The expansive New York Film Festival is no longer the greatest-hits affair of three decades back when it was built around 20-25 titles, a majority of which were what had been on display at the previous Cannes. The arrangement was a gift and a curse: manageable, for both journalists and completists, but limited. I remember what a production it was when the fest dared to add a lowbrow Hong Kong movie by one Jackie Chan.Now there are lots and lots of strands, which cover a variety of genres and niche audiences — followers of the avant-garde and new technologies, for instance — some of it made possible by the range of seating in the new theaters. Sections I find particularly inspired are the Retrospective, this year the work of Joseph Mankiewicz, and the whole of Revivals, with its diverse roster of discoveries and restorations. Continuing as before are the invaluable director’s talks, which are solid one-on-ones with informed programmers that certainly beat the painful post-screening Q&As.There are some misguided decisions, some missed opportunities. Lisandro Alonso is one of my favorite directors, but inviting him as the second filmmaker-in-residence during this busy period seems an unnecessary distraction. Is the NYFF becoming… Read full this story
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