(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)
In unprecedented times such as these, is there really only one kind of movie you can turn to? One that can offer you an escape, tap into your rage, or quench your thirst? Probably not, but you can achieve at least one of these with this week’s batch of foreign-language films in Pop Culture Imports. This week we have French-Israeli festival darling Synonyms, the Mexican coming-of age gem I’m No Longer Here, the Jackie Chan martial arts comedy classic Police Story, Mamoru Hosoda’s whimsical time travel anime Mirai, and the sexy riff on Alfred Hitchcok’s Notorious, Lust, Caution.
Fire up those subtitles, and let’s get streaming.
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I’ve heard from many a festival-goer that it’s possible to work through the entire New York Film Festival lineup – or at least its premier section, the Main Slate – given how the event spreads out manageably over the course of seventeen days all at Lincoln Center. But with schedule conflicts or lack of interest in certain titles, it’s a feat seldom seen or accomplished. Or, maybe given how gluttonous I feel after having done this myself, people choose not to brag about it if they do manage to pull it off.
While battling fatigue as well as exhaustion, plus countless instances of doubting if this was something I actually wanted to do, I managed to see all 29 films programmed in this year’s NYFF Main Slate. (If you’re the ranking type, I did just that over on Letterboxd.) I learned plenty about myself and some masochistic moviegoing habits after subjecting myself to this marathon of viewing contemporary cinema, but that’s a subject for another piece. It’s impossible to watch this incredible selection of films from across the globe and not have some larger takeaways about trends, patterns and parallels. Here are ten lessons from surveying the Main Slate in its entirety. Read More »
As we head into the second week of the 57th annual New York Film Festival, let’s look back at the best that week 1 of the festival had to offer us.
The prestigious film festival kicked off on a strong note with Martin Scorsese’s latest mob masterpiece, The Irishman, and only kept it up from there. Nadav Lapid‘s maddening Israeli-French immigrant drama Synonyms confused but impressed, while Kelly Reichardt’s offbeat and tender frontier drama First Cow has a very good cow. Dive into our New York Film Festival 2019 Week 1 recap.
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A penetrating vacancy haunts the expression of Yoav (Tom Mercier) as he twirls a postcard rack at a French tourist stop. His soul had gone AWOL ever since he deserted his military training in Israeli for Paris. He seems to be making up his own initiation process along the way. Pulling from director Nadav Lapid’s grappling with his Israeli identity, Synonyms is an off-kilter feature about the uneasy metamorphosis of identity, disillusionment, and masculinity when settling in a new homeland.
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In my six years of attending the New York Film Festival, I’ve grown increasingly appreciative of the unique position its organizers have carved out in the fall festival landscape. Ideally timed between the premiere frenzy of late August/early September and the mad dash for awards of November and December, NYFF keeps its focus solely on the films and their creators. For 17 days, the newly-branded Film at Lincoln Center invites New Yorkers to partake in a manageable, curated slate of favorites from across the global festival circuit. The 2019 edition of NYFF casts a particularly wide net, too — apart from the festival’s three big Friday night galas, the Main Slate features only one English-language feature.
But if you’re not going to be in New York to see these films, why not use the time to catch up on the back catalogues of the directors in the NYFF selection? This year’s Main Slate features both emerging international voices and widely recognized masters alike, presenting a unique opportunity to broaden your cinematic horizons. Below are ten films playing at the festival (some of which I’ve been fortunate enough to see prior to NYFF’s official kickoff) and ten films you can watch to prepare yourself from the comfort of your own home. Read More »
It’s time for another trailer round-up, my friends. This is the spot where we compile the odds and ends of the movie trailer world, and try to highlight titles that may be a bit more under-the-radar compared to the bigger films we cover. Check out our trailer round-up below!
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