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Film Comment Events

Free Talks

Film at Lincoln Center Film Comment Free Talks will engage filmmakers and magazine contributors in conversations about movies and provide a forum for discussing ideas central to contemporary film culture—political, aesthetic, and beyond. These in-depth discussions, which will focus not only on the filmmakers’ new films but on ideas about the landscape of contemporary and classic cinema, will later be featured as special episodes of the popular Film Comment Podcast.


Film Comment Live: Vicky Krieps & Matthieu Amalric on Hold Me Tight

This free event will take place in the Amphitheater on Friday, September 9 at 6:30 p.m.

With his latest directorial venture, actor and filmmaker Mathieu Amalric adds a riveting, kaleidoscopic entry to the canon of movies about women on the verge. Vicky Krieps stars as Clarisse, a young mother on the run who may—or may not, depending on your reading—be going through indescribable grief. Krieps turns in a performance of mesmerizing fluidity and mystery, as Amalric’s elliptical storytelling keeps the audience guessing about the nature of Clarisse’s reality.

Join Film Comment for a conversation with Amalric and Krieps about Hold Me Tight and the narrative and cinematic balancing act of depicting a mind in flux.

The conversation will be available soon on the Film Comment Podcast. Subscribe here.

Past Events:

Film Comment Live: Cinema and the State: Nadav Lapid on Ahed’s Knee

Friday, March 18 at 8:30 p.m.

With Ahed’s Knee, the rawest, most autobiographical entry in Nadav Lapid’s blistering filmography (The Kindergarten Teacher; Synonyms), the director crafts a stylized and self-lacerating portrait of an Israeli filmmaker railing at the censorship, hypocrisy, and violence of his government. We’re pleased to welcome Lapid for a special Film Comment Live Talk exploring Ahed’s Knee and the questions it raises about state censorship of cinema and the political role and responsibility of the artist. Also joining us for the conversation: Jamsheed Akrami, scholar of Iranian cinema and director of A Cinema of Discontent (2013).

Ahed’s Knee opens on March 18 at Film at Lincoln Center. Get showtimes.

Free and open to the public! The conversation will be available soon on the Film Comment Podcast. Subscribe here.

Free Talk: Eliza Hittman on Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Monday, March 16, 7 p.m.

We are delighted to welcome director Eliza Hittman for a discussion about her new film, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and her already rich body of work. In Never Rarely Sometimes Always—winner of a U.S. Special Jury Award at Sundance—17-year-old Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) journeys to New York City with her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder) to seek an abortion. “Hittman’s feeling for adolescence is extremely intuitive, and her approach—in It Felt Like LoveBeach Rats, and now Never Rarely Sometimes Always—is not abstract, sentimental, or intellectual. She is not tempted by melodrama or polemic. Her interest is sensorial and experiential: it’s all about textures and faces, behaviors and silences, how destabilized everything is when you’re young and hormonal and inexperienced . . . She’s in the thick of it with her teenage characters.” (Sheila O’Malley, Film Comment March/April 2020).

Free Talk: Film Comment – For Your Consideration: Actors of Color
Thursday, February 6, 7 p.m.

The achievements of actors and actresses of color have long gone under-recognized in Hollywood and beyond—a fact that has been keenly felt for many years now. For the latest Film at Lincoln Center Talk hosted by Film Comment magazine, we’re gathering together to discuss and celebrate the craft of our favorite performers of color from current cinema, as well as key figures and overlooked talents from film history. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold moderates a roundtable critical appreciation featuring Ina Diane Archer of The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture; Soraya Nadia McDonald, writer for The Undefeated and contributing editor at Film Comment; and Mayukh Sen, James Beard Award–winning food and culture writer.

Free Talk: Film Comment – The 2010s, or, What Just Happened?
Tuesday, January 14 at 7 p.m.

The 2010s have been a bewildering time and, at Film Comment, we’ve been trying to make sense of the era as part of our podcast’s Decade Project and in our brand-new January-February issue, featuring a special Best of the Decade section. We’ve been asking what the decade’s most important movies are, and tracing the major shifts and big issues in the artform and the industry. Now, we bring our chronicling of the decade’s cinema to The Film Comment Talk, as we try to offer a roadmap to the highs and the lows, the bold and the beautiful, across 10 years of movies. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold will lead a discussion featuring Ashley Clark, Director of Film Programming at BAM; Devika Girish, Assistant Editor of Film Comment; Eric Hynes, Curator of Film at Museum of the Moving Image; and Alissa Wilkinson, Film Critic at Vox and Associate Professor at Kings College.

Free Talk: Film Comment Best of 2019 Countdown
Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.

In a new annual tradition, Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold and special guests unveil the results of the magazine’s year-end critics’ poll in a real-time countdown. Don’t miss the invigorating live conversation. Appearing in person to discuss—and perhaps debate—the results will be a selection of top critics, including Devika Girish, assistant editor of Film Comment; Eric Hynes, curator at Museum of the Moving Image; Soraya Nadia McDonald, culture critic for The Undefeated and contributing editor to Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, contributing editor to Film Comment and Artforum.

Free Talk: Film Comment – Work and Class in Movies, with John Sayles
Monday, November 11 at 7 p.m.

Some of the most exciting films being made today are tackling class tensions and the meaning of work head-on. Parasite is one major example, but there’s also Bacurau and Martin Eden (both also New York Film Festival selections), the upcoming Little Women, as well as last year’s surreally imaginative Sorry to Bother You. To discuss the complexities in portraying class and work in movies, we are very pleased to welcome writer-director John Sayles, whose film Matewan was recently added to the Criterion Collection and who has also directed Lone Star and Brother from Another Planet, among others. Film Comment Editor-in-Chief Nicolas Rapold will also be joined by writer and organizer Teo Bugbee, who contributes to The New York Times.


Check out the NYFF 2019 site for updates on Film Comment’s NYFF57 Talks.

Film at Lincoln Center Talk: Film CommentRichard Linklater and Ginger Sledge on Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Tuesday, August 13 at 7 p.m.

We are delighted to welcome Richard Linklater and longtime producer Ginger Sledge to discuss their work and the new film Where’d You Go, Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup, Judy Greer, and Laurence Fishburne. Based on the runaway bestseller, Where’d You Go, Bernadette centers on Bernadette Fox (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett), a once-famous architect who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. From the director of Boyhood, the Before trilogy, Dazed and ConfusedWaking Life, and many more, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is “about love, but for an American film, it’s something even rarer—a film about the rekindling of a woman’s brilliant career” (Michael Koresky, Film Comment July/August 2019).


Film at Lincoln Center Talk: Film CommentAri Aster on Midsommar
Tuesday, August 13 at 7 p.m.

We’re pleased to welcome back filmmaker Ari Aster for another free summer Film Comment Talk, following his visit with us last year. This time, Aster will talk about the inspirations and ideas around his latest chilling vision, Midsommar, starring Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor as a young American couple whose relationship is on the brink of falling apart. After a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn. Midsommar is an A24 release.

Film at Lincoln Center Talk: Film Comment – Queer & Now & Then
Thursday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Join us for the latest in our monthly Film Comment talk series. This June’s special guests include Melissa Anderson (4Columns), Wesley Morris (The New York Times), Mark Harris (author, Pictures at a Revolution, Five Came Back), and Farihah Zaman, joining Film Comment’s Michael Koresky—writer of its biweekly column Queer & Now & Then—for a discussion about the changing landscape of LGBTQ cinema and criticism, just in time for Pride Month.


Film Comment Free Talk: Mary HarronWednesday, May 8 at 7 pm

We are proud to welcome independent-film luminary Mary Harron for our latest Film Comment Free Talk. Harron, director of I Shot Andy Warhol and American Psycho, will sit down to discuss Charlie Says, her provocative new film on the Manson Family murders. Join us at the Film at Lincoln Center for what’s sure to be a hair-raising (if not quite helter skelter) conversation.


Film Comment Free Talk: Claire Denis and Robert Pattinson – April 4, 2019

We are happy to welcome Claire Denis and Robert Pattinson—director and star of High Life—for a free Film Comment Talk about this singular film, which graces the cover of our March-April issue. Read Nick Pinkerton’s Film Comment cover story on the film, available in full online.

Tickets to this free event will be distributed at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Theater box office on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 4:30pm on April 4.


Film Comment Talk: László Nemes – February 9, 2019

Join the director of the opening-night film of Film Comment SelectsSunset, who won an Academy Award for Son of Saul, in a discussion of the boundary-pushing technique of his filmmaking and approach to history. Sunset opens Film Comment Selects 2019 on February 6. See more here.

Film Comment Free Talk: Matt Dillon – December 13, 2018

In Lars von Trier’s hotly anticipated The House That Jack Built, star Matt Dillon leads us deep into the colorful criminal mind of Jack, serial killer, through a story of art and murder told in multiple parts. For our latest Film Comment Talk, we are pleased to welcome Matt Dillon to the Film Society of Lincoln Center for a conversation about this fascinating character—part of a career of indelible collaborations with auteurs including Francis Ford Coppola and Gus Van Sant.

Ari Aster – June 7, 2018

Ari Aster discusses Hereditary at a Film Comment Free Talk. Photo by Sean DiSerio.

For our latest Film Comment Free Talk, we head into the belly of the beast: Ari Aster’s terrific upcoming twist on the horror genre, Hereditary. If at times Hereditary feels more like an askew domestic melodrama than a horror movie, that’s not accidental: Aster’s new film is one of the most effective examples of the genre in recent years, terrifying in its refusal to shy away from difficult emotions. The filmmaker, a cinephile who counts Mike Leigh as one of his influences, will sit down with Film Society Editorial Director and Film Comment columnist Michael Koresky to discuss how exactly he mixes the mysteries and traumas of dysfunctional families with his exquisitely controlled and cathartic filmmaking. A talent (and a film) not to be missed this summer! An A24 Release.

Read Koresky’s interview with Ari Aster at Film Comment, and pick up the May-June issue to read his essay on Hereditary.

Paul Schrader

Rare is the filmmaker who also writes vastly influential film criticism, but writer-director Paul Schrader has done just that. In addition to writing Taxi Driver and directing his own body of films—including his gobsmacking latest, First Reformed—Schrader has also been a vital critical voice as a critic and editor and, through influential articles like his 2006 piece on the film canon and his survey of yakuza cinema, a vital piece of Film Comment history. His seminal book Transcendental Style in Film, recently released in a new edition that also reckons with “slow cinema,” is yet another key text in the Schrader canon. To celebrate his new film, his book‘s updated edition, and his work for Film Commentwe are honored and delighted to welcome Paul Schrader for a discussion that brings filmmaking and criticism together on one stage.

Boots Riley & Questlove

Extraordinary times demand extraordinary stories, and with Sorry to Bother You, director Boots Riley delivers a funny, scathing, weird, and audacious satire. Rising star Lakeith Stanfield plays a telemarketer at a company with a brave new world in mind for the country, in Riley’s sharp and smart X Ray of our moment. For our next Film Comment Talk, Riley joins special guest Questlove to talk about the story’s brilliant workplace nightmare and dead-on commentary about culture, capital, and race in America. Happy 200th anniversary, Marx!

Ethan Hawke 

Our latest guest for our Film Comment Talks was Ethan Hawke. His new film Blaze, which he directed, stars in, and co-wrote, was released in August by IFC Films. In a busy year that also saw the release of First Reformed, where he played a tormented priest, Hawke took time to talk with FC stalwart Nick Pinkerton about playing characters who value authenticity and integrity. The actor-writer-filmmaker was in prime raconteur mode, in front of an enthused audience. Look out for more Film Comment Talks during the New York Film Festival and beyond!

Paul Dano and Richard Ford 

At a Film Comment Free Talk, filmmaker Paul Dano and novelist Richard Ford discuss Wildlife, now playing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center courtesy of IFC Films. Adapted from Ford’s novel by Dano and Zoe Kazan, Wildlife portrays a beleaguered family in the American West of the mid-1960s, with a finely honed sensitivity and meticulous filmmaking craft. “An affable man (Jake Gyllenhaal), down on his luck, runs off to fight the wildfires raging in the mountains. His wife (Carey Mulligan) strikes out blindly in search of security and finds herself running amok. It is left to their young adolescent son Joe (Ed Oxenbould) to hold the center.”—NYFF56

Sandi Tan (Shirkers)

With Shirkers, filmmaker Sandi Tan recounts the bizarre and bittersweet story of the greatest indie film that never was—a movie she made with friends as a teenager, only to lose it to a mysterious collaborator. Sandi Tan revisits the long-lost footage from her unfinished narrative feature shot in Tan’s native Singapore in 1992, also called Shirkers, and in the process reckons with both why the film was never finished and how several relationships were forever changed in its wake. Tan joins us for to discuss the thrill of creation and the complicated agony of seeing dreams drift away.