There's sometimes a common theme or recurring character that threads through a film festival. This can be especially striking in a fest as tightly curated as the New York Film Festival. Such convergences usually happen by accident, according to Kent Jones.
Seeing Richard Gere and Bill Murray -- as well as their new films -- back to back this week invites comparison: movie stars for the past 35 years, they continue to do superlative work in both Hollywood and independent films.
I haven't seen a Joaquin Phoenix film since I'm Still Here back in 2010. I was reminded of what a brilliant actor he is. Not only did he bring an innocence to a role that could have been played much darker, but he brought a physical humor to it.
There are films that make you want to run to the bookstore or, in reality, Amazon.com. Any Jane Austen or Dickens adaptation. Atonement. Requiem for a Dream perhaps. Then there is Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice.
The film "Revenge of the Green Dragons," directed by Andrew Lau & Andrew Loo and presented by Martin Scorsese, is based on the true story of a now-extinct, brutally bloody Chinese gang that worked in Manhattan's Queens and Chinatown in the '80s and early '90s.
Friday morning, on an M7 bus heading for the New York Film Festival critics' screening of Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner, I was sitting quite contentedly, reading the latest international literary sensation, Karl Ove Knausgaard's autobiographical novel My Struggle Book 1.
Sometimes, instead of reviewing the movie you're watching, you end up reviewing the movie you thought you'd be watching. This happens especially with a director known for a particular style or genre who then switches it up.
I've been covering the New York Film Festival since 1987 and have, over the years, developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with it, as an institution (specifically, Film Society of Lincoln Center) and as a festival.
When movies do "talk to each other," says Kent Jones, "that's always great." Certainly it's fair to say that noir films, from Maps to the Stars, to Gone Girl, to Foxcatcher, dominate much of the conversation in the fest's 52nd edition.