For nearly half a century now, New Directors/New Films, copresented by Film at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, has “acted as a slightly chancier analog to the New York Film Festival,” as Nick Pinkerton put it in Artforum a few years ago. Each fall, the NYFF has cinema put its best foot forward, and in the spring, ND/NF shows us where it’s headed next. This year’s edition, the forty-ninth, was to have taken place in March, but of course, the pandemic has kicked it further down the calendar.
Down to Utah for Robert Machoian’s first time out as a solo director, The Killing of Two Lovers. Clayne Crawford (Rectify) plays a husband and father struggling to cope with a trial separation from his wife, and dispatching to the Hollywood Reporter from Sundance back in January, David Rooney found the film to be “a transfixing drama without a wasted word or a single inessential scene.” It was also at Sundance that Boys State, Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s documentary about an annual gathering of a thousand Texas high school seniors who set up a mock state government, won the Grand Jury Prize.