Festival M.I.A.’s


Given that Toronto has 15 times more movies than its exclusive New York cousin, there is always overlap. What can be fascinating or frustrating are the New York omissions.

Geriatric Movies By Very Old Masters

Perhaps weary of pans in the Times, the NYFF passed on 94-year-old Manoel de Oliviera’s quirky travelogue A Talking Picture, opting for the palsied classicism of Mansion by the Lake, 84-year-old Lester James Peries’s transposition of Chekhov to Sri Lanka.

Bang-Bang Asian Genre Flicks

Takeshi Kitano’s Zatoichi lacks the formal nuttiness of his early action films and one can sympathize with the decision to privilege HK director Johnnie To’s equally violent but still déclassé policier PTU.

Long, Possibly Anti-American Provocations With Shock Endings By Insufferably Pretentious European Auteurs

If the NYFF snubbed Bruno Dumont’s Twentynine Palms and took Lars von Trier’s Dogville it might be because the former is a long, possibly anti-American provocation by an insufferably pretentious European auteur, and the latter is that and a masterpiece as well.

Fabulously Unclassifiable Whatsits

Having nixed The Saddest Music in the World, the NYFF doesn’t really have one of these. Sadly for us, the film’s producers turned down an invitation from another set of NYFF programmers to appear in the “Views From the Avant-Garde” section.