Bit by bit, fall festival lineups are tumbling into place. A week that began with word that Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman would be opening the New York Film Festival—and by the way, the first teaser is out—now brings more news from New York and Toronto as well as first rounds of programming slated for festivals in Austin and Pordenone, Italy.
Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, set to premiere in Venice and screen in Toronto, will be the centerpiece screening of the fifty-seventh New York Film Festival (September 27 through October 13). Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), an actress, and Charlie (Adam Driver), an experimental theater director, aim to make their divorce an amicable one. But when complications arise, the lawyers are called in (Laura Dern vs. the good-cop, bad-cop team of Alan Alda and Ray Liotta). NYFF director Kent Jones says that Marriage Story is both “a heartbreaker” and “very funny,” and that it has “an emotional complexity that’s worthy of Bergman.”
Last Friday, the Toronto International Film Festival announced that it will present its TIFF Tribute Actor Award to Meryl Streep during its forty-fourth edition (September 5 through 15). Yesterday, the festival added Canadian features and shorts to its lineup, sprinkling them throughout the various sections of its program. Two will be presented as special events, David Foster: Off the Record, Barry Avrich’s profile of the composer and producer featuring interviews with Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, and Celine Dion, and One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, a story rooted in Inuit culture and history from Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner).
Jeff Barnaby’s zombie thriller Blood Quantum will open the Midnight Madness program, and Wavelengths, the section showcasing “daring, visionary, and autonomous voices,” will premiere 2008, a new stereoscopic work from Blake Williams (Prototype).
Jojo Rabbit, the new comedy from Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), will open the fifteenth Fantastic Fest, the weeklong genre movie party in the Texas capital (September 19 through 26). The first wave of titles includes In the Shadow of the Moon, a science fiction and political thriller from Jim Mickle (Cold in July); In the Tall Grass, an adaptation of the horror novella from Stephen King and his son Joe Hill directed by Vincenzo Natali (Splice); and Fractured, a mystery starring Sam Worthington directed by Brad Anderson (Session 9).
Takashi Miike will be on hand to present First Love, and other titles from this year’s Cannes Film Festival include Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Whistlers and Quentin Dupieux’s Deerskin.
Since 1982, the Pordenone Silent Film Festival has been billed as the first and largest event of its kind. This year’s edition, the thirty-eighth, will open on October 5 with Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (1921), accompanied by a live orchestra conducted by Timothy Brock, who has restored and arranged the score that Chaplin himself wrote for the film in 1971. In an essay accompanying our release of The Kid in 2016, Tom Gunning wrote that “it is here that the roots of the filmmaker’s graceful dance between laughter and grief can be seen.”
The orchestra San Marco of Pordenone will also play a recently rediscovered original score for Soviet director Fridrikh Ermler’s Fragment of an Empire (1929). Retrospectives will focus on William S. Hart, international star of silent westerns, and a series of European slapstick comedies. Pordenone 2019 will close on October 12 with Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927) with a new orchestral score composed by Neil Brand. “Not only is it a suspense thriller,” wrote Philip Kemp in 2017, “but it foreshadows, in a good many of its plot details, themes and preoccupations that are now recognized as key elements of Hitchcock’s cinematic world.”
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