With fall setting in comes the time of year we like to describe as “prestige”, where the heavy hitting films looking to be Oscar contenders start to pour out, leading to an overwhelming mass of great cinema by the end of a given year. As we know, all throughout the year many of these films debut around the world at places like Cannes and Venice Film Festival, or Sundance and Toronto, which just wrapped up within the last few weeks.
This Friday marks the start of the 52nd New York Film Festival at the Film Society Lincoln Center. The festival is non-competitive and generally just serves to be a really cool event that is known for premiering highly anticipated films each year. The two glaring examples of the 2014 season are the world premieres of both Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice and David Fincher’s Gone Girl, the festival’s opening night film. Both of these films have played a part in way-too-early awards speculation, and virtually neither have been seen until this week. The festival’s closing night film will be the new film by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman or the Unexpected Ignorance of Virtue, which stars Michael Keaton and has already wowed festival audiences and critics as a favorite for the year.
This year’s line-up is also filled with exciting returns from legendary directors like Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard and Albert Maysles, not to mention work from Olivier Assayas, David Cronenberg, Mike Leigh and Bennett Miller, whose Foxcatcher is gaining huge momentum as a show stealer. New documentaries will be screened from the likes of Martin Scorsese, Frederick Wiseman, Debra Granik, Ethan Hawke and Joshua Oppenheimer. The final film of Les Blank, famed documentarian who passed away just last year, titled How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock in Normandy, will also screen.
In the festival’s first year, back in 1963, the opening film was Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, so it is a given that th