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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What to See at New Directors/New Films

What To See At New Directors/New Films 2014
By Joshua Handler

New Directors/New Films is an annual film festival held at Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA that features the best films from new directors.  This year features films hot off of award-winning runs at Sundance, Cannes, Locarno, SXSW, etc.  The following four below come with very high recommendations.  I cannot wait to see what else this festival has to offer.  For my money, this is one of the best fests held in NYC.

Full reviews of each of these films, and others, will be published soon.

THE BABADOOK (Dir. Jennifer Kent) - Sundance hit The Babadook comes with my highest recommendation.  Rarely are horror and drama so brilliantly executed and mixed as they are in The Babadook, a film about a single mother who lives with her troubled son and unwittingly lets an evil force into her house.  This, however, is a gross reduction of a psychologically potent, emotionally involving, and flat-out terrifying film.  The bottom line: go see it immediately.  Showing 3/22 at FSLC, 3/23 at MoMA.

THE DOUBLE (Dir. Richard Ayoade) - The Double is a cross between Brazil and Fight Club, a perfectly insane black comedy about an introverted man (Jesse Eisenberg) who meets his double (Eisenberg again) who is his opposite.  An energetic, clever film based on a Dostoyevsky work, this is sure to please those looking for something dark, funny, and thought-provoking.  Showing 3/24 at FSLC, 3/29 at MoMA.

OF HORSES AND MEN (Dir. Benedikt Erlingsson) - Another extremely dark comedy, Of Horses and Men is best for the adventurous movie-goer.  The movie tells interconnected stories about the relationship between horses and people and balances deadpan comedy and dark drama very well.  Showing 3/22 at MoMA, 3/24 at FSLC.  

TO KILL A MAN (Dir. Alejandro Fernández Almendras) - Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema at Sundance this year, Alejandro Fernández Almendras' tense, morally complex film tells the story of a man who is pushed to the breaking point by local thugs.  As beautifully shot as it is well-written, this movie refuses to give any easy answers.  Showing 3/20 at FSLC, 3/23 at MoMA.

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