Thursday, September 5, 2013

The 51st New York Film Festival

Thirty five films will screen in the prestigious main slate of the 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 - October 13, 2013). The roster has been announced and you can get the latest details right now at

This fall, 75,000 people will once again celebrate today's biggest and best films at the New York Film Festival. "I love the level of diversity in the main slate selections, which includes documentaries, biographies, comedies, adventures, epics, chamber pieces, elegies, explorations and affirmations," NYFF Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said today, "I hope you enjoy it as much as we did."

Idle Hands has been pouring over the amazing lineup of films on hand this year and we've pulled our favorites, which are just a meager sampling, of course. Some we picked for the obvious content. Some we picked because we've heard there is a powerhouse performance to be seen...and some are made by folks capable of such overwhelming beauty we knew you wouldn't want to miss it.

About Time: Director: Richard Curtis
Country: UK
Richard Curtis adds a touch of time-travel to this hilarious romantic comedy, a perfect vehicle for the comic talents of Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Duncan, and emerging star Domhnall Gleeson. A Universal Pictures release.

Alan Partridge: Director: Declan Lowney
Country: UK
In the long-awaited big-screen debut of Steve Coogan’s singular comic creation, the vain and obliviously tactless Alan Partridge must serve as an intermediary when North Norfolk Digital is seized at gunpoint by a down-sized DJ.

All is Lost: Director: J.C. Chandor
Country: USA
Robert Redford as you’ve never seen him before, gives a near-wordless all-action performance as a lone sailor trying to keep his yacht afloat after a collision with a discarded shipping container in the middle of the Indian Ocean. A Roadside Attractions release.

Captan Phillips: Director: Paul Greengrass
Country: USA
Paul Greengrass has crafted an edge-of-your-seat thriller based on the true story of the seizure of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship in 2009 by four Somali pirates, with remarkable performances from Tom Hanks and four first-time actors, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahet M. Ali. A Sony Pictures release.

Child of God: Director: James Franco
Country: USA, 2013
James Franco’s uncompromising excursion into American Gothic, adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s 1973 novel, about an unstable sociopath in early 60s rural Tennessee who descends into an animal-like state - not for the faint-hearted.

Her: Director: Spike Jonze
Country: USA
In Spike Jonze’s magical, melancholy comedy of the near future, lonely Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his new all-purpose operating system (the voice of Scarlett Johansson), leading to romantic and existential complications. A Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Inside Llewyn Davis: Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Country: USA
Joel and Ethan Coen’s picaresque, panoramic and wryly funny story of a singer/songwriter is set in the New York folk scene of the early 60s and features a terrific array of larger-than-life characters and a glorious score of folk standards. A CBS Films release.

Nebraska: Director: Alexander Payne
Country: USA
This masterful film from Alexander Payne, about a quiet old man (Bruce Dern) whose mild-mannered son (Will Forte) agrees to drive him from Montana to Nebraska to claim a non-existent prize, shades from the comic to multiple hues of melancholy and regret. A Paramount Pictures release.

Only Lovers Left Alive: Director: Jim Jarmusch
Country: USA
Jim Jarmusch’s wry, tender and moving take on the vampire genre features Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as a centuries-old couple who watch time go by from separate continents as they reflect on the ever-changing world around them. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Real: Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Country: Japan
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s first feature since 2008’s Tokyo Sonata, his most romantic movie yet, is an exquisitely crafted sci-fi fable about young love, marriage, and the merging of two psyches in the face of death.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Director: Ben Stiller
Country: USA
Ben Stiller stars in and directs this sweet, globe-trotting (but New York-based) comic fable about an up-to-the-minute everyman, co-starring Kristen Wiig as the woman of his dreams, Sean Penn as a legendary photographer and Shirley MacLaine as Walter’s mother. A Twentieth Century Fox release.

A Touch of Sin: Director: Jia Zhangke
Country: China
Jia Zhangke’s bloody, bitter new film builds a portrait of modern-day China in the midst of rapid and convulsive change through four overlapping stories of marginalized and oppressed citizens pushed to murderous rage. A Kino Lorber release.

Le Week-End:  Director: Roger Michell
Country: UK
A magically buoyant, bittersweet comedy drama about a middle-aged and middle class English couple who go to Paris for a weekend holiday, starring two of Britain’s national treasures, Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan. A Music Box Films release.

The Wind Rises:  Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Country: Japan
The great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s new film is based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero fighter. An elliptical historical narrative, THE WIND RISES is also a visionary cinematic poem about the fragility of humanity.

For more from the 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 - October 13, 2013), hit up

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