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.
See four films for the price of three with our 50 Years of the New York Film Festival package!
The launch of a year-long retrospective of highlights from the New York Film Festival’s past 49 editions, beginning with the opening night film of the very first NYFF, Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel.Read more »
Arguably the most cinematic Shakespeare on film, director Grigori Kozintsev’s radical adaptation of Hamlet began life as a 1954 stage production at Leningrad’s Pushkin Theatre, based on a translation by Doctor Zhivago author Boris Pasternak.Read more »
Marco Bellocchio’s explosive debut feature—a macabrely funny, full frontal assault on Catholic family values and other forms of Italian patriarchy—has lost none of its sting, or its brilliant filmmaking fervor, in the five decades since its original release.Read more »
Four men go off for a weekend hunting trip in Saura’s acute, cross-generational portrait of the victors of the Spanish Civil War.Read more »
Q&A with actor, producer and former National Liberation Front leader Saadi Yacef, whose memoir Souvenirs de la Bataille d'Alger inspired the film! Moderated by NYU professor Robert Stam, author of Flagging Patriotism: Crises of Narcissism and Anti-Americanism.
A major achievement in world cinema, Pontecorvo's brilliant re-enactment of the bloody Algerian revolt against the French is as gripping and relevant as ever. Please note that the time of this screening has been changed to 7:00pm.Read more »
The “her” of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 masterpiece is Paris in the throes of redevelopment, and a Parisian housewife (the glowing Marina Vlady) who moonlights as prostitute.Read more »
In Rohmer’s scintillating Oscar-nominated masterpiece, a young Catholic engineer (Jean-Louis Trintignant) spars with an irresistibly witty and charming divorcée (the ravishing Françoise Fabian).Read more »
New 35mm print!
In Ken Loach’s lyrical classic, a bullied, directionless 15-year-old boy finds an escape in his coal-mining town through training a bird in the art of falconry.Read more »
In director Gleb Panfilov’s delightfully wry movie about moviemaking, a factory worker and amateur actress is discovered and cast as the lead in a Joan of Arc bio-pic.Read more »
A theater copmany’s stage work forms while a marriage collapses in the most remarkable of Rivette’s many explorations of the intersection of life and art. With Bulle Ogier.Read more »
This wry, tender romance/social commentary about the unlikely love between a Moroccan immigrant and an older German widow remains one of the director’s most popular films.Read more »
This strange and haunting drama, inspired by the case of feral wild child Kaspar Hauser, features the unforgettable performance by late street performer Bruno S.Read more »
Discussion between screenings with director Jonathan Demme and actor Paul Le Mat!
Handle with Care a.k.a. Citizen’s Band (Jonathan Demme, 1977)
Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme directs this high-spirited comic panorama about eccentric characters who broadcast their alter-egos over citizen’s band radio. NOT ON DVD!
PLUS SPECIAL BONUS SCREENING:
Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, 1980)
Jason Robards stars in this stranger-than-fiction tale of a Utah gas-station owner who became instantly famous upon being named a beneficary to Howard Hughes’s fortune.
Errol Morris in person for a Q&A following the screening!
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris’s uncanny debut feature—hailed by critic Roger Ebert as one of the 10 greatest films ever made—follows the shifting fortunes of two Bay Area pet cemeteries.Read more »
Special family matinee! Only $6 for kids!
Initially the object of indifference from its distributor, United Artists, first-time director Carroll Ballard’s intensely lyrical film of Walter Farley’s classic children’s novel was buoyed by its inclusion in NYFF (and the good reviews that followed) to become a major hit and and one of the most beloved family films of all time.Read more »
Catherine Deneuve gives one of her greatest performances as the wife of a Jewish theater director in Nazi-occupied Paris in François Truffaut’s classic wartime melodrama.Read more »
Legendary Polish director Andrzej Wajda made his fourth NYFF appearance with this epic chronicle of the birth of the Solidarity labor movement.Read more »
Five Polish construction workers (led by foreman Jeremy Irons, in one of his first major roles) renovate a London flat while Solidarity collapses back home in Skolimowski’s lyrical, darkly funny, altogether remarkable political allegory.Read more »
A melancholic Russian poet journeys through Italy while researching an 18th-century composer and forms an unexpected bond with a local madman in Tarkovsky’s hypnotically beautiful paean to the death of culture and tradition.Read more »
A student who has just committed a brutal murder is persuaded by a drunken sailor to listen to his macabre life story in Ruiz’s dazzlingly surreal dream narrative, shot by legendary Buñuel and Resnais cameraman Sacahe Vierny.Read more »
An American GI (Scott Wilson) and a Polish war widow fall in love in post-WWII Poland in Zanussi’s haunting, timeless story of love’s ability to transcend all personal and cultural barriers. Winner, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival.Read more »
Gérard Depardieu stars as a jaded police inspector who finds himself drawn to a Tunisian drug dealer’s seductive moll (Sophie Marceau) in Pialat’s brutally efficient genre film cum searing, Cassavetes-style drama.Read more »
Co-presented by New York Asian Film Festival.
Jackie Chan’s personal favorite among his more than 100 films features the action superstar in several of his most crazily balletic, duly celebrated set-pieces, including dangling from a speeding bus with just an umbrella for support.Read more »
Forest Whitaker gives a standout performance as jazz legend Charlie “Yardbird” Parker in Clint Eastwood’s hugely ambitious, personal and evocative bio-pic—the first of Eastwood’s many NYFF appearances.Read more »
Director Michael Moore in person!
Moore’s explosive--and explosively funny--debut feature, follows the filmmaker to the decimated auto town of Flint, Michigan as he surveys the economic damage and strives to interview elusive GM chairman Roger B. Smith.Read more »
Gong Li stars as the third wife of a sadistic dye factory owner in Zhang Yimou’s controversial, Oscar-nominated tale of forbidden passion.Read more »
Skype Q&A with director Jane Campion!
Holly Hunter won a richly deserved Oscar for her revelatory performance as a mute Scotswoman torn between a loveless marriage and a passionate erotic affair in 19th century New Zealand.Read more »
Director/editor Steve James, producer/editor Frederick Marx, producer/cinematographer Peter Gilbert and subject Arthur Agee in person! Screening to be introduced Baron Davis of the New York Knicks!
An epic study of race, class and the high price of the American dream, as framed by the competing destinies of two inner-city Chicago youth basketball stars.Read more »
A pair of Italian huckster brothers have their eyes opened to the harsh realities of post-Communist Albania in director Amelio’s moving, darkly comic neorealist triumph.Read more »
Screening will be introduced by filmmaker, critic and former NYFF selection committee member Kent Jones, editor of the newly published collection Olivier Assayas!
Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Carlos) made his first NYFF appearance with this latter-day Day for Night about the chaos that erupts on a film set before "action" and after "cut."Read more »
A suicidal man traverses the Iranian countryside looking for a volunteer to throw dirt on his grave in Abbas Kiarostami’s remarkable paean to the small miracles of everyday life and the elusive nature of happiness.Read more »
Hou made his seventh festival appearance with this ravishingly beautiful chamber drama that follows the intertwined fortunes and intrigues of four “flower girls” serving in the opulent brothels of fin-de-siècle 19th-century Shanghai.Read more »
An actor (Michel Piccoli) tries to put his life back together after the loss of his daughter and son-in-law in this crowning achievement from 103-year-old director Oliveira.Read more »
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.Read more »
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.Read more »
Introduction by past NYFF Selection Committee member Phillip Lopate on September 2!
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.Read more »
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.Read more »
Director Matteo Garrone rebuilt the modern Mafia film from the ground up with this blisteringly intense, panoramic portrait of the Neapolitan underworld.Read more »
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.Read more »
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.Read more »