For many, the fall conjures up images of pumpkin spice lattes, flannel shirts, or the return of football. For me, the one constant of the season in recent memory has been the New York Film Festival, which I’ve attended in some form since my final year of college in 2014. As the leaves change and the seasonal weather turns, the best of world cinema has beckoned film lovers indoors to the cinemas at Lincoln Center to stare in wonder at a screen inside a dark room.

Despite fears that the pandemic would break the streak, this year marks my seventh consecutive New York Film Festival – albeit one unlike any other before it. I’ll still be enjoying NYFF from the great indoors, though in 2020, that enclosed space will be my own apartment. This year, the fest is taking their programming digital (and nationwide, to boot) while also hosting select drive-in screenings across three boroughs of New York City. It’s as unconventional as it is improbable, a testament to how artistic institutions have seized this unprecedented moment as an opportunity for experimentation and reimagination.

But being America’s first major pandemic-era film festival was never assured. As festival director Eugene Hernandez told me, none of it was ever a guarantee. But NYFF beat the odds in the nation’s first hotspot, no less, and is currently underway online and across the city. How did the Film at Lincoln Center team pull it off? Hernandez walked me through the festival’s evolution and rebirth, which began even before the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the Big Apple.

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The Irishman first look

Martin Scorsese‘s highly anticipated The Irishman will have its world premiere at this year’s New York Film Festival. There was some question about whether or not Scorsese’s crime epic would be a part of festival season, as the filmmaker was still putting the finishing touch on extensive VFX work for the movie. Now it looks like Scorsese is confident enough to unleash the pic to a crowd, as it becomes the Opening Night film of the 57th New York Film Festival. See the first images of the film below.

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We see Elisabeth Moss’ punk musician Becky Something rock out on stage before we ever hear her talk or watch her terrorize her entourage. It’s a simple yet important introductory gesture from writer/director Alex Ross Perry to kick off Her Smell. The song establishes the character’s performative flair prior to launching headfirst into the maelstrom she unleashes, providing crucial understanding for why her “business family” stands by her. Addicts, particularly talented ones, can draw people in with the allure of the very same narcissism that will later repel them.

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The Favourite Review

A bumbling leader with little idea of the extent of duty and responsibility, surrounded by opportunistic aides looking to gain influence by obsequiously flattering the power broker and swaying the weight of an empire behind their pet cause, a coterie of enablers willing to treat geopolitical conflict like a game with winners and losers… but anyways, enough about the latest Maggie Haberman story about the White House in The New York Times, let’s talk about The Favourite! Read More »

The framing chart used during production of Inherent Vice

The most anticipated film of the year for me and many others, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, won’t open in theaters until December 12. But New York audiences will get a chance to see it two months early. Over the weekend, it was revealed the film will have its World Premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 4. The festival will also feature the premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman.

Read the full press release below. Read More »

social-network-2

The buzz on The Social Network, David Fincher‘s new film that recounts the behind the scenes conflict that resulted from the founding and success of Facebook, is getting to be quite good. So good that Sony gave the go code for co-star Andrew Garfield to take the lead role in the studio’s Spider-Man reboot. We’ve seen one teaser, and another very similar one arrived today. Read More »