Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The New York Film Festival 2014 Premiere of THE LOOK OF SILENCE

Introducing the film
I curse everyone of you in New York who wasn't at the NYC premiere of THE LOOK OF SILENCE. How dare you leave about half of the theater empty. Yes, I know you feared the kick in the chest Joshua Oppenheimer's film gives you but it's a great film and a must see....

...and Gavin Smith did a fantastic Q&A.

I'm not going to do a review. Both Hubert and Mondocurry have a great deal to say about the film, all I'm going to do is tell you about the screening tonight.

I attended with Mondocurry and we were in Row Q for the intro and the film, but moved down to the third row for the Q&A.

The night began when Film Comment editor Gavin Smith introduced Joshua Oppenheimer. He walked out on stage to the first of three standing ovations. His words were brief, largely thanking us for coming and saying he would talk later.

The film played to largely dead silence. Yes people laughed in the right places, several uncomfortable moments and when Adi's young daughter jokes about  selling glasses like her dad, and when she farts as her dad reads a story she wrote. They are wonderful slices of life.The audience also groaned audibly during some of the darker parts.The woman to my right moaned "Oh God" several times.
Joshua Oppenheimer in the filmmakers box at the end of the film

As the end credits rolled there was no responses. Finally when the light illuminated Oppenheimer standing in the traditional filmmakers box in Alice Tully, did applause start and become a brief standing ovation...which resumed when Oppenheimer and Gavin Smith took the stage for the Q&A.

The Q&A was great. Gavin Smith knows his stuff and asked the right questions, all of which let Oppenheimer talk about making the film, of how the film grew out of the filming of the ACT OF KILLING, of how Adi, the focus of the film, wanted to confront the killers of his brother after seeing all of the raw footage,of the planning that went into the making of the film (it had to be done fast and in a certain order so that it wasn't stopped)

The audience continued asking the right questions beginning with is Adi safe. He is but there are plans in place to get him and his family out of the country if it goes south. With other questions Oppenheimer went into further detail about how things were filmed and the state of the country in the face of a new President who has running mate who is one of the baddies in the first film.

Mondo filmed most of the talk and if you're lucky he'll post it.

It was a great evening at the movies, full of good friends, deep emotions and big ideas.

THE LOOK OF SILENCE has one more screening tomorrow (October 1) and is a must see (Tickets here). It will open next summer in the US via Draft House Films. I will keep you posted if more screenings occur before then.

Seriously put this high on your must see list.

(Watch for reviews from Mondocurry and Hubert which will be coming over the next couple of days. And for more pictures from the screening go to our Tumblr page.)

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