1 A History of Violence [opens September 23] Tense and disconcerting, David Cronenberg’s latest masterwork is a brilliantly directed psychological thriller/neo-western that more than fulfills the philosophical and political dimensions of its title—and confirms its maker as the greatest director working in the English language today.
2 The New World [opens November 9] If Terrence Malick’s fourth feature is even half as good as his first, second, or third, it’ll be the best American movie of the year.
3 New York Film Festival [Lincoln Center, September 23 through October 9] Intriguingly split between established favorites (Hou Hsiao-hsien, the Dardennes) and relative newcomers. A first: three entries from Korea.
4 Mikio Naruse [Film Forum, October 21 through November 17] / Kenji Mizoguchi [BAM, October 31 through November 22] Kurosawa and Ozu screenings have been plentiful the last few years, but here are two relatively underexposed Japanese greats. The Film Forum show is the first stateside Naruse retro in decades.
5 Pickpocket/Mouchette [Film Forum, October 7 through 13 and 14 through 20] Two essential Bresson classics in newly struck prints.
6 ‘100 Years of Chinese Cinema’ [Walter Reade, October 21 through November 10] A selective sampling, obviously. Tian Zhuangzhuang and Jia Zhangke will be in town for panel discussions.
7 Alfred Hitchcock [Film Forum, December 9 through January 12] Thirty-six films spanning the master’s entire career.
8 The Squid and the Whale [opens October 7] Staging scenes from a divorce, as experienced by two young brothers, Noah Baumbach’s quasi-autobiographical Sundance prizewinner nails the big emotions and petty details alike.
9 ‘Month of Horror’ [Two Boots Pioneer, October] New and vintage films, a zombie sidebar, and a vampire all-nighter.
10 Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story [opens November 4] Michael Winterbottom’s meta-movie take on a meta-novel—a sort of meta–Adaptation.