There has been much speculation on the West Coast about which “work in progress from a master filmmaker scheduled to be released this year” is going to be the subject of New York Film Festival’s mystery screening Monday night at Avery Fisher Hall for only the second time in the fest’s 49-year history. It’s certainly a good ploy for Oscar attention. A lot of the guessing centers on Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar or Steven Spielberg’s War Horse or The Adventures Of Tintin — but all of those films are finished, not works in progress at this point. Another popular guess is Stephen Daldry’s post-9/11 New York-set Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close. But as fine a director as this three-time Oscar nominee is, I don’t think the word “master” yet applies, so scratch that. It could be the latest from Wong Kar Wai or Zhang Yimou, but neither of their films are set for this year yet — at least in America. Some think it may be David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but I know for a fact no one at Sony is aware if it is, and apparently it would violate his deal if he were doing this on his own. So very doubtful. That leaves a genuine “master,” Martin Scorsese, with his work, the 3D Hugo from Paramount, which is still “in progress” toward its November 23rd holiday release. However, a Paramount source who knows these things guessed it was the Daldry film while strongly indicating it wasn’t Hugo, adding, “Do you really think Martin Scorsese would premiere his movie that way?” Well, yes. He took Gangs Of New York to Cannes seven months before its December 2002 release and showed 20 minutes of the “work in progress.” Several sources “sworn to secrecy” are also pointing to Hugo. Guess it’s a wait-and-see game until 7 PM ET Monday. Nice way to get people talking about you out here on the other coast, NYFF!
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