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Tag: New York Film Festival (1-10 of 18)

'Inherent Vice' premiere: Paul Thomas Anderson doesn't get bogged down by plot

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Thomas Pynchon has written eight acclaimed novels, but no one had the brass to adapt one for the screen until Paul Thomas Anderson tackled Inherent Vice. The director’s second consecutive collaboration with Joaquin Phoenix was the centerpiece gala at the New York Film Festival, where it made its world premiere on Saturday. If the trailer for the film gave off a Big Lebowski vibe, that’s partially because both films are at least partially inspired by The Big Sleep, the classic 1946 noir with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. “I saw The Big Sleep and it made me realize I couldn’t follow any of it,” said Anderson, at a post-screening press conference. “And it didn’t matter, because I just wanted to see what was going to happen next anyway.”

The plot of Inherent Vice is equally impenetrable, a tangled web strewn with vivid characters from 1970 Los Angeles. Phoenix plays ‘Doc’ Sportello, a constantly buzzed private eye who’s drawn into a case of coincidences by the beauty who broke his heart, Shasta (Katherine Waterston). She’s been having an affair with a married billionaire (Eric Roberts) whose adulterous wife might want to put him away in a mental asylum in order to get all his money. When both Shasta and her billionaire boyfriend go missing, and Doc awakes from a blow to his head next to a dead body, he has to handle cops and killers, lawyers and sax players, Nazis and coke-headed dentists, and two mysterious entities known as the Golden Fang that may or may not have anything to do with each other.

The film is filled with humor, even as the stakes go up, the characters are stripped bare, and the haze of drug-use rises to fever-dream pitch. (There’s one sequence, with Martin Short’s unscrupulous dentist, that echoes the antsy psychedelia of Alfred Molina’s firecracker scene in Boogie Nights.) “Which is what I love so much about Paul’s work,” said Maya Rudolph, who plays Doc’s secretary. “It’s anything and everything, and yet it’s always his. It allows a scene like in Dr. Blaknoids office to be crazy and then something else to be dark and mysterious.” READ FULL STORY

Ethan Hawke reflects on his career at NYFF celebration

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For Ethan Hawke, the past two years have resulted in a series of culminations. Last year, Before Midnight, which closed out his trilogy with Richard Linklater and Julie Delpy, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; Boyhood, which he made with Linklater over 12 years, premiered there this year. And now he’s celebrating the completion of his documentary, Seymour: An Introduction, as it makes stops at various film festivals. So it makes sense that Hawke was prone to look backwards when feted at the New York Film Festival during its “An Evening With…” event. READ FULL STORY

New York Film Festival preview: 10 films that can make it anywhere

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The film-festival circuit this time of year is not unlike presidential-primary season. Venice or Telluride are sort of like the Iowa caucus, an important first step for a film to generate some name recognition and Oscar buzz—but not exactly the setting for a coronation. Toronto is the traditional Oscar-campaign battleground, a sort of New Hampshire primary that often separates the contenders from the pretenders. Last year, Toronto unofficially nominated 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club, and those films went on to collect major awards.

But this year, the races still remain wide open after the first new rounds, and the industry’s eyes now shift to the New York Film Festival—suddenly cast as sort of the awards season’s Super Tuesday—for more clarity on who the frontrunners will be. Foxcatcher, which debuted at Cannes and played at Telluride and Toronto, will screen, as will Whiplash, director Damien Chazelle’s Sundance fave with Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. A few others, like Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner and Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria will try to recapture some early momentum for their actors, while other much-anticipated heavy-hitters enter the race for the first time.

Of course, the New York Film Festival isn’t all about the Oscar race. It’s a celebration of film, old and new, with a unique international flavor. There’s something for everyone between today and Oct. 12, but here are 10 films worth watching. READ FULL STORY

See Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in 'Inherent Vice'

We’ve already seen a glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix as Larry “Doc” Sportello, the stoner private investigator at the center of the much-anticipated adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.

READ FULL STORY

New York Film Festival to honor Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is set to honor two actors during this year’s New York Film Festival. First up, Ethan Hawke will sit down for “An Evening With” segment on September 30, during which he will participate in an “intimate dinner and a conversation between the guests and NYFF Director Kent Jones,” according to a press release.

Then, on Oct. 8, Richard Gere will do the same. For the festival, which is in its 52nd year, the “An Evening With” segment is meant to recognize “the work of individuals who have made significant artistic contributions to film culture, and will continue to do so in the future,” per the release. Past honorees include Nicole Kidman, David Cronenberg, Cate Blanchett, and Ralph Fiennes, among others.

Both Hawke and Gere have films in this year’s festival, which runs from Sept. 26 to Oct. 12. Hawke is attending as a director for the documentary Seymour: An Introduction, while Gere stars in Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind.

New York Film Festival sets special screening of 'Spinal Tap'

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The 2014 New York Film Festival will host a series of special events, the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced in a press release today. A number of films will make their U.S. premieres at the festival, in addition to an anniversary screening that will turn the whole festival up to 11. While dates have yet to be announced, This Is Spinal Tap will receive a 30th-anniversary screening. In 1984, Rob Reiner’s mockumentary satirized the lifestyle of rock musicians and has since been a staple of movie history.

Star and writer Christopher Guest will attend the screening, through no other members of the cast and crew have been confirmed. Previous anniversary screenings have attracted many cast members before, however, for films like The Royal Tenenbaums and The Princess Bride, so other names may be announced. READ FULL STORY

'Foxcatcher,' 'Mr. Turner,' and 'Whiplash' join New York Film Festival lineup

The New York Film Festival announced its Main Slate selection of films today, revealing the 27 movies that will join gala screenings of Gone Girl, Inherent Vice, and Birdman when the 52nd festival begins on Sept. 26. The list includes honored films from Cannes, including Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars, and Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, as well as Sundance’s big winner, Whiplash.

“In this year’s lineup, we have great big films alongside films made on the most intimate scale, personal epics and intricately constructed chamber pieces, films of great serenity and films that leave you dazed, first films and last films, all equally vivid, alive, and essential,” said Kent Jones, the festival director, in a statement. “Taken altogether, this year’s Main Slate reminds me, all over again, why I love the cinema so much, and it will do the same for you.” READ FULL STORY

Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' to debut at New York festival

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, based on Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 crime novel, will debut at the New York Film Festival this October. The film, which reunites the director with Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and also stars Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, and Benicio Del Toro, is scheduled to open in theaters on Dec. 12. READ FULL STORY

'Gone Girl' to open New York Film Festival

Gone Girl, David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling mystery thriller, will open the 52nd New York Film Festival, as first reported by Variety.

The movie stars Ben Affleck as a man who may have killed his missing wife (Rosamund Pike) after they retreat to his hometown in Missouri, following professional setbacks in New York City. Former EW TV critic Flynn wrote the screenplay, and the cast also includes Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Patrick Fugit, and Casey Wilson. READ FULL STORY

On the scene with Spike Jonze, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, and more at the premiere of 'Her'

The New York Film Festival screened Spike Jonze’s Her — his first solo writing feature — on its closing night, Oct. 12. Jonze, along with cast members Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde, arrived on the red carpet at Alice Tully Hall to celebrate the film’s world premiere.

The movie centers on Phoenix’s Theodore Twombly, a lonely, big-hearted man who falls in love with his Siri-like operating system “Samantha” (smokily voiced by Scarlett Johansson) while coping with his recent divorce. Set in a futuristic version of Los Angeles, Theodore works as a ghost writer for BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, dictating heartfelt missives from loved ones who can’t string the words together themselves. Sensitive and reclusive, he finds fulfillment through his complicated relationship with “Samantha.”

For director Jonze, the premiere was a special homecoming. “The New York Film Festival means a lot to me,” Jonze said before the screening. “This is where I got to premiere my first film, Being John Malkovich.” Accompanied by his family and most of his cast — except Johansson, who “is in the ether with us as she is in the movie,” he said — Jonze presented his highly anticipated film to a full house.

Though Phoenix showed up to the premiere with Jonze, the elusive actor didn’t stop for comments on the red carpet, instead racing inside early. But Mara, who plays a pivotal, albeit small, role as Theodore’s ex-wife, gamely talked about her part and how Theodore’s lengthy, but failed relationship with her character drives his need. “You see our relationship unfold,” Mara told EW. “We’ve been together many, many years, and you see all the stages of it.”

In fact, Jonze was reluctant to cast Mara as Theodore’s heartbreak because she seemed too young for Phoenix. “Joaquin is older than me, but he feels kind of young, he has a young spirit,” Mara said. “When I read the script, it was just so powerful, I loved it so much, so even though Spike thought I was too young, I went after it and convinced him to hire me.”

Kent Jones, the festival’s director of programming, echoed Mara while introducing Her: “[Spike] made a film that, when we saw it, we instantly fell in love with,” he said. Jones added that the selection committee wanted the film to close the festival because it mixed lighthearted humor with deeply haunting themes of human emotion, loneliness, and melancholy.

And with the diverse subject matter covered in Her, Mara said, it’s tough to pinpoint just one lesson from Theodore’s relationships.

“There’s so many thought-provoking ideas, and I don’t think there’s one thing to take away from it,” the actress said, shaking her head. “Every day while shooting it, I would drive home and have a million things running through my head about relationships, about everything; I think that’s kind of what happens when you see the film as well.”

Her opens in select theaters Dec. 18 and nationwide Jan. 10, 2014.

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