Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:57 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:50 pm
Posts: 4012
Location: California/NYC
New York Film Festival 2019 - what's not to be missed?

see my coverage on Filmleaf


What looks most exciting in the Main Slate?

Of course all of these speculations are dubious, and it's best to see everything, if you have world enough and time. Film at Lincoln Center, formerly the Film Society of, chooses well.

Big tickets to save for later?

First off, there are some big ones I may not rush to see at Lincoln Center, and here's why. Pain and Glory/Dolor y gloria: I've already seen and reviewed Pedro Almodóvar's important and unusually personal new film. It comes to theaters Oct. 18. And it's good. I don't need to see it again right now, though. The Irishman , which harks back to Scorsese's gangster epic works, looks very exciting - the trailer is already in theaters. However, it's a mainstream coming release, Netlix, so you could even watch it on your computer should you choose to cower in your lair. Though good for selling tickets, it doesn't seem urgent to see it at a festival. The Closing Night film, Motherless Brooklyn, is also not a priority because I am not a fan of Edward Norton, and got bogged down trying to read the book.

On the other hand, here are Main Slate films of NYFF57 I would not want to miss:


Marriage Story. Noah Baumbach's new film (and the NYFF Centerpiece film) arrives as a return to his beginnings, an obvious companion piece to his debut feature, The Squid and a Whale, which premiered at the NYFF of 2005, which incidentally was my first NYFF. Both are about divorces. Logically, the first was from the point of view of the children. Now he is ready to live through it all as an adult.

Atlantics and Bacurau were sensations at Cannes. I'm excited to see them. I do not know about Beanpole or Fire Will Come (both are possibilities, though). I wasn't a fan of Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff , so this new historical film, First Cow, seems uncertain.


The Wild Goose Lake//南方车站的聚会. From everything I have heard and seen about it I will probably love this new film from Chinese director Diao Yinan, who won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale for his 2014 film, Black Coal, Thin Ice. Edgy, young, Asian, neo-noir: what's not to like? And a hit at Cannes.

The Moneychanger I am a fan of the Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj; I like his work very much, and look forward to seeing this.

Parasite기생충 Of course I want to see Bong Joon-ho's Cannes 2019 Palme d'Or winner. It does sound similar in theme to last year's, except that the homeless con-men of Shoplifters were Japanese, and these deceivers are South Korean.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire : Céline Sciamma is an interesting, important French director who grows better all the time. This Portrait is a new direction for her (because a costume drama), got great buzz at Cannes, and is an exciting prospect. There have been many detailed, enthusiastic reviews.


Saturday Fiction by top Chinese director Lou Ye has exciting elements, espionage, theater, the discovery of the Japanese plan to bomb Pear Harbor ], and is shot all shot in white. It sounds like a really good spy-crime mystery story. Probably one of the best Asian films of the year.

Sibyl. Directed by Justine Triet, whose work I don't think American critics exactly "get." Nor do they appreciate the great charm of her muse Virginie Efira. Beware when they write something is "as French as you can get." I love Justine Triet and her star and am ready to give this a whirl. Note the Metascore (of anglophone reviewers) is a lousy 54%, but the AlloCiné press rating is an excellent 3.7. Costars include, with Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel, and Niels Schneider.


Synonyms/Synonymes by Israeli director Nadav Lapid - sounds great and important. I first encountered Lapid with his Policeman in the 2011 NYFF. More in the US saw his 2014 The Kindergarten Teacher (ND/NF 2014) . There has even been a remake starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. This one whose theme is "A young Israeli man absconds to Paris to flee his nationality, aided by his trusty Franco-Israeli dictionary" sounds as if it may be both strange and bold - and fun and has gotten great reviews (better from the anglophone critics than the French ones, but - a rarity - the hard-to-please and iconic Cahiers du Cinéma gave it a top rating).

More doubtful prospects?

Koji Fukada's A Girl Missing sounds interesting, maybe, with a good performance by Mariko Tsutsui; Mark Shilling provides a description of that in The Japan Times. Trades reviews are unfavorable though. I'm doubtful about I Was at Home, But.... I'm not the best audience for puzzle movies. I am not a fan of Albert Serra, nor of Pietro Marcello. From what was said at Cannes, Desplechin's Oh Mercy!/Roubaix, une lumière is a boring police procedural that starts out slow and fizzles out. Desplechin has his devoted fans no matter what. I am an admirer. But this has the marks of a misstep.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's To the Ends of the Earth/旅のおわり世界のはじまり sounds doubtful, and he has disappointed lately. Marco Bellocchio's The Traitor/Traditore likewise though clearly a very important subject for Italians, has sounded in reviews to have turned out to be less impressive than hoped. As for Varda by Agnès, it may be essential viewing for fans of French cinema, though to be honest, one had gotten a lot of her lately already.


Pedro Costa is a director whose work I find hard going. It gives one a sense of a duty performed. About Olivier Assayas' Wasp Network, it's really hard to know. But it is a possibility, politically significant, because it is the story of five Cuban political prisoners who had been imprisoned by the United States since the late 1990s on charges of espionage and murder. And it has Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramírez in it.

Young Ahmed/Le jeune Ahmed looks pretty dubious, one of those rare missteps by the Dardenne brothers. This appears to be a loser - especially for me given its Arab subject matter (clearly out of the brothers' comfort zone). The youthful main actor seemed embarrassingly unenlightened in the Cannes press conference, perhaps a dubious piece of casting.

Though I am a big fan of Bertrand Bonello, Zombi Child appears to be a bit of a misstep for him, plus this kind of genre isn't my cup of tea. There will be good things, though - such as the music, which he often composes himself.

None of the Main Slate titles can be totally written off. These are just suggestions, from personal taste, a little knowledge, in case you want to pare down to a more manageable to-do list.


©Chris Knipp. Blog:

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 32 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group