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The 45th New York Film Festival

The 45th New York Film Festival

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Feature by: Leo Goldsmith, Jenny Jediny, and Rumsey Taylor

Posted on: 21 September 2007

The New York Film Festival inevitably seems to function as a sort of gateway for the season’s notable festival films, a threshold by which New York reheats the offerings of Cannes, Venice, and Toronto for the U.S. market. By our count, there are 17 films showing here that have already had a recent screening at Toronto, although admittedly it is more difficult to find a film made in the last year that is not showing at the prevalent Canadian festival.

However, if this sounds as if the most important film festival in the self-proclaimed cultural capital of the world is basically just a bunch of leftovers, we challenge anyone not to be tempted by the delectable, if familiar, offerings. With new films by Hou Hsiao-hsien, Béla Tarr, Brian DePalma, Todd Haynes, Claude Chabrol, Abel Ferrara, Catherine Breillat, Julian Schnabel, Alexander Sokurov, Noah Baumbach, Carlos Reygadas, Gus Van Sant, Eric Rohmer, Jia Zhangke, and the Coen Brothers (their first film since their highly dubious 2004 remake of The Ladykillers), even the most fastidious of cinephiles will find little at which to sniff.

And so what if the blood of popular enthusiasm runs slightly higher for Wes Anderson’s latest scoop of cinematic blancmange, nationally (and semi-pointlessly) premiering at the festival on its Opening Night the day before it hits New York theaters? There’s plenty more that’s making it to New York for the first time, including Lee Chang-dong’s acclaimed Secret Sunshine (which won Jeon Do-yeon the Best Actress award at Cannes), Sidney Lumet’s heist melodrama Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (easily the octogenarian’s best film in a decade, if not two or three), and Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s pot-stirring Persepolis, which shared the Cannes Jury Prize with another NYFF film, Reygadas’ unpredictably grown-up Stellet Licht. Added to this film fest omnibus are a polychrome-tinted 1920 German version of Hamlet starring the epicene Asta Nielsen, a new print of Von Sternberg’s long-M.I.A. gangster ur-noir Underworld (celebrating its 80th anniversary with a potentially ill-advised score by the Alloy Orchestra), and the wishfully-titled Blade Runner: The Final Cut.

Even compared to last year’s dense program, it’s a full docket for us New Yorkers.

Please refer to this page for the next few weeks for updated coverage of a wide array of festival films. The 45th New York Film Festival runs September 28th – October 14th.


The Darjeeling Limited 27 September
Hamlet 01 October
The Romance of Astrea and Celadon 03 October
Secret Sunshine 04 October
Paranoid Park 05 October
Alexandra 08 October
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead 09 October
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 10 October
The Last Mistress 12 October
The Man from London 21 October
I’m Not There 04 November

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