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Sunday, September 27, 2015

NYFF Daily Report #1

Courtesy of Sony Pictures
By Joshua Handler

I’ve been covering NYFF for three years now. Every year brings a new, carefully-curated selection of the best of world cinema condensed into 16 days. Yesterday was my first day at the festival, though the films I saw weren’t the first NYFF festival films I screened (I saw Brooklyn and Maggie’s Plan in Toronto, along with a few others over the summer).

Yesterday began with Yorgos Lanthimos’ bizarre, disturbing, melancholic, yet hilarious and moving Cannes Jury Prize-winner, The Lobster, which featured one of Colin Farrell’s finest performances, along with a strong supporting turn by Rachel Weisz. It’s a film I loved every second of.

That evening, after a break, I attended the opening night screening of Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, which while not the greatest film I’ve seen recently, was one of the most remarkable technical achivements of the year. The use of 3D is stunning, particularly in the latter half of the film. Zemeckis uses the 3D to deepen the image (though he does occasionally have fun by using the 3D to throw objects at the audience), which immersed me in the film and made it stand out from other films.

The final event of the night was the opening night party, my favorite film event of the year. As usual, the event was held at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, which on a crisp fall day is the perfect venue. There’s nothing to me that compares to this party because the entire New York film industry comes out (filmmakers, distributors, publicists, journalists, etc.), and having all of my colleagues and friends under one roof for a few hours late into the night is always a thrill. A friend of mine calls the event “film prom.” 

Today brings Nanni Moretti's Mia Madre and Ridley Scott's The Martian.  

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