Included in the events is a 30th anniversary screening of Rob Reiner’s acclaimed “This Is Spinal Tap,” which will feature an appearance by writer and star Christopher Guest. NYFF has previously hosted anniversary screenings for films such as “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “The Princess Bride” and “Dazed and Confused.”
In addition to this screening, NYFF has announced the second annual Film Comment Presents selection, John Boorman’s drama “Queen and Country.” Last year, “12 Years a Slave” was the inaugural film for the program.
For more information about NYFF and the Special Events programs, check out the Film Society website.
The following are a list of the Special Events screenings (with descriptions courtesy of the Film Society):
“This Is Spinal Tap”
Rob Reiner, USA, 1984, DCP, 82m
How many times in the last 30 years have you been lost in the corridors of a strange building and muttered the words “Rock and roll…?” Or listened to your friend’s new sound system and countered that yours “goes to 11?” Or sung the immortal verses “My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo / I’d like to sink her with my pink torpedo?” Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer’s movie struck like a bolt from the blue in 1984, and instantly established a new high-water mark in comedy. We’re excited to be celebrating three decades of Spinal Tap with this special anniversary screening, and equally excited to be joined by Nigel Tufnel himself, Christopher Guest. Tap into America, so say we all! A Rialto Pictures Release.
FILM COMMENT PRESENTS: QUEEN AND COUNTRY
“Queen and Country”
John Boorman, UK, 2014, DCP, 114m
A delightful follow-up to John Boorman’s autobiographical World War II childhood memoir Hope and Glory (NYFF ’87), Queen and Country, set in the early 1950s, details the bittersweet rites of passage of the earlier film’s protagonist Bill (Callum Turner), now grown and called up for National Service in the British Army. Instead of being shipped off to Korea, Boorman’s stand-in lands a desk job as a typing instructor, a cushy post but for a military-regulation-fixated Sergeant Major (David Thewlis in top form) who makes life miserable for Bill and his two office mates in an escalating grudge match. Running parallel to this seemingly light service comedy is Bill’s romantic pursuit of an alluring but emotionally troubled Oxford student (Tamsin Egerton) who’s out of his league. A deeply felt film, this loving re-creation of postwar England, fully aware of the still-damaging strictures of the country’s obsolete yet enduring class system despite intimations of a country on the cusp of a new era, is imbued with an unabashed and sincere nostalgia and gentle sense of loss.
“The Forest / La Forêt”
Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2014, DCP, 82m
French with English subtitles
The name of Alexander Ostrovsky may not be as well known in the west as Anton Chekhov’s, but he was far more prolific a playwright, and many of his works are the backbone of his country’s theatrical tradition. The Comédie Française incorporated “The Forest,” his 1871 comic drama (we would now call it Chekhovian, but Ostrovsky died when Chekhov was just getting started) about the familial intrigues between a scheming middle-aged woman, her marriageable niece and an itinerant nephew who returns from self-imposed family exile, into its repertoire in 2003. Arnaud Desplechin’s version, created for Arte’s “Theatre” series, prunes the production down to a trim 82 minutes. “The Forest” is both a vibrantly spontaneous and brutally funny family drama, and a glorious tribute to acting and theater—in other words, an Arnaud Desplechin film. With Michel Vuillermoz and Denis Podalydès as the nephew and his friend, Adeline D’Hermy as the niece and Martine Chevallier in a stunning performance as the sublimely selfish aunt Raissa.
Claire Denis, France, 2014, DCP, 30m
French with English subtitles
Claire Denis’s formidable new short film, shot during her time as a visiting professor at Le Fresnoy, is cinema at its most fundamental: a man and a woman seen only within the charged space of their own coupling. Longtime Denis collaborator Alex Descas and theater actress Norah Krief are the mixed-race couple who come together and then violently apart. The text is by the novelist and playwright Christine Angot, the images shot by Denis’s creative partner Agnès Godard.
“The King and the Mockingbird”
Paul Grimault, France, 1952/1980, DCP, 82m
The legendary animator Paul Grimault (who had a profound and lasting influence on Hayao Miyazaki) and the writer Jacques Prévert collaborated for the second time in 1948 on an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep.” In 1950, Grimault’s partner André Sarrut took control of the film, and he released a truncated version in 1952. Grimault spent the next 15 years retrieving the rights to the material, and the decade after looking for financing to complete the project. Grimault and Prévert’s delightful film, finished in 1980, incorporates two-thirds of the original animation into a whole new film, at once a delightful adventure story for children, a devilish political satire for adults and a handcrafted work of tremendous beauty for all. This is the North American premiere of Studiocanal’s recent digital restoration. A Rialto Pictures release.
Bruno Dumont, France, 2014, DCP, 200m
French with English subtitles
And now for something completely different… an epic farce from Bruno Dumont! An update of his 1999 Cannes Grand Prix winner L’humanité as a four-part miniseries, this absurdist metaphysical murder mystery prompts inevitable comparisons to “Twin Peaks” and “True Detective.” In its own right, Li’l Quinquin—which begins with the discovery of human body parts stuffed inside a cow, a literal bête humaine—serves to recast the director’s moral and theological obsessions in a tender, tragicomic register. Featuring Bernard Pruvost as the Clouseau-like detective on the case and charismatic young Alane Delhaye as the title prankster, Li’l Quinquin is proof that even an auteur like Dumont, best known for uncompromising and austere dramas, is capable of shifting gears without conceding his signature. A Kino Lorber release.