Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NYFF brings "Not Fade Away" for centerpiece premiere

Barely two days ago it was announced what the opening and closing films for the 50th New York Film Festival would be, to much rapturous anticipation given they brought the premieres of Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" and Robert Zemeckis' "Flight". In contemplation on the two choices, they go hand in hand with directors going in bold new directions. While Ang Lee is embracing romantic 3D vistas and crowd-pleasing blockbuster inclinations, Robert Zemeckis is heading back to his live-action roots with an intriguing drama with legal strings to it.

As such, the centerpiece film begs a similar attempt to break new ground, and in a way the festival has kept to that running theme. Far from a bid towards putting debut filmmakers in the spotlight, David Chase has found a stronger cinematic outlet than most in his much acclaimed series "The Sopranos". Now he makes a rather late career entrance into feature filmmaking with "Not Fade Away", a project whose only inkling of plot description remains "a young man's coming-of-age in the 60s". It's certainly a move that will get people talking, but also one with a certain degree of trepidation attached to it.

It's never quite certain how a television filmmaker's style will translate to the screen, as Ricky Gervais' work on "The Invention of Lying" and "Cemetery Junction" unfortunately speak for. That said, I think David Chase's at least intriguing "Not Fade Away" will only increase the buzz building around the festival. They're certainly being wise in how they've been doling out news as the week has progressed, and the unveiling of their full line-up will likely raise just as many eyebrows as its big three.

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