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by Nigel M Smith
November 4, 2013 2:40 PM
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Film Society of Lincoln Center to Honor Ben Stiller With Career Retrospective; Stiller to Appear In-Person

With Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" set to open wide this Christmas day, New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced plans to host "Ben Stiller Directs," a career retrospective on the actor-filmmaker, set to run from December 6 to 8. "Walter Mitty" had its world premiere at Film Linc's New York Film Festival earlier this fall.

"It goes without saying that Ben Stiller is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, as well as a fearless performer with a gift for turning anxiety into comedy and back again," said Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming. "But what doesn’t get said often enough -- and what we wanted to acknowledge with this retrospective -- is that he has also long been an inventive, risk-taking filmmaker."

Stiller will be in attendance for screenings of "Walter Mitty" and "Zoolander." For more info go here.

Full lineup below, courtesy of Film Linc.

The Cable Guy
Ben Stiller, 35mm, USA, 1996; 96m
Stiller showed his flair for dark material with this wily, disturbing psychodrama about the sinister relationship between a creepy cable installer (Jim Carrey at his greatest) and an unsuspecting customer (Matthew Broderick, in a terrific straight-man performance). Writing in 2011 in The New York Times, Dave Kehr called this “a seminal film…for the striking new tone it helped to establish.”
Sunday, December 8, 9:15pm
 

Reality Bites
Ben Stiller, 35mm, USA, 1994; 99m  
Winona Ryder leads a cast of Generation X-ers in Stiller’s era-defining debut, a tender romantic comedy and a self-aware portrait of youthful aimlessness in the pop-culture-saturated 1990s. Co-starring Stiller, Ethan Hawke, Steve Zahn, and Janeane Garofalo.
Friday, December 6, 9:45pm
 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Ben Stiller, USA, 2013; 125m
Walter Mitty (Stiller) is a dutiful son, a loyal friend, and a man who takes pride in his work as the photo editor of Life Magazine. He is also a compulsive fantasist who gets lost in heroic scenarios in which he saves the life of the co-worker he adores (Kristen Wiig) but who he can barely manage to speak to in reality. When the publication is bought out and a team of corporate hacks elects to go all digital, a legendary photographer (Sean Penn) entrusts Walter with the negative of an image he considers to be perfect for the final cover… that he loses. Walter embarks on a worldwide search for the photographer, which becomes a journey of self-discovery and a recovery of his buried dreams. From James Thurber’s extremely short 1939 story, Stiller has created a quintessential tale about the irresistible allure of fantasizing.
Saturday, Dec 7,  6:30pm
*Director Ben Stiller in attendance.
 

Tropic Thunder
Ben Stiller, USA, 2008; 107m
In Stiller’s merciless, high-concept spoof of Hollywood narcissism, self-centered movie stars find themselves in the midst of actual armed conflict while shooting a big-budget Vietnam War epic. The all-star supporting cast includes a scene-stealing Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise, unrecognizable as a vulgar studio boss.
Sunday, December 8, 1:00pm
 

Zoolander
Ben Stiller, USA, 2001; 89m
In this delirious fashionista farce—reportedly a favorite of Terrence Malick’s—Stiller plays the male model Derek Zoolander, world-renowned for his inventory of facial expressions (not least the career-making Blue Steel). Co-starring Owen Wilson as rival model Hansel and Will Ferrell as the evil designer Mugatu, Zoolander effortlessly bridges the gap between the ridiculous and the sublime.
Saturday, December 7, 9:30pm
*Director Ben Stiller in attendance.

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