NYFF sked ends at 'Persepolis'

De Palma 'bombshell' also set

Sony Pictures Classics' animated coming-of-age film "Persepolis" will close the 45th annual New York Film Festival, which announced Wednesday an eclectic lineup featuring new works from Sidney Lumet, Gus Van Sant and, in his NYFF debut, Brian De Palma.

"There really was an unusually high number of high-quality American films," said Richard Pena, program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, who celebrates his 20th year heading the NYFF selection committee. "I've often wondered why directors didn't make a more creative use of genre, and this year they have. It's also been an incredibly strong year for directors who've delivered the best films they've done in a while."

Pena singled out Lumet's ThinkFilm thriller "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" and De Palma's "Redacted," an Iraq War drama from Magnolia Pictures. He said the latter film "will really be a bombshell. People will be upset and offended by (its depiction of) how some U.S. soldiers are treated and what some U.S. soldiers have done."

The committee chose Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's "Persepolis" — a French adaptation of Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novels about growing up in Iran — because the Festival de Cannes Jury Prize winner is "a truly expressive work of art," Pena said.

IFC Films has four projects in the lineup, all from its VOD/theatrical simultaneous releasing program IFC First Take. They include two more Cannes prize winners — Van Sant's adaptation of Blake Nelson's novel, "Paranoid Park," about a skateboarding teen involved in a murder, and Cristian Mungiu's Romanian abortion drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days." Two of its other entries also screened at Cannes: Hou Hsiao-hsien's French family drama "The Flight of the Red Balloon" and Catherine Breillat's adaptation of Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly's "The Last Mistress."

Film geeks will relish the North American premiere of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner: The Definitive Cut," a 25th anniversary edition of the sci-fi classic with some further tweaks made to the 1992 director's cut.

Festgoers will get a double dose of Bob Dylan with Murray Lerner's docu "The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival, 1963-1965" and Todd Haynes' much-discussed Weinstein Co. pseudo-biopic "I'm Not There." The former contains footage of the infamous "Dylan goes electric" concerts, and the latter features such actors as Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett portraying various incarnations of Dylan's persona.

Other notable films include Lee Chang-dong's Korean drama "Secret Sunshine," which won the best actress prize at Cannes for Jeon Do-yeon; Noah Baumbach's romantic comedy "Margot at the Wedding," for Paramount Vantage; Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona's feature debut, "The Orphanage," from Picturehouse and producer Guillermo del Toro; Ira Sachs' comedy "Married Life"; Abel Ferrara's Italian-U.S. screwball comedy "Go Go Tales"; John Landis' comic docu "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project"; and Peter Bogdanovich's 238-minute rockumentary, "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream."

The Film Society previously announced Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" from Fox Searchlight as its opening-night film and the Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men" from Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage as its centerpiece — two of three films (including "Margot at the Wedding") from producer Scott Rudin.

The fest runs Sept. 28-Oct. 14 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center.

A complete list of New York Film Festival films can be found at hollywoodreporter.com.
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