The 44th Annual
The New York Film Festival is influential because of its strategic timing just before the key year’s-end releases and reviews for annual award-giving begin, and specifically because of its “insanely selective” nature: only 25 official films last year, 28 this year, instead of the hundreds you get at other big festivals. No prizes: simply being chosen by the jury of The Film Society of Lincoln Center is prize enough. You get a cross section, and some of the world’s great directors are included with new works. To err is human, but the FSLC has a reputation for erring less often than most and finding real cinematic art out of the year’s releases.
The choices for NYFF 44, 2006, include films by Pedro Almodóvar, Hong Sang-soo, Alain Resnais, Manoel de Oliveira, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Jafar Panahi, and Guillermo del Toro. English-language offerings include Michael Apted’s 49 Up, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, Stephen Frears’ The Queen (the opening night film), David Lynch’s Inland Empire, and Todd Field’s Little Children. And no doubt – that’s the fun of it – there will be some gems this list overlooks. That’s less than half of the total. Included among the official selections are some revivals in new prints: Alberto Lattuada’s Mafioso (1962) and Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981). There is also the 10th annual Views from the Avant Garde series, and a sidebar featuring Fifty Years of Janus Films. The Janus series includes many of the great European and Asian film classics from the Fifties on in exceptionally fine new prints, many not yet released on DVD.
A nice feature of the New York Film Festival is that it’s actually possible to review all the official selections, which we will endeavor to do, and the results of our researches will be available here.