Countdown to the 30th Annual New Orleans Film Festival | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019  

Countdown to the 30th Annual New Orleans Film Festival

Less than One Week Until New Orleans' Best Week for Cinema

Oct 11, 2019 By Zach Hollwedel
Bookmark and Share


 

We're T-minus one week and counting until one of the most fun weeks of the year in New Orleans. No, I don't mean Mardi Gras. 

 

The 30th Annual New Orleans Film Festival opens Wednesday, October 16 and runs through the 23rd. From the looks of it, this year promises to be one of the Fest's best yet. The festival opens with Noah Baumbach's latest-and star-studded (Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern) portrait of family life, Marriage Story. Taika Waititi's satirical, anti-hate, anti-Nazi Jojo Rabbits creens the next night, followed by Trey Edward Shults' drama about a suburban family, Waves (starring Sterling K. Brown) on the 18th. A plethora of other headline films dot the lineup, from Ford v Ferrari (starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon) and The Aeronauts (Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne) to The Two Popes (with Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins as the titular holymen) and Motherless Brooklyn (written and directed by Edward Norton, who stars as a 1950s private detective suffering from Tourette's Syndrome). Closing night on the 23rd is comprised of downright nearly impossible choices, as the closing film, Harriet, Kasi Lemmons's biopic of Harriet Tubman, screens opposite both Rian Johnson's ensemble mystery, Knives Out, and another Adam Driver vehicle, political thriller The Report. Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated films of the week, though, is the Tribeca-winning Burning Cane from young virtuoso, Phillip Youmans.

 

That's not to say that the entire festival is stacked with A-list stars in already recognizable films. Quite the opposite, in fact. My favorite part of the festival each year is how many pieces of cinema are a part of the festival that might, as of today, be totally unknown to me. In truth, some of the best movie-going experiences I have had at NOFF have been in watching movies by first-time, foreign, or otherwise independent filmmakers whose work I was not acquainted with. I excited for the Louisiana-shot Gothic mystery, Lost Bayou, and Sheriff's Deputy-versus-the-establishment The Long Shadow to both premiere on the 17th.

 

Strong as the narrative selection at NOFF is, the documentaries are equally impressive. Gay Chorus Deep South, from David Charles, appears a heartwarming (and at times heartbreaking) journey with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, as it travels into the Deep South to confront homophobia and discrimination and, hopefully, change minds along the way. Similarly, Seadrift (directed by Tim Tsai) explores xenophobia and nativism through the lens of a 1979 murder in Seadrift, TX, which resulted from feuding over shrimping rights between a burgeoning Vietnamese immigrant population and generational residents.

 

There truly is something for everyone at NOFF. The lineup of foreign films, including Song LangThe Truth (La Vérité), and Portrait of a Lady on Fire is impressive. For those who prefer shorter fare, the Animated Shorts have wowed me three years in a row now, and there are dozens of narrative, experimental, documentary, and Louisiana shorts slated to screen, as well. 

 

And don't even get me started on the parties. From Second Line parades to roof top soirees to poolside cocktails, the Festival's parties are some of the best social events happening around town. I could go on about the New Orleans Film Festival for days (and soon, I will), but seeing as there's almost a week left until opening night, you still have enough time to book a ticket to the Big Easy and see it for yourself. 

 



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.