Our own Geek Gal Caroline Cao attended the New York Film Festival, which dished out some riveting pictures, ranging from sci-fi and magical to the grimly real. The best films of NYFF pertained to the delicate underpinnings of class relations, which are no less relevant today.
Here’s Caroline’s compiled list of personal favorites from The New York Film Festival, in no particular order.
High Life. Director Claire Denis has crafted quite the space odyssey with the horror, campy villainy of Juliette Binoche, kinkiness of #WBWD Robert Patterson and just plain weirdness of Andre 3000. It’s muddling and middling at times with its gruesomeness and sometimes charmingly hokey dialogue, but it kept me encapsulated from beginning to the end.
If Beale Street Could Talk. Adapted from James Baldwin’s novel, Barry Jenkins gives a sincere romantic elegy and indictment of the institutional systems that separate loved ones and brew resentment among the oppressed classes. With measured pacing, this poetic love story gazes wistfully and soulfully at you.
Happy As Lazzaro. This film is both magical as it is tragic. With a creative time stew, Italian director Alice Rohrwacher presents a harrowing and mystical tale of magical realism about a young sharecropper, so good-hearted and vacant in disposition that it is either innocence or ignorance, as he navigates his insular sharecropper world before getting thrown into the modernity.
Roma. Alfonso Cuarón‘s sweeping family epic is set in deceptively comfortable scenes of domesticity while the tides of change happens in the backdrop of 1970s Mexico City, through the lens of an indigenous woman (Yalitza Aparicio) who serves a middle-class family.
Private Life. Tamara Jenkins‘ familial epic taps into the desire of fertility and the grapplings of modern life. It’s a lighthearted portrait of the psychological grime of fertility struggles and the familial ties that bind and never apologizes for its crotchety candidness about womanhood and intergenerational conflicts. Character actress Mandela Bellamy appears.
–Caroline Cao is our resident Geek Gal of Diva Gals Daily. She’s a screenwriter, playwright, poet, and film critic studying for her Nonfiction MFA at the New School and working on her first memoir. She has contributed her wit to Birth Movies Death, Film School Rejects, The Mary Sue, Bitch and Reverse Shot. You’ll often find her writing Star Wars fanfics.
Follow her on Twitter @maximinalist and Instagram @maximinalist.