The Film Society of Lincoln Center Presents
THE 43rd NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
September 23 – October 9, 2005
24 Features and 13 Shorts in Main Program
+ Shochiku Retrospective and Views from the Avant-Garde
+ Special Screenings and Filmmaker Discussions
The 43rd New York Film Festival is sponsored by
HSBC Private Bank, a division of HSBC Bank USA, N.A., The New York Times, and Audi
THE 43RD NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and opening Friday, September 23, will offer a main program selection of 24 features and 13 short films over a period of 17 days. In addition, the Festival will present a major retrospective of Japan’s legendary Shochiku Company; annual festival-within-a-festival, Views from the Avant-Garde; special screenings at the Walter Reade Theater; a panel on journalism and politics linked to the Opening Night film; and several one-on-one discussions with Festival filmmakers.
The New York Film Festival is not programmed according to theme or any other specific category beyond quality. However, as it happens, many of the filmmakers in the 2005 main program look back at significant historical events as the first decade of the new century unfolds.
The Opening Night selection, George Clooney’s Good Night, And Good Luck., revisits broadcast journalism in the McCarthy era; Regular Lovers examines May 1968 through the eyes of Parisian youth; Avenge But One of My Two Eyes plays current events in the Middle East as a counterpoint to historical acts of violence; Capote recreates the life of the famed writer as he embarks on the writing of In Cold Blood; The President’s Last Bang gives a black-comic twist to the 1979 assassination of the South Korean president; The Sun divines the troubled mental state of Emperor Hirohito as he prepares to surrender to the Americans; Paradise Now inhabits the lives of two Palestinian suicide bombers; and Manderlay, Lars von Trier’s sequel to the controversial Dogville, dares to imagine slavery 70 years after Abolition.
“The New York Film festival has always placed a premium on works of strong personal vision and on filmmakers who are willing to offer their own perspectives on issues, events, and ideas no matter how unsettling or controversial they might be,” says Richard Peña, Film Society program director and Festival selection committee chairman. “Images of striking beauty and shocking violence often co-exist in these films. These are filmmakers who are not interested in offering pat answers to the contradictions of the past or of those they see around them today.”
At press time, expected attendees include most of the films’ directors— confirmed already are George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Winterbottom, Michael Haneke, Park Chanwook, Neil Jordan, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Noah Baumbach, Bennett Miller, Michel Negroponte, and Patrice Chéreau, among others— as well as many of the films’ stars— including David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Chris Cooper, Danny Glover, Lauren Bacall, Isaach de Bankole, Willem Dafoe, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea, Gillian Anderson, Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Daniel Auteuil, and Isabelle Huppert.
This year’s Festival Retrospective— The Beauty of the Everyday: Japan’s Shochiku Company at 110— is virtually a pocket history of Japanese cinema. While some fifteen of the forty-five films in the retrospective are devoted to Japanese filmmaker masters, such as Ozu, Naruse, and Mizoguchi, more than two dozen of the films are by directors far less well-known in the West.
For the second year, THE NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL will present the HBO Films Directors Dialogues, a lively series of conversations that complement the post-screening Q&As that are a Festival staple. Two additional conversations with notable young talents will also take place— Film Comment Focus, with English comic actor Steve Coogan; and The Squid, the Whale, the Filmmaker, with Noah Baumbach, one of the bright lights of American independent film.
Other Festival Special Events include a screening of Antonioni’s preferred 126-minute cut of The Passenger, a panel on politics and the media, an exploration of the filmic contributions of Graham Greene together with a screening of Greene-penned quota quickie The Green Cockatoo, Japanese midnite horror film Haze, restored vintage Hollywood melodrama Beyond the Rocks, starring Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino, and a High Def screening of a famed Kabuki performance. (See below for full descriptions.)
THE 43RD NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL selection committee is Richard Peña; Kent Jones, Film Society associate program director; author and critic Phillip Lopate; John Powers, critic-at-large, NPR, Village Voice, and L.A. Weekly; and Lisa Schwarzbaum, film critic, Entertainment Weekly.
COMPLETE FILM DESCRIPTIONS AND SCREENING SCHEDULE
(Note: All films in Alice Tully Hall (ATH) unless otherwise noted. Full details on Festival short films in separate release.)
As previously announced, the Festival’s Opening Night film is George Clooney’s GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK. The confrontation between newscaster Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s is uncannily brought to life in this dramatic reconstruction elegantly directed by George Clooney (who also plays Fred W. Friendly). A choice ensemble cast (Frank Langella, Robert Downey, Jr., Patricia Clarkson) supports the amazing central performance of David Strathairn as Murrow. With its expressive, fluid black-and-white cinematography, this film expertly captures the climate of fear and the downbeat, gray flannel contradictions of the era, while its theme of the news media’s responsibility to speak truth to power could not be more pertinent today. We are brought deep inside the operation of a television network, as a tense political thriller about courage and patriotism unfolds: cat and mouse keep exchanging roles, and there are no absolute winners. 90min. USA, 2005 A Warner Independent Pictures Release. Shown with Stop (Mathijs Geijskes, Netherlands, 2004, 6 min).
Fri. Sept. 23, 8:15 pm Alice Tully Hall; Fri. Sept. 23, 9:00 pm Avery Fisher Hall
The Festival Centerpiece is Neil Jordan’s BREAKFAST ON PLUTO. His spooky-beautiful blue eyes make the fast-rising young Irish actor Cillian Murphy a natural at playing gentleman-psychopaths— witness his intensity in Red Eye, Batman Begins, and career-launching 28 Days Later. In Neil Jordan’s exquisitely realized new drama, though, adapted from a novel by Pat McCabe (The Butcher Boy) and set in swinging London of the 1960s and ‘70s, Murphy is all but transformed in a tour-de-force performance as Patrick “Kitten” Braden, who escapes the provincialism of small-town Ireland and moves to London to be…herself, a fabulously attired transvestite cabaret chanteuse. Kitten’s determined self-authenticity never wavers. And so naturally, there are consequences. There are echoes of Jordan’s gender-bender The Crying Game (NYFF ’92) but there’s also an exciting whiff of Butcher Boy perversity. The splendid supporting cast includes Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, and Brendan Gleeson. 135 min. Ireland/UK, 2005 A Sony Pictures Classics Release. Sat. Oct. 1, 9:00 pm; Sun. Oct. 2, 12:00 noon
Closing Night is Michael Haneke’s CACHE (HIDDEN). As he has shown with The Piano Teacher, Code Unknown, and Funny Games (among other chilling creations) the Paris-based Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke is a peerless artist-provocateur who has never met a situation of bourgeois stasis he didn’t want to explode— quietly, precisely, and with devastating effect. Caché, though, may be his best and most meaningful detonation yet— an absolutely, excitingly unnerving study in middle-class disequilibrium brought on by realistic urban paranoia and inflamed by a latent racism in all its ugliness. Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche are brilliantly cast as Georges and Anne, a sophisticated couple tormented by the arrival of anonymous surveillance videos of their everyday lives. And the more convinced Georges becomes that he knows the sender, the more breathtaking is Auteuil’s wisely daring performance. Caché digs deep and hits a nerve. 117 min. France, 2005 A Sony Pictures Classics Release. Sun. Oct. 9, 8:30 pm Avery Fisher Hall
REGULAR LOVERS The events of May ’68 and their disappointing aftermath have always been at the heart of Philippe Garrel’s work. Regular Lovers is Garrel’s achingly beautiful memorial to the moment itself, and to the poignant confusion felt by French youth who tried to keep the spirit of revolt alive as they grappled with adulthood. A young poet (played beautifully by the director’s son Louis) witnesses the conflagration during a night on the barricades, then experiences the euphoria of love and communal freedom, followed by the inevitable moment when reality sets in. Garrel has fashioned an intimate poetic epic, which harks back to the silent films of Louis Feuillade and the poetry of Baudelaire and Gérard de Nerval in its austere yet romantic vision of Paris by night and by day. 175 min. France, 2005. Sat. Sept. 24, 11:00 am
THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU This brilliant second feature by Cristi Puiu was the revelation at Cannes, where it took top prize in the Un Certain Regard section. This sardonic, darkly humorous, compulsively vibrant feature seems so realistic and convincing, unfolding as though in real time, that it’s hard to believe it was acted. As it follows an ailing retired engineer, too fond of booze, who gets carted from one overtaxed Bucharest hospital to another in search of proper medical care, a whole stressed society is laid bare: Each doctor, nurse, paramedic, and patient leaps into view with sharp individuality and articulate self-defensiveness. Compassion and indifference clash, often within the same person. The fluid, mobile camera recalls the great works of Fred Wiseman and John Cassavetes. 154 min. Romania, 2005 A Tartan Films Release Sat. Sept. 24, 3:00 pm; Sun. Sept. 25, 8:30 pm
METHADONIA DV camera in hand, filmmaker Michel Negroponte leads an eye-opening tour of the interzone of recovering heroin addicts on methadone maintenance— a place where seasons run together into one long rainy spell between an oblivious past and a receding future. There’s Millie, who after 28 years of drug use now counsels recovering addicts; George, an ex-rocker dreaming of a fresh start; Susie and Eddie, trying to take control of their lives before their new baby arrives; and Steve, a charming, former homeless man out to prove rehab possible. Weaving the stories of these and other lives together, Negroponte lays bare a system that seemingly offers addicts a way out of their affliction while in fact the treatment itself often becomes another kind of trap. 88 min. USA, 2005 An HBO Documentary Films Release. Shown with Victoria Para Chino (Cary Fukunaga, USA/Mexico, 2004, 14 min). Sat. Sept. 24, 6:30 pm
L’ENFANT (THE CHILD) Bruno (La Promesse’s Jérémie Rénier), living on the margins with his girl Sonia and their new baby, makes a living pulling minor heists. Always scheming and always strapped for cash, he decides one day to sell the baby on the black market (“We’ll have another one,” he tells the thunderstruck Sonia). Bruno’s quick, painful growth from childhood to manhood is the central concern of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and as always they realize their goal through an ingenious mixture of dramatic compression in harrowingly real time, a stunning sensitivity to sound as a dramatic tool, and a mobile camera eye that stays pinned to the action as it unfolds in furious motion. Alternately heart-rending and uplifting, The Child is that rare thing, a film in which we not only see but feel the redemption of a human being. 100 min. Belgium/France, 2005 A Sony Pictures Classics Release. Shown with Blue Tongue (Justin Kurzel, Australia, 2004, 7min). Sat. Sept. 24, 9:15 pm; Sun. Sept. 25, 12:15 pm
AVENGE BUT ONE OF MY TWO EYES In this provocative, wry, and mournful mosaic, documentary filmmaker Avi Mograbi ponders the relationship between stories of Jewish struggles for freedom and the Palestinian resistance seen most dramatically in the two intifadas. High up in the mountain warren of Masada, a young tour guide leads a group of teenagers through the story of the most famous act of Jewish resistance to the Romans, the mass suicide of over 900 Jews. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers— most hardly older than those listening in at Masada— are locked in tense daily confrontations with the Palestinians in fields, at checkpoints, and along the security barrier. Using a marathon telephone conversation with a Palestinian friend living in the West Bank under curfew restrictions as counterpoint, Mograbi offers a powerful, at times chilling lament of the continuing cycles of violence rooted in the past and threatening to completely engulf everyone’s future. 104 min. Israel/France, 2005. Shown with Your Dark Hair Ihsan (Tala Hadid, Morocco/USA, 2005, 13 min). Sun. Sept. 25, 3:00 pm
BUBBLE How does the protean Steven Soderbergh— the rare indie trailblazer inventive and confident enough to play in Hollywood on his own terms— follow a glossy studio picture with the world’s most glamorous movie stars? By shooting a riveting little tragedy in High Def in an Ohio doll factory, starring non-professional actors as enthralling in their untrained sincerity as the George Clooney is dashing in the Danny Ocean films. The stunted tale of doll-assembler Martha (an astonishing, sustained performance by real-life cashier Debbie Doebereiner), her young factory friend Kyle, and Rose, the thorny new hire, packs shades of mystery, menace, triangular romantic jealousy, and everyday punch-the-clock ennui into its documentary-style contours. And that’s even before the violent death…. This haunting experimental project is the first in a series of low-budget dramas Soderbergh plans to shoot around America. 72 min. USA, 2005 A Magnolia Pictures Release. Shown with Heydar, An Afghan In Tehran (Babak Jalali, Iran/UK, 2005, 18 min). Sun. Sept. 25, 6:00 pm; Mon. Sept. 26, 9:00 pm
THE SQUID AND THE WHALE In his third feature, director Noah Baumbach scores a triumph with an autobiographical story about a teenager whose writer-parents are divorcing. The father (Jeff Daniels) and mother (Laura Linney) duke it out in half-civilized, half-savage fashion, while their two sons adapt in different ways, shifting allegiances between parents. The film is squirmy-funny and nakedly honest about the rationalizations and compensatory snobbisms of artistic failure as well as the conflicted desires of adolescents for sex and status. In detailing bohemian-bourgeois life in brownstone Brooklyn, Baumbach is spot on. Everyone proceeds from good intentions and acts rather badly, in spite or because of their manifest intelligence. Fulfilling the best traditions of the American independent film, this quirky, wisely written feature explores the gulf between sexes, generations, art and commerce, Brooklyn and Manhattan. 88 min. USA, 2005. A Samuel Goldwyn Films/Sony Pictures Entertainment Release. Shown with Be Quiet (Sameh Zoabi, France, 2005, 19 min). Mon. Sept. 26, 6:00 pm; Wed. Sept. 28, 9:00 pm
I AM An 11-year-old Polish boy, nicknamed Mongrel with casual cruelty, escapes from his bleak foster home yearning to be back with his hard-drinking mother. But she doesn’t want him; he’s a nuisance who gets in the way of her bad romances. So he sets up a patchy homestead of his own on an abandoned river barge, where he is befriended by a little girl no less lonely for having a real family and house to return home to at night. As she showed in Nothing (1998) and The Crows (1994), Dorota K_dzierzawska has a rare gift for working with children, allowing them to be themselves yet also, safely, wholly invented characters within her troubling dramas. And while she draws from them performances of great naturalism and flashes of pathos-free wit, her frequent artistic collaborator Arthur Reinhart offsets the essential harshness of the story with cinematography of disconcerting loveliness. 100 min. Poland, 2005. Shown with Lal (Dirk Schaefer, Germany, 2005, 17 min). Tue. Sept. 27, 6:00 pm; Thu. Sept. 29, 9:00 pm
CAPOTE Philip Seymour Hoffman, already hailed as one of our finest actors, delivers an astonishing performance as the infamous, mercurial, supremely gifted Truman Capote. Hoffman gets deep inside his subject— he gives us Capote’s gently insinuating manner; his burning curiosity; his mixture of flamboyance, fragility, and indifference; and, of course, his inimitable voice, halfway between a baby’s rasp and a little girl’s whisper. Bennett Miller’s beautifully modulated and utterly spellbinding film, from a script by Dan Futterman, takes place during a turning point in Capote’s life and in American fiction. We begin with the author’s first trip to Kansas to meet Perry and Dick, the murderers of the Clutter family, and Miller takes us step by step through the painful, ultimately tragic story behind the writing of In Cold Blood. A searing inquiry into the ethics of artistic creation, Capote also features remarkable performances by Catherine Keener as Harper Lee, Chris Cooper as Alvin Dewey, and Clifton Collins, Jr. as the brilliant but hapless Perry. 114 min, USA, 2005 A Sony Pictures Classics Release Tue. Sept. 27, 9:00 pm; Wed. Sept. 28, 6:00 pm
SOMETHING LIKE HAPPINESS In the end, nobody gets what he or she wants in Bohdan Sláma’s marvelous, sprawling, humane film— a kind of Coronation Street set amid the modern ugliness of a North Bohemian industrial neighborhood. But what would you expect from a grimly funny Czech drama? And yet, in the end, settling for “something like” doesn’t seem so bad; it seems like life. As Sláma’s slice-of-ordinary saga begins, a young woman named Monika waves a tearful airport goodbye to her boyfriend heading off for America, while the couple’s pal and childhood friend, Tonik— the boy who really loves her, of course— stands by her side. Not quite a slacker but hardly a trailblazer, Tonik turns out to be a mensch and Monika a menschette— and the scenes in which they become substitute parents of two little kids are marvels of warm realism. 102 min. Czech Republic, 2005. Shown with Truant (Michael Duignan, New Zealand, 2005, 15 min). Thu. Sept. 29, 6:00 pm; Sat. Oct. 1, 3:30 pm
SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE With this thrilling final installment of his revenge cycle (which began with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy), cult director Park Chanwook has made his finest movie to date. Geum-ja, or “Lady Vengeance” (Lee Yeong-ae), is a pale beauty who was wrongly imprisoned at 19 for the murder of a small boy. Fourteen years later, she is released and wants to begin living a good life— which means, naturally, making the real killer pay. As always, Park displays his talent for capturing subjective experience and flaunts the storytelling panache that has often gotten him compared to Quentin Tarantino. But in its second half, the movie pushes beyond its initial Kill Bill-style exuberance and takes on enormous emotional force. Rather than exulting in spectacular violence, this dazzling film becomes an exploration of the spiritual price of vengeance, however justified it might seem. Park makes us ask: Is it possible to atone for one sin by committing another? 112 min. South Korea, 2005 A Tartan Films Release. Fri. Sept. 30, 6:00 pm; Sun. Oct. 2, 8:30 pm
MANDERLAY When we last saw Grace, she was leaving Dogville with her gangster father; as Manderlay begins, they’ve arrived in the Deep South. An African-American woman runs up to their car and begs for help; although her father warns her not to get involved, Grace is convinced that this is her next stop. Behind a high iron fence stands a classic, pillared mansion; within that house and on all the land it surveys is a world in which slavery still exists, 70 years after its abolition. Aided by four gangsters and a lawyer given to her by her father, Grace tries to end what she sees as a corrupt remnant of the past— but it soon emerges that both victims and victimizers have interests in the status quo. The ever-unpredictable Lars von Trier has assembled an extraordinary cast— Danny Glover, Lauren Bacall, Isaach de Bankolé, Willem Dafoe— for a controversial, unsettling exploration of race relations. And in Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays Grace, von Trier has discovered a major new talent. 139 min. Denmark/Sweden/France, 2005 An IFC Films Release Fri. Sept. 30, 9:00 pm; Sat. Oct. 1, 12:00 noon
TALE OF CINEMA Hong Sang-soo, one of cinema’s most original talents (Turning Gate, NYFF ‘02, Woman is the Future of Man, NYFF ‘04) continues his distinctly personal filmmaking with this wry story about sex, lies, and one-upmanship. The less successful of two film-school graduates is hung up on the notion that the other, more flourishing classmate had stolen elements of his life to make his first movie. As art and life keep twisting in a Moebius strip, the male psyche, South Korean version, is bared with detached amusement in all its doggedness, uncertainty, and will to power. The film has a fresh, New Wave physical charm, with Seoul standing in for Paris; a daring structural playfulness; and an audacious fidelity to the perverse, self-defeating impulses of human character. 90 min. South Korea/France, 2005. Shown with Snow (Emily Greenwood, UK, 2005, 11 min). Sat. Oct. 1, 6:15 pm; Sun. Oct. 2, 3:15 pm
THROUGH THE FOREST Months after her boyfriend Renaud’s death in a motorcycle accident, Armelle still cannot get over him: she hears his voice and feels his bodily warmth next to her. Armelle’s sisters advise her to consult a medium, to see if there is some way of contacting Renaud in the beyond; that experience, although unsettling, leads her to Hippolite, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Renaud and is like him in many ways. But can great passion ever be re-lived? One of the most original voices in contemporary French cinema, Jean-Paul Civeyrac has constructed his new film in only ten exquisitely choreographed shots, moving effortlessly from the starkly material world to the spiritual and then back again. Boldly sensual, Through the Forest is a deeply felt ode to the power of desire. 65 min. France, 2005. Shown with Motion Report (Verica Patrnogic, Serbia & Montenegro, 2004, 17 min). Sun. Oct. 2, 6:00 pm
THE PRESIDENT’S LAST BANG Bursting with the subversive glee of Dr. Strangelove or The Manchurian Candidate, Im Sang-soo’s scabrous black comedy turns a raucous eye on recent South Korean history: the 1979 assassination of dictatorial president Gen. Park Chung-hee by the head of his secret service (wonderfully played by Baek Yun-shik). Im is a natural-born troublemaker who’s not shy about being irreverent toward this defining event in the creation of a democratic South Korea. He gives it a wild spin, conjuring a world populated by self-loathing functionaries, good-time girls (and their difficult mothers), cynical KCIA agents, and politicians who womanize as if every bang is their last. The film provoked great controversy at home— Park’s family even sued to keep archival footage out of the film. But in treating the assassination as a grandiose farce, Im captures a profound truth often left out of academic textbooks: History isn’t neat. 104 min. South Korea, 2005 A Kino International Release. Shown with Machulenco (David Blanco, Spain, 2004, 15 min) . Mon. Oct. 3, 6:00 pm; Tue. Oct. 4, 9:00 pm
WHO’S CAMUS ANYWAY? Mitsuo Yanagimachi first played the NYFF in 1985 with Himatsuri (Fire Festival), a visionary work capped by a startling murder. Now he’s back with a radically different kind of film— a brainy, playful Altmanesque portrait of the psyche of modern Japan. Yanagimachi follows a group of film students (many played by hot young Japanese TV stars) as they prepare to make a movie about a seemingly gratuitous murder. As it examines the students’ bickering, betrayal, and sexual cruelty, the film offers a witty portrait of a younger generation so steeped in Western culture that its touchstones are film noir, Michel Houllebecq, and, of course, The Stranger. This brilliantly made film explodes with cinematic energy, from a sly opening sequence that riffs on The Player to a powerful finale that reveals depths as dark and mysterious as anything in Camus. 115 min. Japan, 2005 Mon. Oct. 3, 9:00 pm; Tue. Oct. 4, 6:00 pm
THREE TIMES Does anyone make more rapturously beautiful films than Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien? Maybe so, but you’d never believe it after seeing this ravishing new triumph about the melancholy play of time and memory. The action is broken into three different love stories, each set in a different era— a 1966 pool hall, a prosperous 1911 brothel, and rocking present-day Taipei— but starring the same lead actors, the impossibly glamorous Shu Qi and Chang Chen. While these stories deliberately echo his earlier works, Hou uses them to chart the transformation of Taiwanese life, love, and the relationship between men and women over the last hundred years. He captures all this with the poetic intensity that has come to define his work— an absolute mastery of space and rhythm and a humane tenderness that suffuses every frame.139 min. Taiwan, 2005 Wed. Oct. 5, 6:00 pm; Thu. Oct. 6, 9:00 pm
PARADISE NOW From Tel Aviv to London, Baghdad to New York, the suicide bomber has become one of the most appalling symbols of our age. Now Dutch-based Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad (Rana’s Wedding) brings us into the world of those who undertake those missions. Winner of several awards at the Berlin Film Festival, Paradise Now chronicles 48 hours in the lives of two young Palestinians recruited for a bombing in Tel Aviv. Best friends since youth, they are pleased they will die together as martyrs. After spending a last evening with their families— to whom they’re forbidden to say goodbye— they set off with the bomb units strapped to their bodies. But their plan goes awry; crossing into Israel they’re separated, and now each man is left alone with his conscience. Beautifully acted and sensitively written, Paradise Now is another impressive example of the emerging Palestinian cinema. Co-presented by the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. 90 min. Netherlands/Germany/France, 2005 A Warner Independent Pictures Release. Shown with Solidarity (Joan Stein, USA, 2005, 21 min). Wed. Oct. 5, 9:00 pm; Thu. Oct. 6, 6:00 pm
TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY How do you film an unfilmable novel? In this case Laurence Sterne's "post-modern before there was even a modern" classic, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. The British director Michael Winterbottom, who enjoys working without a net, has fashioned an improvisation that achieves something quite singular as it goes on its merry, digressive way: a serious and utterly hilarious movie that feels loose yet rigorous in its approach to the problem of adapting Sterne. The sparkling cast includes Gillian Anderson, Shirley Henderson, and Jeremy Northam as a Winterbottom-ish director. And at the center of this merry enterprise is the marvelous Steve Coogan, playing a hapless version of himself playing Shandy, whose verbal sparring matches with Rob Brydon are not to be missed. 91 min. UK, 2005 A Picturehouse Release Fri. Oct. 7, 6:00 pm; Sat. Oct. 8, 12:00 noon
GABRIELLE Patrice Chéreau’s bold, theatrically stylized adaptation of Conrad’s short story “The Return” begins as a lavish turn-of-the-century period piece, with a dinner party thrown by a wealthy bourgeois couple (Pascal Greggory and Isabelle Huppert) who appear to be a model of stability and propriety. When Huppert suddenly announces her intent to leave the marriage, the film takes an abrupt turn into more painful territory, becoming a wrenching confrontation during which layer after layer of psychological armor is dismantled and tossed aside, until we are left with only a man and a woman, and their two radically opposing visions of love and happiness. Chéreau, his actors, and his wonderful cinematographer Eric Gautier take their material to dizzying heights and terrifying depths, and achieve an emotional grandeur worthy of Strindberg or Bergman. Gabrielle is at once a visual feast and an emotional knockout. 86 min. France, 2005 Fri. Oct. 7, 9:00 pm; Sat. Oct. 8, 9:00 pm
THE SUN In the last days of August 1945, as the Japanese prepare to surrender to occupying American forces, Emperor Hirohito rummages around his palace, trying to make sense of the impending defeat and his own responsibility for it. In an unforgettably poignant performance by Issey Ogata, Hirohito is fully brought to life as an educated, ineffectual gentleman, aware of his fallibility but trapped by rituals of adoration behind the mask of divinity. Aleksandr Sokurov, (Mother and Son, NYFF ’97; Russian Ark, NYFF ‘02), brings his customary imagistic brilliance to this tour-de-force of historical reconstruction. As controversial for its interpretative conjectures as it is visually arresting, The Sun is a complex, important work by a major filmmaker. 110 min. Russia/Italy/France/Switzerland, 2005. Shown with Cigarette Break (Ralf Stadler, Germany, 2005, 6 min). Sat. Oct. 8, 3:00 pm
SPECIAL FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
(Note: Except for The Passenger (ATH), all special events are held in the Walter Reade Theater)
THE PASSENGER Since its release in 1975, the reputation of Michelangelo Antonioni’s brilliant hybrid of Hollywood thriller and avant-garde art film has continued to grow. Today it’s recognized as one of the great films of our time. Muted and superb, Jack Nicholson stars as David Locke, a world-weary reporter who takes on a dead man’s identity to discover what’s on “the other side of the window.” What Locke finds there isn’t merely the stuff of thrillerdom— murder, sinister politicos, a mysterious woman (Maria Schneider)— but an existential journey into the self’s relationship to eternity. Moving from the metaphysical sprawl of the North African desert to the delirious glitter of Gaudi’s Barcelona, this autumnal masterpiece— screened here in Antonioni’s preferred cut— shows the director at his most searching and profound, not least in the breathtaking climactic shot that’s one of the high points in cinema history. 126 min. Italy/USA/France, 1975 A Sony Pictures Classics Release Sat. Oct. 8, 6:00 pm
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: MEDIA, POLITICS, AND GOVERNMENT According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, many people believe journalistic coverage is largely critical of the United States. That’s funny— many others feel the media is too kind to this administration. At the same time as self-described conservative news outlets brook no criticism of the government’s tactics, Air America takes to the radio waves to guarantee a liberal voice. And then there’s The Daily Show… It wasn’t always like this, was it? Was the news always so politicized? And why is it so politicized now? Taking a cue from the life and times of Edward R. Murrow, Newsweek film critic David Ansen will moderate a panel to figure out how we got to this point, and where we go from here. Guests will include WNYC Radio host Brian Lehrer, broadcast journalist Nick Clooney, NPR senior foreign editor and Murrow Fellow Loren Jenkins, and Hearst newspaper columnist and longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas. Sat. Sept. 24, 12:00 noon. WRT
THE BEAUTY OF THE EVERYDAY: JAPAN’S SHOCHIKU COMPANY AT 110. A 45-film retrospective spanning the seminal Japanese studio’s storied history, this special event opens with Yoji Yamada’s newest film, The Hidden Blade (2005), and goes on to sketch the length and breadth of nearly a century of Japanese cinema. Founded in 1895 as a theatrical producer specializing in traveling kabuki companies, Shochiku became aware early on of the growing attraction of cinema, especially for urban audiences. Known widely by the 1930s as the home of the shomin-geki, tales of everyday life most often set among the working or middle classes, over its long life Shockiku has produced films of every type and style, nurturing many of Japan’s finest directors. This special event is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Runs from Saturday, September 24 through Thursday, October 20. WRT
NEZUMI KOZO: NODA VERSION A component of Shochiku Company’s campaign to make great contemporary kabuki productions more widely available, Nezumi Kozo: Noda Version is based on the story of a real-life bandit from the Edo period (19th century). After his execution, a legend grew that he had been a kind of Robin Hood, sharing his ill-gotten gains with the poor and needy, and in 1857, Nezumi Kozo became the subject of a kabuki play. That character has subsequently reappeared in many kabuki plays and now returns in this new production written and directed by Noda Hideki and starring Nakamura Kankuro. Far more than a simple documentary record of a performance, Noda’s Nezumi Kozo: Noda Version, a perfect marriage of cutting-edge technology (it will be shown with the latest in DLP cinema Hi-Def projection) and traditional art, shimmers with intensity, bringing its characters and setting into vibrant life. 110 min. Japan, 2005 Sun. Sept. 25, 12:00 noon. WRT
GREENELAND: GRAHAM GREENE AND THE CINEMA Few English-language writers could be said to have had as intimate a relationship with the cinema as Graham Greene. Not only were many of his major works made into some of the cinema’s most enduring classics, but he also wrote film criticism and frequently mentioned cinema in relation to his own artistic practice. Film scholar Adrian Wootton, former Director of the London Film Festival and current chief executive of Film London, will offer a guided tour through the myriad connections between the art of Graham Greene and the cinema, featuring clips from some of his best-known film adaptations (The Third Man, The Quiet American, Brighton Rock) and also some of the lesser-known works based on his novels and stories. Wootton’s talk will be followed by a rare screening of The Green Cockatoo (William Cameron Menzies, 1937, UK. 65m) Mon. Sept. 26, 7:30 pm. WRT
HAZE An undisputed master of contemporary Japanese horror, Shinya Tsukamoto specializes in a kind of physical brand of terror; the fear he creates crawls in deep under the skin. Here, a man (played by Tsukamoto himself) awakens in a cramped, featureless space; he has no idea how he got there, and even less of an idea how to get out. Each move brings on new dangers and the threat of an even worse confinement. Shooting on digital, Tsukamoto gives the audience a remarkable, terrifying intimacy with his character, as we seem to feel his breath and value each new inch of space he discovers. There’s little gore in the film, just an overwhelming sense of dread. Watching Haze is an amazing and deeply unsettling experience— you’ll be grateful it’s under an hour long. 49 min. Japan, 2005. Sat. Oct. 1, 12:00 midnight
BEYOND THE ROCKS For years, nothing of Sam Wood’s 1922 romantic melodrama Beyond the Rocks was thought to have survived, beyond a one-minute fragment. In 2000, as the Dutch Film Museum started cataloguing vintage film prints, they found an amber-tinted nitrate positive print of the film with only two minutes damaged beyond repair. Four years later, this blazing melodrama, an example of Hollywood silent cinema at its artistic peak, looks brand new. Based on the book by Elinor Glyn, the Barbara Cartland of the 20s, Beyond the Rocks is the tale of a young newlywed who falls for a man much younger than her husband while honeymooning in Europe. Beautifully crafted and visualized, Beyond the Rocks offers a chance to see two stars of uncommon magnitude— Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino— paired for the one and only time. 95 min. USA, 1922 A Milestone Films Release Wed. Oct. 5, 8:30 pm. WRT
DIALOGUES AND DISCUSSIONS
(Note: All discussions are held in the Kaplan Penthouse of the Rose Building, adjacent to the Walter Reade Theater.)
HBO FILMS DIRECTORS DIALOGUES Closer encounters with some of the festival’s filmmakers. Enjoy a discussion of the filmmaking process and thoughts on cinema, and pose questions about all aspects of a director’s work.
• Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (L’Enfant/The Child) Four-time NYFF veterans, the Dardenne brothers investigate the many surprising and tragic nuances in seemingly ordinary lives. At the forefront of socially engaged European cinema, they’ve produced and directed numerous documentaries, from which the gritty verite style of their fiction films has emerged. Hosted by Film Comment Editor-at-large Kent Jones. Sun. Sept. 25, 4:00 pm
• Neil Jordan (Breakfast on Pluto) Festival veteran (The Crying Game, 1992) Neil Jordan has journeyed through many different genres— comedy, drama, thriller, period films. As he does so, he continues to give life to the history, the characters, and the culture of his native Ireland. Hosted by Entertainment Weekly film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum. Sun. Oct. 2, 4:00 pm
• Michael Winterbottom (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story) Michael Winterbottom is known for an incredibly varied body of work, from politically charged to sexually explicit. What fuels him? What are the issues that drive him to make films that both challenge and provoke? Hosted by The Nation film critic Stuart Klawans. Sat. Oct. 8, 2:30 pm
• Patrice Chéreau (Gabrielle) A veteran filmmaker with a dozen films to his credit, Patrice Chéreau has long been considered one of the world’s top theater directors. Some have said Chéreau’s stage work has given him a unique ability to work with actors on film. We will also ask how his filmmaking style influences his theatrical work and the connection between the two disciplines. Hosted by Tony Award-winning director and producer Gregory Mosher. Sat. Oct. 8, 5:00 pm
THE SQUID, THE WHALE, THE FILMMAKER: A CONVERSATION WITH NOAH BAUMBACH Noah Baumbach's auspicious directorial debut, Kicking and Screaming (NYFF '95), was a wry witty portrait of slacker collegians. His acclaimed new feature, The Squid and the Whale, tells the story of two young Brooklyn boys whose parents, both writers, go through a painful divorce. In a one-on-one conversation with author, critic, and fellow Brooklyn native Phillip Lopate, the director will discuss life, cinema, writing, and how they impact on one another. Co-presented by BOMB magazine, as it celebrates 25 years of artists, writers, directors, and musicians in conversation. A complimentary cocktail reception follows. Sun. Oct. 2, 7:00 pm
FILM COMMENT FOCUS: STEVE COOGAN IN CONVERSATION English comedy actor Steve Coogan comes to the NYFF with Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, in which he plays (and brilliantly mocks) himself. Coogan became a household name in the U.K. playing the self-important, inept talk-show host Alan Partridge in the BBC series Knowing Me, Knowing You and its sequel, I’m Alan Partridge. His movie breakthrough was real-life Brit music-biz legend Tony Wilson in Winterbottom’s hilarious 2002 24-Hour Party People. Since then Coogan has collaborated with Jim Jarmusch and Jackie Chan and most recently appeared in Don Roo’s spiky indie comedy-drama Happy Endings. Hosted by Film Comment editor Gavin Smith. A complimentary cocktail reception follows. Sat. Oct. 8, 7:30 pm
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The New York Times covers the world of film up close 365 days a year in print and online. With must-read reports on industry trends, styles and personalities, The Times is the comprehensive source for breaking news, reviews of the week's new theatrical and DVD releases and box-office results. Our readers can also access movie trailers, multimedia features, reader rate and review, Critic's Picks, in-depth show details, plus national showtimes & tickets by zip code. The New York Times and NYTimes.com. Every day of the year, 24 hours a day.
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The Film Society of Lincoln Center is grateful to HBO Films for sponsoring the HBO Films Directors Dialogues. The 43rd New York Film Festival is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Special thanks to Emirates Airlines, Champagne Pommery, [yellow tail] wine, Stella Artois, and Eastman Kodak Company. The Festival trailer is produced by Cineric. Hotel accommodations provided by the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel. Thanks to Brad Hohle and Dolby Laboratories for Dolby equipment donation and technical services. Thanks to O’Neal’s and Josephina for hosting Festival receptions.
FESTIVAL GALLERY EXHIBITION
Mary Ellen Mark: Moments in Film, a selection of photographs taken on film sets around the world, will be shown in the Frieda and Roy L. Furman Gallery of the Walter Reade Theater as part of the 43rd New York Film Festival, from September 21 to October 31, 2005.
FILM FESTIVAL POSTER
The Festival poster features a painting by French filmmaker Maurice Pialat, painted in 1943, before he started making films. It shows a view of the Paris suburbs where Pialat was living. This area was the subject of Pialat’s first film, L'Amour Existe, made in 1960. From 1969 to 1996, the NYFF premiered eight Pialat films and in 2004 the Walter Reade Theater presented a comprehensive retrospective of his work. Pialat died in January 2003. The painting is courtesy of his widow, Sylvie Pialat. The poster measures 22x18 and will be available during the Festival in the lobby of Alice Tully Hall, or at www.filmlinc.com after September 23rd. Cost is $25 ($20 Film Society members).
NYFF T-shirts this year will feature the title Good Night, and Good Luck., on the front, with a line noting that this is the Festival’s Opening Night film. The Festival has used this sort of treatment on its T-shirts twice in the past: for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in 1988, and Too Beautiful for You in 1989. The back of the shirt lists the filmmakers in the festival. This is a limited edition T-shirt. Five hundred will be on sale during the Festival, in the Alice Tully Hall Lobby. Cost is $20 ($15 Film Society members).
Box Office opens Sun, Sept 11 at noon
Alice Tully Hall
1941 Broadway at 65th St, NYC
Mon-Sat, 11am-6pm; Sun, Noon-6pm
By Phone starting Sun, Sept 11 at noon
CenterCharge 212 721 6500
$5.50 surcharge per ticket
Online starting Mon, Sept 12 at 12 noon
$3.50 surcharge per ticket
NYFF Box Office Information
NYFF Automated Information
Depending on availability, $10 tickets go on sale day of performance only to patrons with a valid, current student ID for Alice Tully Hall screenings only. Limit one per customer.
Shochiku Retrospective and Views from the Avant-Garde Tickets
available at Walter Reade Theater Box Office
165 W 65th St, B’way/Amsterdam
NYFF hours: open 30 min before first screening of each day
or Online at tickets.filmlinc.com
$1.25 surcharge per ticket