The opening night feature of this year’s New Directors/New Films is the world premiere of Bill Cunningham New York (USA, 2010) on Wednesday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. at MoMA. Director Richard Press’ documentary is a heartfelt and honest film about the inimitable New York Times photographer, who has for decades lovingly captured the unexpected trends, events, and people of Manhattan for the Styles section of the newspaper. The film shows Cunningham, an octogenarian, riding his Schwinn bicycle to cover benefits, galas, and fashion shows around Manhattan, and illustrates how his camera has captured the looks that have defined generations.
The closing night feature on Sunday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. at MoMA, will be the New York premiere of the drama I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué ma mère) (Canada, 2009) by acclaimed Canadian writer and director Xavier Dolan, whose cri de coeur bracingly exposes the limits of love. Dolan himself plays the title character Hubert, a creature full of lust and venom, in this emotional film. Hubert’s burgeoning homosexuality is at odds with his aggravatingly conventional mother (Anne Dorval), in a relationship that is situated within an exquisite filmic structure, allowing the humor and the pathos of his tale to emerge.
Among the 27 standout features is How I Ended This Summer (Russia, 2010) by Alexei Popogrebsky, a film about man’s extraordinary ability to cope with harsh nature and extreme isolation, set in a remote research station in the frozen wilds of the Russian Arctic, which won three awards at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival. The Father of My Children (France/Germany, 2009), by Mia Hansen-Løve, which won the Jury Special Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, is inspired by the life and death of the late, legendary French film producer Humbert Balsam. The documentary Last Train Home (Canada/China, 2009) by Lixin Fan, follows the largest migration of people in human history, which happens over New Year’s in China when city workers leave en masse for their homes in the countryside, often traveling for days by train. Visual artist Shirin Neshat’s Women Without Men (Germany/Austria/France, 2009) is her feature debut, a departure from her gallery-based work that tells the story of four women in early 1950s Iran, and which garnered the Silver Lion for best director at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. Also screening at this year’s New Directors/New Films is director Warwick Thornton’s Samson and Delilah (Australia, 2009), set in the aboriginal communities of Australia, where traditions both nourish and entrap the boy and girl at the center of the story, and which won the Caméra d’Or for best debut feature at the 2009 Cannes
Eleven short films will be screened this year, including the current Academy Award-nominated animated short Logorama (France, 2009); the comedic short Rob and Valentyna In Scotland (USA/UK, 2009), which received a 2010 Sundance Film Festival Short Filmmaking Honorable Mention; and the documentary short Quadrangle (USA, 2010), an inside look at two “conventional” couples that swapped partners and lived in a group marriage in the early 1970s.
New Directors/New Films Classics-IN THE FRENCH STYLE:
For the fifth consecutive year, New Directors/New Films presents a matinee series of past festival highlights, from March 29 through April 2, 2010. This year’s focus is on France, a country whose emerging filmmakers have been an integral part of the New Directors/New Films program since its inception, including such masters of world cinema as André Téchiné, François Ozon, and Laurent Cantet. The following five (re)discoveries from the past two decades-none of them currently available on DVD in the U.S.-are no exception. They are: Jean-Claude Brisseau’s Sound and Fury (De bruit et de fureur) (1989), Cedric Klapisch’s When the Cat’s Away (Chacun cherche son chat) (1997), Sandrine Veysset’s Victor (Victor…pendant qu’il est trop tard) (1999), Stéphane Brizé’s Hometown Blues (Le Bleu des villes) (2000), and Abdel Kechiche’s It’s Voltaire’s Fault (La Faute à Voltaire) (2001).
For more information on the films as well as a full schedule, please visit: