Arts & Culture

22 Films to See at the 2018 New York Film Festival

Buzzy movies by Alfonso Cuarón, Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, and more will be the talk of awards season.
IMAGE YORGOS LANTHIMOS
Comments

On September 28, the 56th annual New York Film Festival begins, and brings with it some of the most anticipated movies of the year including Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk, and Claire Denis’s High Life. But with all of the programming—which lasts through October 14—how will you know what to see? Here, T&C has compiled a guide to our most anticipated titles.

American Dharma


In conversations that lasted more than 16 hours, director Errol Morris spoke to Steve Bannon—the former Goldman Sachs partner turned Trump mastermind—about his life, his political leanings, how he feels about the current administration, and more. The result is this documentary, which is sure to enrage come, incite others, and leave no viewer unmoved.

Ash is Purest White


The latest from the Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke stars his wife, the actress Chao Tao, and delves into the seedy realm of the criminal underworld of Datong. But the movie isn’t your typical gangster fare; expect high drama and even comedy from one of international film’s most revered directors.

At Eternity’s Gate


Julian Schnabel might be one of the world’s most recognizable artists, but he’s also an accomplished filmmaker—and this year’s closing-night selection is his latest. The film stars Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh not in a traditional biopic, but instead a series of scenes—some based in fact, others not so much—that help depict his life and legend.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs


This Western from Joel and Ethan Coen has a cast including Zoe Kazan, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, and many more, telling a series of stories about life on the frontier. While one should have faith that any Coen Brothers feature will be smart and snappy, be reassured that this one took home the award for best screenplay from this year’s Venice Film Festival.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Burning


In this expansion of Haruki Murakami’s short story “Barn Burning,” Korean director Lee Chang-dong delivers a tense thriller that starts as a quasi-love triangle but becomes something much darker. Jongsu (Yoo Ah-in) reconnects with Haemi (Jun Jong-seo), a woman he knew from childhood, just before she leaves on a long trip. She returns, with the handsome Ben (Steven Yeun), on her arm—but things take a strange turn when Jongsu discovers Ben’s peculiar hobby of setting barns ablaze.

Cold War


This black-and-white drama does take place in the Soviet-era, but the ill-fated love between pianist Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and singer Zula (Joanna Kulig) is both timeless and placeless. Set mostly in Poland between the late 1940s and early 1960s, the film captures a couple caught in the middle of a decades-long simmering conflict.

Divide & Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes


Alexis Bloom’s documentary tells the tale of Ailes from its start in Warren, Ohio, through his work for Presidents Nixon and Bush, and eventually his storied tenure at the helm of Fox News. Catch this before Showtime starts airing the upcoming series starring Russell Crowe as Ailes.

The Favourite


The festival’s opening-night film is the latest from director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), and stars Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, and Rachel Weisz as three parts of a love triangle taking place in Queen Anne’s court during the War of the Spanish Succession. Expect epic sets, jaw-dropping costumes, and very dark humor.

Happy as Lazzaro


Set on an Italian tobacco farm, in the fictionalized region of Inviolata in an unspecified time some decades ago, we observe the daily life of a lowly farm worker Lazzaro, who goes about his days in humble servitude. Midway through, a plot twist catapults the film into present day, which is darker and more dangerous than the earlier life Lazzaro knew.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Her Smell


Elizabeth Moss is almost unrecognizable as the feverish punk rocker Betty Something. As the frontwoman of a 1990s rock band, Betty is on a downward spiral of drugs and delusions, and the audience is along for the ride in the latest from Alex Ross Perry, who always does great work with Moss. Co-stars include Cara Delevingne, Agyness Deyn, and Amber Heard.

High Life


Robert Pattinson stars in this curveball sci-fi flick from French director Claire Denis. Led by a maniacal doctor (Juliette Binoche), a decaying spaceship crewed by death row prisoners is on a final, decades-long mission—to harness energy from a black hole. Violent and thoroughly weird, this one will shock your system.

If Beale Street Could Talk


Based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel of the same name, Barry Jenkins’ latest effort is sure to earn awards-season buzz. Fonny and Tish are a young, unwed couple who are expecting their first child. But when Fonny is falsely accused of rape, Tish and her family (who were not too keen on Fonny to begin with) must band together and clear his name. KiKi Layne and Stephan James star.

Maria By Callas


Tom Volf’s film takes us inside the turbulent, glamorous life of legendary soprano Maria Callas. With interviews, performance footage, archival photographs, and selections from her own writings, we see Callas from her days as a child, to her career height, to her decline, various scandals (including an affair with Aristotle Onassis), and her early death at 53. A deeply personal story of one of the 20th Century’s greatest stars

Non-Fiction


Two unfaithful couples weave a tangled web in this witty film from French director Olivier Assayas, and what’s truth and what’s fiction is anyone’s guess. Coursing underneath is a parallel storyline about the state of modern media and literature’s last stand.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The Other Side of the Wind


Fans of Orson Welles have been waiting more than 40 years for the release of this film—which the director died before completing—about a Hollywood heavyweight in the final days of his career. The movie has been completed by Welles collaborators including producer Frank Marshall, and is something of a companion piece to the also-screening documentary They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, which chronicles the making of Wind.

Private Life


Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti star as the highly relatable Rachel and Richard, two middle-aged Manhattan artists who are trying, and failing, to have a child. When Richard’s college-age niece by marriage Sadie (Kayli Carter) moves in and agrees to donate her eggs, the trio forms an offbeat family. Comedic and tragic in all the right places, this family drama from director Tamara Jenkins rings true.

Roma


Alfonso Cuarón’s buzzy new feature tells a semi-autobiographical story about a family—including four kids and two housekeepers—in 1970s Mexico City and their day-to-day life. An early review called it “fresh, confident, surprising and rapturously beautiful,” and it took home the Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival.

Sorry, Angel


A love story set in 1990s France, the latest from writer and director Christophe Honoré follows an established writer and a younger man whose fling turns into something serious that neither expected. A review out of Cannes called it, “a touching tribute to the art and culture of early ‘90s France, charting creative obsessions young and old.”

The Times of Bill Cunningham


Narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker, Mark Bozek’s tribute to the acclaimed fashion photographer is as intimate as it gets. Bozek makes extensive use of a 1994 interview with Cunningham, as well as largely unknown photographs taken during his time as a milliner, before his big break. The viewer is transported, taken on a life’s journey with one of the great recorders of fashion and society—and more importantly, of people.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Transit


This German/French film—with English subtitles—follows a refugee who has twice escaped from concentration camps as he assumes the identity of a dead author and attempts to blend in to an immigrant community in Marseille. And, of course, we’d watch anything featuring the German actress Paula Beer, who broke out in the 2016 film Frantz.

Watergate


This documentary from director Charles Ferguson looks at one of the most confusing, difficult, and unsettling times in our nation’s history, which means it’s worth revisiting in the face of today’s unsettling news cycle. Ferguson combines archival footage with new and interviews the people who were there to tell a story of a nation at a crossroads.

Wildlife


Set in Montana in the mid-1960s, this sparse drama finds Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) out of a job and outrunning his own life. He heads to the mountains to fight the wildfires that are ravaging the state, leaving his wife (Carey Mulligan) and teenage son to pick up the pieces, though they start to unravel in their own ways. Paul Dano directs, and he and Zoe Kazan co-wrote the script, adapted from Richard Ford’s 1990 novel of the same name.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

Comments
About The Author
Adam Rathe
View Other Articles From Adam Rathe
About The Author
Liz Cantrell
View Other Articles From Liz Cantrell
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
And how one cosmetic brand makes its mark by reducing plastic waste.
 
Share
 
Share
All of the most spectacular places to see and be seen in the new year.
 
Share
The foodie friends were there to celebrate the end of Garten's cookbook tour.
 
Share
The pair's productions made the holidays during wartime a bit more bearable.
 
Share
 
Share
 
Share
A selection of 2018's must-read books for every literary personality.
 
Share
Our identity as a nation is continuously evolving, and it needs continuing discussion. Esquire Philippines presents a collection of essays offering different perspectives on the necessarily nuanced and complex question of Being Filipino.
 
Share
A very Town & Country guide to Miami Art Week happenings from the best art installations to the most fabulous parties.
 
Share
The legendary creative director of Chanel is the first subject in the new documentary series.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US