UPDATE: NYFF has added Japanese helmer Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Real” to its main slate of films. This is the director’s first feature since 2008’s “Tokyo Sonata.”
The film recently had its festival premiere at Locarno. Here’s the official synopsis:
REAL is Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s first feature since his 2008
TOKYO SONATA (which was an NYFF Main Slate selection as was his film, LICENSE
TO LIVE in 1999), and is at once the most romantic and tender film of his
career, and entirely consistent with the rest of his unparalleled body of work.
It is also, as always, as visually and tonally exquisite as it is unsettling. A
star manga artist (Haruka Ayase) is in a coma, the result perhaps of a suicide
attempt. In an experimental medical procedure, her husband (Takeru Satô) enters
her unconscious in an attempt to awaken her. But when one psyche merges with
another, mirror opposites are the possible, troubling result. A haunting
successor to the mother of all time travel films, Chris Marker’s LA JETÉE, with
a tip of the hat to Bong Joon-ho’s THE HOST, REAL finds its mysteries in the
ordinary. What does it mean to be coupled? Can love conquer death? A unique
film from one of the most unique artists in contemporary cinema.
EARLIER: The 51st New York Film Festival has added its main selection of 35 features including new films by Catherine Breillat, Richard Curtis, Claire Denis, Arnaud Desplechin, James Franco, Claude Lanzmann, Hong Sang-soo and Frederick Wiseman. The Festival opens September 27 with Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips,” and closes with Spike Jonze’s “Her” on October 13, with Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” as the centerpiece gala.
As usual, much of the NYFF program is comprised of the usual suspects from Cannes, including J.C. Chandor’s “All is Lost,” starring Robert Redford; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Cannes Grand Prix-winner “Inside Llewyn Davis”; Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” starring Cannes Best Actor-winner Bruce Dern; Palme d’Or-winner “Blue is the Warmest Color”; Jia Zhangke’s Cannes screenplay winner “A Touch of Sin”; Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive”; and James Gray’s “The Immigrant.” Others will make their debuts in Telluride, Venice or Toronto, such as Ralph Fiennes’ Charles Dickens biopic “The Invisible Woman” from Sony Pictures Classics.
NYFF’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones praised the diversity of the main slate selection, “which includes documentaries, biographies, comedies, adventures, epics, chamber pieces, elegies, explorations and affirmations.”
Also from Cannes is Rithy Panh’s “THe Missing Picture,” winner of the Certain Regard Prize, and Hany Abu-Assad’s “Omar,” which won the Certain Regard Jury Prize. Additional award winners are Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s “American Promise,” which won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria,” whose star Pauline Garcia took home the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for Best Actress.
British comedies make a significant dent in this year’s main slate, with Richard Curtis’s time travel romantic comedy “About Time,” starring Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams; Declan Lowney’s “Alan Partridge,” which brings Steve Coogan’s television character to the big screen for the first time; and Roger Michell’s “Le Week-End,” featuring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as a couple visiting Paris with hopes of rekindling their relationship.
Documentary filmmaking legends Claude Lanzmann and Frederick Wiseman each make their third appearances in NYFF’s official program, returning with “The Last of the Unjust,” a portrait of Benjamin Murmelstein, the last Jewish elder of Theresienstadt and “At Berkeley,” respectively.
Filmmakers returning to the NYFF who have had multiple films selected in the main slate in past editions include:
Catherine Breillat (36 FILLETTE, NYFF 1988; FAT GIRL, NYFF 2000; THE LAST MISTRESS, NYFF 2007; and BLUEBEARD, NYFF 2009) with ABUSE IS WEAKNESS
Ethan and Joel Coen (BLOOD SIMPLE, NYFF 1984, MILLER’S CROSSING, NYFF 1990 and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, NYFF 2007) with INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Claire Denis (BEAU TRAVAIL, NYFF 1999; FRIDAY NIGHT, NYFF 2002; and WHITE MATERIAL, NYFF 2009) with BASTARDS
Arnaud Desplechin (LA SENTINELLE, NYFF 1992; MY SEX LIFE…OR HOW I GOT INTO AN ARGUMENT, NYFF 1996; KINGS AND QUEENS, NYFF 2004; and A CHRISTMAS TALE, NYFF 2008) with JIMMY P: PSYCHOTHERAPY OF A PLAINS INDIAN
Agnieszka Holland (ANGRY HARVEST, NYFF 1985; OLIVIER OLIVIER, NYFF 1992; and WASHINGTON SQUARE, NYFF 1997); with BURNING BUSH
Jim Jarmusch (STRANGER THAN PARADISE, NYFF 1984; DOWN BY LAW, NYFF 1986; MYSTERY TRAIN, NYFF 1989; and NIGHT ON EARTH, NYFF 1991) with ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
Alexander Payne (ABOUT SCHMIDT, NYFF 2002; SIDEWAYS, NYFF 2004; and THE DESCENDANTS, NYFF 2011) with NEBRASKA
Hong Sang-soo (TURNING GATE, NYFF 2002; WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN, NYFF 2004; TALE OF CINEMA, NYFF 2005; WOMAN ON THE BEACH, NYFF 2006; NIGHT AND DAY, NYFF 2008; and OKI’S MOVIE, NYFF 2010) with NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAEWON
Frederick Wiseman (NEAR DEATH, NYFF 1989, PUBLIC HOUSING, NYFF 1997, BOXING GYM, NYFF 2010 and CRAZY HORSE, NYFF 2011) with AT BERKELEY
Jia Zhangke (PLATFORM, NYFF 2000; UNKNOWN PLEASURES, NYFF 2002; THE WORLD, NYFF 2004; USELESS, NYFF 2007; and 24 CITY, NYFF 2008) with A TOUCH OF SIN
Rounding out the list of returning NYFF main slate alumni are; Hany Abu-Assad (PARADISE NOW, NYFF 2005) with OMAR; French filmmakers Philippe Garrel (THE INNER SCAR, NYFF 1972 and REGULAR LOVERS, NYFF 2005) with JEALOUSY; and Alain Guiraudie (THAT OLD DREAM THAT MOVES, NYFF 2002) with STRANGER BY THE LAKE; the directors of the Opening Night and Closing Night Gala selections Paul Greengrass (BLOODY SUNDAY, NYFF 2002) with CAPTAIN PHILLIPS; and Spike Jonze (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, NYFF 1999) with HER; and Cannes award winner Abdellatif Kechiche (BLACK VENUS, NYFF 2010) with BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR.
Other returnees include Hayao Miyazaki (PRINCESS MONONOKE, NYFF 1997) with THE WIND RISES; Tsai Ming-liang (WHAT TIME IS IT THERE?, NYFF 2001 and GOOD BYE, DRAGON INN, NYFF 2003) with STRAY DOGS; documentarian Claude Lanzmann (ISRAEL, WHY, NYFF 1973 and SOBIBOR, OCTOBER 14, 1943, 4PM, NYFF 2001) with THE LAST OF THE UNJUST; Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu (POLICE, ADJECTIVE, NYFF 2009) with WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM; and Roger Michell, who returns to the New York Film Festival just one year after screening his film HYDE PARK ON HUDSON (NYFF 2012) with LE WEEK-END.
Additional gala and special events, documentary sections, spotlights on emerging filmmakers, and panels will be announced in subsequent days and weeks as well as NYFF’s Views From the Avant-Garde and Convergence programs.