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Arts + Culture

What To See At This Year’s New York Film Festival

The New York Film Festival is just around the corner, and this year's lineup is one of the best yet. Here are the 8 films and events to put on your must-see list.

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1

20th Century Woman

The centerpiece of this year’s festival, Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women tells the story of three women (Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning) who live together in a bohemian household in southern California during the late 1970s. A conversation with Mills and Bening will follow the world premier, which takes place during the festival on October 8th.

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Photo by Lorey Sebastian

2

The Lost City of Z

Based on journalist David Grann’s 1992 epic, The Lost City of Z, James Gray’s eponymous film follows early 20th century explorer Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) as he searches for a lost city in the jungles of Brazil. Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson, and Tom Holland also star in the film, which will close NYFF on October 15th.

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Photo courtesy of Victor Jucá, CinemaScópio

3

Aquarius

Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews. Now, the critically-acclaimed film is set to make its North American debut at NYFF on October 9th. The great Brazilian actress Sônia Braga plays Clara, a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic, who is the only remaining resident of an apartment building in Brazil. Trouble ensues when an ambitious real estate promoter muscles his way into Clara’s life, pressuring her to leave the complex.

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Courtesy of IFC Films

4

Certain Woman

Certain Women, Kelly Reichardt’s seventh film, may have an unglamorous small-town Montana setting, but it has enough star wattage to compete with any big-budget flick. Laura Dern stars a lawyer dealing with a disgruntled client; Michelle Williams and James Le Gros play an unhappy couple trying convince an old man to sell his house; and Lily Gladstone takes on the role of a young ranch worker who develops a crush on a night school teacher (Kristen Stewart).

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Courtesy of Sundance Selects

5

I, Daniel Blake

If you’ve ever had to navigate the bureaucratic minutiae that is the healthcare system, Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake will strike an emotional chord. Dave Johns stars as Daniel, a middle-age man who is unable to work after suffering a heart attack. Technologically inept and forced to sift through seemingly endless medical and legal documentation, he seeks help from the State for the first time in his life, and in the process, befriends a single mother (Hayley Squires) and her two young children.

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Photo by Mary Cybulski

6

Paterson

Illustrious American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, a NYFF veteran many times over, returns to Lincoln Center this fall with not one, but two films: Gimme Danger, a documentary about iconic punk rock band The Stooges, and Paterson, a feature starring Adam Driver as a poetry-writing bus driver. Fans of Jarmusch can buy tickets to hear the director talk about his work and the films that have inspired his craft during the NYFF’s annual master class.

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Photo by Claire Folger, Courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

7

Manchester by the Sea

Themes of grief and redemption run throughout Kenneth Lonergan’s third feature, Manchester by the Sea—a textured drama about a troubled, Boston-based handyman (Casey Affleck) who returns to his hometown on the Massachusetts North Shore following the sudden death of his brother. Lonergan will discuss the film, and the importance of raw storytelling during the festival’s free Directors Dialogue.

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Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

8

Elle

Director Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instict, Turkish Delight) is considered one of the most provocative and controversial writers of his generation. His latest release, Elle, follows the story of a woman, Isabelle Huppert, who seeks revenge after being raped in her kitchen by a hooded intruder. Watch Verhoeven talk about his approach to filmmaking during the HBO Directors Dialogue on October 13th.

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