There’s no doubt about it, the 2014 New York Film Festival is on fire. First they nabbed David Fincher’s Gone Girl as their opening night film, then they set the world premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice as their centerpiece film. Now they’ve announced that Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance will close out the festival on October 12th, just five days before the film opens in limited release on October 17th. The black comedy stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory. NYFF director Kent Jones describes the pic as “consistently surprising and inventive”, which is no surprise given that Iñárritu shot the movie to look like it’s one giant continuous take.
Birdman will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on August 17th. The NYFF press release makes no mention of this being the film’s North American premiere, so a Telluride or TIFF debut in September seems likely. NYFF 2014 runs from September 26th – October 12th. Read the press release after the jump.
New York, NY (July 21, 2014) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance as the Closing Night selection for the upcoming 52nd New York Film Festival (September 26 – October 12). The black comedy stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. This marks Iñárritu’s third time at the festival, having previously screened Amores Perros (2000) and 21 Grams (2003). The Fox Searchlight Pictures and New Regency release is slated to open in select theaters on October 17, 2014.
New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said: “Birdman is a knockout. It’s consistently surprising and inventive – you think the movie is going in one direction and then Iñárritu shifts gears and takes you somewhere else completely unexpected: the movie is like an intricate machine generating greater and greater amounts of beautiful radiant energy. The entire cast is amazing and they mesh perfectly, but I have to say that Michael Keaton is astonishing. He’s always been a terrific and, in my opinion, underrated actor. Here he gets the role he deserves, and he makes the most of it. And, it’s a great Broadway movie.”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s big, bold, and beautifully brash new movie, where one-time action hero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton, in a jaw-dropping performance), in an effort to be taken seriously as an artist, is staging his own adaptation of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. As Thomson tries to get his perilous undertaking in shape for the opening, he has to cope with a resentful daughter (Emma Stone), a scene-hogging narcissist (Edward Norton), a vulnerable actress (Naomi Watts) and an unhinged girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough) for co-stars, a manager who’s about to come undone (Zach Galifianikis), and the inner demon of the superhero that made him famous, Birdman. Iñárritu’s camera magically prowls, careens and soars in and around the theater, yet remains alive to the most precious subtleties and surprises between his formidable actors. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is an extravagant dream of a movie, alternately hilarious and terrifying, powered by a deep love of acting, theater, and Broadway – a real New York experience.
Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a presentation of Fox Searchlight Pictures and Regency Enterprises, a New Regency/M Productions/Le Grisbi production.