Published on September 27th, 2012 | by Greg0
NY Film Fest 2012 Preview: “Passion” And “The Bay”
This weekend is the opening sessions of the 50th Annual New York Film Festival, and we’ve been checking out the press preview screenings for the last couple of weeks. As with every big showcase event, there are movies for just about every taste, divided into tracks and spread out over the next two weeks or so. Running from September 28th to October 14th, most films will screen at the Walter Reade Theater and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and we hope you’ll be able to check out a few!
The Main Slate includes the World Premiere of the new Ang Lee film “Life of Pi” for Opening Night, but don’t miss others, including many North American and United States premieres. “Araf – Somewhere in Between”, “Caesar Must Die”, and “The Gatekeepers” will all appeal to folks looking for truly independent cinema, from classics to documentaries, and those in need of a solid thriller should enjoy “No”, featuring Gael Garcia Bernal’s starring role as a man who helps the anti-Pinochet movement in Chile.
We had a chance to view the Brian de Palma film “Passion”, a remake of a very recent French film, and one that can’t seem to make it’s mind up as to whether to be an erotic thriller or a whodunit mystery. Noomi Rapace is solid as an assistant to Rachel McAdams, but the latter falls flat, with dialogue that seems wooden and artificial in a world that never was quite compelling or convincing. The final act made most of the audience groan in disbelief, and though some questions are answered, it turns out you can’t really trust the answers- which, in turn, makes for a frustrating experience. The other elements of the film range from cheesy (awkward camerawork) to overwrought (the score), so we can’t really recommend this one. Screens September 29th and October 6th at 9PM, as well as a 3:15 showtime on October 11th.
On a completely different track lie Midnight Movies, and though there are only three of them in this year’s program, they’re all promising. “Berberian Sound Studio” might not have the most appealing title, but looks like a fun, solid creepy foreign flick, and “Outrage Beyond” is sure to delight fans of Hong Kong action (Takeshi Kitano is more or less a sure bet).
But we definitely recommend checking out “The Bay”, a film that feels at times too easy but continues to terrify long after viewing. Scary enough to inspire some fevered late-night research into “isopods”, the monsters of choice here aren’t very big, though they have the advantage of being all too real and yet relatively unknown. If Jaws made you afraid of the ocean, “The Bay” aims straight for the other bodies of water. The underlying premise doesn’t quite come into full focus as demons as piled on- is it a problem with nuclear power? fertilizer pollution from factory farms? desalinization?- but it’s clear that director Barry Levinson had a lot of fun making this. You get what you came for: a fairly traditional take on the hand-hand camera scareathon, predictable, rarely veering in a direction that might surprise. And that might be enough, except for the honest and down-to-earth shine that surrounds the production, one where characters actually act logically (for the most part) and the messages are a bit messy and all the more real for that. Screens September 29th and 30th at midnight, with the director in person at the earlier showtime!
Grab your tickets now- many screenings are already sold out! Expect to spend around $20-$24 for a seat, less if you’re a member, with varying prices for special events like the Director’s Dialogues.