Sunday, March 26, 2023

The New Directors New Films 2023 Curtain Raiser

New Directors New Films (NDNF) the annual merging of The Museum of Modern Art and Film at Lincoln Center starts this week and any film lover worth their salt must make an effort to go.  Highlighting the work of new and up and coming filmmakers the festival is the place to get in on people who in a year or two are going to be huge in world cinema.

I have been going to the festival for longer than I have been doing Unseen Films and it’s always been an eye opener. What I love about the festival is it shows a large number of films that you may not get to have a chance to see for a while if you don’t go now. I wade in and try and see as many as I can simply because I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. This is not a knock it’s more that with the craziness of film distribution it may take several months or more before the films circle back. Also sometimes people don’t notice the gem that is sitting right in front of them until a filmmakers next film hits and suddenly everyone is scrambling to circle back. I don’t want to circle back, I want to be in on the ground floor which is why I aim to see everything, it never happens but I try.

I should point out that the festival  tends to  run more towards the more serious, arty films then mainstream hits, but then again it has been known to throw in a curve ball or two over the years, RAID 2, the classic martial arts film made it’s NYC debut here.  While there are no films as crazy as that this year, there are plenty of good ones. I mention this because you shouldn’t be going into the festival to see the next Hollywood hit, but instead really good, really diverse films that are not typical.

As this posts I’ve seen almost 20 of the features.  I hope to have a few more under my belt before I’m done. This being NDNF I liked some more than others, but as I say every year I’m thrilled by getting to chance to see such unHollywood films in concentration. My advice is that if something looks interesting based on the write up go see it. Odds are you will like what looks great to you.

For me the best of the films I’ve seen so far are the following:
MUTT- the Closing Night film is 24 hours in the life of a trans man leading up to his father flying into town. Outside of it being too neat in sorting many things out it still is a great film.
CHILE 76-political thriller about a hidden dissident is a dire warning about not keeping your eyes open.
PETROL- magnificent cinematic film that refuses to give answers about a woman and her roommate
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN - Ksenija Marinkovic gives a performance for the ages as woman who experiences 3 different realities. Oscar needs to give this performance a nomination.

 Seriously go check the schedule and buy some tickets you won’t be disappointed. For the schedule, list of films and such go here.

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