And it’s Cannes-tastic! As previously announced, Laurent Cantet’s Palme d’Or-winning “The Class” is the opening night film, with Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” (a film I couldn’t stand) as the starry centerpiece, and Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” post premiere at the Venice Film Festival, closing things out.
Also in there, as rumored, Steven Soderbergh’s “Che,” as well as Arnaud Desplechin’s “A Christmas Tale,” Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky,” Kelly Reichardt’s “Wendy and Lucy,” Olivier Assayas’ “Summer Hours” and Hong Sang-soo’s “Day and Night.” The festival kicks off September 26th, full line-up after the jump.
[Descriptions all theirs]
OPENING NIGHT (AVERY FISHER HALL / ZIEGFELD THEATRE)
The Class / Entre les murs
Laurent Cantet, France, 2008; 128m
A tough, lively and altogether revelatory look inside a high school classroom, enacted by real teachers and students.
Clint Eastwood, USA, 2008; 140m
Angelina Jolie is a single mother whose troubles are just beginning when her son goes missing in Clint Eastwood’s majestic fact-based period drama.
CLOSING NIGHT (AVERY FISHER HALL)
Darren Aronofsky, USA, 2008; 109m
Mickey Rourke gives the performance of a lifetime in Darren Aronofsky’s raw and raucous new movie.
24 City / Er shi si cheng ji
Jia Zhangke, China/Hong Kong/Japan, 2008; 112m
The rise and fall of a Chinese factory town is chronicled in this film, straddling the border between fiction and documentary.
Antonio Campos, USA, 2008; 122m
When two students at a posh prep school accidentally overdose, a student filmmaker struggles to create an appropriate tribute for them.
Ashes of Time Redux
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 2008; 93m
The final, definitive version of Wong Kar Wai’s modernist take on the classic Chinese martial arts tale.
Bullet in the Head / Tiro en la cabeza
Jaime Rosales, Spain/France, 2008; 85m
A powerful, engrossing meditation on politics and the contemporary cult of surveillance.
Steven Soderbergh, France/Spain, 2008; 268m
Steven Soderbergh’s two-part Spanish-language epic about Che Guevara’s revolutionary military campaigns in Cuba and Bolivia features a brilliant lead performance by Benicio del Toro.
Chouga / Shuga
Darezhan Omirbaev, France/Kazakhstan, 2007; 91m
A Kazakh, minimalist adaptation of Anna Karenina.
A Christmas Tale / Un conte de NoÃ«l
Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2008; 150m
Arnaud Desplechin’s grand banquet of a movie brims with life, as Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos and the other members of a marvelous ensemble cast come home for Christmas.
Four Nights with Anna / Cztery noce z Anna
Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/France, 2008; 87m
This visually mesmerizing tale of a shy man and his obsession with the woman across the way marks the triumphant return of Polish maestro Jerzy Skolimowski.
Gomorrah / Gomorra
Matteo Garrone, Italy, 2008; 137m
A blistering version of Roberto Saviano’s modern true crime classic about the modern-day Neapolitan mafia.
Mike Leigh, UK, 2008; 118m
An affectionate portrait of an unattached, 30-something London schoolteacher coming to terms with the fact that she’s no longer young.
The Headless Woman / La mujer sin cabeza
Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain, 2008; 87m
Argentine filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s powerful third feature takes us into an altered perceptual state with a woman who hits something with her car.
Steve McQueen, UK, 2008; 96m
British visual artist Steve McQueen’s feature film debut is an uncompromising look at the hunger strike led by IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in 1974.
I’m Going to Explode / Voy a explotar
Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico, 2008; 103m
Two Mexican teenagers go into hiding to see the reactions their disappearance will get from relatives and friends.
Let It Rain / Parlez-moi de la pluie
AgnÃ¨s Jaoui, France, 2008; 110m
A portrait of a rising feminist politician may be the ticket to fame and jobs for two aspiring filmmakers.
Max Ophuls, France/West Germany, 1955; 115m
The life of the legendary courtesan and circus performer–lover of kings, knaves and Franz Liszt–is presented in its definitive, restored version.
Night and Day / Bam guan nat
Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2008; 144m
When his life in Seoul becomes too complicated, an artist hightails it to Paris–but things don’t get any easier.
The Northern Land / A Corte do Norte
JoÃ£o Botelho, Portugal, 2008; 101m
A woman searches for the truth about her life in the stories of ancestors and the distant manor house they inhabited.
Brillante Mendoza, Philippines/France, 2008; 90m
A family tries to quell the tensions tearing it apart while it struggles to keep the family business–a porn movie theater–afloat
Summer Hours / L’heure d’etÃ©
Olivier Assayas, France, 2008; 103m
Juliette Binoche is one of three siblings brought face-to-face with time and mortality by the sudden death of her mother in this moving new film from Olivier Assayas.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands, 2008; 85m
A Japanese family struggles to re-define itself after the father loses his corporate job.
Pablo Larrain, Chile/Brazil, 2008; 98m
In the dark days of the Pinochet dictatorship, a John Travolta wannabe blazes a murderous trail through the back alleys of Chile.
Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Kazakhstan/Poland/Russia/Switzerland, 2008; 100m
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Tulpan charts an aspiring herdsman’s efforts to win the attention of his intended.
Waltz with Bashir / Vals in Bashir
Ari Folman, Israel/Germany/France, 2008; 90m
Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman’s haunting autobiographical memory piece about his experiences as a soldier during the 1982 war in Lebanon are given a hyper-real spin by state-of-the-art animation.
Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt, USA, 2008; 80m
In Kelly Reichardt’s follow-up to her acclaimed Old Joy, Wendy (Michelle Williams) searches for her dog Lucy. The troubled spirit of modern America is beautifully evoked along the way.
The Windmill Movie
Alexander Olch, USA, 2008; 80m
Filmmaker Alexander Olch, using material left by the late filmmaker Richard Rogers for a never completed film autobiography, attempts to make sense of the life of his former teacher and friend.
[Photo: “Changeling,” Universal Pictures, 2008]
+ 46th New York Film Festival (FilmLinc.com)