FSLC summer/fall 2017 new releases preview

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Harmonium / Fuchi ni tatsu Exclusive!
Kôji Fukada, Japan/France, 2016, 118m
Japanese with English subtitles
Winner of the Prix du Jury in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Harmonium observes a family as it’s dealt a tragic blow and then no less shaken by the process of recovery. Toshio (Kanji Furutachi) runs a garage workshop that opens right into the home he shares with his wife, Akié (Mariko Tsutsui), and their cute-as-a-button daughter, Hotaru (Momone Shinokawa). Trouble arrives when Toshio hires Yasaka (Tadanobu Asano), a friend with an unsavory past who’s in need of a break—though the complicated effects of his arrival on the close-knit family are best left unrevealed. A 2017 Film Comment Selects selection. A Film Movement release.

Opening June 28

Okja
Bong Joon Ho, South Korea/USA, 2017, 118m
Korean and English with English subtitles
For ten idyllic years in her home in the mountains of South Korea, young Mija (An Seo Hyun) has been caretaker and constant companion to a massive, genetically engineered but sweet-souled animal named Okja. But the image-obsessed and self-promoting CEO (Tilda Swinton) of the multinational conglomerate that created Okja has big plans for her, capturing her and bringing her to New York. The single-minded Mija sets out to rescue her dearest friend, crossing paths with ruthless capitalists and animal-rights activists, all of them battling to control the fate of Okja. Deftly blending humor, action, and tearful drama, acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho (The Host) transforms the gentlest of premises—the bond between man and animal—into a distinct and layered vision of the world that speaks to what makes us human. A Netflix release.

Opening June 30

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography
Errol Morris, USA, 2016, 76m
Errol Morris’s masterful and surprising new film is simplicity itself: a visit to the Cambridge, Massachusetts, studio of his friend, the 20×24 Polaroid portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, who specifies on her website that she likes her subjects “to wear clothes (and to bring toys, skis, books, tennis racquets, musical instruments, and particularly pets…).” As this charming, articulate, and calmly uncompromising woman takes us through her 50-plus years of remarkable but fragile images of paying customers, commissioned subjects, family, and close friends (including the poet Allen Ginsberg), the sense of time passing grows ever more acute. An NYFF54 selection. A Neon release.

Opening July 28

Person to Person
Dustin Guy Defa, USA, 2017, 84m
This understated yet ambitious sophomore feature by one of American independent cinema’s most exciting young voices follows a day in the lives of a motley crew of New Yorkers. A rookie crime reporter (Abbi Jacobson of Broad City) tags along with her eccentric boss (Michael Cera), pursuing the scoop on a suicide that may have been a murder, leading her to cross paths with a stoic clockmaker (Philip Baker Hall); meanwhile, a precocious teen (Tavi Gevinson) explores her sexuality while playing hooky, and an obsessive record collector (Bene Coopersmith) receives a too-good-to-be-true tip on a rare Charlie Parker LP while his depressed friend (George Sample III) seeks redemption after humiliating his cheating girlfriend. With Person to Person (exquisitely shot in 16mm by rising-star DP Ashley Connor), Defa matches the sophistication of his acclaimed shorts and delights in the freedoms afforded by a bigger canvas. A 2017 New Directors/New Films selection. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Opening August 11

Nocturama
Bertrand Bonello, France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 130m
French with English subtitles
The audacious new film from Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent) unfolds in two mesmerizing segments. The first is a precision-crafted thriller, following a multi-ethnic group of millennial radicals as they carry out a mass-scale terrorist attack on Paris. The second—in which the perpetrators hide out in the consumerist mecca of a luxury department store—is the director’s coup, raising provocative questions about everything that came before. Bonello stages his apocalyptic vision with stylishly roving camerawork, blasts of hip-hop, and a lip-synced performance to Shirley Bassey’s “My Way.” This is edgy, risk-taking filmmaking that is sure to ignite debate. A 2017 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema selection. A Grasshopper Film release.

Whose Streets?
Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis, USA, 2017, 90m
Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’s Whose Streets? is an on-the-ground, unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. In 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson marked a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Long-standing racial tensions coupled with renewed anger brought residents together to hold vigil and protest the tragedy. Community leaders and activists from all over organized in solidarity, and ultimately came face-to-face with the heavily-armed National Guard. Mixing original footage with cellphone video, Folayan and Davis’s documentary is a powerful and immediate battle cry from a generation fighting for the right to live. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Opening August 25

Beach Rats
Eliza Hittman, USA, 2017, 95m
Eliza Hittman follows up her acclaimed debut It Felt Like Love with this sensitive chronicle of sexual becoming. Frankie (a breakout Harris Dickinson), a bored teenager living in South Brooklyn, regularly haunts the Coney Island boardwalk with his boys—trying to score weed, flirting with girls, killing time. But he spends his late nights dipping his toes into the world of online cruising, connecting with older men and exploring the desires he harbors but doesn’t yet fully understand. Sensuously lensed on 16mm by cinematographer Hélène Louvart, Beach Rats presents a colorful and textured world roiling with secret appetites and youthful self-discovery. A 2017 New Directors/New Films selection. A  Neon release.

Opening September 8

The Challenge
Yuri Ancarani, France/Italy, 2016, 70m
Arabic with English subtitles
If you have it, spend it: Italian artist Yuri Ancarani’s visually striking documentary enters the surreal world of wealthy Qatari sheikhs who moonlight as amateur falconers, with no expenses spared along the way. The Challenge follows these men through the rituals that define their lives: perilously racing blacked-out SUVs up and down sand dunes; sharing communal meals; taking their Ferraris out for a spin with their pet cheetahs riding shotgun; and much more. Ancarani’s film is a sly meditation on the collective pursuit of idiosyncratic desires. A 2017 New Directors/New Films selection. A Kino Lorber release.

Opening September 15

Rat Film
Theo Anthony, USA, 2016, 84m

Balancing a cultural history of rats in Baltimore with portraits of the city’s present-day rat catchers, Theo Anthony presents a damning account of entrenched racism and (sometimes questionable) scientific research ordered by governments and financial institutions. With a hypnotic voiceover by Maureen Jones and music by Baltimore native Dan Deacon, the film connects these multitudinous injustices with footage of Google Maps navigation, archival materials, interviews, poetry, and a tour of Frances Glessner Lee’s “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” forensic dioramas. Dense but accessible, Rat Film is a vital document that refuses easy answers or classifications. A 2017 Art of the Real selection. A Cinema Guild release.

For media specific inquiries regarding the Film Society of Lincoln Center, please contact:
Lisa Thomas, lthomas@filmlinc.org, (212) 671-4709

Rachel Allen, rallen@filmlinc.org, (212) 875-5423

Hannah Thomas, hthomas@filmlinc.org, (212) 875-5419

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