by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
With a career that spans the heyday of 60s Italian art cinema (Fists in the Pocket, China is Near) to religion (My Mother’s Smile, NYFF 2002) to political drama (Good Morning, Night, NYFF 2003 and this year’s Vincere), Marco Bellocchio has been one of the most perceptive and provocative chroniclers of all things Italian, from the Church to family values. Mr. Bellocchio will discuss his development as a film artist, the important focus on “outsiders” that has proved a constant theme in his work, as well as his thoughts about the future of Italian cinema.
After working as a casting director, Lee Daniels crossed over into film producing, bringing to the screen such tough, edgy works as The Woodsman and the Academy Award-winning Monster’s Ball. Now with Precious—only his second film as a director—Daniels has leapt to the forefront of American cinema with what will sure be one of the most hotly–debated films of the year (which won the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Prize at the Toronto Film Festival). Daniels will talk about Precious, his personal trajectory through the film industry, and the contemporary landscape for African American film production.
As he has shown with The Piano Teacher, Code Unknown, Funny Games (the German and English language versions)both versions) and Caché , Paris-based Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke is a peerless artist-provocateur who has never met a situation of bourgeois stasis he didn’t want to explode—quietly, precisely, and with devastating effect. With this year’s NYFF selection (and Palme d’Or winner at Cannes) The White Ribbon, Haneke has made what many consider his most remarkable work yet. In a one-on-one, intimate conversation, Haneke will share his thoughts on filmmaking as well as his often chilling world view that has made him one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary cinema.
For over twenty years—in works such as Beau Travail (NYFF 1999), Friday Night (NYFF 2002) and this year’s White Material, Denis has created some of the most challenging, meaningful and unpredictable works of contemporary cinema. Denis will discuss her unique approach to cinematic storytelling and to working with actors.