GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 3 days ago

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I’d like to consider myself someone who’s open to all styles of art, unique forms of expression and storytelling techniques, but perhaps I have to draw the line at Jean-Luc Godard’s latest, Goodbye to Language. The thing only clocks in at 70-minutes long, but the screening felt like an eternity and even after it finally ended, I was stuck with the frustration of having wasted a morning and was left with a nasty headache to go along with it.  This movie is playing in some of the most prestigious film festivals around the world yet has claimed a top spot on my worst of the year list and is pretty high up amongst my worst of all time selections as well.

MAPS TO THE STARS Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 4 days ago

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I don’t like to admit it, but every now and then, I do enjoy picking up a tabloid.  Simply put, it’s fun to read about nonsense like what everyone’s wearing and see that celebrities are really “just like us.”  And the same goes for covering industry news as well.  I truly enjoy finding out what everyone’s up to, whether I’m a fan or not, and that’s a big part of the reason David Cronenberg’s latest works so well.  Maps to the Stars is a Hollywood satire that takes you behind the scenes and dishes out joke after joke at the industry’s expense, but screenwriter Bruce Wagner also slips in an offbeat and riveting mystery that makes the experience more than a fleeting laugh, but rather a dark, absurd and disturbing experience that’ll stick with you well after it ends.

NYFF Trailer Offers First Look at INHERENT VICE Footage

by     Posted 21 days ago

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The New York Film Festival has a fantastic slate this year.  From the premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opening night film to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance as the closing night selection, it makes me supremely jealous of those on the east coast for that week.  Of course, the largest question mark here is writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s long awaited Inherent Vice, which will have its world premiere at NYFF 2014 on October 4th as the fest’s centerpiece gala.

We’ve only seen a few stills from the film (and we wake up every day hoping for a trailer), so we’re actually getting our first-ever snippet of footage via this NYFF trailer that highlights the fest’s selections.  Anderson’s Thomas Pynchon adaptation stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson and is described by NYFF director Kent Jones as being “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.  It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”  NYFF 2014 runs from September 27th through October 13th, and Inherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th.  Hit the jump for the NYFF trailer.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s BIRDMAN to Close New York Film Festival

by     Posted 72 days ago

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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.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE to Have World Premiere at New York Film Festival

by     Posted 74 days ago

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The New York Film Festival made a hell of a first selection by nabbing David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opening night film, and now the fest’s second selection makes it an even more enticing destination.  Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will have its world premiere at NYFF 2014 on October 4th, as the pic as been selected as the fest’s centerpiece gala.  The Thomas Pynchon adaptation is led by Joaquin Phoenix, with an eclectic cast that also includes Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson.  Per THR, NYFF director Kent Jones describes Inherent Vice as “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.  It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”

With the one-two punch of premiering Gone Girl and Inherent Vice, NYFF is giving the traditional festival juggernaut TIFF a run for its money.  Read a synopsis for the book after the jump.  NYFF 2014 runs from September 27th through October 13th, and Inherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th. 

David Fincher’s GONE GIRL to Open the New York Film Festival

by     Posted 77 days ago

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Director David Fincher’s next film has secured a prime awards debut.  Variety reports that Gone Girl has been selected to open this year’s New York Film Festival—a prestigious honor that usually coincides with the kick-off of an Oscar campaign.  Fincher’s dramatic thriller is an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name and stars Ben Affleck as a man who becomes the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance.  Fincher has some good experience with NYFF, as his masterful The Social Network premiered there in 2010 and went on to nab a slew of Oscar nominations before it was eventually steamrolled for Best Picture and Best Director by the forgettable The King’s Speech (I’m not bitter, I promise).  More after the jump.

NYFF 2013: HER Review

by     Posted 354 days ago

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We ascribe technology a personality and vice versa.  We say our machines “hate” us when they break down.  Programs illustrate the interests of the user.  Spike Jonze’s Her may seem like an outrageous concept—a man falling in love with a computer—the idea is closer than we think, and its immediacy isn’t just a social concern.  It’s an existential concern as the film attempts to provide the contours of a soul through the absence of a body, a past, and society.  Her is a fragile, delicate movie that requires the audience’s absolute indulgence, but the rewards are some head-spinning questions coupled with a tender, funny, and touching love story.

NYFF 2013: NEBRASKA Review

by     Posted 358 days ago

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In the past, I’ve made jokes about how progress on social issues is inevitable because the people holding antiquated values will die off soon.  Nebraska made me feel a little guilty about those jokes.  I don’t feel guilty because I’ve come to agree with their discriminatory viewpoints, and the movie doesn’t address those kinds of attitudes associated with the red-state heartland.  I feel guilty because I’ve been so casual with the lives of old people who probably never had much to begin with.  With his newest film, director Alexander Payne has created a deeply compassionate picture of elderly life, social decay, economic immobility, and put it into a moving father-son road trip story.  Anchored by strong performances from Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb, Nebraska is funny and touching quest to find the good life at the end of life.

New Trailer for THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Plus the 25-Minute New York Film Festival Press Conference

by     Posted 359 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released a new trailer for The Secret Life of Walter MittyBen Stiller (who also directed the film) stars as a daydreaming Life Magazine employee who has to start going on real adventures in order to track down an elusive photographer (Sean Penn).  Steve and I saw the movie this weekend.  He liked it; I didn’t.  The trailer is a fair representation of the film, and even though it goes through a lot of the plot, the trailer doesn’t really give anything away since everything is so spaced out and mixed up.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with the New York Film Festival press conference.  The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, and Patton OswaltThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25th.

NYFF 2013: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY Review

by     Posted 361 days ago

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The problem with platitudes is that they may profess a nice sentiment, but the statement tends to be an obvious one, and it will be a fleeting memory by the time you finish reading that t-shirt or bumper sticker.  Platitudes can’t cut deeper and provide a thoughtful, lasting impression that would cause us to seriously take stock of our lives and values.  Ben Stiller’s two-hour platitude, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, may seem like it’s championing bravery and adventure, but the presentation, while initially enjoyable, quickly becomes hollow, frivolous, and overbearing.  It’s a movie where a man’s facial hair defines his character more than his actions.

NYFF 2013: THE IMMIGRANT Review

by     Posted 362 days ago

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There are some settings that don’t quite work with a soft, romantic approach.  There’s no romanticizing child labor or human trafficking or abject poverty.  James Gray’s The Immigrant shows there’s also no romanticizing prostitution in New York City in 1921.  Gray attempts to spin a complicated love triangle though an elegant web, but two of the three main characters get stuck in mushy, bland roles despite the best efforts of the actors.  What’s meant to carry an air of tragedy, damnation, and the hint of redemption ultimately comes off as silly due to Gray’s misguided approach.

NYFF 2013: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 4 days ago

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In the past, director Paul Greengrass has demonstrated a unique and incredible ability to use a documentary-like style that captures the immediacy of a real-life event without ever feeling like a heavy-handed, exploitative dramatization.  Greengrass attempts to bring this approach to his new film, Captain Phillips, but instead of focusing on an event that changed the course of a country, he tries to keep the focus on two men.  Unfortunately, he has no room to maneuver, and his fidelity to Richard Phillips’ story handcuffs the film into a cold procedural.  Strong performances from the lead actors as well Greengrass’ intelligent depiction of neglected people helps draws us in, but the film tries too hard to play up the “thrilling” action, which only highlights how little investment we have in the hostage and his captor.

Full New York Film Festival Lineup Includes INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, NEBRASKA, THE IMMIGRANT, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 43 days ago

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Each year, the fall film festival season is where studios present their awards fare and kick off months of rigorous campaigning in hopes of Oscar glory.  We recently examined this year’s contenders in the inaugural installment of our new column Oscar Beat, and at the time it appeared that the Toronto International Film Festival was poised to once again be the heavy hitter.  However, the 2013 New York Film Festival has now announced its full lineup, and it definitely gives TIFF a run for its money.

In addition to previously announced films Captain Phillips, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Her, NYFF will play host to screenings of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, James Gray’s The Immigrant, J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, and plenty more.  Hit the jump to check out the full lineup.  The 2013 New York Film Festival runs from September 27th – October 13th.

Oscar Beat: The Fall Festival Contenders

by     Posted 1 year, 44 days ago

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It’s that time of year again, folks.  The explosion-filled summer blockbusters will soon be fading from multiplexes, and in will flow a number of smaller, more dramatic films poised to dominate the Oscar conversation as the awards machine gets up and running.  Some will meet high expectations, some will be disappointing, and some will come out of nowhere to take everyone by surprise.  We here at Collider ran a few awards-centric articles last fall that examined the Oscar race as it drew closer, but this year we’re happy to expand our awards coverage to a regular column titled “Oscar Beat.”

We’ll be covering anything and everything Oscar up through the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2nd, and if years past are any indication, there will be plenty to discuss.  In our inaugural installment of Oscar Beat, we’ll be taking a look at the upcoming Fall Film Festival circuit, which is where the heavy hitters of awards season traditionally premiere.  Hit the jump for more.

Spike Jonze’s HER to Close New York Film Festival

by     Posted 1 year, 54 days ago

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This year’s New York Film Festival is poised to be bookened by two high-profile premieres.  Last week it was announced that director Paul Greengrass’ real-life dramatic thriller Captain Phillips will open the 2013 New York Film Festival, and today the fest announced that director Spike Jonze’s excellent-looking romance Her will act as the closing film.  Jonze’s pic stars Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely writer who falls in love with his operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), and judging by yesterday’s trailer debut, Her looks to be characteristically offbeat and charming.

The New York Film Festival will also play host to the premiere of Ben Stiller’s directorial feature The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, bringing the current total of bona fide Oscar contenders that will be first seen at the fest to three.  The 2013 New York Film Festival runs from September 27th – October 13th.

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