The Film Festivals of New York: A Tasting Menu

The Film Festivals of New York: A Tasting Menu


Kazuo Miyagawa: Japan’s Greatest Cinematographer, “The Rickshaw Man”

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Tsumasaburo Bando, left, and Akio Sawamura in “The Rickshaw Man.”

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Kadokawa

Miyagawa’s credits read like the greatest hits of classic Japanese cinema — this collaboration between the Museum of Modern Art and Japan Society includes Ozu’s “Floating Weeds,” Mizoguchi’s “Street of Shame” and “Sansho the Bailiff,” Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” and Ichikawa’s “Odd Obsession,” some in new restorations. One of the lesser-known entries is this 1943 work by Hiroshi Inagaki starring the silent-film legend Tsumasaburo Bando as an illiterate, exuberant brawler and rickshaw puller who becomes a father figure to the son of a young widow. (Inagaki’s own remake, starring Toshiro Mifune, won top prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1958.) It’s an engaging melodrama with an interesting take on class divisions and hypermasculine cultural norms. April 14, Japan Society.

Beyond Morricone: Piero Piccioni and Friends, “The 10th Victim”

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Ursula Andress as a reality TV contestant in “The 10th Victim.”

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Embassy Pictures

Anthology Film Archives’ eclectic celebration of post-World War II Italian film composers goes high (Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt,” Francesco Rosi’s “Salvatore Giuliano”) and low (Emilio P. Miraglia’s “The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave”). In between is this startlingly prescient 1965 satire directed by Elio Petri and scored by Piccioni. Ursula Andress and a blond Marcello Mastroianni play contestants for the million-dollar prize in a televised hunt-to-the-death game, run by a global bureaucracy as a “safety valve for humanity.” (The game is easiest to play in America, where “anyone can shoot where and when they want.”) April 15, 19, 21, Anthology Film Archives.

The Puppetmaster: The Complete Jiri Trnka, “The Hand”

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A scene from “The Hand,” the last film by Jiri Trnka.

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Czech National Film Archive

An artist’s studio is continually invaded by a giant hand, which insists on turning all his works into portraits of itself. This despairing 17-minute allegory from 1965 — the last film by Trnka, the Czech stop-motion animation pioneer — is a highlight among the 20 shorts and eight features in this series, the first complete retrospective of his work in the United States. April 22 and 25, Walter Reade Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Tribeca Film Festival, “O.G.”

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Jeffrey Wright as an inmate near the end of his sentence in “O.G.”

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OG Film

Picking a single film from the Tribeca lineup — 96 features alone, plus offerings in television, digital, virtual reality and other media — is a fool’s errand. We’ll play it safe and go with Jeffrey Wright, who stars in this unassuming drama as an inmate about to be released from prison, and is joined in the cast by William Fichtner and Mare Winningham. It’s the first fictional feature by the documentarian Madeleine Sackler (“Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus,” “The Lottery”), and one of 44 of those 96 features directed by women. April 20-22 and 27, various theaters.

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun: Modern Griot, “A Season in France”

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From left, Aalayna Lys, Sandrine Bonnaire, Eriq Ebouaney and Ibrahim Burama Darboe in “A Season in France.”

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Unifrance

An eight-film retrospective of the Chadian director of “Dry Season” and “A Screaming Man” includes the New York premiere of his most recent feature, the first of his movies set in France (where he’s lived for 30 years). Eriq Ebouaney and Bibi Tanga play teachers from the Central African Republic who now work menial jobs in the less picturesque parts of Paris while petitioning for asylum. Mr. Haroun’s quiet, slice-of-life drama sketches their despair, isolation and wounded pride, which complicates matters with their French girlfriends (Sandrine Bonnaire and Léonie Simaga). April 20, Brooklyn Academy of Music.

New Nordic Cinema, “Framing Mom”

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A scene from “Framing Mom,” directed by Sara Johnsen.

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4 1/2 Fiksjon

An uncertain Norwegian bride flees to the restroom during her wedding reception and finds an abandoned newborn. Sixteen years later, a surly teenager shows up at her door, looking for her mother. Sara Johnsen’s comic tear-jerker has a wobbly tone and sketchy plot, but Ruby Dagnall as the girl and Tuva Novotny (“Annihilation”) as her rescuer are terrific. April 11 and 13, Scandinavia House.



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