New Directors New Films Wrap-Up
The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual New Directors New Films festival, a respected showcase of the best up and coming filmmakers, wraps up Sunday. Here are our thoughts on four worthy films it featured that are worth seeking out when they hit theaters, video on demand, or wherever else in the coming months:
The Father of My Children
Writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve tells a subtle, restrained story of grief and rebirth in her portrait of the family of a film producer forced to come to terms with a trauma. “The Father of My Children” never forces the drama, relying on the cumulative emotional effect of a collection of seemingly mundane moments that comprise something deeper.
The absurd nature of life on the border between Iran and Turkmenistan becomes a stark tragicomedy in this Iranian film shot on location, which with documentary-like precision and some vivid framing follows multiple characters as they struggle to survive amid the vast desert expanse.
Through five personal stories, Robin Hessman’s documentary explores the confusion and turmoil that engulfed Russian society in the immediate aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse. It’s an apt, powerful rendition of the trickle down effect of such momentous, traumatic change.
Night Catches Us
Starring the great Anthony Mackie, who can also be seen in “The Hurt Locker” and on Broadway in “A Behanding in Spokane,” this affecting drama also looks at the personal changes spurred by broader sociological forces, playing out the problems of post-Vietnam race relations against the backdrop of a divided Philadelphia neighborhood.