Avignon/NY Fest: Friendly & French
by Mark Rabinowitz
This year's 3rd Avignon/New York film festival has proven once again to
be a charming meeting of the cultures and film styles of France and the
US. With a program made up of US indies and top-notch French fare,
retrospectives and a series of seminars and one-on-one conversations,
the fest represents a well rounded picture of the world of independent
This year's tributes are varied and of course, bi-cultural, with Richard
Brooks ("In Cold Blood," "Blackboard Jungle," "Bite The Bullet," "The Professionals"),
Marcel Carne ("The Adulteress," "The Devil's Envoys," "Gates Of The Night"),
John Sayles ("The Return Of The Secaucus 7," "The Brother From Another Planet," "Matewan")
and Morris Engel ("Little Fugitive") being honored.
The congenial nature of the festival translates into good times being
had at the varied receptions that are held each day throughout the
event. Wednesday's "Club Mistral" was particularly so, with several
filmmakers (Ruvin Orbach-"Lucky Man," Nicholas Goodman-"Stigmata .44," Yvon
Gauthier-"Fucking Zone" and Don Galle-"Baby Face") in attendance. A journalist
even went so far as to proclaim that "(Avignon/New York) is the only fun film
festival in Manhattan."
Several films are creating a substantial buzz, with "Select Hotel," "The "M" Word,"
"The 1000 Wonders Of The Universe" and "The Headhunter's Sister"
receiving especially good notice.