Top 22 of 2020

While I certainly wouldn’t say 2020 approached the greatness of 2019’s release year, it certainly held up much better than could have been reasonably expected, given all the obstacles eventually overcome. The amount of films is a bit misleading; there were definitely fewer films that I adored, and Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology accounts for a not insignificant percentage of this list.

The following list is formed from the reds, oranges, greens, and blues that I have seen at time of writing that were commercially released in New York City or received a virtual commercial release in 2020. A list, not the list.

1. Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello)

2. To the Ends of the Earth (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

3. Fourteen (Dan Sallitt)

4. I Was at Home, But… (Angela Schanelec)

5. The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack)

6. The Traitor (Marco Bellocchio)

7. Heimat Is a Space in Time (Thomas Heise)

8. Vitalina Varela (Pedro Costa)

9. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt)

10. The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu)

11. Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen)

12. Ghost Tropic (Bas Devos)

13. Tesla (Michael Almereyda)

14. Liberté (Albert Serra)

15. Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles)

16. The Wild Goose Lake (Diao Yinan)

17. City Hall (Frederick Wiseman)

18. Sibyl (Justine Triet)

19. Red, White and Blue (Steve McQueen)

20. Education (Steve McQueen)

21. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (Bill & Turner Ross)

22. Mangrove (Steve McQueen)

My Top 10 Discoveries During 2020 (for first-time viewings of films made before 2000)

  1. Perceval le Gallois (1978, Eric Rohmer)
  2. Femmes Femmes (1974, Paul Vecchiali)
  3. High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa)
  4. Beijing Watermelon (1989, Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  5. His Girl Friday (1940, Howard Hawks)
  6. The Love Eterne (1963, Li Han-hsiang)
  7. Peking Opera Blues (1986, Tsui Hark)
  8. Yearning (1964, Mikio Naruse)
  9. The Rocking Horsemen (1992, Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  10. Dirty Ho (1979, Lau Kar-leung)

17th (1979): “Film Capital of the World” Show Notes

Table of Contents: Description, Corrections/Clarifications, Housekeeping, General, Main Slate, Ephemera, Recurring Directors, Recurring Countries, One-Time Directors, Debuts, Festivals/Oscar Nominees, Discussions By Length, Specifications

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Description
The seventeenth episode of the Catalyst and Witness podcast, devoted to exploring the films and format of the New York Film Festival, hosted by Ryan Swen. This covers the seventeenth edition of the festival in 1979, and features special guest Jake Cole, freelance film critic for Slant Magazine.

0:00-15:35 – Opening
15:36-1:08:42 – Part One [La Luna to Wise Blood]
1:08:43-2:16:06 – Part Two [Short Memory to Molière]
2:16:07-3:13:08 – Part Three [Best Boy to In a Year With 13 Moons]
3:13:09-4:11:27 – Part Four [Without Anesthesia to The Marriage of Maria Braun]
4:11:28-4:17:25 – Closing

Corrections/Clarifications

  • Though the New York Film Festival poster for this year was designed by Michelangelo Pistoletto, I was unable to find a picture of it for use on this page.

Housekeeping

  • Hosted by Ryan Swen
  • Special Guest Jake Cole
  • Conceived and Edited by Ryan Swen
  • Recorded in Roswell and Atlanta on Zoom H4N and Behringer Microphones, Edited in Audacity
  • Podcast photograph from Yi Yi, Logo designed by Dan Molloy
  • Recorded December 13, 2020
  • Released December 26, 2020
  • Music (in order of appearance):
    • La Luna (opening night)
    • Wise Blood (another favorite)
    • The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (favorite of the first section)
    • Short Memory (favorite of the second section)
    • Alexandria… Why? (favorite of the third section)
    • The Black Stallion (favorite of the fourth section)
    • The Marriage of Maria Braun (closing night)

General

  • Selection Committee: Richard Roud (program director), Richard Corliss, Molly Haskell, Charles Michener, Tom Luddy (West Coast consultant), Mary Meerson (retrospective consultant)
  • Location: Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall
  • Prices: 3, 4, 5.50; for opening and closing night 5, 7, 10
  • Films seen for the podcast:
    • Ryan
      • Seen before podcast watching period: N/A
      • Seen for the podcast: All
      • Favorite films: The Marriage of Maria Braun, The Golden Coach, In a Year With 13 Moons, Peeping Tom, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie, Wise Blood, The Black Stallion, Short Memory
      • Least favorite films: The Europeans
      • Catch-Up Corner: The Bench of Desolation (12th)
    • Jake
      • Seen before podcast watching period: Wise Blood, Nosferatu the Vampyre, My Brilliant Career, In a Year With 13 Moons
      • Seen for the podcast: All available except Angi Vera, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock, Other People’s Money, The Wobblies; Nosferatu the Vampyre, My Brilliant Career, In a Year With 13 Moons rewatched
      • Favorite films: Nosferatu the Vampyre, The Marriage of Maria Braun, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie, The Black Stallion, Wise Blood, Short Memory
      • Least favorite films: The Europeans, The Maids of Wilko
  • Discoveries of the festival: Short Memory, Alexandria… Why?, Other People’s Money, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

Main Slate

Opening Night: La Luna [Luna] (1979, Bernardo Bertolucci)
September 28, 8:30 {Avery Fisher Hall}
Released 1979
Retrospective: The Golden Coach (1952, Jean Renoir)
September 29, 12:30
Released 1954
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979, Chuck Jones)
September 29, 3:00
Released 1979
Black Jack (1979, Ken Loach)
September 29, 6:00
Never released
Wise Blood (1979, John Huston)
September 29, 9:00
Released 1980
Short Memory [La mémoire courte] (1979, Eduardo de Gregorio)
September 30, 2:00
Never released
Angi Vera (1978, Pál Gabór)
October 1, 6:15
Released 1980
Nosferatu the Vampyre [Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht/Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night] (1979, Werner Herzog)
October 1, 9:30
Released 1979
Retrospective: Howard Hughes Presents…
Scarface (1932, Howard Hawks)
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947, Preston Sturges)
October 2, 6:15
Released 1932/Released 1951
The Europeans (1979, James Ivory)
October 2, 9:30
Released 1979
Molière (1978, Ariane Mnouchkine)
October 4, 7:00
Never released
Best Boy (1979, Ira Wohl)
October 5, 6:15
Released 1980
Other People’s Money [L’Argent des autres] (1978, Christian de Chalonge)
October 5, 9:30
Never released
Alexandria… Why? [Iskanderija… lih?] (1979, Youssef Chahine)
October 6, 6:00
Never released
My Brilliant Career (1979, Gillian Armstrong)
October 6, 9:00
Released 1980
A Scream From Silence [Mourir à tue-tête/To Die at the Top of One’s Lungs] (1979, Anne Claire Poirier)
October 8, 6:15
Never released
In a Year With 13 Moons [In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden] (1978, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
October 8, 9:30
Released 1980
Without Anesthesia [Bez znieczulenia] (1978, Andrzej Wajda)
October 9, 9:30
Released 1982
The Wobblies (1979, Steward Bird & Deborah Shaffer)
October 11, 6:15
Released 1981
The Maids of Wilko [Panny z Wilka] (1979, Andrzej Wajda)
October 11, 9:30
Never released
The Black Stallion (1979, Carroll Ballard)
October 13, 12:30
Released 1979
Retrospective: Peeping Tom (1960, Michael Powell)
October 13, 3:00
Released 1979
Closing Night: The Marriage of Maria Braun [Die Ehe der Maria Braun] (1979, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
October 14, 8:30 {Avery Fisher Hall}
Released 1979

Ephemera

  • Festival of American Independent Films, a six-day festival featuring six new or unreleased films and nine previously released films, released as a prelude leading directly to the New York Film Festival, $3 a film at Paramount Theater
  • Exhibition of technological developments in filmmaking, displayed October 2-4 from 11-8 in Alice Tully Hall

Recurring Directors
Key: films in this iteration excluding shorts/omnibus/retrospectives, films in this iteration including, films in the festival up to this point excluding, films up to this point including, number of gala spots (when applicable), number of festivals with more than one film shown (when applicable); † indicates their last appearance, fraction in parentheses indicates number of features shown from oeuvre, features released in the eligible timeframe, features in oeuvre

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder: 2/2/9/9/1/1
  • Andrzej Wajda: 2/2/3/3/0/1
  • Bernardo Bertolucci: 1/1/7/8/2/1†(8/17/17)
  • Werner Herzog: 1/1/7/8/0/1
  • James Ivory: 1/1/4/4†(4/29/29)
  • Ken Loach: 1/1/3/3
  • Eduardo de Gregorio: 1/1/2/2†(2/5/5)
  • Youssef Chahine: 1/1/1/1
  • Christian de Chalonge: 1/1/1/1
  • Deborah Shaffer: 1/1/1/1
  • Jean Renoir: 0/1/0/5†(5/0/33)
  • Michael Powell: 0/1/0/1

Recurring Countries
Key: films in this iteration excluding shorts/retrospectives, films in this iteration including, films in the festival up to this point excluding, films up to this point including, number of gala spots (when applicable)

  • USA: 5/7/61/80/3
  • France: 3/3/98/117/15
  • West Germany: 3/3/30/32/2
  • UK: 2/3/22/25/1
  • Poland: 2/2/13/13
  • Italy: 1/2/36/42/4
  • Hungary: 1/1/10/10
  • Canada: 1/1/6/7
  • Australia: 1/1/2/2
  • Egypt: 1/1/1/1

One-Time Directors

  • Gillian Armstrong
  • Carroll Ballard
  • Stewart Bird
  • Pál Gabór
  • Howard Hawks (retrospective)
  • John Huston
  • Chuck Jones
  • Ariane Mnouchkine
  • Anne Claire Poirier
  • Preston Sturges (retrospective)
  • Ira Wohl

Feature Debuts

  • Deborah Shaffer
  • Ira Wohl

Festivals

  • NYFF World Premiere
    • The Black Stallion
    • The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie
    • The Wobblies
  • Cannes
    • The Europeans
    • My Brilliant Career
    • Without Anesthesia
    • A Scream From Silence (Un Certain Regard)
    • Angi Vera (Directors’ Fortnight, FIPRESCI)
    • Black Jack (Directors’ Fortnight, FIPRESCI)
    • Short Memory (Directors’ Fortnight)
    • Wise Blood (Out of Competition)
  • Berlin
    • Alexandria… Why? (Special Jury Prize)
    • The Marriage of Maria Braun (Best Actress)
    • Nosferatu the Vampyre (Outstanding Single Achievement)
  • Other
    • Best Boy (Toronto)
    • The Maids of Wilko (Locarno)
  • N/A
    • The Golden Coach
    • In a Year With 13 Moons
    • La Luna
    • Molière
    • Other People’s Money
    • Peeping Tom
    • Scarface
    • The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

Oscar Nominees

  • Best Boy: Best Documentary (won)
  • The Black Stallion: Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, Special Achievement for Sound Editing
  • The Maids of Wilko: Best Foreign Film
  • My Brilliant Career: 1980 Best Costume Design

Discussions By Length (Approximate)

  • 15:09 The Marriage of Maria Braun (3:56:18-4:11:27)
  • 15:04 “Howard Hughes Presents…” (1:40:16-1:55:20)
  • 13:14 In a Year With 13 Moons (2:59:54-3:13:08)
  • 13:12 Nosferatu the Vampyre (1:27:03-1:40:15)
  • 12:58 Molière (2:03:08-2:16:06)
  • 12:50 The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (37:36-50:26)
  • 12:02 La Luna (16:41-28:43)
  • 11:56 Short Memory (1:09:47-1:21:43)
  • 11:15 The Black Stallion (3:34:35-3:45:50)
  • 10:26 Peeping Tom (3:45:51-3:56:17)
  • 10:09 Wise Blood (58:33-1:08:42)
  • 10:04 Without Anesthesia (3:14:10-3:24:14)
  • 10:00 A Scream From Silence (2:49:53-2:59:53)
  • 9:44 Best Boy (2:17:07-2:26:51)
  • 8:51 The Golden Coach (28:44-37:35)
  • 8:34 Alexandria… Why? (2:32:56-2:41:30)
  • 8:21 My Brilliant Career (2:41:31-2:49:52)
  • 8:05 Black Jack (50:27-58:32)
  • 7:46 The Europeans (1:55:21-2:03:07)
  • 6:26 The Maids of Wilko (3:28:08-3:34:34)
  • 6:03 Other People’s Money [One Person] (2:26:52-2:32:55)
  • 5:18 Angi Vera [One Person] (1:21:44-1:27:02)
  • 3:52 The Wobblies [One Person] (3:24:15-3:28:07)

Specifications

  • Bernardo Bertolucci, La Luna, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 142 minutes, 1.85:1, English and Italian, Italy.
  • Jean Renoir, The Golden Coach, 1952, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 103 minutes, 1.37:1, English and Italian, Italy.
  • Chuck Jones, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 98 minutes, 1.37:1, English, USA.
  • Ken Loach, Black Jack, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 110 minutes, 1.66:1, English, UK.
  • John Huston, Wise Blood, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 106 minutes, 1.85:1, English, USA.
  • Eduardo de Gregorio, La mémoire courte, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 105 minutes, 1.66:1, French, France.
  • Pál Gabór, Angi Vera, 1978, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 96 minutes, 1.66:1, Hungarian, Hungary.
  • Werner Herzog, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 107 minutes, 1.85:1, German, West Germany.
  • Howard Hawks, Scarface, 1932, 35 mm, black-and-white, mono sound, 93 minutes, 1.37:1, English, USA.
  • Preston Sturges, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock, 1947, 35 mm, black-and-white, mono sound, 89 minutes, 1.37:1, English, USA.
  • James Ivory, The Europeans, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 91 minutes, 1.66:1, English, UK.
  • Ariane Mnouchkine, Molière, 1978, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 260 minutes, 1.66:1, French, France.
  • Ira Wohl, Best Boy, 1979, 16 mm, color, mono sound, 111 minutes, 1.37:1, English, USA.
  • Christian de Chalonge, L’Argent des autres, 1978, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 105 minutes, 1.66:1, French, France.
  • Youssef Chahine, Iskanderija… lih?, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 133 minutes, 1.66:1, Arabic and English, Egypt.
  • Gillian Armstrong, My Brilliant Career, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 100 minutes, 1.85:1, English, Australia.
  • Anne Claire Poirier, Mourir à tue-tête, 1979, 16 mm, color and black-and-white, mono sound, 96 minutes, 1.37:1, French, Canada.
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder, In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden, 1978, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 124 minutes, 1.66:1, German, West Germany.
  • Andrzej Wajda, Bez znieczulenia, 1978, 35 mm and video, color, mono sound, 131 minutes, 1.37:1, Polish, Poland.
  • Stewart Bird & Deborah Shaffer, The Wobblies, 1979, 16 mm, color, mono sound, 89 minutes, 1.37:1, English, USA.
  • Andrzej Wajda, Panny z Wilka, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 118 minutes, 1.66:1, Polish, Poland.
  • Carroll Ballard, The Black Stallion, 1979, 35 mm, color and black-and-white, stereo sound, 118 minutes, 1.85:1, English, USA.
  • Michael Powell, Peeping Tom, 1960, 35 mm and 16 mm, color and black-and-white, mono sound, 101 minutes, 1.66:1, English, UK.
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Die Ehe der Maria Braun, 1979, 35 mm, color, mono sound, 120 minutes, 1.66:1, German and English, West Germany.

2020 Virtual Commercial Releases

Compiled from The Film Stage New to Streaming round-ups, format based on Mike D’Angelo’s New York City Commercial Releases lists, criteria for inclusion loose as long as the film appears to be released through some form of contractural distribution, is not playing as part of a festival or equivalent institution, and has not been released in NYC before. With MUBI films specifically, I have attempted to only select MUBI releases not associated with a specific festival or series, but some errors may persist.


Week of 25 Dec

Dear Comrades! (Andrei Konchalovsky)
The Midnight Sky (George Clooney)
Soul (Pete Docter)
Sylvie’s Love (Eugene Ashe)
Wonder Woman 1984 (Patty Jenkins)
Your Name Engraved Herein (Liu Kuang-Hui)


Week of 18 Dec

Education (Steve McQueen)
Greenland (Ric Roman Waugh)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe)
Tenet (Christopher Nolan)


Week of 11 Dec

Alabama Snake (Theo Love)
Alex Wheatle (Steve McQueen)
Archenemy (Adam Egypt Mortimer)
Assassins (Ryan White)
Barbs, Wastelands (Marta Mateus)
Deep in Vogue (Amy Watson & Dennis Keighron Foster)
Farewell Amor (Ekwa Msangi)
Finding Yingying (Shi Jiayan)
Funny Boy (Deepa Mehta)
I’m Your Woman (Julia Hart)
Let Them All Talk (Steven Soderbergh)
Minari (Lee Isaac Chung)
Out Stealing Horses (Hans Petter Moland)
Safety (Reginald Hudlin)
To the Ends of the Earth (Kurosawa Kiyoshi)
Wander Darkly (Tara Miele)
The Weasels’ Tale (Juan José Campanella)
Wild Mountain Thyme (John Patrick Shanley)
Wolfwalkers (Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart)
Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (Massoud Bakhshi)


Week of 4 Dec

Ammonite (Francis Lee)
Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg)
Billie (James Erskine)
Black Bear (Lawrence Michael Levine)
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan (Julien Temple)
Disco (Jorunn Myklebust Syversen)
Faith (Valentina Pedicini)
Luxor (Zeina Durra)
Mank (David Fincher)
Mayor (David Osit)
Minor Premise (Eric Schultz)
Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)
Red, White and Blue (Steve McQueen)
76 Days (Wu Hao & Chen Weixi & Anonymous)
Sound of Metal (Darius Marder)
Survival Skills (Quinn Armstrong)
Tripping With Nils Frahm (Benoit Toulemonde)


Week of 27 Nov

Fatman (Eshom Nelms)
Happiest Season (Clea DuVall)
Let Him Go (Thomas Bezucha)
Lovers Rock (Steve McQueen)
The Mystery of D.B. Cooper (John Dower)
Overseas (Yoon Sung-A)
Stardust (Gabriel Range)
Superintelligence (Ben Falcone)
Uncle Frank (Alan Ball)
Zappa (Alex Winter)


Week of 20 Nov

Ainu Mosir (Fukunaga Takeshi)
Amulet (Romola Garai)
Born to Be (Tania Cypriano)
Cemetery (Carlos Casas)
Collective (Alexander Nanau)
De Lo Mio (Diana Peralta)
Dreamland (Miles Joris-Peyrafitte)
Embattled (Nick Sarkisov)
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist (Alexandre O. Philippe)
Mangrove (Steve McQueen)
The Nest (Sean Durkin)
The Personal History of David Copperfield (Armando Iannucci)
Run (Aneesh Chaganty)
The Twentieth Century (Matthew Rankin)
Unhinged (Derrick Borte)


Week of 13 Nov

Coded Bias (Shalini Kantayya)
Divine Love (Gabriel Mascaro)
Francisca (Manoel de Oliveira) [1981]
Free Time (Manfred Kirchheimer)
Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds (Werner Herzog & Clive Oppenheimer)
The Giant (David Roby)
The Life Ahead (Edoardo Ponti)
Monsoon (Khaou Hong)
Nova Lituania (Karolis Kaupinis)


Week of 6 Nov

The Dark and the Wicked (Bryan Bertino)
Jungleland (Max Winkler)
Kindred (Joe Marcantonio)
Koko-Di Koko-Da (Johannes Nyholm)
Mortal (André Øvredal)
Possessor (Brandon Cronenberg)
Proxima (Alice Winocour)


Week of 30 Oct

City Hall (Frederick Wiseman)
Damnation (Béla Tarr) [1988]
The Donut King (Alice Gu)
Fire Will Come (Oliver Laxe)
His House (Remi Weekes)
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Yeon Sang-ho)
The True Adventures of Wolfboy (Martin Krejci)
Us Kids (Kim A. Snyder)
The Young Observant (Davide Maldi)


Week of 23 Oct

Bad Hair (Justin Simien)
Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (Jason Woliner)
Coming Home Again (Wayne Wang)
David Byrne’s American Utopia (Spike Lee)
Ham on Rye (Tyler Taormina)
On the Rocks (Sofia Coppola)
Rebecca (Ben Wheatley)
The Sounding (Catherine Eaton) [2017]
The Witches (Robert Zemeckis)


Week of 16 Oct

Hosts (Adam Leader & Richard Oakes)
Kajillionaire (Miranda July)
Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello)
The Secrets We Keep (Yuval Adler)
Shithouse (Cooper Raiff)
Time (Garrett Bradley)
Totally Under Control (Alex Gibney & Ophelia Harutyunyan & Suzanne Hillinger)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin)
White Riot (Rubika Shah)


Week of 9 Oct

Charm City Kings (Angel Manuel Soto)
The Lie (Veena Sud)
Save Yourselves! (Alex Huston Fischer & Eleanor Wilson)
South Terminal (Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche)
The 40-Year-Old Version (Radha Blank)
The Wolf of Snow Hollow (Jim Cummings)


Week of 2 Oct

Deerskin (Quentin Dupieux)
Dick Johnson Is Dead (Kirsten Johnson)
Eternal Beauty (Craig Roberts)
The Glorias (Julie Taymor)
Scare Me (Josh Ruben)
12 Hour Shift (Brea Grant)


Week of 25 Sep

The Artist’s Wife (Tom Dolby)
Bird Island (Maya Kosa & Sérgio da Costa)
Jay Sebring….Cutting to the Truth (Anthony DiMaria)
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (Ric Burns)
Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles (Laura Gabbert)
The Shadow of Violence (Nick Rowland)


Week of 18 Sep

Blackbird (Roger Michell)
The Devil All the Time (Antonio Campos)
Residue (Merawi Gerima)


Week of 11 Sep

Buoyancy (Rodd Rathjen)
Cuties (Maïmouna Doucouré)
I Hate New York (Gustavo Sanchez)
Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President (Mary Wharton)
Our Time Machine (Yang Sun & S. Leo Chiang)
Red, White & Wasted (Andrei Bowden Schwartz & Sam B. Jones)
Sibyl (Justine Triet)
The Social Dilemma (Jeff Orlowski)
Space Dogs (Elsa Kremser & Levin Peter)
Unpregnant (Rachel Lee Goldenberg)


Week of 4 Sep

The Argument (Robert Schwartzman)
Feels Good Man (Arthur Jones)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)
Isadora’s Children (Damien Manivel)
The Mole Agent (Maite Alberdi)
Mulan (Niki Caro)
My Prince Edward (Norris Wong)
Robin’s Wish (Tylor Norwood)
Sicilia! (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet) [1999]


Week of 28 Aug

Bill & Ted Face the Music (Dean Parisot)
Centigrade (Brendan Walsh)
Driven to Abstraction (Daria Price)
Epicentro (Hubert Sauper)
The Garden Left Behind (Flavio Alves)
Get Duked! (Ninian Doff)
Ghost Tropic (Bas Devos)
The Hole (Tsai Ming-liang) [1998]
Lingua Franca (Isabel Sandoval)
Matthias & Maxime (Xavier Dolan)
Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (Werner Herzog)
You Cannot Kill David Arquette (Price James & David Darg)


Week of 21 Aug

African Violet (Mona Zandi Haghighi)
The August Virgin (Jonás Trueba)
Coup 53 (Amir Amirani)
Desert One (Barbara Kopple)
King of the Cruise (Sophie Dros)
Pretending I’m a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story (Ludvig Gür)
Random Acts of Violence (Jay Baruchel)
Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (Matt Cipolla)
Son of the White Mare (Jankovics Marcell) [1981)
Tesla (Michael Almereyda)
Wonders in the Suburbs (Jeanne Balibar)


Week of 14 Aug

Boys State (Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss)
Change of Life (Paulo Rocha) [1966]
An Easy Girl (Rebecca Zlotowski)
Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story (Ron Cicero & Kimo Easterwood)
The Last Tree (Shola Amoo)
Martin Margiela: In His Own Words (Reiner Holzemer)
Project Power (Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman)
Spree (Eugene Kotlyarenko)
Sputnik (Egor Abramenko)
Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Broadway (Muta’Ali)


Week of 7 Aug

An American Pickle (Brandon Trost)
Arkanasas (Clark Due)
The Green Years (Paulo Rocha) [1963]
I Used to Go Here (Kris Rey)
La Llorona (Jayro Bustamante)
Made in Italy (James D’Arcy)
Psychomagic, A Healing Art (Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Red Penguins (Gabe Polsky)
She Dies Tomorrow (Amy Seimetz)
Song Without a Name (Melina León)
Sunless Shadows (Mehrdad Oskouei)
A Thousand Cuts (Ramona S. Diaz)
Waiting for the Barbarians (Ciro Guerra)
You Never Had It: An Evening With Bukowski (Matteo Borgardt)


Week of 31 Jul

Again Once Again (Romina Paula)
Banana Split (Benjamin Kasulke)
Black Is King (Beyoncé)
The Fight (Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg & Eli B. Despres)
A Girl Missing (Fukada Kōji)
Marley (Kevin Macdonald)
Shine Your Eyes (Matias Mariani)
Summerland (Jessica Swale)


Week of 24 Jul

Amulet (Romola Garai)
Fisherman’s Friends (Chris Foggin)
Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful (Gero von Boehm)
Host (Rob Savage)
Impetigore (Joko Anwar)
Most Wanted (Daniel Roby)
Radioactive (Marjane Satrapi)
The Rental (Dave Franco)
Yes, God, Yes (Karen Maine)


Week of 17 Jul

Ghosts of War (Eric Bress)
Mayak (Maria Saakyan)
The Painted Bird (Vaclav Marhoul)
The Rest of Us (Aisling Chin-Lee)
The Sunlit Night (David Wnendt)


Week of 10 Jul

The Beach House (Jeffrey A. Brown)
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (Bill & Turner Ross)
Greyhound (Aaron Schneider)
Guest of Honour (Atom Egoyan)
Mucho Mucho Amor (Cristina Costantini & Kareem Tabsch)
The Old Guard (Gina Prince-Bythewood)
Palm Springs (Max Barbakow)
Relic (Natalie Erika James)
We Are Little Zombies (Nagahisa Makoto)


Week of 3 Jul

Bungalow (Ulrich Köhler) [2002]
Family Romance, LLC (Werner Herzog)
Hamilton (Thomas Kail)
John Lewis: Good Trouble (Dawn Porter)
The Truth (Koreeda Hirokazu)
Viena and the Fantomes (Gerardo Naranjo)
Welcome to Chechnya (David France)


Week of 26 Jun

Beats (Brian Welsh)
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (David Dobkin)
The Ghost of Peter Sellers (Peter Medak)
House of Hummingbird (Kim Bo-ra)
Irresistible (Jon Stewart)


Week of 19 Jun

Babyteeth (Shannon Murphy)
Crazy World (Nabwana IGG) [2014]
The Day After I’m Gone (Nimrod Eldar)
Disclosure (Sam Feder)
Miss Juneteenth (Channing Godfrey People)
7500 (Patrick Vollrath)
Wasp Network (Olivier Assayas)


Week of 12 Jun

Artemis Fowl (Kenneth Branagh)
Aviva (Boaz Yakin)
Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee)
Hill of Freedom (Hong Sang-soo) [2014]
The King of Staten Island (Judd Apatow)
The Surrogate (Jeremy Hersh)
You Don’t Nomi (Jeffrey McHale)


Week of 5 Jun

Becky (Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion)
Dreamland (Bruce McDonald)
Hammer (Christian Sparkes)
Judy & Punch (Mirrah Foulkes)
MS Slavic 7 (Sofia Bohdanowicz and Deragh Campbell)
Shirley (Josephine Decker)
Tommaso (Abel Ferrara)
Yourself and Yours (Hong Sang-soo) [2016]


Week of 29 May

Around the World When You Were My Age (Koretzky Aya)
End of Sentence (Elfar Adalsteins)
The High Note (Nisha Ganatra)
I Will Make You Mine (Lynn Chen)
On the Record (Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering)
Papicha (Mounia Meddour)
The Vast of Night (Andrew Patterson)


Week of 22 May

Cassandro, The Exotico! (Marie Losier)
Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy (Elizabeth Carroll)
Inheritance (Vaughn Stein)
Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont)
Military Wives (Peter Cattaneo)
The Painter and the Thief (Benjamin Ree)
Take Me Somewhere Nice (Ena Sendijarević)
The Trip to Greece (Michael Winterbottom)


Week of 15 May

Alice (Josephine Mackerras)
Capone (Josh Trank)
Castle in the Ground (Joey Klein)
Fourteen (Dan Sallitt)
The Wolf House (Cristóbal Léon & Joaquín Cociña)


Week of 8 May

Arkansas (Clark Duke)
Becoming (Nadia Hallgren)
Clementine (Lara Gallagher)
Driveways (Andrew Ahn)
How to Build a Girl (Coky Giedroyc)
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (Laurent Bouzereau)
On a Magical Night (Christophe Honoré)
Porno (Keola Racela)
Rewind (Sasha Joseph Neulinger)
Spaceship Earth (Matt Wolf)
Sweetness in the Belly (Zeresenay Berhane Mehari)


Week of 1 May

Bad Education (Cory Finley)
Blood Quantum (Jeff Barnaby)
Bull (Annie Silverstein)
Closeness (Kantemir Balagov)
Deerskin (Quentin Dupieux)
Ema (Pablo Larraín)
The Half of It (Alice Wu)
Liberté (Albert Serra)
A Russian Youth (Alexander Tolotukhin)
Tammy’s Always Dying (Amy Jo Johnson)
Until the Birds Return (Karim Moussaoui)
The Wretched (Brett & Drew T. Pierce)


Week of 24 Apr

Beastie Boys Story (Spike Jonze)
Circus of Books (Rachel Mason)
Extraction (Sam Hargrave)
Ghost Town Anthology (Denis Côté)
The Heiresses (Marcelo Martinessi)
Someone Somewhere (Cédric Klapisch)
Sunrise/Sunset (Jong Ougie Pak)
To the Stars (Martha Stephens)
True History of the Kelly Gang (Justin Kurzel)


Week of 17 Apr

Abe (Fernando Grostein Andrade)
Butt Boy (Tyler Cornack)
Endings, Beginnings (Drake Doremus)
Mercury in Retrograde (Michael Glover Smith)
The Quarry (Scott Teems)
Selah and the Spades (Tayarisha Poe)
The Sharks (Lucía Garibaldi)
This Is Not Berlin (Hari Sama)
A White, White Day (Hlynur Pálmason)


Week of 10 Apr

The Ghost Who Walks (Cody Stokes)
The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack)
Gray House (Austin Lynch & Matthew Booth)
Santiago, Italia (Nanni Moretti)
Sea Fever (Neasa Hardiman)
Tigertail (Alan Yang)


Week of 3 Apr

Coffee & Kareem (Michael Dowse)
Nona. If they soak me, I’ll burn them (Camila José Donoso)
The Other Lamb (Malgorzata Szumowska)
Slay the Dragon (Chris Durrance & Barak Goodman)


Week of 27 Mar

Crimp Camp (Nicole Newnham & Jim LeBrecht)
Cunningham (Alla Kovgan)
The Daughters of Fire (Albertina Carri)
Heimat Is a Space in Time (Thomas Heise)
Resistance (Jonathan Jakubowicz)
Vivarium (Lorcan Finnegan)


Week of 20 Mar

Blow the Man Down (Danielle Krudy & Bridget Savage Cole)
Human Capital (Marc Meyers)
The Platform (Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia)

2020 Festival Dispatch #4 Show Notes

Listen to the podcast here.
Subscribe to the podcast here.

Description
The fourth 2020 festival dispatch of the Catalyst and Witness podcast, devoted to exploring the films and format of the New York Film Festival, hosted by Ryan Swen. This covers the third week of the 2020 New York Film Festival, and features guests Forrest Cardamenis, Soham Gadre, and Jason Miller.

0:00-1:01:03 – Part One
1:01:04-2:06:23 – Part Two

Housekeeping

  • Hosted by Ryan Swen
  • Conceived and Edited by Ryan Swen
  • Guests: Forrest Cardamenis, Soham Gadre, Jason Miller
  • Recorded in Roswell, New York City, and Washington D.C. on Zoom H4N and Behringer Microphones and MacBook GarageBand and Audacity and iPhone, Edited in Audacity
  • Podcast photograph from Yi Yi, Logo designed by Dan Molloy
  • Recorded October 11, 2020
  • Released October 17, 2020
  • Music (in order of appearance):
    • Our Sunhi
    • El Sicario, Room 164
    • El futuro

October 2020 Capsules

Beginning
Seems to fully inhabit the material and the supernatural, which isn’t to say that the two continually coexist at all moments within this. Moreover, religion here is less the constant, forbidding presence that one would expect for a film all about the subjugation and degradation of women, and more a force that can be siloed off, that can be ignored for a time in one’s own solitude. For what Dea has internalized is an intensely focused, and just plain intense, approach to compartmentalization as evoked by composition. The innovation is less in the actual frames themselves, which tend closer to a de rigeur arthouse style (albeit even more beautifully executed than normal), and more in the context created around them, where a potent cocktail of quotidian and nightmarish tones and narrative throughlines is evoked at all times, even when the film focuses on a much different aspect of Yana’s life. By design, Beginning is a slippery film in multiple senses, where a brief respite in the woods can turn into something far more worrisome just by the elongation of the same shot, and where a pivotal location revisited ten minutes later can radically recontextualize an innocuous activity. Perhaps what’s strongest about this film is its deft balance of clear thematics with a certain inscrutability: ultimately motivations matter less in the face of such a distinct mood, which never lets up and only grows more thorny, more piercing.

2020 Festival Dispatch #3 Show Notes

Listen to the podcast here.
Subscribe to the podcast here.

Description
The third 2020 festival dispatch of the Catalyst and Witness podcast, devoted to exploring the films and format of the New York Film Festival, hosted by Ryan Swen. This covers the second week of the 2020 New York Film Festival, and features guests Forrest Cardamenis, Jeva Lange, Jason Miller, and C.J. Prince.

0:00-1:07:45 – Part One
1:07:46-2:07:51 – Part Two

Housekeeping

  • Hosted by Ryan Swen
  • Conceived and Edited by Ryan Swen
  • Guests: Forrest Cardamenis, Jeva Lange, Jason Miller, C.J. Prince
  • Recorded in Roswell, New York City, and Toronto on Zoom H4N and Behringer Microphones and MacBook GarageBand and Audacity and iPhone, Edited in Audacity
  • Podcast photograph from Yi Yi, Logo designed by Dan Molloy
  • Recorded October 4, 2020
  • Released October 7, 2020
  • Music (in order of appearance):
    • Rebels of the Neon God
    • Court
    • 2+2=22 [The Alphabet]

2020 Festival Dispatch #2 Show Notes

Listen to the podcast here.
Subscribe to the podcast here.

Description
The second 2020 festival dispatch of the Catalyst and Witness podcast, devoted to exploring the films and format of the New York Film Festival, hosted by Ryan Swen. This covers the first week of the 2020 New York Film Festival, and features guests Forrest Cardamenis, Max Carpenter, Susannah Gruder, Jeva Lange, Chloe Lizotte, and C.J. Prince.

0:00-1:05:18 – Part One
1:05:19-2:06:11 – Part Two

Housekeeping

  • Hosted by Ryan Swen
  • Conceived and Edited by Ryan Swen
  • Guests: Forrest Cardamenis, Max Carpenter, Susannah Gruder, Jeva Lange, Chloe Lizotte, C.J. Prince
  • Recorded in Roswell, New York City, Toronto, and Camden on Zoom H4N and Behringer Microphones and MacBook GarageBand and Audacity and iPhone and Abelton Live, Edited in Audacity
  • Podcast photograph from Yi Yi, Logo designed by Dan Molloy
  • Recorded September 27, 2020
  • Released September 29, 2020
  • Music (in order of appearance):
    • Law of Desire
    • Stuff and Dough
    • Profit motive and the whispering wind

September 2020 Capsules

Days
Even more than most of Tsai’s films, Days is in effect all about the body and its interaction with the surrounding environments, and while Lee Kang-sheng is deservedly getting much of the attention, it’s just as important to recognize exactly what Anong Houngheuangsy is doing here. It’s tempting to liken him to Lee in youth, and indeed at certain moments they appear quite similar even in the present day. But his situation, and thus the way he carries himself, is completely different. He lacks a Miao Tien or a Lu Yi-ching to surround him, cook for him, and govern the way he lives, and thus even when he appears more innocent, less prone to the acting out or pseudo-prankster behavior that Hsiao-kang indulged in, he has a responsibility to himself to uphold. His existence is thus one of a certain discipline, something that Kang never had and, as a result of his infirmity, can never have. It would be too much to suggest that Anong is some alternate vision, a way of life that Kang could have had, but Tsai’s renewed fascination, his fetishistic interest in the way this young, well-built man moves about his affairs, has its longing resonances that go well beyond the second half’s unity and separation. May we be able to continue watching alongside them.

2020 Festival Dispatch #1 Show Notes

Listen to the podcast here.
Subscribe to the podcast here.

Description
The first 2020 festival dispatch of the Catalyst and Witness podcast, devoted to exploring the films format of the New York Film Festival, hosted by Ryan Swen. This covers the announcement of the 2020 main slate, and features guest Jason Miller.

0:00-1:28:41 – Part One

Housekeeping

  • Hosted by Ryan Swen
  • Guest Jason Miller
  • Conceived and Edited by Ryan Swen
  • Recorded in Roswell and New York City on Zoom H4N and Behringer Microphones and MacBook GarageBand, Edited in Audacity
  • Podcast photograph from Yi Yi, Logo designed by Dan Molloy
  • Recorded August 13, 2020
  • Released August 19, 2020
  • Music (in order of appearance):
    • Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
    • Viola

August 2020 Capsules

Dirty Ho
Both Wang and Ho face two fights that test different aspects of their kung fu abilities before they come together for the finale, and while Wang’s, cloaked in niceties and explicitly designed to be as dazzling as possible, deservedly get all the love, Ho’s feel equally vital to Lau’s framework. Whether it’s the “cripples” or the imagined con artists, he fights a succession of enemies, each with a different ability that in turn forces the untrained Ho to adopt a complementary kung fu style, often complete with otherwise unseen weapons, makeshift or not. That these are with more obviously “different,” even dangerously stereotypical foes who then reveal themselves to be phonies, speaks to the unbridgeable divide between Wang and Ho, separated as they are by class and wealth. Yet they share a sense of purpose, a talent for disguises, and a drive for fighting perfection, and even if it’s only for the span of a film, it’s more than enough to unite them.