You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet, like Holy Motors, is "about" acting, and its Orpheus and Eurydice tale has its own remote kinship to Jean Cocteau—though 90-year-old NYFF vet Resnais might have seen Cocteau's work first-run. A group of aging thespians are assembled in a remote house, as in a detective novel, to hear the will of dead playwright "Antoine D'Anthac," but instead find themselves watching a new performance of one of his works that they had at various times appeared in—the play is in fact Jean Anouilh's 1941 Eurydice, appropriately about the tether of memory, as the play's alumni are drawn to participate in the recital as their cues are jogged, slipping into parallel scenes that offer bifurcated readings of the text. (Along with Passion, Resnais's film proves that split screen isn't dead.)

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
Courtesy Slate Films
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet


The 50th New York Film Festival
September 28 through October 14
Film Society of Lincoln Center

A lifelong love affair is at the heart of the Portuguese Miguel Gomes's third feature, Tabu, destined to be "a cult object for its rarity and its simplicity," as a 45 EP is described therein. A broke-backed, diptych film—its namesake is the Janus-faced F.W. Murnau/Robert Flaherty collaboration of 1931—Tabu abandons a downbeat present-tense narrative in Lisbon for an extended flashback to an unidentified Portuguese colony around 1960 that occupies the film's second more-than-half, as the surviving participant of an ill-starred affair narrates a sort of formal silent-film home movie depicting his romance with a married neighbor. Befitting the banner anniversary year, this NYFF lineup is much concerned with memory, reminiscence, and antique formats—both Tabu's present and its problematic lost Paradise are in old-fashioned Academy-ratio black-and-white—but Gomes's film, like all great works, acts above all as a validation of the present.

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