The New York Film Festival launches this Thursday and many of the films will be available for online screenings.
Of course ordinarily the New York Film Festival is held exclusively in New York City and only those lucky city dwellers have a chance to buy tickets to see the films. But one upside of the miserable pandemic that is COVID-19 is that the festival is now partly virtual. Ticket buyers outside the city can purchase drive-In tickets or they can purchase tickets to watch selections online. You still have to get your place in line early, as they will sell out.
The fest begins this Thursday, and their virtual lineup can be accessed here. As of now, it looks like Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland is sold out, as is Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks, but it’s possible they will open up another screening for it. So keep checking back.
Here are some other films available virtually not to miss:
The World Premiere of Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock, as part of an anthology called Small Axe, which revolves around London’s West Indian community, described on the site this way: “A movie of tactile sensuality and levitating joy, Lovers Rock finds the always daring Steve McQueen (Hunger, 12 Years a Slave) in an ecstatic yet no less formally bold mode. Produced as part of McQueen’s ambitious, multifaceted Small Axe series, an anthology of decades-spanning films that alights on various lives in London’s West Indian community, the intoxicating, 1980-set Lovers Rock takes place largely over one night at a house party. While McQueen and co-screenwriter Courttia Newland have constructed their ethereal narrative around the growing attraction between Martha (newcomer Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn) and a brooding stranger (Micheal Ward), the film is equally about the rapture of music, specifically the reggae genre of the title—typified in the film’s swooning centerpiece set to Janet Kay’s euphoric 1979 single “Silly Games”—and the thrill and liberation of bodies in motion, miraculously photographed by Shabier Kirchner. An Amazon Studios release.”
The Human Voice, directed by Pedro Almodovar and starring Tilda Swinton. It is awash in beauty, as one would imagine, and illustrates the full power of Swinton’s acting instrument. It is based on a 1930 play by Jean Cocteau.
The absolutely beautiful Gunda from Norway. A luscious black and white film by Victor Kossakovsky revolving around a large and contemplative pig who gives birth to many suckling little pigs who then begin to grow and venture out onto the lively farm. The film is entirely wordless, allowing the animals themselves to communicate through the lens. Cows, chickens and pigs all sort of wandering around in their short journeys through life. I will spare you another lecture about what we do to pigs to satisfy our addiction but suffice it to say in one place there is a barbaric holocaust and in another place a pig lives out its life as it evolved to do. It’s truly a sight to behold, this.
David Byrne’s American Utopia, Spike Lee’s film version of the Broadway show.
The New York Film Festival could shake up the Oscar race in a few ways, with Sofia Coppola’s film On the Rocks and Michelle Pfeiffer in French Exit. But there are likely to be films that make news outside the mainstream. We will keep a lookout for those. But as of now, it is the rare opportunity for movielovers across the country and around the world to celebrate along with the fest with virtual screenings, which might carve a pathway for future events. Who knows. One of the problems with Oscar season is that people who are interested in the movies have to wait months to see them. This way, with some at least, they won’t have to.