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Frank J. Avella’s
Film Column

49TH Annual
New York Film Festival 2011
September 30th - October 16th

Opposite Photo:
George Harrison: Living
in the Material World



There is no better way to celebrate fall than attending the New York Film Festival.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has selected 27 features boasting one of the most exciting lineups yet, offering exceptional work from a handful of returning-favorite directors like Lars von Trier, Pedro Almodóvar. Alexander Payne, Abel Ferrara, Martin Scorsese, Steven McQueen, Aki Kaurismäki, Mia Hansen-Løve, the Dardenne Brothers and more.

In addition, the programmers have put together an exciting mashup of cine-events including the Masterworks programs, Views from the Avant-Garde and a slew of special event screenings.


The seventeen-day celebration of cinema runs from September 30th thru October 16th and opens with Roman Polanski’s Carnage (France/Germany/Poland), adapted from Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play and starring Kate Winslet and Jodie Foster.

My Week with Marilyn

The Festival Centerpiece is Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn (UK) where Michelle Williams portrays the blonde bombshell and is said to deliver a tour de force performance.

A Dangerous Method

The Skin I Live In

Two Gala presentations: David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method (UK/Canada/Germany) featuring Viggo Mortensen as Freud, Michael Fassbender as Jung and Keira Knightley as the patient who brings them together and Pedro Almodóvar’s stirring and disturbing The Skin I Live In starring Antonio Banderas as a new millennium version of Dr. Frankenstein.

The Descendants

Closing Night presents Alexander Payne’s The Descendants (USA), which stars George Clooney as a Hawaiian landowner thrown for a loop when he is injured. Payne won an Academy Award for writing Sideways and The Descendants is already getting major Oscar buzz.



Never a stranger to controversy, the Film Society has invited one of the world’s most daring and divisive directors back—Lars von Trier, who takes on the end of the world in his transcendent masterpiece Melancholia. And Steve McQueen will certainly shock audiences as he honestly probes sex addiction in Shame. Word is that the ubiquitous Michael Fassbender’s portrayal is one of the must-see performances of the year.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Martin Scorsese is repped with his epic 208-minute documentary on the most underrated member of the Beatles titled: George Harrison: Living in the Material World.

Among the Masterworks movies being screened are: a restored version of William Wyler’s 1959 classic Ben-Hur and Charles Chaplin’s 1925 comic gem The Gold Rush.

Special presentations include: The Ballad of Mott the Hoople, Vito, a documentary on gay author and activist Vito Russo and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the latest entry about the bizarre saga of the “West Memphis Three,” a trio convicted of murder in 1993 and the outrageous miscarriage of justice that occurred.

And that’s just a taste of the filmic opportunities on hand. There is something for every motion picture lover this year. Get your tickets now.

There are three ways to purchase tickets for the New York Film Festival:

1) ONLINE at Provides best available seat location(s) for reserved seating in Alice Tully Hall.

2) In person at the Alice Tully Box Office
Mon-Sat: 10am to 6pm, Sunday: Noon to 6pm

3) By phone via CenterCharge: 212.721.6500. Mon-Sun 10am-9pm.







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