To bore you again with some then-and-now anecdotes of New York Film Festival, last year’s Centerpiece film was one I had to come back around to recently, not least because of James Gandolfini’s passing. You’ll remember that my initial opinion of Not Fade Away was not particularly enthusiastic. Against the similarly plotted Something in the Air, it just seemed too familiar and perhaps less artful. Admittedly it’s wrong to compare the two as tonally similar, because they’re weren’t. Something in the Air was nostalgically fluid and Not Fade Away was absolutely frank in its pronouncements.
The other day the trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty landed, intriguing as many viewers as it made skeptics. True to form, it looks like a visually frank effort with all its cards laid out clearly in sight, but I’m not about to make the same mistake and dismiss that as a bad thing. It’d be particularly sore in this case because Ben Stiller’s new film has just been announced as the Centerpiece film for the 51st New York Film Festival. Given that my stay in New York is often relegated to just a week, this will likely be the last film I see there. Still, it’s undeniably a hell of a way to go out, or even to just maintain interest for those sticking around for the following week.
With Captain Phillips joining it for world premieres at the festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center is certainly not slowing down after their 50th anniversary. The festival kicks off September 27th, so stick around for the imminent Closing Night and main lineup announcements, since it took them no time at all to announce Walter Mitty as Centerpiece. Also check out this interview with Ben Stiller on the film. Really insightful and it gets a grasp of just how wonderfully ambitious a filmmaker he is.