There are only four more months left in the year, can you believe it? But don’t fret because the month of September brings the best in film from around the world at the annual 57th New York Film Festival (Sept. 27 – Oct. 13) presented by Film at Lincoln Center. The closing film this year will be Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn” making its New York premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019; Warner Bros. Pictures will release the film later this year.
In an unusually bold adaptation, writer-director Edward Norton has transplanted the main character of Jonathan Lethem’s bestselling novel “Motherless Brooklyn” from modern Brooklyn into an entirely new, richly woven neo-noir narrative, re-set in 1950s New York. Emotionally shattered by a botched job, Lionel Essrog (Norton), a lonely private detective with Tourette syndrome, finds himself drawn into a multilayered conspiracy that expands to encompass the city’s ever-growing racial divide and the devious personal and political machinations of a Robert Moses–like master builder, played by Alec Baldwin. Featuring a rigorously controlled star turn by Norton and outstanding additional supporting performances by Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Leslie Mann and Cherry Jones, plus a haunting soundtrack (featuring a score by Daniel Pemberton, with orchestration by Wynton Marsalis, and an original song by Thom Yorke), “Motherless Brooklyn” is the kind of production Hollywood almost never makes anymore, and a complexly conceived, robust evocation of a bygone era of New York that speaks to our present moment. New York Film Festival director and selection committee chair Kent Jones said, “Edward Norton has taken Jonathan Lethem’s novel as a jumping-off point to craft a wildly imaginative and extravagant love letter to New York, a beautifully told hard-boiled yarn grounded in the mid-20th century history of the city. What a way to close the festival!”
“NYFF has been my hometown festival for nearly 30 years, and it’s consistently one of the best-curated festivals in the world,” said Norton. “Every year I look forward to meeting up with old friends and colleagues to go watch the year’s best films in their program. NYFF always perfectly straddles everything I love about the movies. They balance serious audiences and thoughtful conversations about film with just the right level of glamour and celebratory fun. To have this particular film—which grew out of my love affair with New York—selected for Closing Night is just a huge thrill . . . a dream come true, actually.”
Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC director of programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC associate director of programming. Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on Sept. 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Closing Night. Support for Closing Night of the New York Film Festival benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its nonprofit mission to support the art and craft of cinema.
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.
Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come. Year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.