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Polanski's Carnage Will Open New York Film Festival, Hits Theaters in December

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 29, 2011 at 8:05AM

Now we know what the 49th New York Film Festival opener on September 30 will be: Roman Polanski's Carnage. It's an odd choice, because needless to say, the director himself will not be able to attend, given his status as an exile. (That's what satellite feeds are for.) Based on Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony-Award-winning Broadway play God of Carnage, the movie stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as two couples battling over their children, who had a fight on a playground, and the health of their respective marriages. (More photos here.)
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Thompson on Hollywood

Now we know what the 49th New York Film Festival opener on September 30 will be: Roman Polanski's Carnage. It's an odd choice, because needless to say, the director himself will not be able to attend, given his status as an exile. (That's what satellite feeds are for.) Based on Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony-Award-winning Broadway play God of Carnage, the movie stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as two couples battling over their children, who had a fight on a playground, and the health of their respective marriages. (More photos here.)

Sony Pictures Classics acquired the film last April soon after it wrapped shooting in Paris, substituting for Brooklyn. SPC screened the film for the New York Film Festival committee as soon as Polanski released a print; the fest called SPC to invite the film at 8 PM Wednesday. Telluride and Toronto did not see the film and are not happy about it, as they now will not be able to show it. The movie will have its world premiere in Venice and North American premiere at New York. Sony plans to open the film in December.

SPC co-president Michael Barker is delighted that Polanski comes full circle, as the very first NYFF's 1963 booking of Knife in the Water marked the Polish filmmaker's emergence on the international stage.

The selection committee chaired by Richard Peña includes critic Melissa Anderson, Film Society associate program director Scott Foundas; Dennis Lim, editor Moving Image Source; and Todd McCarthy, chief film critic, The Hollywood Reporter.

General Public tickets will be available September 12th.

This article is related to: Directors, Festivals, Headliners, Studios, NYFF, Jodie Foster, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.