No “fall movie preview” for you, dear reader: here at Brooklyn Magazine, we’re not some weekend dad who makes a big deal out of showing up once every few months for a grand cursory gesture. No. No. No. Our monthly Film Preview and Power Rankings are there for you month in, month out, to give you a true, painstaking, loving rundown—to prepare you to be an independent moviegoer, no matter how much it hurts us. You can look over previous months’ previews here, like we do whenever we’re feeling [sob] nostalgic.
- The 54th New York Film Festival
Beginning very soon, critics from all over the city will flock to press screenings promising a dramatic array of pastry, and early looks at most of the year’s most important films. The NYFF has always been an agenda-setter, hosting US premieres of the cream of the spring and late-summer festivals, and the fall studio calendar; in recent years it’s also expanded to an encompass a full documentary subsection as well as an increasingly robust selection of retrospectives, special presentations and sneaks. Highlights this year include Ava DuVernay’s mass incarceration essay-exposé The 13th, a rare nonfiction Opening Night selection; Maren Ade’s Cannes sensation Toni Erdmann and films from Jarmusch, Longergan, Hansen-Løve, Gray and Verhoeven; a special presentation of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk “the way it was meant to be seen” (in 4K digital, 3D, and 120 frames per second); a new “Explorations” sidebar for experimental narratives; and shorts from NYC filmmakers and international auteurs. Tickets go on sale, and largely sell out, this month.
September 30-October 16 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
- Associates and Aldrich
An all-35mm series features 22 films—almost all of the major works—of Robert Aldrich, American cinema’s premiere teller of two-fisted tales, who carved out a Hawksian career for himself in post-studio Hollywood, making films linked less by genre than by rough-and-ready attitudes before and behind the camera. Canonical titles include the ultra-hardboiled, apocalyptic noir Kiss Me Deadly, and every Baby Boomer’s favorite Tarantino movie The Dirty Dozen; auteurists love , and his final film … All the Marbles, about the extremely Film Twitter-friendly subjects of minor-league wrestling and Peter Falk.
Starting September 16 at the Metrograph.
- American Honey
Brit auteur Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights) gave Cannes critics plenty to hang their thinkpieces on with this road-trip epic, about a makeshift family of beautiful losers scamming and loving and bohemianing their way across the Heartland. The film’s run time is 163 minutes, or exactly 16 plays of the video for Lana Del Rey’s “Ride.”
Opens September 30.
- Woman with a Movie Camera: Female Film Directors Before 1950
A global survey, taking in the early-Hollywood iconoclasts, silent stylist Lois Weber and Dorothy Arzner (a regular Paramount director for decades, who worked with most of the studio’s biggest stars, but has yet to be taken seriously as an auteur and not just a pioneer), alongside groundbreaking directors from other national cinemas, including Mexico (Adela Sequeyro), Italy (Elvira Notari), and Norway (Edith Carlmar).
September 15-28 at Anthology Film Archives.
Clint Eastwood, Sexual Cowboy, directs Tom Hanks in a film based on one of the great news-cycle hijacks of the 21st century, the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River on an otherwise very boring Thursday afternoon shortly before Obama’s first inauguration. (Q: Where were you when Captain Sully landed the plane on the Hudson? A: On Gawker.) The story of stoic, hands-on heroism from a single lone actor is pure Eastwood; the challenge of making a feature-length film about a six-minute event suggests a formalism that may or may not be. Here’s hoping the director of Unforgiven includes an extended subplot concerning the horrific retaliatory attacks carried out by the US government on the city’s geese population.
Opens September 9.
- The Master: Philip Seymour Hoffman
The most renowned American actor of his generation found specificity in even the grandest gestures, across a range of roles that’s pretty remarkable when laid out all in one place, as in MoMI’s loving retrospective. The series opens with a nod to Hoffman’s stage work, with his film of Jack Goes Boating, a play he also directed for the LABrinth Theater Company (of which he was Artistic Director), before continuing on to his work with P.T. Anderson and many others.
September 16-October 2 at the Museum of the Moving Image.
- Blair Witch
Microindie graduate Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next, The Guest) is one of the signal filmmakers for our Golden Age of retro horror, in which filmmakers are drawn back to the things that scared them as children—a trend Stranger Things has brought out of the specialty box-office and into the mainstream. This recently unveiled sequel (developed in secret under the title The Woods) comes added with extra 90s nostalgia.
Opens September 16.
- Modern Greek Tragedies
The byob/DIY Bushwick series presents a selection of Greek films during the turmoil prior to and following the 1967 coup that installed a seven-year military junta. Under the heavy, heady influence of the 1960s European arthouse, filmmakers took on national trauma via domestic drama and fractured, experimental chronologies in films like The Shepherds of Calamity, whose director, Nikos Papatakis, snuck into the country to direct the film, taking time out of his busy schedule as a Parisian nightclub owner, lover of Nico, and muse/producer of Jean Genet.
Tuesdays at Tenant416.
The cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s meditation on her profession has earned raves from critics including our own Nicolas Rapold, who in his Movie of the Month column in the September issue of Brooklyn Magazine calls the film “an expert compilation movie, a manual on documentary technique, a meditation on documentary ethics, a celebration of female camaraderie, and a hit-after-hit close-up record of a great cinematographer at work, at the height of her empathic powers.”
Opens September 9.
- Do Not Resist
Documentarian Craig Atkinson looks at the militarization of US police forces—a subject well-covered by investigative journalists and advocates, and here made visceral and immediate with footage from Ferguson and SWAT training. The film is “an eye-opening experience,” said the New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins, the Times’s Baghdad correspondent from 2003-2006.
Opens September 30.
- The Magnificent Seven
These Magnificent Seven are named Sam Chisholm, Josh Farrady, Goodnight Robicheaux, Jack Horne, Billy Rocks, Vasquez (a Mexican) and Red Harvest (a Comanche), in case anyone was worried that cowriter Nic Pizzolatto wouldn’t be able to put his thumbprint on the material.
Opens September 23.
- Éric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales
For many years, I thought My Night at Maud’s took place a restaurant/nightclub-type deal, like One Night at McCool’s.
September 16-29 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
- Movie in My Head: Bruce Conner and Beyond
Most famous for 50s and 60s found-footage collage films like A Movie, Report and The Cosmic Ray, and later the video for Devo’s “Mongoloid,” Bruce Conner was among the first to realize that the future of moving-image technology lay in providing a dizzying volume of provocative, acontextual snippets, to be sent flying past the viewer at subliminal speed. This retrospective features programs of Conner’s seminal works alongside films by contemporaries like Robert Frank, Bruce Bailliee, Chick Strand and Ray Rice, and more recent works from younger accolytes.
September 16-30 at MoMA.
One of the most memorable titles from this spring’s New Directors/New Films, black-comic ghost story Demon concerns a modern-day country wedding that’s disrupted by a dybbuk, the wandering, vindictive possession spirit of Yiddish folklore. This is the final film by the Polish director Marcin Wrona, who took his own life as the film premiered in Poland last fall.
Opens September 9.
- Chan Is Missing
The sui generis debut of Wayne Wang, a deadpan neo-noir about immigrant identity, shot deep on location in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1982, receives a revival at the Metrograph (where Spa Night, a more recent film with both cinephile bona fides and a direct appeal to the concerns of general Asian-American audiences, is still held over. Arthouse cinemas fill a lot of seats programming for their neighborhoods, and make that constituency visible to the whole NYC moviegoing community; how nice to finally have a screen off the East Broadway stop).
September 9-11, 19-21 at the Metrograph.
Beloved internet figure Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays beloved internet figure Edward Snowden in a biopic written and directed by Oliver Stone, whose Born on the Fourth of July and J.F.K. similarly concern flawed, virtuous men waging quixotic battles against their own governments.
Opens September 16.
- The Marx Brothers & The Golden Age of Vaudeville
To go along with new digital restorations of the Marx Brothers’ five Paramount films (from The Cocoanuts through Duck Soup), and some later favorites, Film Forum has put together programs of some of the other acts plucked out of the music halls to act as content creators in early Hollywood, including the great Cotton Club dancers Fayard and Harold Nicholas.
September 23-29 at Film Forum.
- K-Stew & R-Patz 4eva
Twilight was, in one particular way, a gift: it starred two young actors who immediately focused the glare of their billion-dollar-franchise cachet to getting reliably fascinating auteur-driven projects off the ground. (If you’re a teenage girl who watches everything Kristen Stewart is in—as many Twitter users seem to do!—you are already a better cinephile than most of my friends.) Hence Bob’s Cronenberg double feature; and Kristen Stewart’s series, essentially a spin-off of NYFF, where she features in new films by Olivier Assayas and Kelly Reichardt.
Bad Reputation: Spotlight on Kristen Stewart September 23-27; Pattinson x Cronenberg September 28 at BAMcinématek.
- Dekalog and Berlin Alexanderplatz
Bret Easton Ellis will tell you that contemporary short-season Big-Themed post-Sopranos Golden Age TV has completed its genocide on the very art of cinema, but a new Janus restoration of Kieslowski’s Ten Commandments shorts and a revival of the 2006 restoration of Fassbinder’s thirteen-chapter Weimar epic are good reminders that auteurs (particularly in nations with more public film funding but smaller budgets overall) have long been attracted to the possibilities of the episodic format, producing engrossing, “cinematic” serial narratives even in those naïve days of the 20th century.
Dekalog at IFC Center starting September 2; Berlin Alexanderplatz September 13-18 at MoMA.
- Deepwater Horizon