The 20th edition of the New York Jewish Film Festival opens this evening with Mahler on the Couch, directed by Percy Adlon and his son Felix. From Nick Schager's overview in the Voice of several of the festival's diverse offerings: "Played by Johannes Silberschneider, the legendary 20th-century composer winds up consumed not with completing his symphonies but, rather, with tackling grief over his beloved wife's infidelity via a prolonged, contentious therapy session with Sigmund Freud. Staged with dreamlike intensity, Mahler is an inquiry into regrets, fears, resentments, and traumas that's an apt first course to the fest's myriad dissections of the Jewish heart and psyche."
"In I'm Dangerous With Love, a furtive, aggressively unappetizing documentary, the filmmaker Michel Negroponte explores the theory that ibogaine, a hallucinogenic powder made from an African plant, can break addiction to drugs like heroin with relative ease," writes Neil Genzlinger in the New York Times. "A few minutes of dispassionate discussion by experts about ibogaine and the obstacles to its legalization in the United States would have enhanced the film without damaging its street cred." More from Ernest Hardy (Voice), Joseph Jon Lanthier (Slant, 2/4), Andrew Schenker (Time Out New York, 3/5) and James van Maanen. At the IFC Center.
To San Francisco, where the Bay Guardian's Johnny Ray Huston talks with Rick Prelinger about Lost Landscapes of Detroit, "an assemblage of private and commercially-produced films spanning from the peak of the Model T to the era of the gas guzzler… Gazing from both sides of the automobile window, it reveals Hollywood's relationship with the Motor City during the golden age of the movie theater, and the potential and the limits of other obsolescent industries: film and print media." Prelinger will be on hand for this evening's screening at Counterpulse.
The list to be following right now is Eric Lavallee's countdown of the "Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2011" at ioncinema. Start at #100 (David Gordon Green's The Sitter) and, by clicking "Continue," work your way through previews of Virginie Despentes's Bye Bye Blondie, Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, Hitoshi Matsumoto's Saya Samurai and on and on. And he's only about a third of the way through.
At IFC.com, Stephen Saito has your complete guide to everything opening in theaters or seeing a release on DVD or via various VOD outlets between now and April Fool's Day. For the less patient, Time Out New York's Joshua Rothkopf picks out eleven highlights of the year ahead.
Looking back to 2010, both Erich Kuersten at Bright Lights After Dark and Marc Campbell at Dangerous Minds put Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void at the top of their lists.
And Wildgrounds has the English version of Kinema Junpo's list of the top ten Japanese films of the year. #1: Lee Sang-il's Villain.
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