Monday, September 26, 2011

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL'S FEATURES: POLANSKI, ALMODOVAR, FREUD, & CLOONEY

By DAWN ELARDO
Ultra controversial director, Roman Polanski will be opening this year's New York Film Festival (NYFF) with Carnage, starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly.  Starting this upcoming Friday: from September 30 - October 16, the 49th NYFF will be presenting a compelling ensemble of critically acclaimed buzz worthy films.  (See Carnage trailer featured below). 


Polanski — who's legal battles has kept him persona non grata in the US since the 70s — will debut his most recent film at the NYFF sans his attendance.  Carnage is about two sets of parents meeting post their two sons having a physical altercation. 

Spanish writer/director, Pedro Almodovar will also premier his latest master work, The Skin I Live In.  His usual leading lady Penelope Cruz missing from the cast, rather it stars an old  Almodovar alumnus, Antonio Banderas, as well as Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes and Roberto Alamo.  

As per usual, Almodovar creates an intricate world filled with secrets, fully charged with ironic and shocking scenarios.  This psychological thriller centers around a prominent plastic surgeon who's haunted by his past.  He experiments with a synthetic skin, built for unmeasurable endurance and uses a mysterious woman as his guinea pig — enigma, suspense, and drama ensues.  


Sigmund Freud will make an appearance at the NYFF as well: David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method is about the relationship between  psychology pioneers Freud (mentor) portrayed by Viggo Mortensen and Carl Jung (protégé) performed by Michael Fassbender.  

Based on a play by Christopher Hampton, A Talking Cure, A Dangerous Method is a story that focuses on the study of the psychoanalysts' theories and Jung's rumored and thereby controversial extramarital relationship with Sabina Spielrein played by Keira Knightley — originally a patient of Jung's, and who later became a psychoanalyst herself. 

George Clooney's new film by Alexander Paine, The Descendants will be the closing gala for NYFF.  Paine previously known for the Oscar-success of his film Sideways, stars Clooney in his latest indie film — based on the best-selling novel with the same title by Kaui Hart Hemmings: Back-dropped in Hawaii, as a back-up parent, Clooney finds his wife seriously injured from a boat accident.  

He soon finds himself struggling to take the leading role of being a parent to his children.  He quickly realizes that not only is he left to take care of his daughters alone, but he's also left to discover his wife's secrets that will turn his world upside-down more times over than expected from the accident.  Clooney bestows upon us a reminiscent of his brilliantly subtle but unforgettable performance in Up In The Air.  

And these are just some of the highlights from the New York's 49th Film Festival, but it's definitely more than enough to keep one's movie pallet salivating for more. For more information on the 2011 New York Film festival and to get tickets, go HERE


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