The Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center have partnered again in producing the 27th annual New York Jewish Film Festival. The festival showcases films from around the world that explore the diversity of Jewish experience. The Independent’s Senior Film Critic, Kurt Brokaw, was at this year’s festival and shares his favorites from a thrilling lineup of documentary, narrative, and short forms.
Senior Film Critic Kurt Brokaw has been a tireless champion of shorts for years. In this 8th edition of DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival, he views over 60 curated shorts from ten separate programs. Four are chosen for their timely and timeless quality.
Aditya Sarangi reviews Ari Gold’s lush narrative drama The Song of Swan Lake about young jazz collector, Ollie Sway, who plots to steal a valuable 78 record from his grandmother’s glamorous lake house. The film, which stars Rory Culkin and Robert Sheehan, premiered at the Oaxaca FilmFest in Mexico City and was in competition for the prestigious Best Global Feature.
The Transfiguration, Michael O’Shea, 2017, U.S.A., 1 hr. 37 min. Milo (Eric Ruffin) is a small guy. Or maybe he isn’t; his body could be either a very tall twelve or a very short seventeen. This fact about The Transfiguration’s main character is left deliberately unclear by first-time writer/director Michael O’Shea. Whatever the case, he… Read more »
Mike Sullivan reviews Liyana, a new documentary directed by Aaron and Amanda Kopp (former 10-to-watch series winners!) The film, which employs stunning animation, tells the story of five orphaned children living and dreaming in Swaziland. Liyana premiered at the LA Film Festival in June, where it won “Best Documentary.”
Lilla Puskás reviews Andrey Zvyagintsev’s latest film Loveless, winner of the Jury Prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. With Loveless, the award-winning Russian filmmaker returns to his earlier themes of familial and social dysfunction, focusing specifically in this film on parental neglect, human toxicity, and the virulence of media. Loveless stars Maryana Spivak and Aleksey Rozin as the parents of a runaway teen, played by Matvey Novikov.
Lilla Puskás reviews Yorgos Lanthimos’s new film The Killing of a Sacred Deer, winner of Best Screenplay at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Like the Greek myth to which its title refers, The Killing of a Sacred Deer explores remorse, justice, and the long-term consequences of individual choice. The film is co-written by Lanthimos’s longtime writing partner Efthimis Filippou and stars Collin Farrell and Nicole Kidman.