New York Film Festival Roundup

With the New York Film Festival less than a week away, I thought I’d take a look at this year’s lineup and try to get an idea of what’s good, bad, and ugly at Lincoln Center in 2008. The three crown jewels of this year’s festival are Laurent Cantet’s Entre les Murs, a film about a Parisian inner city school and winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or  (apparently the exuberant middle-school class joined Cantet onstage to receive the award); Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, a historical film about a 1928 kidnapping starring Angelina Jolie; and The Wrestler, winner of the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival and latest from Pi director Darren Aronofsky.  But aside from the headliners, there’s plenty of other good stuff to be seen as well — especially for those not willing to pay $50+ for scalped tickets. Arnaud Desplechin’s Un conte de Noël has been receiving rave reviews across France since it premiered at Cannes, as has Steve McQueen’s Hunger (not the Steve McQueen you’re thinking of), a film about a 1981 hunger strike in Northern Ireland’s Maze prison. Also on the list is Steven Soderbergh’s four-and-a-half hour epic, Che, whose entire premise and promotion is suspiciously reminiscent of the season finale of Entourage. On the ‘maybe’ side of things, celebrated Argentine director Lucrecia Martel (La ciénaga, La Niña santa) is debuting her new film, La mujer sin cabeza, which has received disappointingly tepid reviews; and Wong Kar-wai’s latest, Ashes of Time Redux, is also coming out, but after the gorgeous disaster that was My Blueberry Nights, I think I’ll wait for the rental.

Finally, here’s a film I saw in French several months ago and still enjoyed, even though it’s very likely I missed some major plot lines. If nothing else, I’m wiling to bet that Waltz With Bashir has the coolest trailer among all the NYFF films. It’s got kind of a Richard Linklater-meets-Stanley Kubrick feel to it. And it got a standing ovation at Cannes.

For more comprehensive NYFF coverage and reviews, check out Slant, which has been reviewing a film a day since the 16th.

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~ by Jessica on September 20, 2008.

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