Thank you, Mark Rabinowitz, for letting me be your plus-one to tonight's NYFF closing night party. If you hadn't extended the invitation, I wouldn't have been anywhere near Columbus Circle, but I'm pleased that I was. Truth be told, you probably should have asked a pretty female to be your hot date, but I'm not complaining. The night itself was quite responsible, yet quiter fun. The only cinematic luminaries I spotted were Guy Maddin and Helen Mirren, but a large contingent of familiar NYC film community faces were in attendance, including: the aforementioned Rabinowitz, Stu VanAirsdale, Eugene Hernandez, Ryan Werner, Anne Hubbell (the hostess with the mostest), David Nugent, Stephanie Zacharek, Charles Taylor, Richard Pena, Laura Kern, and many more. I also met two of Guy Maddin's producers, who were equally nice.
Speaking of pointless gossiping, I was actually thinking earlier tonight about starting a new NYC indie film website, only this one tracks the public appearances of journalists and critics and bloggers, not filmmakers and actors. That would really get some traffic. I might even be able to turn it into a full-time job. Or not.
Nevermind that gossip bollocks. Let's get to the main event. This year, rather than write capsule reviews of the films that I saw (I'm trying to edit the Silver Jews documentary, write a new EncoprEsis EP, and perform a major rewrite of PPS by Halloween, so forgive me for being so lazy), I figured I'd try something new and bestow my own end-of-the-festival awards. So, without further ado, let's break out the envelopes...
BEST NEW FILM: OFFSIDE (Jafar Panahi)
BEST OLD FILM: REDS (Warren Beatty)
IN WITH THE OLD: EL TOPO (Alexander Jodorowsky)
OUT WITH THE NEW: INLAND EMPIRE (David Lynch)
BEST ACTOR: Sergi Lopez, PAN'S LABYRINTH
BEST ACTRESS: Go Hyun-jung, WOMAN ON THE BEACH
SPECIAL MEDAL OF BRAVERY FOR ACTING: Laura Dern, INLAND EMPIRE
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Thibault Vincon, POISON FRIENDS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Phyllis Somerville, LITTLE CHILDREN
BEST SCREENPLAY: Norman Cohn and Zacharias Kunuk, THE JOURNALS OF KNUD RASMUSSEN
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Helene Louvart, AUGUST DAYS
BEST EDITING: Wolfgang Widerhofer, OUR DAILY BREAD
BEST MUSIC: Susumu Hirasawa (and others), PAPRIKA
BEST SHORT FILM: (Tie) INNOCENCE/CHRONICLE OF A JUMP
BEST CLEAVAGE: Penelope Cruz, VOLVER
BIGGEST STUD: Louis Koo, TRIAD ELECTION
BEST OPENING SEQUENCE: SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
BEST CLOSING SEQUENCE: SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
BEST PRESS CONFERENCE: Norman Cohn (and Zacharias Kunuk), THE JOURNALS OF KNUD RASMUSSEN
WATCH AND LEARN, HOLLYWOOD: THE HOST (Bong Joon-ho)
BITTER TASTE, VITAL PURPOSE: BAMAKO (Abderrahmane Sissako)
BEST FART (LITERALLY): THE GO MASTER (Tian Zhuangzhuang)
FESTIVAL REVELATION: AUGUST DAYS (Marc Recha)
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: VOLVER (Pedro Almodovar)
A PRETTY YAWN: MARIE ANTOINETTE (Sofia Coppola)
WORSE THAN O.C. & STIGGS AND QUINTET COMBINED: GARDENS IN AUTUMN (Otar Iosseliani)
FASSBINDER ON DOWNERS: INSIANG (Lino Brocka)
BEST PRESS SCREENING DAY: September 20th, Roman Polanski's KNIFE IN THE WATER and Ingmar Bergman's MONIKA ('50 Years Janus Films' Sidebar)
I wish I could add a sentence or a paragraph to each pick, but for now, I simply don't have the time. Though if you want to find out more about each film, go here. For my money, the best NYFF coverage this year was written by Alison Willmore. I hope to write more about these films in the coming future, but as I said, I am incredibly overloaded with projects right now, so don't get your hopes up.
In conclusion, I'd like to thank Richard Pena and the rest of the Film Society of Lincoln Center staff for putting together another classy festival. While I don't think this year's lineup was as exhilarating as last year's (or was that just because I was falling in love with The Prettiest Girl in the World?), I wouldn't have traded these past few weeks for anything. Thanks to Tom Hall and Holly Herrick for being as committed to seeing everything as I was, and a special shout-out to David Nugent for picking up our absent slack during the final week (but that's just because we'd already seen those films).