Thursday, September 28, 2017

Opening day of the New York Film Festival 2017: THE LAST FLAG FLYING and THE SQUARE in brief

Today was the Opening Night of the 55th Annual New York FIlm Festival and I was in press screenings all day. I will have a full reviews over the next day or two but I just wanted to give you a quick note on the two films I saw today because one is the opening night film and the other plays this weekend.
Daryl Ponicsan, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston at the NYFF Press screening for THE LAST FLAG FLYING

This is probably Richard Linklater's best film and one of my very best films of 2017.

A kind of sequel to THE LAST DETAIL it's based on the novel but has gone through name changes and had ties to Vietnam inserted, the film has Steve Carell rounding up two of his buddies to help him bury his son who was killed during the early days of the Iraq war. Carell is the center around which Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne do Oscar worthy work.

While the film imperfect (one officer comes off as too "boo hiss") the emotional river that runs through the film makes this film one I can't shake. It is alternately laugh out loud funny and heartbreaking to the point of sobbing.

It is a masterpiece and I will have a great deal to say about it.

It is a must see.
Ruben Ostlund at the NYFF press conference for THE SQUARE

My vote for the most overhyped film of 2017, THE SQUARE does not live up to the raves coming out of Cannes.

The film is the story of museum director whose life gets complicated and difficult as his phone goes missing and he tries to get interest directed at this Museum.

Some people loved it, I liked. I found it obvious, over long since I didn't think the film's themes and narratives don't quite hold together.

On the other hand the film is full of wonderful set pieces, including the now legendary formal dinner scene and the soon to infamous You Tube video (if you were in Manhattan this afternoon you probably heard me laughing at an inappropriate moment)

Should you see it? Its worth a shot especially if you can divorce yourself from "greatest film of the year' or "ever" nonsense that's floating around

Reviews of both films are coming soon.

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