On Monday October 10, the New York Film Festival showed a restored print of Charlie Chaplin’s 1925 silent feature “The Gold Rush,” with musical accompaniment provided by members of the New York Philharmonic, under the direction of conductor and composer Timothy Brock. The event took place at Alice Tully Hall.
I had not seen “The Gold Rush” in many years and did not consider it to be one of Chaplin’s stronger films. However, seeing the film in such a sparkling print, on a huge screen and accompanied by members of a world class orchestra made all the difference. The magical thing about seeing a silent movie with great musical accompaniment, is that moment when image and music become one and, for a while, you forget that there are even musicians playing a score. By the way, “silent” movies were never silent. At best they were accompanied by an orchestra and, at the lower end, by a single pianist. Read the rest of this entry
On Monday October 10, the New York Film Festival hosted the world premiere of “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” the new documentary directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. The event took place at Alice Tully Hall.
Richard Pena, Chairman of the Selection Committee, for the festival, introduced the film by saying that this was going to be an extraordinary evening that we would not forget. He was right. Not only did “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” prove to be an incredible finish to the “Paradise Lost” films, but the evening featured the first public appearance by the Memphis Three: Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin. They were just released from prison this past August after having served nearly 20 years for a crime they did not commit. It was mind boggling to think that just two months ago Echols was on death row, while Misskelley and Baldwin were serving life sentences, and now they were all here at Lincoln Center. Sheila Nevins, head of HBO Documentaries, who stuck with the project for nearly 20 years, believing in the innocence of the three men said, “It was our job to keep going and going until one day they could be at the film festival at Lincoln Center.” Following the screening, the three men, along with the filmmakers and Nevins, received a well deserved, sustained, standing ovation. Read the rest of this entry
The opening night film for the 49th New York Film Festival, on Friday, September 30 was director Roman Polanski’s “Carnage.” The event took place at Alice Tully Hall. Cast members Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly were in attendance, as was playwright Yasmina Reza.
“Carnage” is the movie version of the hit Broadway play “God of Carnage,” by French playwright Reza. I was fortunate enough to catch one of the last performances of “God of Carnage” with its original Broadway cast still in tact: James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis. Read the rest of this entry
The most exciting film that I have seen, so far, at the 49th New York Film Festival, is 52 years old. On Saturday, October 1 the New York Film Festival presented a stunning, digitally restored and projected screening of director William Wyler’s 1959 wide screen epic “Ben-Hur,” starring Charlton Heston. The screening was at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Read the rest of this entry