Selections from the 2021 New York Film Festival

By Demi Kampakis | October 15, 2021

In an echo to his father's 2015 masterpiece Taxi and in the great Iranian cinematic tradition, notably the films of Abbas Kiarostami, Panah Panahi presents this vibrant, bracing, and tenderly devastating family portrait through the pressurized chamber setup of a road movie.

By A.G. Sims | October 14, 2021

Eribon aims to dignify working people, who he thinks have been ridiculed socially and taken for granted by those on the left, who once claimed to be their advocates. It is clear that he blames himself as well.

By Ela Bittencourt | October 8, 2021

Muntean depicts well-meaning urban folk who aim to help the country’s rural areas but end up needing rescuing themselves. Muntean’s story is then a social parable disguised as an adventure movie, with undertones of folkish horror.

By Ela Bittencourt | October 7, 2021

Alexander Sokurov is renowned for his oblique directorial style, with mesmerizing, painterly effects, so it is surprising that he is proving to have had such influence on the new school of Russian realism.

By Susannah Gruder | October 7, 2021

Time is in many ways the subject of Petite Maman, which opens with the ticking of a clock, suggesting the childlike domain of Fanny and Alexander, a film that likewise tries to understand the mysteries of adulthood through a child’s eyes.

By Ryan Swen | October 4, 2021

Despite the greater amount of incident in Introduction and In Front of Your Face than in, say, the nearly context-free interactions of Grass and The Woman Who Ran, the sense of characterization emerges equally from the supposed downtime, the moments between the conversations.

By Michael Koresky | October 1, 2021

Noe uses two cameras to capture all of their travails in intimate close-up, allowing us to see them both at once using split-screen. Such a formally rigorous approach tends to call attention to itself, naturally inviting questions of aesthetics and perception.

By Lawrence Garcia | October 1, 2021

The filmmakers repeatedly return to one notable formal strategy: building up a link between two people across a given scene or shot, then punctuating it by cutting to a heretofore unseen observer.

By Michael Sicinski | September 30, 2021

The neoliberal present demands a new mode of realism, adequate to those structures of control that are cloaked by economic and informational avenues utterly inaccessible to all but the highest echelons of technocratic power. Russo has employed formal devices to inscribe these otherwise invisible relationships.

By Forrest Cardamenis | September 30, 2021

Rrather than dole out character or narrative information too liberally in dialogue, Sugita uses editing and pacing, especially in exteriors, to help the viewer understand Sachi. Scenes without any clear narrative purpose tend to continue without any legible motivation for surprising lengths of time.

By Chris Wisniewski | September 29, 2021

Even the title, in referring to a future project of the filmmaker rather than the screening that dominates its central plot, invites a broader consideration of its many digressions and the manner in which the political questions it raises are situated sociopolitically, culturally, and in terms of history and identity.

By Susannah Gruder | September 28, 2021

The film is a richly layered look at the conflicting longings and impulses of early adulthood, the cinematic equivalent to a bittersweet love song that also happens to be catchy as hell.

By Forrest Cardamenis | September 28, 2021

The resplendence of the cave sequences must be seen to be believed, and their ingenuity marks Il Buco as a significant work of digital filmmaking.

By James Wham | September 28, 2021

Alice Rohrwacher, Pietro Marcello, and Francesco Munzi have traveled their homeland in search of a national identity. What they discovered instead are the typical anxieties of adolescence.