NYFF51: Motion Portraits

See three films or more in our Spotlight on Documentary section and save with our Discount Package!

Along with political advocacy pieces, cinema verité immersions and historical investigations, portraiture is now a dominant strain in documentary filmmaking. Here are eight vastly different approaches to the form of the cinematic portrait.

In This Series

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq

Nancy Buirski | 2013 | 87 mins

Director Nancy Buirski in person!

A radiant film about Tanaquil Le Clercq—wife of and muse to George Balanchine—who was struck down by polio at the peak of her career, and a vivid portrayal of a world and a time gone by.

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The Dog

The Dog

Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren | 2013 | 101 mins

Directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren in person at both screenings!

Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren’s portrait of the motor-mouthed, completely uncorked John Wojtowicz, whose 1972 botched robbery of a Brooklyn bank was dramatized in Dog Day Afternoon is hilarious, hair-raising, and giddily profane.

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Fifi Howls From Happiness

Fifi Howls From Happiness

Mitra Farahani | 2013 | 97 mins

Director Mitra Farahani and producer Marjaneh Moghimi in person!

Shot throughout the final months in the life of the jubilant, egotistical and irascible Iranian painter Bahman Mohasses, Mitra Farhani’s film is at once a cinematic fresco of Mohasses’ life and a celebration of freedom. Screening with: 23rd August 2008 (Laura Mulvey, Faysal Abdullah, Mark Lewis, 22m).

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In the Dark Room

In the Dark Room

Nadav Schirman | 2013 | 90 mins

Director Nadav Schirman in person on September 28!

A quietly riveting film about Magdalena Kopp, the co-revolutionary, lover, and then wife of the international terrorist Carlos, and a fascinating non-fiction companion piece to Olivier Assayas’ Carlos.

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Manakamana

Manakamana

Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez | 2013 | 118 mins

Directors Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez in person!

The new film from Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab, shot inside a cable car that carries pilgrims and tourists to and from a mountaintop temple in Nepal, is both literally and figuratively transporting.

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What Now? Remind Me

What Now? Remind Me

Joaquim Pinto | 2013 | 164 mins

Director Joaquim Pinto and producer Joana Ferreira in person!

Joaquim Pinto’s self-portrait is a testament to the joys of a fully lived life and a revivifying love of cinema in the face of a chronic and debilitating illness.

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Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Marc Silver | 2013 | 80 mins

A startling hybrid documentary that follows the progress of forensic anthropologists as they determine the identity of a body found along the Arizona border, and charts a parallel course with Gael Garcia Bernal as a migrant making his way to the US border.

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