Over the course of its six years of life, BAMcinemaFest has slowly but surely become what might now be the leading showcase for the best in contemporary American independent cinema. How do they do it? It’s the curatorial approach: The programmers eschew the lure of worldwide premieres, instead culling the cream of the crop from earlier-in-the-year fests like Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, and True/False. Scale-wise, this past summer’s lineup ranged from the big (Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer) to the small (medium-length efforts like film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky’s Ellie Lumme), all the while buffering its focus on recent festival darlings (like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood) with significant New York films from the past (Manfred Kirchheimer’s Stations of the Elevated, Spike Lee’s 25-years-young Do the Right Thing). The result is an event that, in the span of a brisk six years, has blossomed into one of the festival circuit’s can’t-miss priorities.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2014