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French Films Featured at the 58th New York Film Festival

Image: "The salt of Tears" directed by Philippe Garrel

Film at Lincoln Center presents the 58th New York Film Festival, September 17 – October 11.

The New York Film Festival has been an enduring part of New York’s rich cultural and historical landscape for nearly six decades. The 58th edition of Film at Lincoln Center’s illustrious festival represents just that—an enduring symbol of New York’s strength and resilience through the collective spirit of cinema. 

Marking a historic first for NYFF, this year’s reimagined festival will feature drive-ins in BrooklynQueens and Bronx as well as virtual screenings, providing movie lovers near and far the opportunity to enjoy the festival in the format they find most comfortable. 

The festival has once again included many french films and french coproductions in every selection.


Exclusive discount for French film lovers: save $1 on all New York Film Festival virtual rentals nationwide!
DETAILS: Create your account and explore the full New York Film Festival lineup here. Once you have selected your films, hover over the thumbnail, click “Rent,” and enter promo code FRENCH58


French films & French coproductions selected

Main Slate

The most exciting new feature films from around the world.

Director: Philippe Garrel

Film runs online Tuesday, September 29 - Sunday, October 4

Handsome Luc (Logann Antuofermo) aggressively courts Djemila (Oulaya Amamra) on a Paris suburb metro. But in veteran filmmaker Philippe Garrel’s pinpoint precise and economically told moral tale, she isn’t destined to be his one and only.

Director: Eugène Green

Film runs online Monday, October 5 - Saturday, October 10

The sacred Atarrabi and the profane Mikelats follow wildly divergent paths in Eugène Green’s tale of two brothers, a modern-dress take on Basque myth perched on the line between earnest spirituality and sly satire.

Director: Dea Kulumbegashvili

Film runs online from Monday, October 5 - Saturday, October 10

In her striking feature debut, Georgian filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili tells the devastating story of a persecuted family of Jehovah’s Witness missionaries in a remote village outside of from the perspective of a traumatized wife and mother.

  • Days (French Co-production)

Director: Tsai Ming-liang

Showtimes: Friday, September 25 at 8pm - Brooklyn Drive-In (Tickects on sale September 11) // Along with a drive-in screening, this film will screen virtually from September 25 at 8pm ET through September 30 at 8pm ET.

In one of Tsai Ming-liang’s best and sparest works, Lee Kang-sheng plays a variation on himself, wandering through a lonely urban landscape and seeking treatment for a chronic illness; at the same time, a young Laotian immigrant working in Bangkok goes about his daily routine. The lives of these two solitary men eventually converge.

Director: Cristi Puiu

Film runs online Friday, September 18 - Wednesday, September 23

A turn-of-the-20th-century Christmas Eve gathering among five members of the European elite at an elegant Transylvanian estate becomes the setting for an increasingly intense succession of conversations in Cristi Puiu’s pristine, sometimes terrifying vision of the simmering violence beneath the colonialist’s veneer of politesse.

Director: ​​​​​​Gianfranco Rosi

Showtimes: Tuesday, October 6 at 8pm - Queens Drive-In (Tickects on sale September 11) // Along with a drive-in screening, this film will screen virtually from October 6 at 8pm ET through October 11 at 8pm ET. 

Gianfranco Rosi will participate in a free talk on Wednesday, October 7 at 2:00pm ET. Registration is required here.

Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi returns with an immersive work of nonfiction; shot over the course of two years along the borders of Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, and Lebanon, Notturno is a nighttime ramble through a region rocked and shattered by catastrophe and violence.

Director: Philippe Lacôte

Showtimes: Wednesday, September 30 at 8pm - Bronx Drive-In // Along with a drive-in screening, this film will screen virtually from September 24 at 8pm ET through September 29 at 8pm ET.

Philippe Lacôte will participate in a free talk on Tuesday, October 6 at 11:00am ET. Registration is required here.

Paying homage to the tradition of the griot in West African culture, this original vision from breakout Ivory Coast filmmaker Philippe Lacôte tells the story of a pickpocket (Koné Bakary), newly arrived at a correctional facility in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan, who, in order to stay alive, must keep his fellow inmates entertained with wild tales over the course of a night.

Director: Yulene Olaizola

Showtimes: Friday, October 9 at 8pm - Brooklyn Drive-In // Along with a drive-in screening, this film will screen virtually from October 9 at 8pm ET through October 14 at 8pm ET. 

In the 1920s, Agnes (Indira Andrewin) escapes from the white British landowner she doesn’t want to marry into the deep thickets of the tropical forest along the Rio Hondo River. Mexican filmmaker Yulene Olaizola immerses the viewer in a richly drawn, tactile experience that works as both a gripping adventure and a contemplative rumination on the brutality and splendor of nature.

  • Undine (French Co-production)

Director: Christian Petzold

Showtimes: Friday, October 9 at 8pm - Queens Drive-In // Along with a drive-in screening, this film will screen virtually from October 9 at 8pm ET through October 14 at 8pm ET. 

German director Christian Petzold (Phoenix, Transit) injects a mythological element into a lush melodrama about a pair of star-crossed lovers—Undine (Paula Beer), a historian and museum tour guide specializing in urban development, and Christoph, an industrial diver—linked by an affinity for the water.


Spotlight

NYFF’s showcase of sneak previews, gala events, screenings with live elements, and other special evenings.

Director: David Dufresne

Film runs online Friday, September 18 - Wednesday, September 23

In this essential and timely documentary about police violence in contemporary France, filmmaker and journalist David Dufresne examines the ways in which a government justifies brutal acts against its own citizens, enacting totalitarian methods to keep the populace under its control.


Currents

The new Currents section complements the Main Slate, tracing a more complete picture of contemporary cinema with an emphasis on new and innovative forms and voices.

Directected by The Living and the Dead Ensemble 

Film runs online Monday, October 5, 2020 - Saturday, October 10, 2020

In this first film from The Living and the Dead Ensemble—a collaboration among artists and performers from Haiti, France, and the United Kingdom spearheaded by artist Louis Henderson and curator Olivier Marboeuf—a group of young actors translate, rehearse, and debate their Creole production of Édouard Glissant’s play Monsieur Toussaint, creating a space in which the ghosts of Haiti’s colonial past return to address its present.


Revivals

The Revivals section connects cinema’s rich past to its dynamic present through an eclectic assortment of new restorations, titles selected by the festival’s filmmakers, rarities, and more.

Director: Gaspar Noé

Showtimes: Sunday, September 27 at 8pm - Brooklyn Drive-in

Ever the filth elder, John Waters (who designed the NYFF58 poster) has also selected a shock-epic double feature as part of NYFF58’s Revivals section. Entitled John Waters Presents: Art Movie Hell at the Drive-In, the double bill includes Gaspar Noé’s frenetic dance into madness, ClimaxSurely the most harrowing dance party in the history of cinema, Gaspar Noé’s intoxicating fifth feature is a relentless work of energy, ecstasy, and agony. 

Director: William Klein

Showtimes: Sunday, October 11 at 8pm - Brooklyn Drive-in (Tickets on sale September 11) // Along with a drive-in screening, the film will also screen virtually from October 11 at 8pm ET through October 16 at 8pm ET.

William Klein’s masterful portrait of Ali is arguably the most complex documentary about an athlete ever made and exhilarating evidence that the three-time undisputed heavyweight champion of the world was one of the key cultural and political figures of his time.

Director: Marie-Claude Treilhou 

Film runs online Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - Monday, October 5, 2020

A criminally overlooked work from the post-post-New Wave era of French cinema, Marie-Claude Treilhou’s stylish and atmospheric feature debut follows a porno theater usher through a series of curious encounters with acquaintances and eccentric strangers alike.

Director: Jean Vigo

Film runs online Saturday, October 3, 2020 - Thursday, October 8, 2020

A delirious and visually astonishing achievement and an acknowledged inspiration for Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and Lindsay Anderson’s if..., Zero for Conduct is at once a sweet ode to childhood and a dreamlike exaltation of youthful chaos set in an all-boys boarding school.

Director: Terence Dixon

Showtimes: This film will screen with Muhammad Ali, the Greatest at the Brooklyn drive-in on October 11 at 8pm ET // It will also screen virtually with free limited rentals from October 11 at 8pm ET through October 16 at 8pm ET.

This rare film document of one of the towering figures of 20th-century American literature—photographed by Jack Hazan (Rude Boy, A Bigger Splash)—captures the iconic writer in several symbolic locations, including the Place de la Bastille.


TALK

This talk will take place Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:00pm ET. Free registration is required here.

Marking the NYFF58 Revivals premiere of Simone Barbes or Virtue’s new restoration, the festival will host Treilhou in a talk with Serge Bozon about the making and the enduring legacy of the vital and vivid film.

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