Paramount‘s Flight stars Denzel Washington as a hero airline pilot with a secret and is Robert Zemeckis’ first live-action film in more than a decade. John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Don Cheadle co-star in the movie, written by John Gatins. The studio is positioning this one for an awards-season run: it closes the New York Film Festival on Sunday and opens wide November 2. Here’s the trailer:
After nearly four years of work, Ang Lee tonight unveils his much-anticipated film version of Yann Martel’s Life Of Pi, a book that sold 7 million copies worldwide but was thought to be “unfilmable” until technology finally caught up with it the past five years. Having its world premiere as the opening movie of the New York Film Festival, 20th Century Fox is launching what looks like a box office hit and definite Oscar contender — and this despite the fact it features no name stars or obvious hooks. Chalk it up as another contender in the emerging season along with other fall-festival titles like Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, The Master, The Impossible and Anna Karenina among others. Certainly there is no other film like Pi out there this season which ought to give it some distinction in the race.
The studio has been touting the visually stunning film since debuting 15 minutes of footage at the Las Vegas CinemaCon exhibitors convention in April, when it became clear this November 21st release could become a major awards player. Right after that presentation one pundit told me, “Well this is one of the Best Picture nominees for sure”. Now the wraps are off the completed film, although there is still some minor mixing, color correction and polishing of some 100 effects shots to be done. The studio had a very small initial screening for literally a handful of journalists in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon at their Zanuck Theatre (where I caught it), and this morning for press covering NYFF in New York. Early reaction on Twitter has been strong.
NEW YORK, August 16, 2012 —The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today the main slate of selections for the 50th New York Film Festival (September 28-October 14) including such notable directors as Olivier Assayas, Noah Baumbach, Leos Carax, Brian De Palma, Michael Haneke, Abbas Kiarostami, Ang Lee, Cristian Mungiu, Sally Potter, Alain Resnais, Raul Ruiz and Robert Zemeckis.
Regarding the line up of 32 films comprising the main slate for the 50th anniversary of NYFF Richard Peña, Selection Committee Chair & Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, said, “The films making up the main slate of this year’s NYFF, have in common a general quality of fearlessness” that unites otherwise very disparate works. These are films that go all the way, works willing to take the risk or chance that by doing so they may be bringing audiences to places they might rather not go.”
Award winners that will be presented for the first time for New York audiences include; the universally acclaimed winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, AMOUR, Michael Haneke’s portrait of a couple dealing with the ravages of old age, with Haneke returning to NYFF following the presentation of THE WHITE RIBBON in 2009; Christian Petzold’s Cold War thriller, BARBARA, a winner of the SIlver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlin Film Festival; Cristian Mungiu’s BEYOND THE HILLS, a portrait of dogma at odds with personal liberty in a society still emerging from the shadow of Communism, featuring screen newcomers Flutur and Stratan who shared the Best Actress prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Mungiu also received the Best Screenplay award. The presentation will also mark a return to the film festival by Mungiu (4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, NYFF 2007).
New York, NY, August 13, 2012 – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI will make its World Premiere as the Opening Night Gala presentation for the upcoming 50th New York Film Festival (September 28 – October 14). The screening will mark the Academy Award-winning director’s return to NYFF, 12 years after CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON served as the Closing Night Gala presentation (2000). The selection of LIFE OF PI also allows Lee to join Robert Altman, Pedro Almodóvar and François Truffaut as the only directors to have had more than one film chosen to open NYFF. (THE ICE STORM was the Opening Night Gala selection in 1997.)
A respected presence at the New York Film Festival and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, in 2009 FSLC celebrated Lee’s career with a complete retrospective of the director’s work at the Walter Reade Theater. The LIFE OF PI screening will also mark the first time a film has been presented in 3D for NYFF’s Opening Night Gala.
Amos Vogel, champion of American film culture and co-founder of the New York Film Festival, died Tuesday in New York City. He was 91. The Vienna native moved to the United States with his parents …
BREAKING: Just before the New York Film Festival closed tonight with the premiere of the Alexander Payne-directed The Descendants, the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced that its longtime program director and Selection Committee head Richard Pena will stepping down after next year’s 50th annual festival. Pena will have been involved in 25 of those fests by the time he leaves. The festival said that he will stay on to help design and organize a new educational initiative at the Film Society after he steps down.
“For the past 24 years, Richard Pena has served as the chairman of the Selection Committed for the Festival as well as the Program Director of the Film Society,” said FSLC Board of Directors president Dan Stern. “Richard has informed the Board at the end of 2012–after the Festival’s 50th anniversary and his 25th at its helm–he will step down from both posts. Richard has been with the Film Society through the opening of the Walter Reade Theater as well as the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and we are please that he has accepted our invitation to stay on to help create a new educational initiative at the Film Society.”
The choice was made by Pena, who said that “Heading into the 50th anniversary of the Festival, it seems a perfect time for a transition, both for me personally and for the organization. Working at the Film Society has been beyond a dream come true, but in the years left me would like to possibly explore other areas of interest, both within and beyond the cinema. I also feel that, like at any other cultural institution, change can be important as it will bring in fresh ideas and approaches to lead the Film Society into its next fifty years.”
When New Yorker Martin Scorsese took the stage at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall to unveil a work-in-progress screening of his first 3D film Hugo, the standing ovation showed that the filmmaker was dealing with a home-field advantage. Deadline revealed yesterday that the New York Film Festival’s mystery film by a master filmmaker would be Hugo, and the place was packed last night. NYFF’s Richard Pena started the proceedings by asking journalists not to review the film, or tweet while it was playing. Scorsese added his own caveats. He said that the film was not completely color corrected, that some of the visual effects weren’t quite there yet, and that the 3D and music were also not quite complete. I saw the film’s producer Graham King before the screening, and he said while they couldn’t get the film finished in time to be part of the early fall festival hoopla, they came up with this idea as a way not to miss out completely, and the NYFF agreed to it for the first time since Disney came to them with an unfinished print of Beauty and the Beast.
With the exception of a couple of intricate shots, the film looked like it was rounding into shape quite nicely. I won’t review it, but will say it will be a worthy addition to the upcoming awards season.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and GK Films have issued a short feature that gives a behind-the-scenes look at Hugo, the 3D film that will be shown tonight as a surprise addition to the New York Film Festival. It’s Martin Scorsese’s first foray into …
The West Memphis 3 will get to see in person the recut version of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s documentary about them — the one that has been recut to reflect the trio’s release from jail after 18 years served for the murders of three Arkansas 8-year-olds in 1993. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is screening for the first time in its newest version Monday at the New York Film Festival, and Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley Jr will be there, the fest’s organizer the Film Society of Lincoln Center said today. The original version of the HBO Documentary Films pic screened as-is during last month’s Toronto International Film Festival as the filmmakers didn’t have time to add the fresh ending, which showed the men’s release. The trio’s original conviction — derived despite the lack of physical evidence tying the then-teenagers to the murders — became a cause celebre, and the West Memphis 3 have received moral and financial support from the likes of The Hobbit director Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder and Natalie Maines. Meanwhile, there already is a feature film in the works with Atom Egoyan directing; Devil’s Knot is set to begin shooting in the spring.
The New York Film Festival announced additional programs for its 49th edition today including that it will host the premiere screening of the new ending to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s West Memphis 3 documentary Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, which we reported would land there first. The new footage includes the recent shock release of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, who were just sprung from an Arkansas prison after 18 years for the murder of three children due to lack of evidence and a long and high-profile fight to overturn their convictions. The filmmakers earlier said the HBO documentary will air with its original ending for next month’s Toronto International Film Festival. Here’s the NYFF release:
While Paradise Lost documentary directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky told me last night they intended to change the ending of Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory to reflect today’s stunning developments before they premiered the movie at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, the filmmakers have instead decided to leave the film alone for Toronto and install a new ending for the New York Film Festival in October, or even for its January debut on HBO. The filmmakers rushed to Arkansas last night to film defendants Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr as they tasted freedom after 18 years. Berlinger and Sinofsky were nearly done with their third documentary on the case, which they feel was a tremendous travesty of justice that left Echols on death row and the other two serving life terms for the brutal murder of three 8-year-old boys in 1993. Those convictions were made without any physical evidence.
“We’ve made the decision to let the film play as is in Toronto,” Berlinger just told me. “We worked on it for a long time and it didn’t seem right to rush a new ending. We’ll tack on one more scene that changes the ending from a question mark to a joyous triumphant moment, but we’ll aim for the New York Film Festival or for HBO.”
NEW YORK, August 17, 2011 —The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Alexander Payne’s THE DESCENDANTS will be the Closing Night Gala selection for the 49th New York Film Festival (September 30-October 16). NYFF’s main slate of 27 feature films was also announced as well as a return to the festival stage of audience favorite, On Cinema (previously titled The Cinema Inside Me), featuring an in-depth, illustrated conversation with Alexander Payne.