Well, I just haven't the time to write up everything I saw at NYFF. Amidst my attempts I realized that most of the films I was writing about will get released sooner rather than later, and my reviews would all benefit from second screenings. So, instead of attempt to write a bunch of short reviews, I am substituting that for this wrap up list of my favorite films at the festival this year.
As I mentioned in my previous posts, a lot of the films this year seemed middle of the road. There was only one film I felt like I really hated (Tony Manero) although even it has its defenders. Aaron Hillis and Andrew Grant named it their favorite film of the festival. Others I have talked to had a similar response to me. Undoubtedly, it is a divisive film. I found it rather soulless, tepid, cold, and, worst of all, horribly uninteresting. Apparently it is supposed to be a black comedy (as you might assume from the synopsis) but I sure missed the boat on that. I understand that being cold, damp, and unsympathetic is part of the point, as the film reflects suppression of...everything... in the Pinochet era, but all it made me want to do was walk out of the theater.
But I digress. After the break, I'm going to be a list-a-holic to at least put the films into some sort of category. I know I am short changing many of them that deserve write ups, but I promise to give them when the films gain wide releases. I'll only list films (besides the top 10) that I have yet to write about. Maybe it will build some anticipation for later reviews.
Thanks to everyone for their patience and for reading these NYFF posts. The festival was a great experience and, assuming I'm in New York next year, I'll be back with a new strategy for trying to write about as many films as possible! Special thanks to Nathaniel R. at The Film Experience and Nathan Lee for talking to me at press screenings.
Top notch films: Wendy and Lucy, The Wrestler, The Headless Woman
Films with issues that are still worth seeing: 24 City, Serbis, Four Nights With Anna (despite its overwhelmingly egregious score), Gomorrah, Mock Up On Mu, Tokyo Sonata
Films with too many issues to overcome: The Windmill Movie, Tony Manero, I'm Gonna Explode, Changeling
My NYFF Top 10
1. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain)
2. Che (Steven Soderbergh, Mexico/USA)
3. Afterschool (Antonio Campos, USA)
4. Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt, USA)
5. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas, France)
6. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, France/USA)
7. Serbis (Brillante Mendoza, Philippines/France)
8. Hunger (Steve McQueen, UK)
9. Tulpan (Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Kazakhstan/Poland/Russia/Switzerland)
10. Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone, Italy)