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New York Film Festival 2008 | Feature | Slant Magazine

Universal Studios

New York Film Festival 2008

New York Film Festival 2008


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Apologies to the New York Film Festival selection committee: Mother of Tears sucked harder than The Orphanage, so we understand the cold shoulder given to Dario Argento’s “Third Mother” last year. This year’s edition seems most conspicuous for not bearing the teeth marks of Dario’s daughter Asia, though we’re guessing she would have felt right at home in Darren Aronofsky’s much-hyped The Wrestler, the story of a past-his-prime pro wrestler starring the one and only Mickey Rourke.

This premiere festival has always set the tenor of the award season, and this year it anticipates two likely Oscar contenders for Best Actress. Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, a dramatization of the 1920s Wineville Chicken Murders, adds another plum role to Angelina Jolie’s resumé, and Mike Leigh returns to the fest four years after Vera Drake with Happy-Go-Lucky, a winsome little story about a woman’s humane perseverance featuring a star-making turn by Sally Hawkins.

In addition to the Cannes carryovers, among them Steven Soderberg’s mammoth Che, Laurent Cantet’s Palm D’Or-winner The Class and Ari Folman’s animated wartime autobiography Waltz With Bashir, the year’s festival will pay tribute to Nagisa Oshima, spotlight Max Ophüls’s Lola Montès, and present a reduxed version of Wong Kar-wai’s Ashes of Time, and as such promises again a little something for everyone.

Beginning September 16, check back daily as a synopsis and full review of each festival film will be added to our ongoing coverage. The 46th New York Film Festival will run from September 26 to October 12, 2008. For more information please check the festival’s main program. Ed Gonzalez

24 City (Jia Zhang-ke)
Afterschool (Antonio Campos)
Ashes of Time Redux (Wong Kar-wai)
Bullet in the Head (Jaime Rosales)
Changeling (Clint Eastwood)
Che (Steven Soderbergh)
Chouga (Darezhan Omirbaev)
A Christmas Tale (Arnaud Desplechin)
The Class (Laurent Cantet)
Four Nights with Anna (Jerzy Skolimowski)
Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone)
Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh)
The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
Hunger (Steve McQueen)
I’m Gonna Explode (Gerardo Naranjo)
Let It Rain (Agnès Jaoui)
Lola Montès (Max Ophüls)
Night and Day (Hong Sang-soo)
The Northern Land (João Botelho)
Serbis (Brillante Mendoza)
Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)
Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Tony Manero (Pablo Larraín)
Tulpan (Sergei Dvortsevoy)
Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman)
Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt)
The Windmill Movie (Alexander Olchs)
The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)