On October 15 the New York Film Festival presented “On Cinema: Alexander Payne,” in which the director (“Election,” “About Schmidt,” “Sideways” and the soon to be released “The Descendants”) talked about influential films in his life. The event was sponsored by HBO, moderated by NYFF Selection Committee Chairman Richard Pena and took place in the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.
Payne proved to be an affable, frank and intelligent subject who frequently turned Pena’s questions around, playfully shooting them back at his interviewer. Interspersed throughout the talk, Payne showed clips from four influential films: Anthony Mann’s “The Naked Spur,” Michelangelo Antonioni’s “La Notte,” Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” and Akira Kurosawa’s “Red Beard.” Payne also brought a 16m print of an early film by director Carroll Ballard, “The Perils of Priscilla,” a lively, imaginative short which showed the world from the point of view of an abandoned house cat. Payne said it was one of the best movies ever made. 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