A few months ago, NPR ran a rather gratuitous item of how reviewer/jester Mike D’Angelo was raising money through his blog so he could go to Cannes. Why he couldn’t just stay at home and wait for the good movies to come to the United States like the rest of us was beyond this blogger, but we came to understand his dilemma on finding that there’s a Hollis Frampton retrospective on at the Anthology Film Archives this weekend. Anybody want to lend a broke blogger $9 to see Zorns Lemma? Thought not.
All of which is a way of saying that reader, we are poor. Hence, reader, we will not be attending the New Directors/New Filmsseries running at the New York’s MOMA and Walter Reade Theatre until April 5. Much to our shame, we didn’t even realize the festival was on. Fortunately, other writers are paid to pay attention. What follows is a summary of what to see if you’re seeing ND/NF 2009.
In the Village Voice, Nick Pinkerton looks at the 39th edition of the fest and decides yep, it’s old. And that you never know what you’re gonna get. But you can get a good idea via the paper’s useful interviews with film directors Ondi Timoner (We Live in Public), Esther Rots (Can Go Through Skin), So Yong Kim (Treeless Mountain), Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls), and Louie Psihoyos (The Cove).
Other writers take a more structural approach. In the New York Times, Stephen Holden wants him some of that A.O. Scott/Richard Brody bloodbath, boldly affirming what he calls “social realism” as “humanistic art with an educational frisson.” That’s the keynote of this year’s fest, with something of an “internationalist tone.” Indiewire’s Howard Feinstein identifies “home” as a key theme, although the way he expresses don’t half make the head hurt:
Be it a villa or shanty, a dwelling is a sacrosanct extension of our bodies, our psyches, our values, our souls, humankind projected into architectural form.
Grab some aspirin, and take a survey of what to expect (and with trailers) after the jump.