Exile in Dogville

22 films from 14 countries: Striking crimson gold at the annual New York Film Festival


PTU
October 16 and 18

Hong Kong action director Johnnie To makes his Lincoln Center debut with this stylish procedural, predicated on the late-night convergence of three separate police units and several criminal gangs. Nothing if not formalist, PTU is played for brutal prankishness and lyrical suspense. No distributor. J.H.

Free Radicals' Resetarits and Strauss
photo: FSLC
Free Radicals' Resetarits and Strauss


THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS
October 17 and 18

Denys Arcand's crowd-pleasing weepie is a sequel to the Quebecois filmmaker's equally facile Decline of the American Empire. I can't say that this is the cutest movie about a cancer death I've ever seen, but it is certainly the most egregiously self-congratulatory. Miramax will open it in November. J.H.


RAJA
October 17 and 18

Jacques Doillon's post-colonial two-hander sets up a discomfiting mismatch—rich, white, middle-aged expat (Pascal Greggory) and teenage Marrakech servant girl (Najat Benssallem)—and turns it into a tormented dance of shame and desire (all the more impressive for being conducted largely via translator). Tenaciously icky, Rajahas the courage of its convictions. No distributor. D.L.


21 GRAMS
October 19

Despite scorching performances (Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro), Alejandro González Iñárritu's Amores Perros follow-up is a deflationary exercise in déjà vu. An achronological structure keeps three characters suspended in orbit around a horrific accident; the heart-transplant device (in the dubious tradition of Untamed Heart, Return to Me, and John Q) cancels any attempts at spiritual profundity. Focus Features plans a November release. D.L.


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