After a nice vacation and returning home only to prepare for weather disasters, I'm now sort of catching up with regular day-to-day life. Once I caught up on emails, I took time to check out the line-up for this year's New York Film Festival. I finally took the plunge and became a Film Society of Lincoln Center member. I was under the impression that if I bought online, I'd immediately get a 'congratulations' a 'thank you' and a 'here's how to get advanced member only NYFF tickets now'. Well at least I got the confirmation email, but I don't think I'll be able to take advantage of the pre-sales available to members until I receive my official membership information via snail mail. I guess it's good to know that some things are still done the old fashioned way. Still, after taking a look at the screenings, I'm impatient. Filmmakers like David Cronenberg and Pedro Almodovar will bring their films to NYFF's Galas. Documentary highlights (at least in my opinion) include Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, by Alex Stapleton, Crazy Horse, Frederick Wiseman's latest about the Parisian institute which recently celebrated it's 60th anniversary, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, by Joe Berliner and Bruce Sinofsky the film in which three teens were convicted of the murders of three eight year old boys without any physical evidence. Last but not least, Don't Expect Too Much by Susan Ray (Nicholas Ray's widow), a portrait of the director's life and final experimental film, We Can't Go Home Again (1972). All of these (sans the Gala narrative films and We Can't Go Home Again, are part of NYFF's Special Events).
We Can't Go Home Again (1972) will also be screened under NYFF's Masterworks category. Sara Driver's You Are Not I (1981), which I'm thrilled to report has also received a NYWIFT's Women's Film Preservation Fund grant this year for it's preservation, will be screened as part of Masterworks as well (a still from film pictured here). The lost Driver film, based on a 1948 story by Paul Bowles, was found last year in Tangier following the death of the author who had a print of Driver's You Are Not I in his apartment. The negative that Ms. Driver did possess was destroyed during its storage in a New Jersey warehouse from a leak. The only other print Driver had was in bad enough condition that she couldn't use it for screening. Randy Kennedy wrote a great article about the discovery of the print in Film of Paul Bowles Short Story Rediscovered back in November of last year in the New York Times. Needless to say, the call about the print found in Tangier was an exciting one. The film was also shot and co-written by Jim Jarmusch.
The Views From The Avant-Garde showcase this year is fairly rich as well. Screenings with titles like Virgin Springs, Cabinet of Curiosities, John Zorn: A Film in 15 Scenes and Bitches Brew represent interesting groupings from filmmakers such as Eléonore de Montesquiou (Gazette), Erin Espelie (Silent Spring), Charlotte Pryce (Curious Light), Lewis Klahr (Well Then There Now), Jessie Stead (You Are Now Running On Reserve Battery Power) and MM Serra (Bitch-Beauty). There are many more.
If you are a member or patron you have priority ticket access (as I'm sure you know). For general audience (non-members), New York Film Festival tickets go on sale September 12th. The festival runs September 30 - October 16, 2011.