I've been slowly eking my way into the festival circuit over the past couple years, mostly with brief and not-terribly-thriving trips to Portsmouth, NH for their annual Telluride by the Sea redux of the Colorado festival. As much as I enjoy the atmosphere, they only ever have one standout, or even entirely solid, film on display, in past years playing host to "The Illusionist" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin". While I'll doubtlessly check out the one or two worthwhile films suspect to hit the fest this year, I have my much more ambitious sights set for the biggest festival on the east coast. That's right. This year has me rearing to go to New York Film Festival.
Of course that process can only be helped along by the choosing of outstanding films to make up its program. It'll be a short while before we get the full listing, but they've hinted at what the overall feel of the fest will be by announcing the film kicking off events. Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is set to have its world premiere as opening up the festival, a move which has everybody kicking with anticipation at what else is on tap for the festivities. Lee's film has already been praised for the gorgeous visuals of its trailer alone, though how it stacks up for a feature length film is really what matters. I wouldn't caution him to worry, since his film is already a shoo-in for Oscar glory.Also tapped for NYFF, though I will probably not be checking it out until it hits theaters a month later, is "Flight". The return to live-action cinema for Robert Zemeckis is certainly something to keep an eye on, particularly in terms of Denzel Washington's lead performance. I admit I'm looking forward to it, and think this could be a wild card in the Oscar pool by year's end. In any case, this year's festival is looking to hold interests in a big way, at least judging by how it's bookended. Spirits are high for what I hope to be my first year in New York for the show, certainly hope won't be my last.