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News on the New York Film Festival

The following is a portion of indieWIRE’s report on the lineup for the upcoming New York Film Festival:

The full selections for the 46th New York Film Festival were unveiled today with Cannes 2008 titles featuring prominently in this year’s event, taking place September 26 – October 12. The North American premiere of Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” will screen as the festival’s Centerpiece, while Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” will close out the festival, considered a major highlight of the New York film community’s calendar year.

indieWIRE also reports that the following notable directors will be offering films at the festival:

Wong Kar Wai (“Ashes of Time Redux”)
Mike Leigh (“Happy Go Lucky”)
Steven Soderburgh (“Che”)
Jia Zhangke (“24 City”)
Kelly Reichart (“Wendy and Lucy”)
Laurent Cantet (“The Class”)

I, for one, am particularly excited to see Aronofsky’s newest, The Wrestler. This seems to be new terrain than the director of “The Fountain” and “Requiem for a Dream” has heretofore crossed, but it is getting some rave reviews and apparently Mickey Rourke’s performance is amazing. Soderburgh’s Che ought to be interesting, the 268 minute, 2 part epic that it is. It sure will be a different take on Ernesto Guavara’s life than the recent “Motorcycle Diaries.”

Of course, Clint Eastwood has another period piece forthcoming in The Changeling which stars Angelina Jolie. One can confidentaly expect it to be pretty dang true to the period, at least in dress and settings. Hopefully, however, it doesn’t linger longer than it ought to (see “Flags of our Fathers”) and with a 140 minute run time it is dangerously near the precipice.

Per usual there will be a fabulous influx of Asian films. In fact, if there were film Olympics, it would be difficult and even dangerous to bet against several directors from Asian countries winning gold. As is, the current film Olympics (i.e., the “Oscars”) seem unable to fully appreciate excellent foreign film making. Above all, Wong Kar Wai’s Redux is a must see, or so it seems.

Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy is the follow up to her award winning “Old Joy” and chronicles Wendy’s search for her dog through middle America. There is a good chance this will be indie film making at its best.

I will also be interested to see Olivier Assayas’ French film Summer Hours which stars the always enchanting Juliette Binoche (most recently Dan in Real Life and “The Flight of the Red Balloon”). According to indieWIRE the film is about three siblings who are “brought face to face brought face-to-face with time and mortality by the sudden death” of their mother.

Check out the report for a look at several other anticipated films.

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