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Film Society Of Lincoln Center (#110 of 29)

56th New York Film Festival Unveils Main Slate: Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Alex Ross Perry, Jean-Luc Godard in Lineup

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56th New York Film Festival Unveils Main Slate: Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Alex Ross Perry, Jean-Luc Godard in Lineup

Thunderbird Releasing

56th New York Film Festival Unveils Main Slate: Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Alex Ross Perry, Jean-Luc Godard in Lineup

Today, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New York Film Festival announced its main slate of films for this year's event. On July 18, the festival announced Roma, Alfonso Cuarón's first film since Gravity, as its centerpiece selection. Since then, Yorgos Lanthithos's The Favourite was announced as the opening-night film and Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate, about the last days of Vincent van Gogh and starring Willem Dafoe in the leading role, as the festival's closer. Below is the full lineup of 30 films from 22 countries.

Obscure Pleasures: Walerian Borowczyk by Way of Daniel Bird

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Obscure Pleasures: Walerian Borowczyk by Way of Daniel Bird
Obscure Pleasures: Walerian Borowczyk by Way of Daniel Bird

Polish artist and filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk, who died in France in 2006, was a talented designer and illustrator who authored political cartoons and posters during the artistically fertile communist period, plus an ingenious animator who would go on to make live-action films. The eroticism of these features, many of them filmed in France, alienated some of his viewers. Borowczyk’s artistic reclusiveness, and the unclassifiable nature of his work, contributed to his being forgotten in his native country. But now he’s back in the spotlight, with retrospectives devoted to him recently mounted at T-Mobile Horizons in Wrocław, the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival in London, and at the Gdynia Film Festival, thanks to the efforts of filmmaker Daniel Bird, a longtime champion.

The retrospectives, which have included recent restorations, are helping to bring focus to Borowczyk’s formal inventiveness in all of his films, animation and live action alike—to his refined pictorial style and his boldness in attacking cultural taboos. Violence, sex, morbidity are the hallmarks of his work, which brings him close to the master of sexual terror, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Borowczyk is also the subject of a new documentary currently in production, by Polish critic and curator, Kuba Mikurda. A new publication, Boro, L’Île d’Amour: The Films of Walerian Borowczyk, co-edited by Mikurda, Michał Oleszczyk, and Kamila Kuc, scheduled to be released in August 2015, will bring a more extensive look at Borowczyk, both individual works as well as a philosophical framework for his entire oeuvre. A new DVD/Blu-Ray set, The Camera Obscura: The Walerian Borowczyk Collection has also been released by Arrow Films, with a book of essays co-edited by Michael Brooke and Daniel Bird.

Two by Ruben Östlund: Play and Involuntary

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Two by Ruben Östlund: Play and Involuntary
Two by Ruben Östlund: Play and Involuntary

For Ruben Östlund, a movie camera is an instrument of provocation and exploration. Often shooting his subjects from above or from a great distance in order to emphasize their relationship to one another, he studies his own culture like an anthropologist, dissecting social norms and looking for patterns in the ways individuals relate to one another.

An evolutionary line can be traced from 2008’s Involuntary through 2011’s Play to the filmmaker’s latest, Force Majeure, Sweden’s entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. With each successive film, the acting becomes more polished and powerful, the storylines more cohesive, and the questions raised more subtle and yet—or maybe therefore—more haunting. But if the two earlier features are a bit rough around the edges, they’re also magnetic and thought-provoking.

Art of the Real 2014 The Second Game, La Última Película, & More

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Art of the Real 2014: The Second Game, La Última Película, Castanha, & Bloody Beans

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Art of the Real 2014: The Second Game, La Última Película, Castanha, & Bloody Beans

In The Second Game, filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu and his father sit down to watch an old analog tape of a soccer match that the father refereed in 1988, one year before the toppling of Nicolae Ceaușescu. We stare with them at the fuzzy television screen for 76 minutes, the duration of the match on which they comment. The documentary, part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Art of the Real” series, is an autobiographical meditation on memory, but also an off-handed treatment on the nature of film. At one point, Porumboiu’s father remarks that the match is like a film (Porumboiu’s, or perhaps films in general): “You watch and nothing happens.” But, of course, in this sly, multilayered haunting of the past, very much happens when nothing does.

Firstly, there’s the grim fascination of watching a match without sound; it becomes a silent ballet of players indistinguishable to most viewers, a reminder that soccer, like history, creates very localized allegiances. On the field, the visibility is awful as snow trickles down, yet devout fans fill the stands, partly because this is no ordinary game: The two minor-league teams are backed by dueling factions, the communist military police and the army, a tag of war in which Porumboiu’s father, who refused to let either team buy the results, stands as a cautious, politic mediator. Offering a soccer match as a metaphor for a fallen system that transformed sports into nationalistic pageantry of pride and honor, while secretly rigging games—and, politics—behind its citizens’ backs, The Second Game turns an ordinary, nostalgic gesture into a self-reflexive time capsule.

Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema - Krzysztof Zanussi’s Camouflage

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Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema - Krzysztof Zanussi’s <em>Camouflage</em>
Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema - Krzysztof Zanussi’s <em>Camouflage</em>

In the opening sequence of Krzysztof Zanussi’s 1977 film Camouflage, Jakub (Zbigniew Zapasiewicz), a middle-aged professor, carrying a camera, turns his gaze from a dead bird to young people frolicking in the lake. The fluid, objectifying switch of perspective from nature to people is emblematic of Jakub’s stance toward life: A researcher in the humanities, Jakub nevertheless views human dilemmas through the cool prism of biological laws. Fond of metaphors drawn from the animal kingdom, he questions the notions of justice and truth as going against basic survival instincts. And while the first images tune us in to the film’s major tensions, the opening titles hint at its tone, as the playful illustrations of frogs, snakes, and other chameleons signal that though this is a story with rather serious themes, it’s also meant to be taken slightly tongue in cheek.

Film Society of Lincoln Center, AMC Present “Breaking Bad Cast Favorites” and Viewing Marathon

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Film Society of Lincoln Center, AMC Present “<em>Breaking Bad</em> Cast Favorites” and Viewing Marathon
Film Society of Lincoln Center, AMC Present “<em>Breaking Bad</em> Cast Favorites” and Viewing Marathon

With Breaking Bad on the march toward its final episodes (the second half of season five premieres August 11), the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) and AMC are marking the occasion on August 1 and 2 with “The Perfect Batch: Breaking Bad Cast Favorites,” a viewing event to be co-presented by the society and the TV network, and feature guest appearances from actors Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, and Bob Odenkirk, as well as series creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan. Each participant is set to engage in a Q&A and share his or her favorite episodes from the series. On August 1, the Q&A moderator will be New York Magazine TV critic, RogerEbert.com editor-in-chief, and The House Next Door founder Matt Zoller Seitz. On August 2, Emily Nussbaum, TV critic for The New Yorker, will take up moderating duties. All conversations will reportedly be live-streamed at filmlinc.com, before finding a home at amctv.com. Tickets for the event go on sale at filmlinc.com at noon today, and are priced at $15 per conversation.