Last week at the New York Film Festival, I saw one of my favorite films of the year: Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi. Based on Yann Martel‘s “unfilmable” 2001 novel, the story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck. Loaded with a great script, fantastic direction, amazing cinematography and CGI, and 3D that actually helps tell the story, Life of Pi’s universal message of hope, courage, and spirituality is sure to connect with audiences and critics alike when it opens in late November. The film will definitely be up for a number of year-end awards. For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.
The day after the world premiere I got to sit down with Ang Lee for an exclusive interview. We talked about what it was like to premiere the film at the NYFF, the lightning-fast Twitter reactions, whether he ever thought Life of Pi wouldn’t get made given the difficult road to production, how the eventual budget reduction changed the film, deleted scenes and the length of his first cut, the challenges of filming in 3D, whether he’ll use 3D on his future projects, how close the film is to completion (he still has 90 visual effects shots that aren’t done), future projects, and whether there’s a genre he hasn’t tackled yet that he still wants to work in. Hit the jump for the video and transcript.
Last week, we reported the line-up for the 2012 New York Film Festival, which included Life of Pi, Amour, and Flight. Today, they’ve added some more noteworthy movies including Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy and The Shining documentary Room 237 (click here for my review of Room 237). They’ve also added some special screenings including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a 25th Anniversary showing of The Princess Bride, and a must-see showing of the new, 8K restoration of David Lean‘s Lawrence of Arabia. The Lawrence restoration will be available nationwide on October 4th.
Hit the jump to check out the additions to the line-up. The 2012 New York Film Festival runs from September 28 – October 14th.
The full line-up for the 2012 New York Film Festival has been announced. I’ve been impressed with the line-ups for the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, but they both have a surprising omission: Michael Haneke‘s Amour, which one the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. However, it won’t be bypassing the fall festival circuit entirely, and it will make its North American debut at NYFF. The festival will also open with Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi and Robert Zemeckis‘ Flight. In between, you have other exciting films like David Chase‘s Not Fade Away, Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, Roger Michell‘s Hyde Park on Hudson, Brian de Palma‘s Passion, and more.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. Tickets for the 2012 New York Film Festival go on sale September 9th. The festival runs from September 28 – October 14th.
Director David Chase will see his film Not Fade Away make its world premiere as the Centerpiece Gala selection of the 50th New York Film Festival; not bad for a debut director! The Sopranos creator/writer brings this coming-of-age tale, set in 1964 where a group of friends decide to form a rock band, led by new-to-the-scene, John Magaro. With a soundtrack produced by Steven Van Zandt, Not Fade Away also stars Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett and Christopher McDonald. Look for the film to see limited release starting December 21st. Hit the jump for the full press release and some new images from the film.
Director Ang Lee’s ambitious 3D adaptation of the classic Yann Martel novel Life of Pi has been chosen to open the New York Film Festival, where it will also be making its world premiere. For those unaware, the story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck. The simple premise gives way to themes of hope, courage, spirituality, and avoiding being eaten by a tiger. The first trailer for the film wowed us with some truly spectacular visuals, and further footage really impressed convention goers at CinemaCon earlier this year.
As the film includes no big stars and centers on the dialogue-light relationship between a boy and a tiger, Life of Pi is a tough sell for general audiences. The draw for holiday moviegoers will be the lush visuals, and I’m hoping Lee has cooked up an emotionally engaging and challenging adaptation of Martel’s novel. As the film has now been selected as the prestigious opening film at NYFF, we’ll have our first reactions to the full film on September 28th (as well as a clearer “yay or nay” concerning the pic’s Oscar chances). Life of Pi opens on November 21st.
Late last week it was announce that the New York Film Festival would be showing a work-in-progress cut from a “master filmmaker” on Monday night. It would most likely be an awards season heavy-weight, but and there were a variety of films to choose from including War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. NYFF has now announced that Martin Scorsese’s 3D family film Hugo will be screening tonight at 7pm in Avery Fisher Hall. Scorsese has never screened at unfinished version of his film and NYFF hasn’t screened a work-in-progress cut since Beauty and the Beast, but it looks like the Paramount is feeling confident that the movie can generate some serious buzz after its screening tonight. Deadline reports that the showing will be in 3D but there will still be a few unfinished green-screen effects.
Obviously, we’ll be interested to hear the reaction to the movie later tonight. For those unfamiliar with the film, hit the jump for the trailer and synopsis. Hugo opens November 23rd and stars Chloe Moretz, Asa Butterfield, Jude Law, Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
This year’s festival season continues to take shape as the full line-up for the 2011 New York Film Festival has been revealed. Roman Polanski’s Carnage will open the festival, Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn will be the “Centerpiece Gala Section”, there will be special gala presentations of David Croneneberg’s A Dangerous Method and Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants will close out the festival. Other noteworthy films playing are the Cannes’ sensations The Artist and Melancholia, the hit Sundance films Marcy Martha May Marlene, Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Abel Ferrara’s 4:44: Last Day on Earth, and Wim Wenders’ 3D film Pina.
Hit the jump for the full line up. The New York Film Festival runs from September 30 – October 16th.
When forming a list of films to watch out for come Oscar season, it’d be hard to ignore putting David Fincher’s The Social Network on the list. Judging from the trailer, it looks like a highly well done and rather intense portrayal of the creation of Facebook. The first review for the film has now gone online Film critic Scott Foundas has posted a review of the film on the New York Film Festival’s website. Foundas gives the film a very positive review, saying:
Lest I seem to suggest otherwise, I hasten to add that The Social Network is splendid entertainment from a master storyteller, packed with energetic incident and surprising performances.
For more quotes from Foundas’s review, hit the jump. The Social Network will make its world premiere as the opening night film of the New York Film Festival on September 24th. It opens nationwide on October 1st.