A Peek Inside “New York Film Festival Gold”

We are very excited about the upcoming release of our gorgeous new book New York Film Festival Gold, edited by Laura Kern of Film Comment, former Film Society Executive Director Joanne Koch, and Program Director Richard Peña. Take a peek inside with the full table of contents, reproductions of select pages, and excerpts from some of the 15 in-depth essays by critics, film historians, and NYFF alumni. Pre-order your copy now!

CONTENTS
FOREWORD
by Rose Kuo

INTRODUCTION
by Pedro Almodóvar

ESSAYS
A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
THE NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
Its First 50 Years

by Phillip Lopate

THE 1970s
OLD TIMES
by Roger Greenspun

THE 1970s & 1980s
17 SPRINGS AND SUMMERS
by Richard Corliss

THE LATE 1970s & 1980s
MEMORIES OF THE NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
by Molly Haskell

THE 1980s
IN THE MARGIN OF HISTORY
Richard Roud, the New York Film Festival, and Me

by J. Hoberman

THE 1980s
2 OR 3 THINGS ABOUT THE NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
by David Thomson

THE 1990s
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE FESTIVAL KIND
by David Ansen

THE 1990s
THE DECADE I DIDN'T YET KNOW HOW TO WATCH
Discovering the '90s with the New York Film Festival

by Stuart Klawans

THE LATE 1990s & 2000s
HOW THE WEST WAS LOST
by John Powers

THE 2000s
DAYS AND NIGHTS IN THE FOREST
by Kent Jones

THE 2000s
NEW MILLENNIUM, NEW "WORLD"
by Lisa Schwarzbaum

THE FUTURE
by Scott Foundas

IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES,
or How the NYFF Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Avant-Garde Film

by Gavin Smith

FRINGE BENEFITS
Sidebars, Symposia, and Other Special Events

by Wendy Keys

HOT PEPPERS & HOT TICKETS
Coping with Censorship

by Joanne Koch

THE PROCESS
by Richard Peña

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE NYFF
PHOTO GALLERY

COMPLETE FILM LISTINGS

Decade 1: 1963-1972
Decade 2: 1973-1982
Decade 3: 1983-1992
Decade 4: 1993-2002
Decade 5: 2003-2012

"The New York Film Festival, I would argue, has had a profound effect on American film culture, helping to shape the discussion by setting high standards and calling attention to daring, demanding works of cinematic art year after year. To use Hollywood terms, it is a Success Story, and one key measure of that success is that it has survived for half a century. That it has managed to do so, in the face of skepticism, criticism, fiscal strains, and a vastly changing film culture, may be attributed to a combination of adapting to the ever-shifting global/technological landscape while stubbornly refusing to budge on its principles or to alter its essential structure." —Phillip Lopate

"Of course New York had a film culture before it had a film festival. Not just at the big Midtown theaters and the fancier of the first-run little theaters. By the early 1960s there were repertory houses, from the New Yorker and the Thalia uptown to the Fifth Avenue and Bleecker Street cinemas downtown, film series at MoMA and Amos Vogel’s Cinema 16, second- or even third-run theaters like the East Village’s essential and long-lost Saint Marks. Above all, there was 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, after the time of legitimate theater and before the time of utter degradation. A 42nd Street double feature might cost 85 cents. The programming ranged from softcore porn at the houses in the west, to a repertory of American action cinema at the Times Square midblock, to subtitled foreign films (some that you would never find anyplace else) at the Apollo, nearer 7th Avenue. Across 42nd Street from the Apollo, the New Amsterdam played horror and science fiction. I believe that’s where George Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus on 42nd Street) and Fritz Lang’s final masterpiece The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse opened, both dubbed into English and both to no reviews. It was a haphazard film culture, serious and somewhat arrogantly disreputable. It provided the young and marginally employed with lots of opportunity for feeding a passion, avoiding the day’s fresh air and sunshine, all without spending much money." —Roger Greenspun

"The New York Film Festival will always be, for me, the ur-festival. It was the first one I ever attended. The year was 1966—the 4th NYFF—and I was a college kid down from Boston with just a few days to cram in as many movies as possible. In that short, exalted time in Avery Fisher Hall I was blown away by two masterpieces—Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar and Godard’s Pierrot le fou—caught Bertolucci’s first feature La commare secca, Buñuel’s sardonically unforgettable Simon of the Desert, Resnais’s La guerre est finie, with Yves Montand, and a now forgotten film by the Argentine master Leopoldo Torre Nilsson called The Eavesdropper. I’d found my cinematic Mecca and I’ve been on my knees ever since. So there was a lot of history roiling around in my excited head when Richard Peña asked me to serve on the Festival’s selection committee in 1990. It was an offer to become an active part of that history, and how could I refuse? I felt like a kid being handed the keys to the candy store: little did I know how overstuffed one could feel every August after two nonstop weeks of watching movies, starting in a screening room in the morning, moving on to the funky TV set in the Film Society’s windowless room in the afternoon, and ending the day feeding tapes into a hotel-room VCR. It was an immersion in cinema so intense you could forget that reality came in three dimensions, as I discovered one day when I walked straight into a wall in the Film Society bathroom. It was supposed to be a four-year stint, but it turned into eight: a glorious, grueling experience that broadened and altered my cinematic perspective, introduced me to the wonderland of Cannes (where we started our annual treasure hunt), and took me behind the curtains at Alice Tully Hall, where close encounters of the most improbable kind could occur." —David Ansen

"Where do we go now? Surely, as the movie universe simultaneously expands (in terms of the number of available offerings) and contracts (in terms of an ever more fragmented public), this is the question foremost on the minds of decision makers in every corner of the industry. And make no mistake: the world of film festivals is hardly immune. As has been noted elsewhere in this book, when the New York Film Festival began a half-century ago, there were but a handful of such events in the world. Now, in cities major and minor, there are practically a handful each week—festivals devoted to the films of specific countries or cultural backgrounds, festivals of children’s films, of gay and lesbian films, of movies about the environment, of movies on dance. Even at Lincoln Center, the NYFF is now but one of a dozen or so annual film festivals of one sort or another produced by the Film Society in concert with other leading local and international cultural organizations. This is, I am inclined to think, mostly a good thing. The proliferation of regional and specialty festivals across the country and around the world is allowing interested audiences access to films they might otherwise never see, and which, in some cases, might not even be made. That there are dedicated audiences for these programs, however specific they might be, is a sign that film culture is thriving. Of course, many films still fall silently in the celluloid (or, nowadays, digital) forest, and— unfashionable as it may be to say in this culture of endless positive reinforcement—a lot of them deserve to. Just because inexpensive digital technology now makes it possible for anyone to make a movie doesn’t mean that just anyone should, much as American Idol has reminded us that not everyone with a voice has any business around a microphone. All of which is to say that the role played by film festivals today—as curators, as educators—seems more important than ever. How else to navigate  one’s way through this surfeit of 'content'?" —Scott Foundas

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thank You to Our Sponsors

Next Article x

“Beasts,” “Kingdom” & “Nowhere” Get Gotham Awards Nods image

“Beasts,” “Kingdom” & “Nowhere” Get Gotham Awards Nods

Twenty-six films were nominated for Gotham Awards, the first prizes to be presented as awards season begins.

Read More »


# Close