Thursday, September 30, 2010

New York Film Festival, Part Two

My second set of reviews from what's turning out to be a pretty good New York Film Festival has been posted - along with some briefer considerations of theatrical releases. The highlight of the bunch is probably 101-year old Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira's deceptively simple fable, The Strange Case of Angelica.

New York Film Festival
Aurora (Slant)
The Strange Case of Angelica (Slant)
Boxing Gym (Slant)

Other Film Reviews
Leaving (Slant)
Nine Nation Animation (Village Voice)
Speed-Dating (Time Out New York)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New York Film Festival, Part One

With yesterday's opening night screening of The Social Network - David Fincher's slick-as-hell account of the founding of Facebook, lined with non-stop faux-clever dialogue and played at a pace commensurate with the spread of information via virtual technology, a film appropriately (given its subject) both entertaining in the moment and completely disposable - the 48th New York Film Festival is officially underway. There's a lot of good stuff in this year's edition, though, including the subject of one of my first two reviews which, along with some of my other work from the past week, is linked below.

New York Film Festival
Festival Introduction (Slant)
Of Gods and Men (Slant)
Le Quattro Volte (Slant)

Other Film Reviews
A Mother's Courage (Village Voice)
Tibet in Song (Time Out New York)

Book Review
Philip Roth's Nemesis (The House Next Door)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

End of Summer Link Round-Up

As summer reaches its end and New York Film Festival excitement mounts, the studios continue to turn out their usual mediocre product, whether it's Mark Romanek's uninspired adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's celebrated novel Never Let Me Go or Philip Seymour Hoffman's dud of a directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating. Better off staying at home and taking in Kino's new first-rate release of Louis Feuillade's 1913-1914 serial Fantômas.

Jack Goes Boating (Slant)
Catfish (Slant)
The Freebie (Slant)
Fantômas: The Complete Saga (DVD) (Slant)
Music Makes a City (Time Out New York)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Latinbeat, Heartbreaker and more

With the New York Film Festival looming just around the corner, it's easy to overlook Lincoln Center's Latinbeat fest, an admittedly uneven sampling of the work of lesser-known Latin American directors, which runs from September 8 to 18. At the Village Voice, I highlight five of the festival's 16 films all of which are better than the (semi) high-profile French rom-com Heartbreaker, also new in theaters this week.

Latinbeat Film Festival
(Village Voice)
Who is Harry Nilsson? (Village Voice)
Heartbreaker (Slant)
Race to Nowhere (Time Out New York)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Releases: Our Beloved Month of August and Prince of Broadway

This week sees the (highly limited) release of probably my favorite film of the year, Miguel Gomes' Our Beloved Month of August, opening for a week-long run at New York's Anthology Film Archives and reviewed by me in the L Magazine. Also, very much worth seeing is Lixin Fan's doc Last Train Home about mass numbers of Chinese migrant workers making their annual return to their native villages. I reviewed the film back when it played at New Directors/New Films. Now, it gets a much deserved theatrical release. Considerably less essential is Sean Baker's Prince of Broadway, the subject of a short review in Time Out New York.