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August 29, 2005

NYFF Itinerary

I tried to maximize the number of films that I could catch at the New York Film Festival within the span of one week and another long weekend, making sure that my priority films (new Garrel, Haneke, Sokurov, Dardenne, Hou, and Straub/Huillet, as well as Gosho, Shimizu, and Shimazu from the Shochiku sidebar) were captured. With that in mind, I ended up with this screening list.

Main Program

Avenge But One of My Two Eyes (Avi Mograbi)
Bubble (Steven Soderbergh)
Cache (Michael Haneke)
Capote (Bennett Miller)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu)
L'Enfant (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
Gabrielle (Patrice Chereau)
I Am (Dorota Kedzierzawska)
The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni)
Regular Lovers (Philippe Garrel)
Something Like Happiness (Bohdan Sláma)
The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach)
The Sun (Aleksandr Sokurov)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park Chan-wook)
Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom)

Shochiku at 110 Sidebar

The Army (Keisuke Kinoshita)
A Ball at the Anjo House (Kozaburo Yoshimura)
Black River (Masaki Kobayashi)
The Cruel Story of Youth (Nagisa Oshima)
Every Night Dreams (Mikio Naruse)
The Lights of Asakusa (Yasujiro Shimazu)
The Neighbor's Wife and Mine (Heinosuke Gosho)
Ornamental Hairpin (Hiroshi Shimizu)
Our Neighbor Miss Yae (Yasujiro Shimazu)
Star Athlete (Hiroshi Shimizu)
Woman of the Mist (Heinosuke Gosho)

Views from the Avant-Garde

Program 1: A Trip to the Louvre x2 (Straub/Huillet)
Program 2: The Daily Planet (short films by Karen Mirza & Brad Butler, Stephanie Barber, Leslie Thornton, Michele Smith, Jeanne Liotta, Julie Murray, Ken Jacobs, Fred Worden)
Program 3: David Gattan: Secret History of the Dividing Line: A True Account In Nine Parts
Program 4: The Terrestrial Observatory (short films by S.N.S. Sastry, Jim Jennings, Ken Jacobs, Thorsten Fleisch, Fred Worden, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Luther Price, Mark Lapore)

Posted by acquarello on Aug 29, 2005 | | Filed under 2005, Quick Notes


Looks like an awesome meal you've ordered there for yourself, A. :-)

I just watched your Garrel, and really liked it. I'm eager to catch the new one.

Posted by: girish on Aug 29, 2005 6:27 AM | Permalink

Yeah, the Straub/Huillet is a nice surprise. I was expecting it to appear at the New York Video Festival and when it didn't, I figured its best chances were at Anthology Film Archives. I'm really looking forward to the new Garrel too, that and The Sun, since both don't have distributors (at least not yet), so I may not get to see them again for some time.

Posted by: acquarello on Aug 29, 2005 8:14 AM | Permalink

What a prestigious schedule! I'm looking forward your analysis for these films.

The Sun should get an american distributor. It's really slow and anti-narrative, but the impressive rendition of the face-off between Hirohito and MacArthur is to the advantage of the american victor of course and should be chalked of as a patriotic movie. The General MacArthur is condescending, but honorable and intelligent.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle on Sep 04, 2005 12:55 AM | Permalink

I'm looking forward to this year's itinerary too, there were a lot of holes in my schedule last year, but this year, I have maybe 15 minutes between screenings. I like that adrenaline rush from running between theaters! :) I'm guessing that Wellspring will eventually pick up The Sun, since they did with the other Sokurov releases that made it to New York (Russian Ark was a NYFF selection and Father and Son screened at Walter Reade).

Your observation about Sokurov's depiction of MacArthur is interesting since I suspect that those words are probably a more accurate portrayal of him than what is portrayed in U.S. history books and media, which has made him almost as mythic a figure as the other subjects of Sokurov's other historical personalities. (I must admit though, his depiction of Hitler in Moloch has me completely baffled.)

Posted by: acquarello on Sep 04, 2005 11:41 AM | Permalink

Moloch nearly shocked me in this placid portrayal... maybe it was inspired by the foundfootage of Hitler dancing and laughing in his bunker. I haven't seen Taurus yet, but from these two, Sokurov doesn't go for the obvious study of dictator's personality, and maybe it their banal human traits makes them even scarier...
It's like if a prior knowledge of their record is required before watching this glimpse almost totally out of context.
Even MacArthur who despises Hirohito seems to forget he just burnt to the ground half of the japanese cities and dropped the nuke.
Is he misconsidered in the USA because of his post-war political misfortunes?

Posted by: Harry Tuttle on Sep 04, 2005 9:04 PM | Permalink

In Sonata for Hitler, he also creates another weird portrait of him by playing a loop of Hitler wringing his hands and fidgeting, which also ties back to his hypochondria in Moloch, and I agree with you, there's definitely and "evil in the mundane" vibe to the film. In that sense, I think Sokurov shows, not so much a humanization of evil as it is an illustration of personal, behavioral idisyncracies that all align towards this kind of macrocosmic historical perturbation simply because of those slightly skewed personality traits. It's the intensity and global reach of those idiosyncratic "ripple effects" that's so disturbing.

Posted by: acquarello on Sep 04, 2005 9:58 PM | Permalink

just popping up for an update,
four days into TIFF: personal highlights so far are probably the sokurov, hou, cronenberg and tscherkassky.
"i am" was a bit disappointing--visually strong but otherwise the film didn't really do much for me...
i'm sorry i had to miss "battle in heaven" (drat!). darren and rob really liked it.

Posted by: girish on Sep 11, 2005 7:37 PM | Permalink

Bummer! Your reaction to I Am sounds exactly as how I felt with Crows. With my current schedule, I'll be going home on the Sunday that they're screening the Civeyrac and Tscherkassy, so if the reaction is strong enough, I'll see if I can still get tickets when I'm there and postpone the trip back by a day. Looking forward to the TIFF exchanges from everyone.

Posted by: acquarello on Sep 11, 2005 10:39 PM | Permalink

I thought the last Tscherkassky was a continuation of his trademark rather than something really original. Personaly I prefered the invention developped in the Cinematographe trilogy. Instructions for Light and Sound Machine does the same thing with a western foundfootage. I'm sure you will read much more into it than I could in one viewing, and I'm waiting for your deconstruction but don't feel too bad if you have to postpone it. Just to comfort you in case you miss it.

Thanks for the update Girish ;) Looking forward to your feedback too.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle on Sep 12, 2005 11:27 AM | Permalink

Acquarello--Knowing you're an electronica fan, you'll eat up the Tcsherkassky like cake. :-) It's just 17 minutes long, but it sends you up like a rocket...
I'll report back after I see the Civeyrac...

Posted by: girish on Sep 12, 2005 11:30 AM | Permalink

Quickly surfacing from Toronto.
The Haneke film was excellent, I thought.
He is so formally strong and in control, I always find the experience bracing.
The Cantet was perhaps not quite as good as his previous two films, but very interesting nevertheless.
Through The Forest is (to not oversell it or reveal much about it) the kind of formally interesting movie that is especially fun to discover at a festival. It's intimate in scale--a small, quiet tone poem of a movie. Not a "great" movie or anything, but I liked it probably a bit more than some of my comrades here.

Posted by: girish on Sep 15, 2005 11:33 AM | Permalink

Grr...still waiting on my tickets which were supposedly mailed earlier this week. >:(

Checking on the NYFF site, apparently the Tscherkassky plays at 5:30 (last film on program) and the Civeyrac starts at 6:00 which sounds as though I can't fit both anyway. Sounds as I should lean towards the Tscherkassky route then.

Posted by: acquarello on Sep 15, 2005 4:55 PM | Permalink

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