New York Film Festival Favorites
Celebrating its sixtieth edition this fall, the New York Film Festival is a cornerstone of American film culture, introducing U.S. audiences to some of the most exciting films from around the world for six decades running. This selection of some of the festival’s greatest hits stretches back to its inaugural 1963 edition, and attests to its programming team’s keen curatorial eye, studded with art-house landmarks (THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL), daring experimental works (ZORNS LEMMA, PRIVILEGE), and wildly acclaimed contemporary classics (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, LA CIÉNAGA).
Knife in the Water
Directed by Roman Polanski • 1962 • Poland
Starring Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz
Roman Polanski’s first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters’ emotio...
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi • 1962 • Japan
Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Rentaro Mikuni, Akira Ishihama
Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to be allowed to commit ritual suicide on the property. Iyi’s clansmen, belie...
The Exterminating Angel
Directed by Luis Buñuel • 1962 • Mexico
Starring Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, José Baviera
A group of high-society friends are invited to a mansion for dinner and find themselves inexplicably unable to leave, in Luis Buñuel’s daring masterpiece THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (EL ÁNGEL EXTERMINADOR)...
An Autumn Afternoon
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu • 1962 • Japan
Starring Chishu Ryu, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada
The last film by Yasujiro Ozu was also his final masterpiece, a gently heartbreaking story about a man’s dignifed resignation to life’s shifting currents and society’s modernization. Though the widower Shuhei...
Muriel, or The Time of Return
Directed by Alain Resnais • 1963 • France
Starring Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kérien, Nita Klein
Alain Resnais's MURIEL, OR THE TIME OF RETURN, the director's follow-up to LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, is as radical a reflection on the nature of time and memory as its predecessor. The always luminou...
Directed by Carl Th. Dreyer • 1964 • Denmark
Starring Nina Pens Rode, Bendt Rothe, Ebbe Rode
Carl Dreyer’s last film neatly crowns his career: a meditation on tragedy, individual will and the refusal to compromise. A woman leaves her unfulfilling marriage and embarks on a search for ideal love—b...
Fists in the Pocket
Directed by Marco Bellocchio • 1965 • Italy
Starring Lou Castel, Paola Pitagora, Marino Masé
Tormented by twisted desires, a young man takes drastic measures to rid his grotesquely dysfunctional family of its various afflictions, in this astonishing 1965 debut from Marco Bellocchio. With its coo...
Loves of a Blonde
Directed by Miloš Forman • 1965 • Czechoslovakia
Starring Vladimíra Pucholta, Vladimír Menšik, Ivan Kheil
With sixteen women to each man, the odds are against Andula in her desperate search for love—that is, until a rakish piano player visits her small factory town and temporarily eases her long...
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard • 1966 • France
Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert
With MASCULIN FÉMININ (“Masculine Feminine”), ruthless stylist and iconoclast Jean-Luc Godard introduces the world to “the children of Marx and Coca-Cola,” through a gang of restless youths engag...
Au hasard Balthazar
Directed by Robert Bresson • 1966 • France
Starring Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge
A profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema, Robert Bresson’s AU HASARD BALTHAZAR follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some ...
The Battle of Algiers
Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo • 1966 • Algeria, Italy
Starring Brahim Haggiag, Jean Martin, Saadi Yacef
One of the most influential political films in history, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the o...
Directed by Ousmane Sembène • 1968 • Senegal
Starring Makuredia Guey, Yunus Ndiaye, Isseu Niang
This second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by,...
Directed by Hollis Frampton • 1970 • United States
This sixty-minute film was the first feature-length avant-garde work ever screened at the New York Film Festival, where it premiered in 1970.
Love in the Afternoon
Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1972 • France
Though happily married to his adoring wife Hélène, with whom he is expecting a second child, the thoroughly bourgeois business executive Frédéric cannot banish from his mind the multitude of attractive Parisian women who pass him by every day. His flirtati...
Céline and Julie Go Boating
Directed by Jacques Rivette • 1974 • France
Starring Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier
Whiling away a summer in Paris, director Jacques Rivette, working in close collaboration with his stars and coconspirators Juliet Berto and Dominique Labourier, set out to rewrite the rules of cin...
A Woman Under the Influence
Directed by John Cassavetes • 1974 • United States
Starring Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk
This uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk give unforgettably harro...
Directed by Marguerite Duras • 1975 • France
Starring Delphine Seyrig, Michael Lonsdale, Mathieu Carrière
The most celebrated of writer-filmmaker Marguerite Duras’s singular features unfolds within the decaying decadence of an embassy in 1930s India, where a French diplomat’s wife (Delphine Seyr...
One Sings, the Other Doesn't
Directed by Agnès Varda • 1977 • France
Starring Valérie Mairesse, Thérèse Liotard, Ali Raffi
In the early 1960s in Paris, two young women become friends. Pomme is an aspiring singer. Suzanne is a pregnant country girl unable to support a third child. Pomme lends Suzanne the money for an illegal...
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1978 • West Germany
Starring Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny
Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only for him to go missing in the war. Alone, Maria puts to use her beauty and ambition in order to find...
The Last Metro
Directed by François Truffaut • 1980 • France
Starring Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Poiret
Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under the German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping, humanist character st...
À nos amours
Directed by Maurice Pialat • 1983 • France
Starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Evelyne Ker, Maurice Pialat
With his raw style of filmmaking, Maurice Pialat has been called the John Cassavetes of French cinema, and the scorching À NOS AMOURS is one of his greatest achievements. In a revelatory film debut...
Directed by Wim Wenders • 1984 • France, West Germany
Starring Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski
New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders (WINGS OF DESIRE) brings his keen eye for landscape to the American Southwest in PARIS, TEXAS, a profoundly moving character study written by ...
Down by Law
Directed by Jim Jarmusch • 1986 • United States
Starring Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni
Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film STRANGER THAN PARADISE with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together t...
Directed by Jane Campion • 1989 • New Zealand
Starring Genevieve Lemon, Karen Colston, Tom Lycos
Though she went on to create a string of brilliant films, Jane Campion will always be remembered for her stunning debut feature SWEETIE, which focuses on the hazardous relationship between the button...