Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Film Society of Lincoln Center Announces 2014 New York Film Festival Opening Acts

The Film Society of LINCOLN Center announced today NYFF Opening Acts, a ten-day series from September 15-25 celebrating the films of some of the directors who will be showcasing their bold new works at the upcoming 52nd New York Film Festival (September 26 - October 12). This year's rich lineup is comprised of many of the brightest lights in world cinema, and the Film Society invites you to whet your appetite with a sampling of past triumph from these luminaries.

Before you see Paul Thomas Anderson tackle Pynchon with Inherent Vice, watch him take on vice of a different nature in Boogie Nights. Before David Fincher debuts his enigmatic new thriller GONE Girl to the world, catch his true-crime tour de force, Zodiac. And before Alain Resnais takes his final bow with Life of Riley, witness his earlier adaptation of Alan Ayckbourn's plays, Smoking and No Smoking, and see him grapple with questions of mortality in Love Unto Death. Whether you're an auteurist, a completist, or simply an enthusiast, NYFF Opening Acts takes you deep into the back catalogs of today's foremost talents.

NYFF Opening Acts will also head to neighboring screens around the city and Brooklyn with some special screenings of past films by notable directors whose newest works will be showcased in this year's NYFF. On September 15, the Maysles Cinema will present a screening of the Albert and David Maysles's Salesman, followed by a short preview of the 52nd NYFF selection Iris and a Q&A with Albert Maysles moderated by NYFF selection committee chair Kent Jones, and on September 18, check out Bennett Miller's The Cruise (whose latest film Foxcatcher will be presented at this year's NYFF), which will screen at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn followed by a Q&A with Miller, moderated by the Film Society of LINCOLN Center's Deputy Director Eugene Hernandez.

Throughout September, UnionDocs will host a selection of events leading up to NYFF. On September 13 and 20 from 12-6pm at El Puente's Southside Connex street festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, UnionDocs will open a booth for beta-testing some of the interactive elements of Living Los Sures, the expansive documentary project about the Southside of Willamsburg, which will premiere at this year's NYFF Convergence. In addition to interactive elements, Living Los Sures includes a collection of 30 short documentaries about the Southside of Williamsburg. On September 19, UnionDocs and El Puente (with support from Rooftop Films) will host a free outdoor screening of a selection of these short documentaries in Havemeyer Park. Some of these projects are also on view at Fordham University's Ildiko Butler Gallery until October 5. Finally, on September 21, UnionDocs will host a screening of Frederick Wiseman's Law & Order, (whose latest film National Gallery will be presented at this year's NYFF) followed by a Q&A with Wiseman moderated by Kent Jones.

Tickets are sold separately for all events. Visit for tickets to the Maysles Cinema, for tickets to Nitehawk, and for additional information and tickets to UnionDocs events.

Tickets for all events taking place at the Film Society of LINCOLN Center will go on sale Thursday, September 4 for NYFF Opening Acts. Single screening tickets are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society members. See more and pay less with a discount package starting at $30; $24 for students and seniors (62+); and $21 for Film Society members. Note: The discount package prices apply with the purchase of tickets to three films or more. Visit for more information.

Films, Descriptions & Schedule

All Is Forgiven
Mia Hansen-Løve, France, 2007, 35mm, 105m
French and German with English subtitles
Mia Hansen-Løve makes her feature debut with this sensitive chronicle of estrangement, redemption, and the indissoluble parent-child bond. Victor (Paul Blain) adores his wife Annette (Marie-Christine Friedrich) and their young daughter Pamela (Victoire Rousseau), but his self-loathing and addiction take their toll and THE FAMILY disintegrates. A decade later, Pamela, now a young woman (played by Rousseau's older sister Constance), returns to Paris where Victor still resides, opening the door to a possible reconciliation. Hansen-Løve eschews bathos at every turn, presenting her story in fragments consistent with the nature of memory. Her efforts earned her a César nomination for Best First Film. Print courtesy of Institut Francais, special thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy NY.
September 20, 6:15pm

Biggie and Tupac
Nick Broomfield, UK, 2002, 35mm, 108m
Nick Broomfield, the "British stalkumentarian and pop culture muckraker" (J. Hoberman), adds to his canon of tabloid investigative journalism (Kurt & Courtney, Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam) by probing the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Christopher "the Notorious B.I.G." Wallace. Broomfield posits that Suge Knight, the then-CEO of Death Row Records, ordered the death of Tupac, who was preparing to jump labels, and then sanctioned the hit on Wallace (Tupac's East Coast rival) to divert attention from himself. Broomfield further indicts the LAPD for culpability in the cover-up. The eccentric conspiracy-theorist-cum-filmmaker, England's answer to Columbo, uses tactics that beggar description to procure the damning footage-including a visit to the prison where parole violator Knight was serving time, scoring an impromptu interview!
September 25, 9:00pm

Bleak Moments
Mike Leigh, UK, 1971, 35mm, 111m
"This film is a masterpiece, plain and simple, and that is a statement I doubt I will ever have cause to revise," claimed Roger Ebert in 1971, before he (or most of the world) knew the name Mike Leigh. Many masterpieces later, Leigh's debut remains as nuanced and humanistic as his later efforts, evidenced by its alternate title, Loving Moments. An eloquent study of unexamined lives, Bleak Moments concerns a repressed office assistant (Anne Raitt) and her painful courtship of a guarded schoolteacher (Eric Allan). Combining kitchen sink realism with the emotional incisiveness of Cassavetes, Leigh developed the script in collaboration with his actors-a technique now intrinsic to his process.
September 22, 6:30pm

Body Snatchers
Abel Ferrara, USA, 1993, 35mm, 87m
Suffused with an overwhelming sense of dread and the director's signature psychosexual pyrotechnics, Ferrara's idiosyncratic reworking of Don Siegel's Cold War-era classic remains the most underappreciated of all the body-snatcher movies. The TEENAGE HEROINE Marti (Gabrielle Anwar) moves to an Alabama military base when her father, an EPA agent (Terry Kinney), is dispatched to investigate the side effects of the army's mysterious experiments. The emergence of the soulless, ill-intentioned "pod people" and the subsequent betrayals and abandonments are all the more acute for taking place largely within the domestic sphere, as Ferrara brilliantly applies the original's critique of conformity to the sacrosanct institutions of the American nuclear family and the American military. Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) and Larry Cohen (The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover) both had a hand in writing the memorably creepy script, based on Jack Finney's endlessly adaptable novel.
September 20, 3:45pm

Boogie Nights
Paul Thomas Anderson, USA, 1997, 35mm, 155m
"This is the film I want them to remember me by," declares pornographer/auteur Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds in a career performance). Though there's plenty of competition, P.T. Anderson could easily claim this, his SOPHOMORE feature, as his bid for posterity. A sprawling mosaic of life in the adult-film industry, Horner's surrogate "family"-uniquely qualified star Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), nurturing Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), sweetly pathetic boom operator Scotty J. (a poignant Philip Seymour Hoffman)-rides high in the late '70s before changing tides and technologies render them has-beens in Reagan's America. Brilliant acting by Anderson's stock company and the writer/director's sensitive approach make Boogie Nights "a big, bright, shining star" in the firmament of American film.
September 21, 7:30pm

Cold Water
Olivier Assayas, France, 1994, 35mm, 92m
French, English, and Hungarian with English subtitles
Two troubled teens (Virginie Ledoyen and Cyprien Fouquet) steal, elude capture, crash a house party in the country, and set out for a storied artists' commune. Writer/director Olivier Assayas culls this evocative tale of rebellion and rootlessness in the early '70s from his own autobiography, casting newcomers and (in Fouquet's case) nonprofessionals in the principal roles. Its soundtrack, ranked the fourth best song score of all time by Film Commentcontributors (and featuring Nico, Bob Dylan, and, most prominently, Janis Joplin), expresses the importance of rock 'n' roll to the European youth movement. Characters named Gilles and Christine would reappear in Assayas's 2012 Something in the Air, further chronicling the director's formative adventures. Print courtesy of Institut Francais, special thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy NY.
September 20, 8:30pm

The Color Wheel
Alex Ross Perry, USA, 2011, 35mm, 83m
Recounting a road trip undertaken by a singularly despicable brother-sister pairing, Alex Ross Perry's second feature is an astonishing work of pathos and cynical vitriol. The director plays Colin, a racist twentysomething sad sack whose sister, JR (Carlen Altman, the film's co-writer), is every bit as repulsive, an irrepressible narcissist who aspires to become a weather forecaster on TV. JR asks Colin's help with retrieving a few belongings she has left behind at her ex's apartment. The two siblings hit the road and plunge headfirst into a world that is, miraculously, even crueler than they are. The result is a thorough, hilarious, and astounding examination of whether it's possible to redeem oneself in a world GONE ornery.
September 22, 9:00pm (Q&A with Alex Ross Perry)

Corpo Celeste
Alice Rohrwacher, Italy/France/Switzerland, 2011, 35mm, 100m
Italian with English subtitles
According to 13-year-old Marta's catechism class instructor, "seeing the Spirit is like wearing really cool sunglasses." Such observations introduce Marta (Yle Vianello) to the religious climate in the small seaside Calabrian town to which she, her mother, and older sister have just moved from Switzerland. Marta is sent to the local church to prepare for her Catholic confirmation and (hopefully) make some new friends. But the religion she finds there is mainly strange: the way it dominates people's lives is unlike anything she's ever experienced. Alice Rohrwacher's extraordinarily impressive debut feature chronicles Marta's private duel with the Church, carried out under the shadow of the physical changes coursing through her. Rohrwacher is not interested in pointing out heroes and villains but instead in offering a perceptive look at how the once all-powerful Church has dealt with its waning influence.
September 20, 2:00pm

Love Unto Death
Alain Resnais, France, 1984, 35mm, 92m
French with English subtitles
Resnais reteams with writer Jean Gruault (Mon oncle d'Amérique) in this rumination on love, death, and what awaits us on "the other side." Atheist couple Simon and Elisabeth (Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azéma) are enjoying the first blush of their relationship when Simon collapses suddenly and is pronounced dead. Moments later, he awakens with memories of a hereafter and newfound resolve to embrace life with Elisabeth. Meanwhile, their married pastor friends (Fanny Ardant and André Dussollier) struggle with the suicide of a parishioner. Among the director's most searching and heartfelt works, Love Unto Deathprobes the questions of where we go when we die and whether love is eternal. Dividing the film into movements, Resnais achieves a symphony-like quality reflected in Hans Werner Henze's chamber music interludes.
September 25, 6:45pm

Los Muertos
Lisandro Alonso, Argentina/France/Netherlands/Switzerland, 2004, 35mm, 78m
Spanish and Guarani with English subtitles
Traversing the Argentine backcountry, long takes of inordinate beauty coalesce with images of natural horror in Lisandro Alonso's SOPHOMORE feature. The slender thread of plot involves a convicted murderer (Argentino Vargas) and his journey upriver to see his daughter after 20 years in prison. The film is essentially a record of Vargas's survival, meeting basic needs impassively as they arise. Though one sequence is sure to get the sensitive viewer's goat (pun intended), Alonso delivers no less than he demands: visceral immersion in his protagonist's precarious existence, harnessing his signature pared-down style to accentuate and embolden the physicality of time's passage.
September 19, 6:45pm (Intro/Q&A with Lisandro Alonso)

David Fincher, USA, 2007, DCP, 157m
From the establishing aerial shot of Vallejo, CA, and subsequent shooting of two teens parked in lovers' lane (to the strains of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man"), David Fincher invokes palpable dread and sustains it for nearly three hours. Refreshingly, he makes his focus not the serial murders of the Zodiac Killer who terrorized San Francisco in the late 1960s but the prolonged investigation, beset with dead ends, blind alleys, and dark nights for hotshot detective Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), hard-drinking reporter Paul Avery (a standout Robert Downey Jr.), and obsessed San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), whose book inspired James Vanderbilt's meticulous screenplay. No procedural has better captured the unnerving limbo of unsolved crimes, or the tolls they take on the lives of dedicated crime fighters.
September 19, 9:00pm


Maysles Cinema

The Film Society & Maysles Cinema will present the Maysles' iconic documentary Salesman on September 15 at 7:30pm, followed by a special short sneak preview of Iris, which is having its world premiere at the 52nd NYFF. A Q&A with Albert Maysles moderated by NYFF selection committee chair Kent Jones will follow.

Albert Maysles & David Maysles, 1968, 91m
In 1968, the Maysles Brothers directed Salesman, a character study/portrait of four traveling Bible salesmen. Salesman is widely considered to be one of the purest examples of direct cinema, with its unflinching and intrusive look at working class America. Equal parts heartbreaking and humorous,Salesman follows the men from rejection to rejection, as sales are down and pressures are up. In 1992, Salesman was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Followed by:
Sneak preview of Iris
The great documentarian Albert Maysles recently celebrated his 87th birthday, but he and his ever flexible and responsive camera eye are still as fresh as a daisy. His latest film is also character study/portrait, this time about fashion- and interior-design maven Iris Apfel, who is herself just south of 94 and remains the picture of a saleswoman who continues to enjoy great success, as she celebrates the late wave of popularity she enjoyed on the heels the Met's 2006 EXHIBITION of her collection of often affordably priced fashion accessories. Maysles, who pops up from time to time as a cheerful on-camera presence, follows Iris as she makes selections for the touring exhibition, advises young women on their fashion choices, and bargains with store owners, usually in the company of her husband of 66 years, Carl, who recently turned 100. Iris's resilience is a wonder to behold, never more so than when she dismisses the idea of being "pretty"-for her, the only thing that matters is style.
Maysles Cinema, 343 Malcolm X Blvd, 212-537-6843,

Nitehawk Cinema
The Film Society & Nitehawk Cinema will present a special screening of Bennett Miller's documentary The Cruise on Thursday, September 18 at 7:30pmwith a Q&A with Miller and Deputy Director of the Film Society of LINCOLN Center Eugene Hernandez following the screening.

The Cruise
Bennett Miller, 1998, 76m
Bennett Miller's compelling documentary chronicles the humorously irreverent and painful reflections of Timothy "Speed" Levitch, an eccentric New York City tour bus guide with an archive of beautifully distorted information about the city.
Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-384-3980,

UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art

The Film Society & UnionDocs is proud to present a screening of Frederick Wiseman's Law & Order on Sunday, September 21 at 7:30pm with Wiseman in attendance for a Q&A moderated by NYFF selection committee chair Kent Jones following the screening. Law & Order surveys the wide range of work the police are asked to perform: enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general social services. The incidents shown illustrate how training, community expectations, socioeconomic status of the subjects, the threat of violence, and discretion affect police behavior. The film finds special relevance in light of the recent protests around the use of deadly force by police in NYC and in Ferguson, Missouri.
UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn,

Public Screening Schedule

Screening Venues:
The Film Society of LINCOLN Center
Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam

Friday, September 19
6:45PM Los Muertos (78m) + Q&A with Lisandro Alonso
9:00PM Zodiac (157m)

Saturday, September 20
4:15PM Body Snatchers (87m)
6:15PM All Is Forgiven (105m)
8:30PM Cold Water (92m)

Sunday, September 21
7:30PM Boogie Nights (155m)

Monday, Septmber 22
6:30PM Bleak Moments (111m)
9:00PM THE COLOR WHEEL (83m) + Q&A with Alex Ross Perry

Tuesday, September 25
6:45PM Love Unto Death (92m)
9:00PM Biggie and Tupac (108m)

Additional screenings

Monday, September 15
7:30PM Salesman + sneak preview of Iris + Q&A with Albert Maysles (at Maysles Cinema)

Thursday, September 18
7:30PM The Cruise + Q&A with Bennett Miller (at Nitehawk Cinema)

Sunday, September 21
7:30PM Law & Order + Q&A with Frederick Wiseman (at UnionDocs)

Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of LINCOLN Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year's most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Latinbeat, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, The Film Society recognizes an artist's unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award. The Film Society's state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at LINCOLN Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, HBO®, Stella Artois, The Kobal Collection, Varitey, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Row NYC Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Support for the New York Film Festival is also generously provided by KIND Bars, Portage World Wide Inc., WABC-7, and WNET New York Public Media.

For more information, visit and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

Related Articles View More TV Stories

From This Author - Caryn Robbins