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Entries in NYFF (166)

Wednesday
Oct182017

NYFF: Joan Didion's Magic Years

by Jason Adams

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."

The instant. Not "an" instant, which is how most of us would sort that sentence. When writing of her husband's death in her book The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion said "the" instant, and in Joan Didion's wake nothing else seems right. Because it is not just any instant. It's the one that changed your life. At most, depending on how long we live, we might get a couple. Joan Didion, at 82, has had her own intimate yet earth-quaking share. And Joan Didion, as ever, is here to distill them down into apple crisp sentence form for us.

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, the new documentary on the author, was directed by Didion's nephew, the actor Griffin Dunne, and he makes similar Didion-esque economy of Joan's handful of instants...

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Sunday
Oct152017

NYFF: Sing For Me, Lady Bird

by Jason Adams

Have you ever gone back to visit the school you went to as a little kid and realized how small it all looks now? I think we've all had that moment - you walk down the hallway feeling like Godzilla; you'd have to get on your hands and knees to use the drinking fountain. And yet as goofy as it seems - and depending on your experience filled with conflicting emotions as it may be - it pulls at you anyway, yanks at your heart. It is part of you. The pictures might've gotten small but they have crawled inside and curled up and they're not going anywhere.

Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird - that is her given name; she gave it to herself - thrums with that strange and bittersweet nostalgia...

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Sunday
Oct152017

NYFF: "First Reformed" and "Let the Sunshine In"

by Murtada

First Reformed
A middle aged priest in crisis sits down with a young man suffering from his own disillusionment with the status of our current world. Once the pleasantries are done with and the futility of existence and our doomed world become the topic of conversation, the alarm sirens start going off. It took the audience at the New York Film Festival screening a few moments to realize that the sirens are not part of the movie unfolding, but an actual false fire alarm asking us to vacate the cinema.

That’s how deeply engrossing Paul Schrader’s First Reformed is...

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Thursday
Oct122017

NYFF: Documenting Basquiat

by Jason Adams

I have only managed to make it to two documentaries during the New York Film Festival this year (which is a shame since they always have such a full program) - the doc on Steven Spielberg that I reviewed last week, and then this vividly lived-in one called Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, which is also about an artist so great at what he does that he was destined to become the biggest brightest star of it at a very young age.

Of course things turned out pretty differently for Basquiat than they did for Steven Spielberg...

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Wednesday
Oct112017

Red Carpet Prayer

Dear Cinema Gods,
Please make it so Armie Hammer & Timothée Chalamet can be together on red carpets all season.
In Meryl's Name,
Amen

Wednesday
Oct112017

NYFF: "The Rider"

by John Guerin

One of the more exciting breakouts from this year's festival circuit is Chloe Zhao’s elegiac equine drama The Rider. This wistful blend of documentary and poetic realism follows Brady Jandreau — a 20-year-old horse trainer who suffers a near-fatal head injury that stunts any chance of his continuing an impressive rodeo career. Suffused with a melancholic color palette and somber score, The Rider makes palpable the dashed dreams of our young protagonist, charting the reverberations of his accident and their implications with impressive and authentic skill... 

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