Film at Lincoln Center have announced their new releases and revivals for the 2019 summer season. The supportive landmark of cinema celebrates its 50th year as it continues to prosper and enrich the art of filmmaking in a diverse culture. FLC’s summer slate this year kicks off with the Sundance-premiering documentary, “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” about the life of the Nobel Prize-winning writer, and concludes with “Say Amen, Somebody,” the 4k restoration screening of Claudio Giovannesi’s 1982 documentary on the different gospel singing movements.
Below are the films scheduled to screen at Film at Lincoln Center for the 2019 summer season. Descriptions as posted by FLC.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, USA, 2019, 119m
With the peerless style and rich perspective on Black America she brought to such acclaimed novels as Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison has earned a reputation as one America’s greatest living writers. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am is an artful and intimate documentary about Morrison’s life and work—from her working class upbringing in Lorain, Ohio, and her 1970s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, to the front lines with Angela Davis and her own riverfront writing room—and the countless people she has inspired. Featuring interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Hilton Als, Fran Lebowitz, and Morrison herself. A Magnolia Pictures release.
Filmmaker in person opening weekend!
Peter Parlow, USA, 2019, 76m
Co-written by experimental filmmakers James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir, The Plagiarists is at once a hilarious send-up of low-budget American indie filmmaking and a probing inquiry into race, relationships, and the social uncanny. A young novelist (Lucy Kaminsky) and her cinematographer boyfriend (Eamon Monaghan) are waylaid by a snowstorm on their way to visit a friend in upstate New York and are taken in by the kindly yet enigmatic Clip (Michael “Clip” Payne of Parliament Funkadelic), who puts them up for the night. But an accidental discovery months later recasts in an unnerving light what had seemed like an agreeable evening, stoking resentments both latent and not-so-latent. Exhilaratingly intelligent and distinctively shot on a vintage TV-news camera, The Plagiarists is a work whose provocations are inseparable from its pleasures. A 2019 New Directors/New Films selection. A KimStim release.
Filmmakers in person opening weekend!
Benjamín Naishtat, Argentina/Brazil/France/Netherlands/Germany/Belgium/Switzerland, 2018, 109m
English and Spanish with English subtitles
In mid-’70s Argentina, at the height of that country’s infamous Dirty War, Claudio (Darío Grandinetti) is a well-heeled, cool-headed lawyer living with his wife and teenage daughter in a comfortable provincial suburb. When an innocuous dinner date ends in a startling altercation with a stranger, Claudio’s apparently placid lifestyle is disrupted, and fault lines begin to appear in the frictionless surface of his professional and domestic existence. What follows is a brooding, warm-hued fugue, where political calculations, economic stratagems, and tenuous social mores are played out with slow-burning ferocity against a harmonic bassline of barely repressed indignation and simmering paranoia. A Distrib Films release.
Mariano Llinás, Argentina, 2018, 803m (screening in 4 parts)
A decade in the making, Mariano Llinás’s follow-up to his 2008 cult classic Extraordinary Stories is an unrepeatable labor of love and madness that redefines the concept of binge-viewing. The director himself appears at the start to preview the six disparate episodes that await, each starring the same four remarkable actresses: Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa, Pilar Gamboa, and Laura Paredes. Overflowing with nested subplots and whiplash digressions, La Flor shape-shifts from a B-movie to a musical to a spy thriller to a category-defying metafiction—all of them without endings—to a remake of a very well-known French classic and, finally, to an enigmatic period piece that lacks a beginning (granted, all notions of beginnings and endings become fuzzy after 14 hours). An adventure in scale and duration, La Flor is a marvelously entertaining exploration of the possibilities of fiction that lands somewhere close to its outer limits. An NYFF56 selection. A Grasshopper Film release.
Filmmaker in person opening weekend!
Part 1: 203m / Part 2: 188m / Part 3: 205m / Part 4: 207m
Parts 1 & 2 screen August 2-8 and parts 3 & 4 screen August 9-15; check filmlinc.org for more details.
Piranhas / La paranza dei bambini
Claudio Giovannesi, Italy, 2019, 112m
Italian with English subtitles
The latest from Claudio Giovannesi (Fiore) is this singular coming-of-age story that won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin Film Festival. Newcomer Francesco Di Napoli stars as 15-year-old Nicola, who leads a pack of cocksure hellions captivated by the lifestyle of the local Camorra as they descend into the violent, paranoid world of Naples’s dominant crime group. Based on the novel by Roberto Saviano, who co-wrote the screenplay and mined similar territory in his devastating Gomorrah, Piranhas is a haunting reflection on doomed adolescence. A 2019 Open Roads selection. A Music Box Films release.
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?
Roberto Minervini, Italy/USA/France, 2018, 123m
Italian-born, American South–based filmmaker Roberto Minervini’s follow-up to his Texas Trilogy is a portrait of African-Americans in New Orleans struggling to maintain their unique cultural identity and to find social justice. Shot in very sharp black and white, the film is focused on Judy, trying to keep her family afloat and save her bar before it’s snapped up by speculators; Ronaldo and Titus, two brothers growing up surrounded by violence and with a father in jail; Kevin, trying to keep the glorious local traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians alive; and the local Black Panthers, trying to stand up against a new, deadly wave of racism. This is a passionately urgent and strangely lyrical film experience. An NYFF56 selection. A KimStim release.
Philippe Lesage, Canada, 2018, 130m
French with English subtitles
Following his autobiographical 2015 narrative debut The Demons, Philippe Lesage continues to chronicle the life of young Felix (Édouard Tremblay-Grenier), now diverging to capture the romantic trials and tribulations of two Quebecois teen siblings. While the charismatic, Salinger-reading Guillaume (Théodore Pellerin) wrestles with his sexual identity at his all-boys boarding school, the more ostensibly grown-up Charlotte (Noée Abita) discovers the casual cruelty of the adult world that awaits her post-graduation. Lesage and his young actors depict the aches of becoming oneself with nuance, honesty, and compassion, and the result is one of the most beautiful coming-of-age stories in years. A 2019 New Directors/New Films selection. A Film Movement release.
Ognjen Glavonić, Serbia/France/Croatia/Iran/Qatar, 2018, 98m
Serbian with English subtitles
Ognjen Glavonić’s wintry road movie concerns a truck driver (Leon Lucev) tasked with transporting mysterious cargo across a scorched landscape from Kosovo to Belgrade during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. A companion piece to the director’s 2016 documentary Depth Two, The Load is a work of enveloping atmosphere that puts a politically charged twist on the highway thrillers it recalls: Henri-Georges Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear and William Friedkin’s retelling, Sorcerer. The streamlined premise gives way to a slow-dawning reckoning, in which implications of guilt and complicity slowly but surely sink in. A 2019 New Directors/New Films selection. A Grasshopper Film release.
Say Amen, Somebody
George T. Nierenberg, USA, 1982, 101m
One of the most acclaimed music documentaries of all time, Say Amen, Somebody is George T. Nierenberg’s exuberant, funny, and deeply moving celebration of 20th-century American gospel music. With unrivaled access to the movement’s luminaries, Thomas Dorsey and Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, Nierenberg masterfully records their fascinating stories alongside earth-shaking, show-stopping performances by the Barrett Sisters, the O’Neal Twins, and others. As much a fascinating time capsule as it is a peerless concert movie, Say Amen, Somebody returns to Film at Lincoln Center in a gorgeous 4K restoration by Milestone Films, with support from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. An NYFF20 selection. A Milestone Films release.