NYFF sked ends at 'Persepolis'

De Palma 'bombshell' also set

NEW YORK -- 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 Film Society of Lincoln Center program director Richard Pena, 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 winner is "a truly expressive work of art," Pena said. "You feel the writer is baring her soul."

IFC Films has four projects in the lineup, all from its VOD/theatrical simultaneous releasing program IFC First Take. They include two more Cannes 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 Cannes-winning Korean drama "Secret Sunshine"; 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 follows:
"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," directed by Cristian Mungiu, Romania, IFC First Take
"Actresses," Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, France
"Alexandra," Alexander Sokurov, Russia, Rezo Films
"The Axe in the Attic," Ed Pincus and Lucia Small, U.S.
"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," Sidney Lumet, U.S., ThinkFilm
"Blade Runner: The Definitive Cut," Ridley Scott, U.S., Warner Bros.
"Calle Santa Fe," Carmen Castillo, France
"The Darjeeling Limited," Wes Anderson, U.S., Fox Searchlight
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Julian Schnabel, France/U.S., Miramax Films
"Fados," Carlos Saura, Spain/Portugal
"The Flight of the Red Balloon," Hou Hsiao-hsien, France, IFC First Take
"A Girl Cut in Two," Claude Chabrol, France
"Go Go Tales," Abel Ferrara, Italy/U.S.
"Hamlet," Sven Gade and Heinz Schall, Germany
"I Just Didn't Do It," Masayuki Suo, Japan
"I'm Not There," Todd Haynes, U.S., the Weinstein Co.
"In the City of Sylvia," Jose Luis Guerin, Spain/France
"The Iron Horse," John Ford, U.S., 20th Century Fox
"The Last Mistress," Catherine Breillat, France, IFC First Take
"Leave Her to Heaven," John M. Stahl, U.S.
"The Man From London," Bela Tarr, Hungary/France/Germany
"Margot at the Wedding," Noah Baumbach, U.S., Paramount Vantage
"Married Life," Ira Sachs, U.S.
"Mr. Warmth, The Don Rickles Project," John Landis, U.S.
"No Country for Old Men," Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S. Miramax Films/Paramount Vantage
"The Orphanage," Juan Antonio Bayona, Spain, Picturehouse
"The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival, 1963-1965," Murray Lerner, U.S.
"Paranoid Park," Gus Van Sant, U.S., IFC First Take
"Persepolis," Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, France, Sony Pictures Classics
"Redacted," Brian De Palma, U.S., Magnolia Pictures
"The Romance of Astrea and Celadon," Eric Rohmer, France, Rezo Films
"Secret Sunshine," Lee Chang-dong, Korea
"Silent Light," Carlos Reygadas, Mexico
"Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream," Peter Bogdanovich, U.S.
"Underworld," Josef von Sternberg, U.S.
"Useless," Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong