‘Storm’ blows open N.Y. fest

NEW YORK — Ang Lee will make his New York Film Festival debut when his latest film, “The Ice Storm,” opens the 35th edition of the festival, which runs from Sept. 26 to Oct. 12 at Lincoln Center.

Following in the footsteps of October Films’ “Secrets & Lies,” which opened last year’s fest and made its theatrical debut the following day, Fox Searchlight will release “The Ice Storm” in Gotham on Sept. 27.

Based on Rick Moody’s novel of suburban life in the 1970s, the film represents the latest collaboration of Taiwanese-born director Lee and Good Machine, the New York production company founded by James Schamus and Ted Hope. Lee also directed “The Wedding Banquet,” “Eat Drink Man Woman” and “Sense and Sensibility.”

Schamus received the best screenplay award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for his adaptation of Moody’s book. Starring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Jamey Sheridan, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood and Tobey Maguire, “The Ice Storm” explores two Connecticut families as their lives are transformed by the sexual revolution sweeping the nation as the Watergate scandal unfolds in 1973.

“The creative team of ‘The Ice Storm’ — from director Ang Lee to the producing company Good Machine to the outstanding acting talents — truly represent the flourishing American independent film spirit that has infused the film industry in recent years,” said Richard Pena, chairman of the festival selection committee. “We are proud to highlight as our opening night a film by New York filmmakers and actors so committed to the idea of independent filmmaking.”

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