50 Years of the NYFF

Founded in 1963, as the auteur theory and European cinematic modernism were crashing on to the shores of American film culture, the New York Film Festival stands as the second-oldest film festival in North America, and one of the oldest in the world. As we count down to NYFF’s historic 50th edition in 2012, the Film Society is proud to present a year-long retrospective of highlights from the festival’s first 49 years, as curated by past and present members of the NYFF selection committee.

Check out an interactive timeline of the history of the New York Film Festival on Facebook!


NYFF ‘03: Dogville
Lars von Trier | 2003 | 178 mins
Friday, August 31 2:30 pm
Sunday, September 02 8:00 pm
Beautiful fugitive Nicole Kidman takes refuge in a Depression-era mountain town in Lars von Trier’s spellbinding deconstruction of sacred American values, one of the essential films of the 21st century.
NYFF ‘04: The World
Jia Zhang-ke | 2004 | 140 mins
Friday, August 31 6:00 pm
Monday, September 03 2:00 pm
A global village theme park is the setting for this remarkable fourth feature by Jia Zhangke, about provincial Chinese youth looking for love and meaning in the big city of Beijing.
NYFF ‘05: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Cristi Puiu | 2005 | 150 mins
Friday, August 31 8:45 pm
Sunday, September 02 5:00 pm
The film that ignited the Romanian New Wave, Cristi Puiu’s extraordinary black comedy traces the odyssey of one dying man through a public health system that resembles the nine circles of hell.
NYFF ‘06: Offside
Jafar Panahi | 2006 | 93 mins
Saturday, September 01 2:00 pm
Tuesday, September 04 2:00 pm
A group of Iranian women attempt to infiltrate a men-only football stadium during a World Cup qualifying game in director Jafar Panahi’s sharply observed social comedy.
NYFF ‘07: Silent Light
Carlos Reygadas | 2007 | 145 mins
Saturday, September 01 4:00 pm
Monday, September 03 8:00 pm
A farmer in the Mennonite community of Chihuahua, Mexico enters into an affair with a neighbor woman while his wife suffers in silence in Reygadas’ enormously affecting drama of marital and spiritual crisis.
NYFF ‘08: Gomorrah
Matteo Garrone | 2008 | 137 mins
Saturday, September 01 7:00 pm
Monday, September 03 5:00 pm
Director Matteo Garrone rebuilt the modern Mafia film from the ground up with this blisteringly intense, panoramic portrait of the Neapolitan underworld.
NYFF ‘09: The White Ribbon
Michael Haneke | 2009 | 144 mins
Sunday, September 02 2:00 pm
Tuesday, September 04 4:00 pm
In its broadest sense a portrait of the formative years of the Nazi generation, Michael Haneke’s meticulous social drama—shot in stunning black-and-white and featuring an extraordinary cast of nonprofessional child actors—continues its maker’s career-spanning fascination with the brutality lurking beneath society’s placid facades, while taking his artistry to a new level of accomplishment.
NYFF ‘10: Black Venus
Abdellatif Kechiche | 2010 | 159 mins
Tuesday, September 04 7:00 pm
A brilliant and unsparing bio-pic of Saartjie "Sarah" Baartman, the indigenous South African infamously exhibited as the "Hottentot Venus" in the traveling carnivals and bourgeois salons of 19th-century Europe.
NYFF ‘11: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Nuri Bilge Ceylan | 2011 | 150 mins
Tuesday, September 11 6:00 pm
A police caravan searches the Turkish countryside for a dead man buried in a shallow grave in Ceylan’s visually stunning, existential procedural.

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