New York offers five shorts from the New York Film Festival for your online viewing pleasure. We haven’t actually come across any of them at the screenings we’ve attended, so we have no further insights to offer you.
At the New York Times, Manohla Dargis administers a mild smack-down to the festival programmers:
Itâ€™s great that â€œSyndromes and a Century,â€ which has yet to find an American distributor, is on the menu this year; too bad that the entire program isnâ€™t similarly adventurous. It has always been the case that some good films, like Jia Zhang-keâ€™s â€œDongâ€ and Tsai Ming-Liangâ€™s â€œI Donâ€™t Want to Sleep Alone,â€ both of which showed at recent festivals, donâ€™t make it into the New York lineup. Festival programming is always a matter of timing, taste, desperation, politics and logistics, not to mention worthiness. But if the New York Film Festival is going to remain relevant in these difficult movie times, it needs to work harder to secure the best, and it needs to nurture a new audience, not just dine out on the faithful. Whether it scales up or retains its modest proportions, it needs to embrace the very exclusivity that makes it occasionally maddening and generally indispensable.
Itâ€™s rare when a black movie actor is not playing a stereotype that comes from white fear and ignorance. For that reason, itâ€™s hard to get behind the hyperbolic acclaim for Whitakerâ€™s sub-Emperor Jones star turn. The performance has Whitakerâ€™s customary nuance, idiosyncratic gentleness and subtle power, so why do critics now pretend that Whitaker has created an indelible characterization?