröcker’s Stillleben), and evoking the fragile beauty of the present.

Lungta
Alexandra Cuesta, 2022, Mexico/Ecuador, 10m
Alexandra Cuesta’s enigmatic film derives its title from the mythical Tibetan creature (literally, “wind horse”) that symbolizes the air or spirit within the body. Combining sound artist’s Martín Baus’s distorted aerophonic score with blurred 16mm footage, Lungta foregrounds the material substructure of the filmic process while invoking the history of Muybridge’s earliest experiments in chronophotography, which gave motion to still images for the first time.

The Newest Olds
Pablo Mazzolo, 2022, Argentina/Canada, 35mm, 15m
U.S. Premiere
Through his deft hand-processing and manipulation of 35mm film stock, Pablo Mazzolo creates a kaleidoscopic landscape study of sites in and around the transborder agglomeration of Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. Transforming this space into a pulsating environment of liquid terrain, volatile abstraction, and an ever-changing color palette, The Newest Olds also draws on archival sound and field recording to reveal the two cities’ energies of uncertainty and unrest.

Devil’s Peak
Simon Liu, 2022, Hong Kong/U.S., 30m
North American Premiere
In Devil’s Peak, Simon Liu’s frenetically associative montage and shimmering images map a twisted psychogeography of Hong Kong. What emerges is a dizzying portrait of a metropolis bustling with jagged contrasts: between the shiny objects of capitalist futurism and the past’s ghostly whispers, between gestures of resistance and forces of suppression.

Program 8: Time Out of Mind
TRT: 76m

Against Time
Ben Russell, 2022, France, 23m
A fractal almanac, Ben Russell’s Against Time begins in reverse as a means of moving forward. An homage to the late filmmaker Jonathan Schwartz, and filmed between the Carpathian Mountains, Vilnius punk clubs, a Belarusian Independence Day celebration, and Marseille, it hovers in a limbo of drone and fog, then descends into stroboscopic clusters of moments and movements.

In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun
Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2022, Germany, 18m
Japanese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Borrowing its title from the memoir of early Japanese suffragette Hiratsuka Raichō, In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun plunges deep into an oceanic vortex of saturated color and fleeting archival images, conjuring moments from the history of Japanese women’s movements in a headlong montage of bodies in protest, pulsating into abstraction.

What Rules The Invisible
Tiffany Sia, 2022, U.S., 10m
U.S. Premiere
Through archival travelogue footage of Hong Kong and family stories from her mother, Tiffany Sia explores Hong Kong’s tangled colonial histories in What Rules the Invisible. Appropriating and reframing the home movies’ voyeuristic images, the filmmaker finds small disruptions, returned gazes, and the ghostly residue of past resistance left undocumented.

The Sower of Stars / El sembrador de estrellas
Lois Patiño, 2022, Spain, 25m
Japanese with English subtitles
Intricate composite patterns of tiny, dazzling lights break through the inky blackness of night in Lois Patiño’s dream-like Tokyo nocturne. Narrated in dialogue by disembodied voices meditating on the qualities of color, light, and silence, The Sower of Stars is a minor-key city symphony in which the dense metropolis, viewed from afar, becomes a quiet atmosphere of twinkling electronics, snaking reflections, and liquid stars.

Program 9: New York Shorts
TRT: 87m

Same Old
Lloyd Lee Choi, 2022, U.S., 15m
Mandarin Chinese and English with English subtitles
In post-pandemic Manhattan, a Chinese immigrant works nights as a delivery worker, until his world begins to unravel: his e-bike is stolen, and with it his livelihood. In inky night scenes and desaturated neon, director Lloyd Lee Choi captures the precarity of life on the city’s social and economic margins.

Trust Exercises
Sarah Friedland, 2022, U.S., 25m
World Premiere
Experimental dance and corporate management workshops intersect in Sarah Friedland’s Trust Exercises, which connects three spaces—a rehearsal studio, a company team-building retreat, and a bodywork session—in which participants learn to move together. In these complementary zones, the business and social worlds merge in the complex orchestration of rhythm and play.

29 Hour Long Birthday
Mark Jenkin, 2022, U.K., 6m
World Premiere
British filmmaker Mark Jenkin (whose latest feature Enys Men is part of this year’s Main Slate) mails this postcard from a melancholic holiday in New York and its environs, rendering the city in grainy monochrome Super 8 and a familiar urban soundtrack of jackhammers and traffic hum. In voiceover, the filmmaker relates his experiences of celeb-spotting and visiting movie locales, buying overpriced essentials, and counting MAGA bumper stickers on Long Island.

Magic Ring
Alex Ashe, 2022, U.S., 16m
World Premiere
Slipping between planes of consciousness and existence, filmmaker Alex Ashe’s Magic Ring is a work of both subdued tenderness and wry comic surrealism in which an armed pursuit in Brooklyn results in a series of out-of-body experiences: a mystical encounter in a book shop, a chat with an ancestral spirit, a whole life flashing by in an instant.

Little Jerry
Charlotte Ercoli, 2022, U.S., 11m
Channeling the pure chaos of Jerry Lewis and the Three Stooges with jerky rhythms and discomfiting smashcuts, Charlotte Ercoli’s Little Jerry tells the deranged showbiz tale of the frenzied, dysfunctional, jealous relationship between a puppet comedian (played by viral video icon Douglas Levison) and his jittery, incompetent assistant, who is also his son.

as time passes
Jamil McGinnis, 2022, U.S./Turkey, 14m
Turkish, English, and Persian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
as time passes assembles images and memories in a lyrical film-diary through which director Jamil McGinnis traces and retraces linkages between his mother’s home city of Lüleburgaz, Turkey, and his home in Crown Heights. Remixing home movies, original 16mm footage, and appropriated film and video clips, the film maps a deeply rooted landscape of shared emotion and existence.

Screening with a to-be-announced Revivals program
The Potemkinists / Potemkiniștii
Radu Jude, 2022, Romania, 18m
Romanian and Russian with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Radu Jude revisits the history of the battleship Potemkin—the source story for Sergei Eisenstein’s classic 1925 work of Soviet montage—as a comic dialogue between a sculptor and a representative from Romania’s Ministry of Culture about cinema, monument-making, and art’s conflicted role in the continual revisionism of history.

 

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER

Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; and the presentation of podcasts, talks, special events, and artist initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partner Campari®; Benefactor Partners Netflix and Citi; Supporting Partners Bloomberg Philanthropies, Topic Studios, and Hearst; Contributing Partners Dolby, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), MUBI, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Manhattan Portage, and Unifrance; and Media Partners VarietyDeadline Hollywood, WABC-TV, The WNET Group, WNYC, and Shutterstock. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.

Popcorn Frights 2022 review: Calls for help fall by the wayside in Christine Nyland and Terence Krey’s ‘Distress Signals’

DISTRESS SIGNALS

**World Premiere**

Synopsis: When a fall down a steep rock face separates her from her friends, Caroline finds herself stranded. Now, alone and with a dislocated shoulder, she must make her way out of the woods — and contend with how she got there. Distress Signals is the second feature film from Terence Krey and Christine Nyland, the team behind 2021 Shudder Original An Unquiet Grave

What would you do to survive all alone in the woods? Do you have enough common knowledge to rescue yourself? A visceral watch, Distress Signals takes Popcorn Frights 2022 audiences on an undoubtedly intriguing journey. The title alone plays double duty in this surprisingly nuanced film focused on survival. Distress Signals is a complete genre shift from Terence Krey and Christine Nyland‘s previous film festival hit, now streaming in Shudder, An Unquiet Grave. Equally complex, Distress Signals relies on Nyland’s ability to reel the audience into a plausible scenario. Essentially carrying this film alone is astounding. Even the most minute idiosyncrasies scream off the screen. The lack of dialogue forces you to focus on Nyland, which isn’t a challenge considering her attention to detail.

Daniel Fox‘s cinematography (particularly the nighttime scenes) combined with a triumphant score by Shaun Hettinger is something to behold. Filmmakers used the elements to their storytelling advantage. The light, the terrain, the flora, and the weather become characters in the plot. Don’t get too comfortable. The final act will flip the script into one intensely harrowing narrative.


Popcorn Frights 2022 Online Screening Info
– Available online from Thursday, August 18th – Sunday, August 21st

 

Writer/Directors: Terence Krey, Christine Nyland
Starring: Christine Nyland, Jonathon Strauss, Stephanie Hains
Runtime: 80 min


 

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER ANNOUNCES SPOTLIGHT FOR THE 60th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER ANNOUNCES

SPOTLIGHT FOR

THE 60th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

World premieres are
Maria Schrader’s She Said
Chinonye Chukwu’s Till
Elvis Mitchell’s Is That Black Enough for You?!?
James Ivory and Giles Gardner’s A Cooler Climate
Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s Personality Crisis: One Night Only
New works by Marco Bellocchio, Annie Ernaux and David Ernaux-Briot, Luca Guadagnino, Sarah Polley, Chris Smith, and Lars von Trier
50th-anniversary presentation of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris with live musical accompaniment by Matthew Nolan and Stephen Shannon

 

 New York, NY (August 16, 2022) – Film at Lincoln Center announces Spotlight for the 60th New York Film Festival (September 30–October 16, 2022). The Spotlight section is NYFF’s showcase of the season’s most anticipated and significant films.

“Ranging from illuminating portraits and affecting personal stories to uncomfortable histories that ignite change, the third edition of our NYFF Spotlight section is a curated mix of world premieres, films by acclaimed auteurs, a selection of must-see documentaries, as well as a one-of-a-kind evening of film and music,” said Eugene Hernandez, executive director of the New York Film Festival. “Our aim once again with Spotlight is to engage, enlighten, and entertain.”

The Spotlight world premieres are Maria Schrader’s drama She Said, detailing the New York Times investigation that uncovered decades of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood; Chinonye Chukwu’s Till, the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, the Chicago woman whose son, Emmett Till, was lynched while visiting cousins in Mississippi in 1955; American film critic Elvis Mitchell’s Is That Black Enough for You?!?, a kaleidoscopic documentary that creates a definitive narrative of the Black revolution in 1970s cinema; A Cooler Climate, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Ivory and Giles Gardner’s deeply personal new documentary that uncovers boxes of film Ivory shot during a life-changing trip to Afghanistan in 1960; and Personality Crisis: One Night Only, Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s documentary featuring a man who, like Scorsese, is a New York institution, entertainer David Johansen, singer-songwriter of the 1970s glam punk groundbreakers the New York Dolls, and his reinvention as hepcat lounge lizard Buster Poindexter.

Additional highlights include Bones and All, Luca Guadagnino’s work of both tender fragility and feral intensity, featuring Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet as lovers with insatiable, dangerous desires; Marco Bellocchio’s Exterior Night, a monumental six-part series about the kidnapping and eventual murder of the Italy’s influential statesman and former prime minister Aldo Moro by the leftist Red Brigades; Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom Exodus, a third season of his incomparable television series, The Kingdom, with all five parts presented on the big screen; Chris Smith’s “Sr.”, a tender yet fittingly irreverent portrait of the life and career of Robert Downey, Sr., a collaboration between the celebrated director, the subject’s son, Robert Downey, Jr., and the man himself, who passed away in 2021; and The Super 8 Years, a delicate journey into author Annie Ernaux’s family’s memory, compiled from gorgeously textured home movie images taken from 1972 to 1981; and Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, her screen adaptation of Miriam Toews’s acclaimed novel about a group of women from a remote religious community dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault.

Rounding out this year’s Spotlight slate is the 50th-anniversary presentation of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, often described as a Soviet response to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and an enigmatic work of startling beauty and depth. This anniversary screening features a live newly created score by Matthew Nolan and Stephen Shannon.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema and takes place September 30–October 16, 2022. An annual bellwether of the state of cinema that has shaped film culture since 1963, the festival continues an enduring tradition of introducing audiences to bold and remarkable works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent.

As part of its 60th-anniversary celebration, the New York Film Festival will offer festival screenings in all five boroughs of New York City in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Staten Island), BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) (Brooklyn), the Bronx Museum of the Arts (Bronx), Maysles Documentary Center (Harlem), and the Museum of the Moving Image (Queens). Each venue will present a selection of films throughout the festival; a complete list of films and showtimes will be announced later this month. NYFF60 tickets, including those for partner venue screenings, will go on sale to the General Public on September 19 at noon.

FLC invites audiences to celebrate this milestone anniversary by reflecting on their NYFF experiences with our NYFF Memories survey and by taking part in our Letterboxd Watch Challenge.

Please note: Masks are required for all staff, audiences, and filmmakers at all times in public spaces at FLC indoor spaces. Proof of full vaccination is not required for NYFF60 audiences at FLC indoor spaces, but full vaccination is strongly recommended. Visit filmlinc.org/safety for more information. For health and safety protocols at partner venues, please visit their official websites.

Festival Passes are on sale now in limited quantities. NYFF60 single tickets, including those for partner venue screenings, will go on sale to the General Public on Monday, September 19 at noon ET, with pre-sale access for FLC Members and Pass holders prior to this date. This Friday, August 19, is the last day to secure pre-sale access by becoming a Member––save 30% with the code NYFF60. Support of NYFF benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its nonprofit mission to promote the art and craft of cinema. NYFF60 press and industry accreditation is now open and the application deadline is August 31. NYFF60 volunteer call is now open.


FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS

Bones and All

Luca Guadagnino, 2022, U.S., 130m

In a startling, star-making performance, Taylor Russell plays Maren, a teenager who has just moved to a small town in Virginia with her father (André Holland). However, it’s only a matter of time before the frightening secret Maren harbors is revealed and she must hit the road again—on her own. Soon, she meets another young drifter, Lee (Timothée Chalamet), who understands her more than anyone she’s ever met, and the two set out on a cross-country journey, satiating their dangerous desires and reckoning with their tragic pasts. Adapting a novel by Camille DeAngelis, director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name) has crafted a work of both tender fragility and feral intensity, setting corporeal horror and runaway romance against vividly textured Americana and featuring fully inhabited supporting turns from Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jessica Harper, Chloë Sevigny, and Anna Cobb. A United Artists release.

A Cooler Climate

James Ivory and Giles Gardner, 2022, U.K., 75m

World Premiere

In this deeply personal new documentary from James Ivory, the Academy Award®-winning filmmaker uncovers boxes of film he shot during a life-changing trip to Afghanistan in 1960. This glorious color footage unleashes a Proustian reverie during which Ivory recounts his life as a traveler, outsider, and artist. Alternating between the incredible moving images he recorded as a curious visitor in Kabul and Bamiyan and his own personal story growing up in Oregon, coming to terms with his own sexual identity and embarking on what would become a legendary cinematic career, Ivory has made a film—co-directed with Giles Gardner and featuring music by Alexandre Desplat—about the voyages we all take, around the globe and within our own interior landscapes.

Exterior Night

Marco Bellocchio, 2022, Italy, 328m

Italian with English subtitles

U.S. Premiere

The indefatigable Marco Bellocchio, whose last fiction feature at NYFF was his riveting mafia crime drama The Traitor, has directed a monumental six-part series about a shocking event that rocked Italy in the late 1970s: the kidnapping and eventual murder of the country’s influential statesman and former prime minister Aldo Moro by the leftist Red Brigades. It’s a subject that Bellocchio has explored before (Good Morning, Night) but not in the extensive, gripping detail seen here. Taking a prismatic approach, which allows him to feature the perspectives of all the incident’s major players and negotiators, including the politicians, the clergy, and the terrorists, Bellocchio gives a sense of both the incremental tension and the political frenzy that occurred during and after, forever changing the relationship between the country’s Communist and Christian Democratic parties. The extraordinary cast includes Fabrizio Gifuni as Moro, Toni Servillo as Pope Paul VI, Fausto Russo Alesi as Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga, and Daniela Marra as kidnapper Adriana Faranda.

Is That Black Enough for You?!?

Elvis Mitchell, 2022, U.S., 135m

World Premiere

American film critic Elvis Mitchell’s kaleidoscopic documentary creates a definitive narrative of the Black revolution in 1970s cinema, from genre films to social realism, from the making of new superstars to the craft of rising auteurs. With Is That Black Enough for You?!? (the title references a recurring line from Ossie Davis’s 1970 benchmark Cotton Comes to Harlem), Mitchell takes a personal and panoramic approach, expressing his own experiences as a viewer while detailing the cinematic and political histories that led to this extraordinary flowering of a newly ascendant Black heroism. The Learning Tree, Watermelon Man, Shaft, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Cool Breeze, Sounder, Super Fly, Coffy, The Spook Who Sat by the Door, Claudine, Uptown Saturday Night, Cornbread, Earl and Me, Killer of Sheep, and dozens more are analyzed with Mitchell’s customary verve and perspicacity. This is a work of painstaking scholarship that’s also thoroughly entertaining, an essential archival document and testament to a period of American film history unlikely to be repeated. Featuring interviews with Margaret Avery, Harry Belafonte, Charles Burnett, Laurence Fishburne, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Suzanne de Passe, Glynn Turman, Billy Dee Williams, Zendaya, and more. A Netflix release.

The Kingdom Exodus

Lars von Trier, 2022, Denmark, 291m

Danish, English, Swedish with English subtitles

U.S. Premiere

Lars von Trier has directed a third season of his incomparable television series, The Kingdom, which began in 1994 and helped establish the Danish filmmaker’s reputation for jolting imagery and penchant for layered, unpredictable storytelling. The show’s legions of fans will be delighted by his dark-comic return to the misfit world of Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, once again ruled equally by sinister supernatural visions and at times hilarious administrative incompetence. This time, the hospital’s workers are aware of having been in a show and complain that the scoundrel Lars von Trier has given them a bad name. Our guides to the increasing madness are Karen (Bødil Jorgensen), a curious somnambulist who voluntarily checks herself in after wandering to the Kingdom in her sleep, and the new Swedish head neurosurgeon, Stig, Jr. (Mikael Persbrandt), desperate to follow in the footsteps of his father, the original series’ dastardly Dr. Stig Helmer. We are pleased to offer the opportunity to theatrically experience all five episodes, featuring the return of such original cast members as Ghita Norby, Peter Mygind, Søren Pilmark, and Udo Kier, as well as appearances from Alexander Skarsgard. A MUBI release.

Personality Crisis: One Night Only

Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi, 2022, U.S., 120m

World Premiere

Continuing his vibrant and invaluable documentaries about iconic American artists and musicians, such as George Harrison: Living in the Material World, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, and the Fran Lebowitz portrait Public Speaking, Martin Scorsese turns his camera on another beloved New York institution: the singular David Johansen. Equally celebrated as the lead singer-songwriter of the androgynous 1970s glam punk groundbreakers the New York Dolls and for his complete reinvention as hepcat lounge lizard Buster Poindexter in the 1980s, the chameleonic Johansen has created an entire genre unto himself, combining swing, blues, and rock into something at once mischievous and deeply personal. In Personality Crisis: One Night Only, Scorsese and co-director David Tedeschi (The 50 Year Argument), with the help of cinematographer Ellen Kuras (American Utopia), luminously capture the entertainer’s January 2020 Café Carlyle set, where he performs as Poindexter singing the Johansen songbook, bringing downtown irreverence to this storied uptown joint. Presented alongside new and archival interviews, the concert is marvelously intimate and a testament to both a lost New York and a performer who remains as fresh and exciting as ever. A Showtime release.

She Said

Maria Schrader, U.S., 2022, 135m

World Premiere

In 2017, New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke a story that would change the world. Uncovering decades of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, Kantor and Twohey boldly took on an establishment that had too long been allowed to systematically protect abusers. This thrilling new drama based on Kantor and Twohey’s best-selling book about their hard-fought investigation is directed by Maria Schrader (director of I’m Your Man and the acclaimed TV series Unorthodox) from a screenplay by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida). She Said stars Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan in wonderful performances as the two intensely committed reporters whose efforts would ultimately help ignite the #MeToo movement. Schrader’s film, in the tradition of All the President’s Men and Spotlight, is a tribute to the art and importance of investigative journalism, as well as a moving portrait of two women whose personal lives couldn’t be put on hold even as they navigated a labyrinth of NDAs, legal double binds, and frightened witnesses. She Said’s remarkable supporting cast includes Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Samantha Morton, and Jennifer Ehle. A Universal Pictures release.

Solaris — 50th Anniversary Screening with Live Musical Accompaniment

Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1972, 166m

Russian and German with English subtitles

Possibly the most emotionally devastating science fiction film ever made, Solaris follows scientist Chris Kelvin (Donatas Banionis) as he is sent to a space station whose inhabitants have been attempting to make contact with the mysterious planet Solaris. Often described as a Soviet response to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris is an enigmatic work of startling beauty and depth. To mark this seminal film’s 50th anniversary, our special screening features live musical accompaniment by Matthew Nolan and Stephen Shannon. Their newly created score, specially commissioned for the festival, is rooted in both Tarkovsky’s aesthetic and philosophical concerns and in the sonic architecture of Oleg Artemyev’s original soundtrack. This alternative score, with its mesmerizing waves of electronic sounds, brings the core concerns of the film into greater focus, its atmosphere of dread and longing offering a fascinating interpretation of the film’s cryptic emotions. A Janus Films release.

“Sr.”

Chris Smith, 2022, U.S., 89m

Rarely do films about artists allow the kind of poignant intimacy seen in this tender yet fittingly irreverent portrait of the life and career of Robert Downey, Sr., the fearless, visionary American director who set the standard for counterculture comedy in the 1960s and ’70s. An inspired collaboration between celebrated documentarian Chris Smith (American Movie); the subject’s son, Robert Downey, Jr.; and the man himself, who’s occasionally shown working on his own version of the movie we’re watching, “Sr.” functions both as an elegy for the rule-flouting underground icon, who passed away at age 85 in July 2021, and as a testament to his tireless creative spirit. Capturing its subject’s refreshing candor about aging, past struggles with addiction, and the ups and downs of working in Hollywood, Smith’s film is an emotional depiction of a father-son bond that remained strong, pragmatic, and deeply loving to the end.

The Super 8 Years

Annie Ernaux and David Ernaux-Briot, 2022, France, 60m

French with English subtitles

North American Premiere

The French writer Annie Ernaux, whose novels and memoirs have gained her a devoted following (and whose autobiographical L’Événement was adapted just last year into the critically acclaimed film Happening), opens a treasure trove with this delicate journey into her family’s memory. Compiled from gorgeously textured home movie images from 1972 to 1981—when her first books were published, her sons became teenagers, and her husband, Philippe, brought an 8mm film camera everywhere they went—this portrait of a time, place, and moment of personal and political significance takes us from holidays and family rituals in bourgeois suburban France to trips abroad in Albania and Egypt, Spain and the USSR. Supplying her own introspective voiceover, Ernaux and her co-filmmaker, her son David, guide the viewer through fragments of a decade, diffuse and vivid in equal measure. The Super 8 Years is a remarkable visual extension of Ernaux’s ongoing literary project to make sense of the mysterious past and the unknowable future.

Till

Chinonye Chukwu, 2022, U.S., 130m

World Premiere

Chinonye Chukwu’s searing modern-day death-row drama Clemency was one of the most accomplished breakthroughs in recent American cinema. The director has now traveled back to the 1950s to tell the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, the Chicago woman whose son, Emmett Till, was lynched while visiting cousins in Mississippi and whose body became an indelible image of the horrors of American racism. Employing a direct, unflinching, yet sensitive gaze, Chukwu has created the definitive drama of this woman’s grief and resilience, and in an astonishing performance, Danielle Deadwyler captures both a mother’s indescribable heartbreak and her inspiring ascension to the role of civil rights activist. Till is a momentous reminder of an ever-present tragedy, featuring painstaking production design, subtly expressive camera framing and composition, and a note-perfect supporting cast, including Sean Patrick Thomas, Jalyn Hall, Tosin Cole, John Douglas Thompson, Frankie Faison, and Whoopi Goldberg. A United Artists release.

Women Talking

Sarah Polley, 2022, U.S., 104m

Sarah Polley brings ferocious honesty and restrained urgency to her screen adaptation of Miriam Toews’s acclaimed novel about of a group of women from a remote religious community dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault perpetrated by the colony’s men. A film of ideas brought to life by Polley’s imaginative direction and a superb, fine-tuned ensemble cast—including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, Ben Whishaw, and Judith Ivey—Women Talking is a deep and searching exploration of self-determination, group responsibility, faith, and forgiveness, philosophically engaging and emotionally rich in equal measure. A United Artists release.

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER

Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; and the presentation of podcasts, talks, special events, and artist initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

 

Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partner Campari®; Benefactor Partners Netflix and Citi; Contributing Partners Bloomberg Philanthropies, Dolby, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), MUBI, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and Manhattan Portage; and Media Partners Variety, The WNET Group, and Shutterstock. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.