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New York Film Festival Unveils Lineup

Directorial outings from James Franco and Ralph Fiennes make the 35-film roster

The 51st New York Film Festival has tapped 35 films, an unusually large number for this tightly curated Gotham fest, to comprise a main slate that mixes a strong contingent of comedies, plus an animated pic, in with the traditional array of serious-minded global cinema that has often made up the bulk of NYFF’s lineup in the past years.

The slate, which usually weighs in at somewhere between 25 and 30 films, is the first to be overseen by Kent Jones, who took over the top festival post — director of programming and selection committee chair — last year following the exit of longtime leader Richard Pena. Festivalgoers looking for clues to how Jones’ taste might differ from the old guard will likely find the greatest shift in the 2013 lineup’s significant chunk of comedies including Richard Curtis’ “About Time,” Roger Michell’s “Le Week-End” and “Alan Partridge,” the Declan Lowney-helmed movie centering on Steve Coogan’s titular TV creation.

They join fellow comedies “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and Spike Jonze’s “Her,” already announced as the 2013 fest’s centerpiece screening and closer, respectively.

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The comedy cohort stands out largely because the fest, rightly or not, has more of a rep for championing challenging, serious, smarty-pants films, many of them drawn from the international festival circuit. There are some of those on this year’s list as well, including Lav Diaz’s 250-minute take on “Crime and Punishment,” “North, the End of History,” and Corneliu Porumboiu’s cerebral “When Evening Fall on Bucharest or Metabolism.”

Also in the NYFF lineup are the more traditional array of fest-circuit headturners, this year including Cannes award winners such as Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewyn Davis” (pictured, top) and Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” all making the cut alongside Jim Jarmusch vampire tale “Only Lovers Left Alive,” Frederick Wiseman doc “At Berkeley,” J.C. Chandor’s Robert Redford topliner “All Is Lost” and the latest animated outing from Hayao Miyazaki, “The Wind Rises.” Among the other international titles on  the list are Claire Denis’ “Bastards,” Agnieszka Holland’s “Burning Bush,” Arnaud Desplechin’s “Jimmy P” and Hong Sang-soo’s “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon.”

Actors-turned-directors also stand out on the list, with James Franco-helmed South Gothic story “Child of God” and Ralph Fiennes-directed Dickens bio “The Invisible Woman” (pictured, above) joining Stiller’s “Mitty” in the fest.

The 17-day New York Film Festival runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13, with sidebars and other complementary programming still to be set.

The 2013 New York Film Festival Main Slate:

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (Opening Night Gala Selection)

Director: Paul Greengrass

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (Centerpiece Gala Selection) 

Director: Ben Stiller

HER (Closing Night Gala Selection)

Director: Spike Jonze

ABOUT TIME

Director: Richard Curtis

ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (Abus de faiblesse)

Director: Catherine Breillat

ALAN PARTRIDGE

Director: Declan Lowney

ALL IS LOST

Director: J.C. Chandor

AMERICAN PROMISE

Directors: Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson

AT BERKELEY

Director: Frederick Wiseman

BASTARDS (Les Salauds)

Director: Claire Denis

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (La vie d’Adele)

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

BURNING BUSH (Horici Ker)

Director: Agnieszka Holland

CHILD OF GOD

Director: James Franco

GLORIA

Director: Sebastian Lelio

THE IMMIGRANT

Director: James Gray

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

Director: Ralph Fiennes

JEALOUSY (La Jalousie)

Director: Philippe Garrel

JIMMY P

Director: Arnaud Desplechin

THE LAST OF THE UNJUST (Le Dernier des injustes)

Director: Claude Lanzmann

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (Soshite chichi ni naru)

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

THE MISSING PICTURE (L’image manquante)

Director: Rithy Panh

MY NAME IS HMMM … (Je m’appelle Hmmm…)

Director: Agnes B

NEBRASKA

Director: Alexander Payne

NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAEWON (Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon)

Director: Hong Sang-soo

NORTH, THE END OF HISTORY (Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan)

Director: Lav Diaz

OMAR

Director: Hany Abu-Assad

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

Director: Jim Jarmusch

THE SQUARE

Director: Jehane Noujaim

STRANGER BY THE LAKE (L’Inconnu du lac)

Director: Alain Guiraudie

STRAY DOGS (Jiao You)

Director: Tsai Ming-liang

A TOUCH OF SIN (Tian zhu ding)

Director: Jia Zhangke

LE WEEK-END

Director: Roger Michell

WHEN EVENING FALLS ON BUCHAREST OR METABOLISM (Cand se lasa seara peste Bucuresti sau metabolism)

Director: Corneliu Porumboiu

THE WIND RISES (Kaze Tachinu)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

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