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 Chloe Lizotte | October 12, 2021

Transgression was the key to their sonic palette, driven by the collision of Cale’s sustained minimalism with Reed’s earthy lyricism on pain and desire.

By Matthew Eng | October 9, 2021

Despite Mills’s best efforts, his fussed-over films can teeter into preciousness, especially in the concluding reunions and resolutions that cohere a little too neatly. Patness isn’t exactly the problem in C’mon C’mon—its ending is actually one of the more open-ended in Mills’s filmography—as much as its dubious blending of fact and fiction.

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 Demi Kampakis | October 8, 2021

As with Uncle Boonmee and Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong often materializes traumas in the form of phantoms that hover in the margins of his protagonists’ imaginations, visiting and sometimes haunting them in the same way the present is always shaped by the ghosts of the pasts.

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 Gavin Smith | October 6, 2021

The viewer may anticipate a contest between Phil and Rose for the boy’s heart and mind, a kind of moral tug-of-war, and Rose’s physical deterioration as her son’s fortitude develops enhances the misdirection. But in the end, it’s Peter’s conception of masculinity, as encapsulated in the film’s opening voiceover, that prevails.

By Susannah Gruder | October 5, 2021

Ducournau’s latest film starts out hard but strips itself down to a level of softness and sentimentality, examining the armors we establish to shield ourselves from the world, and what it takes to transmute our steely exteriors into something more malleable.

By James Wham | October 5, 2021

Dumont presupposes Seydoux’s purpose: she cries, we feel. But tears are tricky things, and like the central problem of news and entertainment, we are never sure if her sorrow is true or false.

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 Jordan Cronk | October 4, 2021

When you adapt a book into a movie it is more about transcribing the emotions you felt when you first read the text.

By Violet Lucca | October 3, 2021

Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth is full of lovely, obvious, expressionistic style choices, which not only registered on my limited Shakespeare palate but felt invigorating after 18 months of watching mediocrely lensed historical dramas on my TV.