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Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ To Close New York Film Festival

Alejandro G. Iñárritu's 'Birdman' To Close New York Film Festival

Tomorrow, the Toronto International Film Festival unveils their first wave of titles, and many are already speculating what it will look like given their new rules. Basically, after being scooped on big titles by Telluride the past few years, Toronto has essentially told distributors that any movie that wants to play the crucial opening days of TIFF must be a true premiere. That means no sneaking it to Colorado a few days before. So this next announcement is an interesting one.

The New York Film Festival has announced that Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s “Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance,” will be their Closing Night Gala selection. The caveat? If you look at the press release below, you’ll notice a distinct absence of the word “premiere.” Yes, “Birdman” will first be seen by the world at the Venice Film Festival, but if NYFF had the North American Premiere of the movie, it’s something they would want to shine a bright light on. So this perhaps suggests that the movie is still very much in play for either Telluride or Toronto.

Meanwhile, remember those rumors about an epic tracking shot in the film? Well, the director himself has apparently addressed that chatter, answering a fan on Twitter (from an unverified account, but we doubt someone is punking Iñárritu) about the sequence. Update 7/22: we have been informed that this is not Iñárritu‘s account. And essentially, it’s what we figured all along:

“Birdman” opens on October 17th.New York, NY (July 21, 2014) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance as the Closing Night selection for the upcoming 52nd New York Film Festival (September 26 – October 12). The black comedy stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. This marks Iñárritu’s third time at the festival, having previously screened Amores Perros (2000) and 21 Grams (2003). The Fox Searchlight Pictures and New Regency release is slated to open in select theaters on October 17, 2014.

New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said: “Birdman is a knockout. It’s consistently surprising and inventive – you think the movie is going in one direction and then Iñárritu shifts gears and takes you somewhere else completely unexpected: the movie is like an intricate machine generating greater and greater amounts of beautiful radiant energy. The entire cast is amazing and they mesh perfectly, but I have to say that Michael Keaton is astonishing. He’s always been a terrific and, in my opinion, underrated actor. Here he gets the role he deserves, and he makes the most of it. And, it’s a great Broadway movie.”

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s big, bold, and beautifully brash new movie, where one-time action hero Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton, in a jaw-dropping performance), in an effort to be taken seriously as an artist, is staging his own adaptation of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. As Thomson tries to get his perilous undertaking in shape for the opening, he has to cope with a resentful daughter (Emma Stone), a scene-hogging narcissist (Edward Norton), a vulnerable actress (Naomi Watts) and an unhinged girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough) for co-stars, a manager who’s about to come undone (Zach Galifianikis), and the inner demon of the superhero that made him famous, Birdman. Iñárritu’s camera magically prowls, careens and soars in and around the theater, yet remains alive to the most precious subtleties and surprises between his formidable actors. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is an extravagant dream of a movie, alternately hilarious and terrifying, powered by a deep love of acting, theater, and Broadway – a real New York experience.

Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a presentation of Fox Searchlight Pictures and Regency Enterprises, a New Regency/M Productions/Le Grisbi production.

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