Film Comment Selects 2019 Cheat Sheet
The premise of Film Comment Selects (screening February 6 to 10) is simple but effective: each year, our writers cover films across the globe, and each year, we work to bring those movies back to Film Society screens for your appreciation, along with some handpicked premieres and revivals. Our latest showcase begins with Sunset, the bravura second feature from the director of the Academy Award–winning Son of Saul, featuring the director in person. You can read all about this mesmerizing work and the rest of the lineup below, complete with trailers and images. Tickets are available at filmlinc.org.
Sunset, László Nemes
Academy Award–winner László Nemes (Son of Saul) returns with an audacious, spellbindingly shot new film about an orphaned young woman searching for her mysterious brother in Budapest at the beginning of the 20th century.
- Waste Lands: Sunset and A Fortunate Man by Imogen Sara Smith
- Interview: László Nemes by Tina Poglajen
- Film of the Week: Sunset by Jonathan Romney
High Flying Bird, Steven Soderbergh
During a pro basketball lockout, a sports agent (André Holland) pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business proposition. Soderbergh’s new film also features Zazie Beetz, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan, and Bill Duke and was written by Moonlight co-screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney.
- The Big Screen: High Flying Bird by Mark Asch
Absence, Ekta Mittal
The waves of migration from rural regions of India to the cities gets a lyrical portrait in Ekta Mittal’s exquisitely crafted look at longing and loss.
- Mittal in conversation with Film Comment Editor in Chief Nicolas Rapold
- Interview: Ekta Mittal by Naomi Keenan O’Shea
Flight of a Bullet, Beata Bubenec
Shot in one harrowing take, Bubenec’s tense handheld dispatch from embattled Eastern Ukraine is a window into how the bloodshed of war pervades life and aggravates and enables male aggression.
- Interview: Beata Bubenec by Daniel Witkin
The Hidden City, Victor Moreno
Deep below Madrid, tunnels of all sorts keep the city running, whether storm drains or subways or other subterranean systems. Moreno’s mesmerizing underground city symphony takes us into an unknown world of darkness and glimmering activity.
- Interview: Victor Moreno by Nicolas Rapold
- Tunnel Vision: The Hidden City and City Symphonies by Imogen Sara Smith
Jessica Forever, Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
Jessica is the bold leader and den mother to an adopted gang of militaristic, orphaned teenage boys in this portrait of bereft teenage masculinity that feels vivid in its science fiction.
- Film of the Week: Jessica Forever by Jonathan Romney
- Interview: Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel by Yonca Talu
The Lincoln Cycle, Benjamin Chapin
This remarkable series of 10 short silent dramas by John M. Stahl, produced by Benjamin Chapin as a vehicle for his performance as Abraham Lincoln, are structured entirely around memory and recollections of the past.
- Festivals: Pordenone 2018 by Imogen Sara Smith
- Deep Focus: The Lincoln Cycle by Michael Sragow
- Excerpt from “Benjamin Chapin: ‘The Lincoln Man’ and His Lincoln Cycle” by Richard Koszarski (forthcoming)
Los Reyes, Bettina Perut, Iván Osnovikoff
Los Reyes (“The Kings”) watches Fútbol and Chola, a furry shepherd mix and some kind of labrador, respectively, as they hang out, play, and generally coexist with the people who are also hanging out and playing on the lawns and concrete ramps of Chile’s first skate park in Santiago.
- Film of the Week: Los Reyes by Jonathan Romney
- Los Reyes: Bettina Perut & Ivan Osnovikoff by James Wham (forthcoming)
Los Silencios, Beatriz Seigner
Brazilian writer/director Beatriz Seigner’s setting is the island borderlands between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, where Colombian emigrants live in a liminal state. Joining their numbers are new arrivals Amparo and her two young children, rebuilding their lives from the ground up.
- Interview: Beatriz Seigner by Christina Newland
Up the Mountain, Yang Zhang
In Yang Zhang’s visually dazzling documentary, what could have been an amusing look at a painter’s rural school and the older villagers he mentors deepens into a moving and detailed look at family and community life cycles.
Warlock, Edward Dmytryk
In Edward Dmytryk’s ’Scope Western, the mining town of Warlock is at the mercy of a band of rogue cowboys, until citizens engage the sharpshooting services of Clay Blaisedell (Henry Fonda), accompanied by right-hand man Tom Morgan (Anthony Quinn).
- Excerpt from Oakley Hall’s 1958 novel Warlock (forthcoming)
Yara, Abbas Fahdel
In the latest from Iraqi-French filmmaker Abbas Fahdel, a remote valley in northern Lebanon is the setting for a drama in which teenage Yara (Michelle Wehbe) lives and works with her hardscrabble grandmother (Mary Alkady) on a cliffside farm, and falls for a young hiker, Elias (Elias Freifer).
Honeysuckle Rose, Jerry Schatzberg
Jerry Schatzberg’s rarely screened Honeysuckle Rose stars Willie Nelson as a touring country music singer, and was shot by the late Robby Müller who gorgeously realized works for directors ranging from Wim Wenders to Jim Jarmusch to Lars von Trier to Barbet Schroeder.
- Photo Essay: Honeysuckle Rose by Robert Schneider