New York Film Festival Preview

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Bwog movie-goer Christian Kamongi scopes out the New York Film Festival and shares his picks.

If you do one thing this semester, make sure you attend New York Film Festival (headed by Columbia’s own Richard Peña). Much of its Cannes-heavy lineup has not yet secured distribution, so this may be the last chance to view these works for a considerable period of time.

The Last Mistress

French provocateur Catherine Breillat’s adaptation of Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly’s Une Vieille Maitresse is rumored to be her most conventional work, but it’s also a comeback from the serious misstep, Anatomy of Hell. The major draw is Asia Argento’s performance, which New York Times film reviewer Manohla Dargis praises, “From the first moment she appears on screen… Ms. Argento has us in her grasp. She never lets go.”

sdfGo Go Tales

The fact that Abel Ferrara had to venture to Europe to secure funding for his latest feature proves Hollywood will only fund artistry as long as it maintains the artifice of the “prestige picture.” Yet for a raw screwball comedy taking place in the last night of Willem Dafoe’s strip joint, the seamy incandescence of the Cinecittà seems appropriate.

Mainstream press has generally characterized Go Go Tales as a comeback and the press’ approval suggests that it might be a crowd-pleaser. Once again, Asia Argento provides the reason to watch as the “scariest, sexiest, most dangerous girl in the world.”  

Silent Light


Hopefully after the hoopla surrounding the phenomenal success of the Mexican trio of auteurs (Guillermo Del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón) some attention will be imparted on the extraordinary Carlos Reygadas. Not to mention, Silent Light took home the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Silent Light revolves around a story of adultery that takes place in a Mennonite community in Northern Mexico. Reygada’s decision to film in the community’s German dialect and cast only authentic Mennonites provides the film with a methodological sense of eeriness. This seemingly unusual decision is fitting considering the fact that the film is rumored to be a love poem to the dark Dane himself, Carl Theodor Dreyer.

Flight of the Red Balloon


People wait months, if not years, for features like this to come around. Hou Hsiao-Hsien has the most prestigious oeuvre in the past 30 years of any auteur. As a practitioner of a Neo-Transcendental style, this head of the Taiwanese New Wave serves us with sublime meditations on urban and domestic life. Funded by the Musée d’Orsay, his latest is based loosely on Albert Lamorisse’s classic Le Ballon Rouge. It’s rumored that Juliette Binoche gives her finest performance as a stressed out Parisian single mother puppeteer. If you must shell out $16 at the festival, this is the film to watch.

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  1. what!  

    no mention of Wes Anderson's new film (The Darjeeling Limited), Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding), or Persepolis?

    I mean, the movies you listed are fantastic, but these three deserve a small mention.

  2. Carlos Reyes

    Silent Light IS the must-see film here. Exciting!

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