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New York Film Festival, 2008

Hot off the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, we'll be returning home to New York to cover our local mega-goliath of select and prestige international films.  The line-up is as strong as it always is, although just as with every year, the festival's limited amount of films in their program prompts questions about what's missing.  (Strongest among them, to my mind, the Lisandro Alonso, Claire Denis, Abbas Kiarostami, and Straub/Huillet films, but it is always a matter of personal opinion.)
Much of interest and many favorites have already been covered here from Berlin and Cannes, chiefly what will probably be the greatest American film of the year, Wendy and Lucy, the greatest marijuana-smoking-Korean-stuck-in Paris film, Night and Day, and, in the experimental cinema sidebar, the greatest films I don't have the critical power to accurately describe or properly praise, Winter, Saraband, and Horizontal Boundries.
Most exciting of the films not yet seen is Kazakh director Darezhan Omirbaev's Chuoga, the still very long (even after some trimming) double-feature of Soderbergh's Che,and in a special screening the chance to see that Josef von Sternberg certainly doesn't need Marlene Dietrich, just a great actor (in this case Emil Jannings) to make a great movie, in his stunning WWI/Hollwood silent film, The Last Command.  Perhaps most exciting of all, the retrospective sidebar of this year's festival is a bounty of films directed by the foreman of the Japanese New Wave, Nagisa Oshima (Cruel Story of Youth and Death By Hanging, among many, many others).  Stay tuned here for some fresh coverage, as well as, hopefully, alternate takes of films already written on by yours truly.

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