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New Directors/New Films 2010

New Directors/New Films 2010

 

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While lacking a can’t-miss centerpiece like lasts year’s fest fave—and Oscar-winning—The Cove, this year’s New Directors/New Films series offers up a comparably varied and geographically far flung group of pictures. Once again scouring Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and Sundance for the choicest work being done by cinematic rookies and near rookies (Judy Berlin director Eric Mendelsohn returns to the lineup after an 11-year absence), the programmers of the 39th edition of the Lincoln Center/Museum of Modern Art showcase offer festgoers their choice among daring provocations (I Killed My Mother, Xavier Dolan’s anguished festival closing howl), affectionate docu-portraits (Beautiful Darling, James Rasin’s remembrance of Warhol superstar Candy Darling), and multi-character indie fare (Mendelsohn’s 3 Backyards).

Continuing a recent trend (in both ND/NF programming and film distribution in general), this year’s selections once again point to a strong documentary presence, with nonfiction films comprising a good portion of the festival’s more intriguing titles. Far from consisting merely of basic talking-heads-plus-archival-footage entries, the selections reveal the range of creative possibilities available to the documentary filmmaker. In addition to straightforward profiles like the opening night Bill Cunningham New York and the aforementioned Beautiful Darling, the fest features such leftfield offerings as Last Train Home, director Lixin Fan’s immersive look at the mass migrations of Chinese city workers back to their hometowns during the New Year’s holiday and The Red Chapel, Mads Brügger’s Sundance award-winner about a prank-minded Danish delegation on a trip to North Korea, both of which continue to suggest the ample cinematic rewards to be reaped by looking beyond traditional narrative modes and familiar geographic locations.

Among the festival’s fictional selections, likely highlights include a pair of Cannes award winners, Yorgos Lanthimos’s linguistically slippery Dogtooth, in which an isolated family experiments with a radical vocabulary reshuffle, and Mia Hansen-Løve’s The Father of My Children, a two-part film treating both the rigors of the movie business and a family’s reconciliation to personal loss. Also noteworthy are Northless, Dima El-Horr’s border crossing drama and the British crime chronicle Down Terrace. Finally, the series features a matinee series highlighting five under-recognized French films drawn from the festival’s last two-plus decades. Andrew Schenker

New Directors/New Films 2010 runs from March 24 to April 4. For tickets click here.

3 Backyards (Eric Mendelsohn)
Amer (Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani)
Beautiful Darling (James Raisin)
Bilal’s Stand (Sultan Sharrief)
Bill Cunningham New York (Richard Press)
Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Down Terrace (Ben Wheatley)
The Evening Dress (Myriam Aziza)
Every Day Is a Holiday (Dima El-Horr)
The Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Løve)
Frontier Blues (Babak Jalali)
The Happiest Girl in the World (Radu Jude)
How I Ended This Summer (Alexei Popogrebsky)
Hunting & Sons (Sander Burger)
I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino)
I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan)
Last Train Home (Lixin Fan)
The Man Next Door (Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat)
My Perestroika (Robin Hessman)
Night Catches Us (Tanya Hamilton)
Northless (Rigoberto Perezcano)
The Oath (Laura Poitras)
La Pivellina (Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel)
The Red Chapel (Mads Brügger)
Samson and Delila (Warwick Thornton)
Tehroun (Nader T. Homayoun)
Women Without Men (Shirin Neshat)