The New York Film Fest looks a lot like the Cannes lineup with several repeats that were well received there, like The Lobster, Carol and The Assassin. Steve Jobs, Bridge of Spies and The Walk are the big movies to land there and I suspect among the most popular screenings. Of the films I’m personally excited about this year I have to say that any time a Steven Spielberg film is in play it’s a pretty good year for me (yes, even including War Horse). Ditto Steve Jobs. I’m also curious to see what Rebecca Miller is doing. And of course, we’re jazzed about seeing Michael Moore confront America’s thirst for war in Where to Invade Next.

Thanks to Paddy for the list and the heads up.

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One (Miguel Gomes)
Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One (Miguel Gomes)
Arabian Nights: Volume 3, The Enchanted One (Miguel Gomes)
The Assassin (Hou Hsiao Hsien)
Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)
Brooklyn (Nick Hornby)
Carol (Todd Haynes)
Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Les Cowboys (Thomas Bidegain)
Don’t Blink: Robert Frank (Laura Israel)
Experimenter (Michael Almereyda)
The Forbidden Room (Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin)
In the Shadow of Women (Philippe Garrel)
Journey to the Shore (Kurosawa Kiyoshi)
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Maggie’s Plan (Rebecca Miller)
The Measure of a Man (Stephane Brize)
Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti)
Microbe & Gasoline (Michel Gondry)
Miles Ahead (Don Cheadle) – closing night gala
Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhang Ke)
My Golden Days (Arnaud Desplechin)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman)
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang Soo)
Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle) – centrepiece gala
The Treasure (Corneliu Porumboiu)
The Walk (Robert Zemeckis) – opening night gala
Where to Invade Next (Michael Moore)


The New York Times just announced that the Danny Boyle film, “Steve Jobs,” starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet will be the centerpiece gala for the New York Film Fest. With a crackling script by Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs will be poised to take the Oscars by storm, or certainly get invited into the room.

In a statement, the event’s director, Kent Jones, described the film as “extremely sharp,” adding, “It’s wildly entertaining, and the actors just soar — you can feel their joy as they bite into their material.”

The fest kicks off September 25th, after Telluride and Toronto, leaving me to wonder whether Steve Jobs will be headed to Telluride…

The NYFF can have a major Oscar impact and then sometimes it can do more harm than good if the critics turn on the movie. It is then in the hands of the left coast to turn that boat around, as happened with Life of Pi.

Tomorrow, we get our first taste of the Toronto Film Fest lineup. Telluride will not announce until the day before Labor Day weekend, at the end of August. Supposedly if Toronto says “international premiere” that means it could theoretically play at Telluride first.

New York, NY (August 30, 2013) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Comment Magazine announced today that they will host the U.S. premiere of Steve McQueen’s new film, 12 Years A Slave, on Tuesday, October 8th at the New York Film Festival. McQueen will be on hand to present the film along with cast members, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Paul Dano and Alfre Woodard. Tickets will be available starting Sunday, September 8th, when tickets go on sale to the general public for the festival.

Gavin Smith, New York Film Festival Selection Committee member and Editor-in-Chief of Film Comment Magazine said, “Film Comment is delighted to be able to champion 12 Years A Slave at the New York Film Festival. This is a powerful work about a subject that remains vital and I have no doubt that it’s one of the year’s most important films.”

“I am honored that 12 Years a Slave will be presented at the New York Film Festival in association with Film Comment” said director, Steve McQueen. “For me, this feels like a true home-coming for Solomon as he was from New York and I’m delighted that his story can be celebrated here.”

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Llewyn Davis

The fest will play, most notably, Captain Phillips and Her.  Many of the choices were seen at Cannes, and will be seen at Telluride. Some will skip Toronto.  The full lineup for the fest, which runs from September 27 through October 13.

Main Slate lineup for the 51st New York Film Festival:

ABOUT TIME (2013) 123min
Director: Richard Curtis
Country: UK
Richard Curtis adds a touch of time-travel to this hilarious romantic comedy, a perfect vehicle for the comic talents of Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Duncan, and emerging star Domhnall Gleeson. A Universal Pictures release.

ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (Abus de Faiblesse) (2013) 105min
Director: Catherine Breillat
Country: France
Catherine Breillat’s haunting film about her 2004 stroke and subsequent self-destructive relationship with star swindler Christophe Rocancourt, starring Isabelle Huppert.

ALAN PARTRIDGE (2013) 90min
Director: Declan Lowney
Country: UK
In the long-awaited big-screen debut of Steve Coogan’s singular comic creation, the vain and obliviously tactless Alan Partridge must serve as an intermediary when North Norfolk Digital is seized at gunpoint by a down-sized DJ.

ALL IS LOST (2013) 107min
Director: J.C. Chandor
Country: USA
Robert Redford as you’ve never seen him before, gives a near-wordless all-action performance as a lone sailor trying to keep his yacht afloat after a collision with a discarded shipping container in the middle of the Indian Ocean. A Roadside Attractions release.

AMERICAN PROMISE (2013) 135min
Directors: Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson
Country: USA
Two Brooklyn filmmakers follow their son Idris and his friend Suen from their enrollment in the Dalton School as children through their high school graduations in this devastating, years-in-the-making documentary that takes a hard look at race and class in America.

AT BERKELEY (2013) 244min
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Country: USA
Another masterfully constructed documentary from Frederick Wiseman, examining the University of California, Berkeley from multiple angles – the administrators, the students, the surrounding community – to arrive at a portrait that is as rich in detail as it is epic in scope.

BASTARDS (Les Salauds) (2013) 100min
Director: Claire Denis
Country: France
Claire Denis’s jagged, daringly fragmented and deeply unsettling film inspired by recent French sex ring scandals is the rarest of cinematic narratives—a contemporary film noir, perfect in substance as well as style.

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How you view the reactions to the NYFF is probably one of those “glass if half full” type of moments. My stream on Twitter, for instance, was full of really great reactions.  But others have informed me that it could be described as a mixed reaction.

But here are some of the good ones:

@reverse_shot: LINCOLN: Sophisticated, erudite political procedural from Spielberg and Kushner. Genuinely superb.

Steve Zeitchik @ZeitchikLAT Daniel Day-Lewis much more understated and playful than thescenery-chewing trailer suggests.

Clayton Davis ‏@AwardsCircuit LINCOLN soars and Spielbergs best in years #NYFF

Eugene Hernandez ‏@eug Just saw LINCOLN at #NYFF. Swept up by grand Americana theatricality & strong perfs. 1800s West Wing? A bit. Engrossing political melodrama!

Logan Hill ‏@loganhill33 Spielberg’s Lincoln at #NYFF was rock solid monument to Abe, a bounce back from War Horse. Predix: Oscar noms galore. Tommy Lee Jones FTW

Matt Patches ‏@misterpatches Spielberg’s Lincoln turns a defining moment in history into a human story. Day-Lewis is dynamic, but it’s a great ensemble piece. #NYFF

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David Chase’s NOT FADE AWAY announced by THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER as the Centerpiece Gala Selection for the 2012 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

NEW YORK, August 15, 2012 — The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that David Chase’s NOT FADE AWAY will make its World Premiere on Saturday, October 6 as the Centerpiece Gala selection for the 50th New York Film Festival (September 28-October 14).

Making his feature directing debut, David Chase’s (The Sopranos) coming-of-age movie is set in New Jersey in 1964 where a group of friends are inspired to form their own rock band fronted by a gifted singer-songwriter (terrific newcomer John Magaro). The film masterfully captures the era’s conflicting attitudes and ideologies, all set to a dynamic soundtrack produced by the legendary Steven Van Zandt. The film also stars Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett and Christopher McDonald. To be released by Paramount Vantage, the film’s roll-out will begin on December 21, 2012.

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