Festivals: New York Film Fest

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New York 2020 Review: UNDINE, Folklore Gets Fresh Makeover in Beguiling Christian Petzold Romance

Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski star in director Christian Petzold's reinvention of a mythical water creature story that parallels the history of the city of Berlin.

New York 2020 Review: THE WOMAN WHO RAN, Hong Sang-soo Again Explores Monotony vs. Chaos

Kim Min-hee, Lee Eun-mi, and Kwon Hae-hyo star in director Hong Sang-soo's deceptively simple yet deliciously playful film.

New York 2020 Review: NOTTURNO, Legacy of Colonialism in the Middle East

Directed by Gianfranco Rosi ('Sacro GRA,' 'Fire at Sea'), the documentary is biting and enormously affecting.

New York 2020 Review: BEGINNING, Powerful Indictment of Religious Patriarchy

Directed by Dea Kulumvegashivli, the powerful drama is one of the most self-assured debut films in recent memory.

New York 2020 Review: Jia Zhangke's SWIMMING OUT TILL THE SEA TURNS BLUE Presents a History of Literature

Director Jia Zhangke's documentary tells the story of changing times, migration and coming home. And his love for literature.

New York 2020 Review: In Tsai Ming-liang's DAYS, A Wordless, Intimate Encounter

Lee Kang-sheng stars in director Tsai Ming-liang's most intimate and touching film in years.

New York 2020 Review: ON THE ROCKS, Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray Reunite

Sofia Coppola’s films are imbued with a bratty strained independent punk rock aesthetic that often riffs on generic genres and themes with a strong focus on characters that refuse to conform. On The Rocks is a distant memory of this...

New York 2020 Review: MALMKROG, Prophetic Vision of Europe in Philosophical Terms

Directed by Cristi Puiu, the film deals with dense, heady philosophical musings from another century. But context is everything.

New York 2020 Review: THE HUMAN VOICE, Quintessential Almodovar, Plus Tilda Swinton in Short Form

Hopefully, this isn't the first and last collaboration between Pedro Almodovar and Tilda Swinton, because this short film is an extremely enjoyable experience.

New York 2020 Review: MLK/FBI Reminds That Dr. King's Legacy Resonates Now, More Than Ever

Sam Pollard's documentary is a searing indictment of government surveillance and a smear campaign on one of the most revered figures in American history.

New York 2020: THE CALMING Finds Inner Peace in Wondering

The Calming lends something bigger than man-woman tit-a-tat. It is rather, relieving of various pressures in life through constant movement.

New York 2019 Review: VITALINA VARELA, A Hauntingly Beautiful Immigrant Song

As usual, the film is stunning to look at. Every frame is a work of art. Greatly aided by Leonardo Simões' cinematography and João Gazua and Hugo Leitão's sound work, the film gives the lives of its inhabitants the poeticism they deserve.

New York 2019 Review: Grief and Human Folly in Angela Schanelec's I WAS AT HOME, BUT...

A puzzle piece that is never solvable, we instead concentrate on gestures and details inside the frame, in compensation for the lack of dialogue. It's that fragmentary images and colors that we play around our heads long after we leave the theater to make sense of it. Even more so than Godard's, Schanelec's cinema concentrates on the 'visual' part of the medium. It is the best kind of cinema I can think of.

New York 2019 Review: ATLANTICS, A Ghost Story with Female Solidarity Twist

Expertly weaving the current headlines of marine disasters and the ghost story with the female solidarity twist, 'Atlantics' has all the right ingredient to be a success story of a small art film breakthrough, recalling 'Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.'

New York 2019 Review: Justified Mayhem in Kleber Mendonça Filho's BACURAU

At a glance, without any context of what's happening in Brazil, as the Bacurauans get rid of foreigners and traitors, the film is a silly, tacky man-hunting-man horror movie akin to The Most Dangerous Game or Naked Prey or even Hostel or Ruins. But it isn't. Bacurau highlights the resilience and resolve of Brazilian people against mounting assault of multi-national corporations backed by government military to devastate their beautiful, once burgeoning country in the global crisis era we live in. It's an activist film in a B-Horror movie disguise.

New York 2019 Review: YOUNG AHMED, Portrait of the Religious Extremist As a Young Man

The latest social-realist drama from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, starring Idir Ben Addi, Othmane Moumen, and Myriem Akheddiou, is well-intentioned, but unfortunately has little to say about Islamist radicalization.

New York 2019: Bertrand Bonello's ZOMBI CHILD Is a Warning to White Folks: Don't Mess with Voodoo

'Zombi Child' digs deeper into hasty western appropriation of everything non-European, non-Anglo American culture. It disregards the cultural, historical, ethnographical significance of the origins of a zombie in exchange for sensationalism. Narcisse's journey back home is more interesting story here.

New York 2019 Review: OH MERCY!, Arnaud Desplechin's LAW AND ORDER

Certainly different from any other Desplechin film I have watched over the years, but no less intriguing. The love he has for his hometown and its inhabitants are undoubtedly palpable. Desplechin is a master storyteller and humanist. The film is a very moving experience.

New York 2019 Review: THE WILD GOOSE LAKE, Rain Soaked Tropical Noir

Yet it is not as taut as 'Black Coal Thin Ice.' It sets up the motion nicely, but it doesn't have a momentum to follow through its 113-minute running time. Watch it for its beauty. Watch it for atmosphere. The film is still well worth the ticket.

New York 2019 Review: Identity Crisis in Nadav Lapid's SYNONYMS

The film works, thanks largely to Tom mercier's physical as well as verbal, at times verging on slapstick level on both counts. The film is often hilarious and at times poignant and filled with manic energy. Shai Goldman's handheld camera work is aces also.