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22 Reviews From The New York Film Festival Lineup

By Clint Holloway | Indiewire September 27, 2013 at 2:21PM

The 51st edition of the New York Film Festival officially kicks off today, but a large amount of the cinematic selections in the 17-day event have already been unveiled earlier in the year at festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Telluride, and Toronto. Indiewire has been on sight at many of these throughout the past few months, so we have compiled a list of all the films we have seen so far below, to give you a taste of what they're like before they begin showing at Lincoln Center.
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"Captain Phillips"
"Captain Phillips"

The 51st edition of the New York Film Festival officially kicks off today, but a large amount of the cinematic selections in the 17-day event have already been unveiled earlier in the year at festivals like Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Telluride, and Toronto. Indiewire has been on sight at many of these throughout the past few months, so we have compiled a list of all the films we have seen so far below, to give you a taste of what they're like before they begin showing at Lincoln Center.

"Captain Phillips"

It's hard to imagine "Captain Phillips" in the hands of any other filmmaker -- and "Captain Phillips" in the hands of Greengrass looks exactly like anyone familiar with his work would expect. It does justice to the material even while playing too conscientiously by the book. 

"All is Lost"

Virtually each shot is a reminder, decades since Redford appeared onscreen in a truly challenging role, that he's one of America's great actors. "All Is Lost" doesn't reinvent his appeal so much as amplify it.  

"At Berkeley"

"At Berkeley" reminds us that a Berkeley education is a valuable asset, but also a valuable experience. Surveying the Berkeley lawns, Wiseman wants us to see how pleasant that experience can be. Going beyond Wiseman’s doc, you get a sense that fewer people will be on the lawn in the coming years. They will be too busy paying for it.

"Bastards"

A muddled revenge drama about family ties and traumatic experiences, the movie wallows in its characters' anger and frustrations but never manages to organize them into a compelling whole. Despite a strong cast and shadowy mysteries that deepen the plot, "The Bastards" creates the sour impression of a half-formed work. 

"Blue is the Warmest Color"

With his latest project, the director's approach echoes the textured personal elements of Olivier Assayas in his smaller projects, where implication carries more depth than dialogue. Though nobody states it outright, "Blue is the Warmest Color" elegantly tussles with the idea of reconciling desire with other factors involved in the cultivation of healthy companionship.

"Burning Bush"

Verging more on the cinematic than on the more typical episodic structure of a TV series, "Burning Bush" is filled with sumptuous realizations that fitted the big screen elegantly. The miniseries format, on the other hand, perfectly accommodates a complex narrative that makes the most of its duration to distil an embroiled and realistic story.

"Gloria"

By conveying Gloria's alienation so effectively, the movie taps into a greater generational anxiety that imbues the character with metaphorical value.

"The Immigrant"

Per usual, Gray has more success with the cultivation of atmosphere than narrative, which is an issue in a movie that has so much of it.

"Inside Llewyn Davis"

An ode to art for art's sake, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is the most innocent movie of the Coens' career, which in their case is a downright radical achievement. 

"The Invisible Woman"

Though suffering from dry patches and a fairly mannered approach, "The Invisible Woman" eventually makes its way to a powerful final third documenting an ultimately tragic romance in deeply felt terms. It's no Shakespeare, but Fiennes makes the story resonate all the same. 

"The Last of the Unjust"

"The Last of the Unjust" rewards those willing to invest in Lanzmann's pensive technique with a complex tale that's alternately sad, enlightening, unexpectedly witty and ultimately exhausting, but carried along throughout by Lanzmann's commitment.

"My Name is Hmm..."

The director has unquestionably made a sincere effort to explore the uncommon bond between a pair of lost souls, but instead she loses track of the material. Sometimes, loving cinema isn't enough to justify contributing to it.

"Nebraska"

The first project that the filmmaker didn't write himself, "Nebraska" lacks the vulgar edge typically at the center of his scenarios. It's a sad, thoughtful depiction of midwestern eccentrics regretting the past and growing bored of the present, ideas that Payne regards with gentle humor and pathos but also something of a shrug. 

"Only Lovers Left Alive"

If you can groove with Jarmusch's patient, philosophical indulgences and the wooden exteriors of his characters' lives, the movie rewards with a savvy emotional payoff about moving forward even when the motivation to do so has gone.

"Real"

Thanks to Kurosawa's craftsmanship, "Real" sustains its premise even as it careens from one dry revelation to another. While the story begins like a routine combination of science fiction ingredients, by the time it turns into a CGI-spiked riff on Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound," it's hard not to get pulled into the stakes of the characters' abstract battle.

"The Wind Rises"

On the whole, "The Wind Rises" maintains a realist streak driven more by dialogue and thoughtful pauses than outlandish imagery.

"Exhibition"

At times, the movie's rigid formalism and self-involved characters make it hard to invest in the drama. But over time, that becomes part of the point.

For those unfamiliar with contemporary Romanian cinema, "Metabolism" is a hardcore immersion into distinctly innovative storytelling. With its constant dialogue on the nature of film language, it's also a keen demonstration of how movies of this sort can work.

"Club Sandwich"

With "Club Sandwich," Eimbcke solidifies his reputation as one of the most significant emerging Latin American filmmakers working today.

"The Dog"

As sometimes happens with long-gestating non-fiction projects where the footage keeps piling up, "The Dog" contains more content than the filmmakers need for their story, and it sometimes suffers from attempts to stuff unnecessary details into an otherwise fascinating overview of Wojtowicz's plight.

"Manakamana"

On the whole, "Manakamana" succeeds by creating the ongoing anticipation of something, anything to happen next, a wholly unique sensation specific to its inventive design. Like "Leviathan," the movie chiefly works as a form of moving image poetry.

"What Now? Remind Me"

Though he has directed a handful of features, Pinto's worked for years as a sound engineer for luminaries of the Portuguese film industry like Raul Ruiz and Manoel Oliveira; the background shows in this expertly realized immersion into Pinto's troubled psyche, a world equally haunting and lyrical.




This article is related to: New York Film Festival, What Now? Remind Me, Manakamana, The Dog, Club Sandwich, Exhibition, The Wind Rises, REAL, Only Lovers Left Alive, Nebraska, My Name is Hmmm... (Je m’Apelle Hmmm...), The Last of the Unjust, The Invisible Woman, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Immigrant, Gloria, Burning Bush, Blue is the Warmest Color, Bastards, At Berkeley, All Is Lost, Captain Phillips, Reviews, Festivals







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