EXCLUSIVE: After confirming last week it would reopen April 16, Film at Lincoln Center is offering details about its comeback, confirming spring programming and the theatrical return of New Directors/New Films.
After more than a year of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization affirmed safety guidelines and precautions along with initial bookings. It will not sell concessions in the early going, following the path of downtown commercial arthouse the IFC Center. Masks will be required at all times. Extra time between screenings will be built in to facilitate cleaning and minimize personal interaction.
Consistent with state guidelines, attendance will be capped at 25%, meaning no more than a couple dozen people in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center’s two auditoriums. FLC said its biggest venue, the Walter Reade Theater, will open a few weeks after the Munroe reopening, after minor renovations are completed.
While the initial box office will be modest given the restrictions, offerings should be enticing to starved cinephiles. French Exit, the Michelle Pfeiffer-starring satire that closed last fall’s New York Film Festival (FLC’s annual event), will open along with a new restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mirror. The Russian director’s non-linear narrative was released in between his better-known works, Solaris and Stalker. It divided critics upon its debut, but has since come to be widely regarded as one of the best films ever made.
New Directors/New Films, the annual spring festival co-presented with The Museum of Modern Art, will mark its 50th anniversary with select in-person screenings. The festival, running April 28 to May 8, will be officially be the first New York City film festival to offer theatrical screenings since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Tribeca on Monday announced a 12-day series of outdoor screenings for its 20th anniversary edition in June and will be the first full-scope festival to return to in-person activities.
Virtual screenings will also be offered for New Directors. The festival slate will be announced in the coming weeks.
Other programming coming to FLC includes Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love, opening May 14, alongside a retrospective of the filmmaker’s work. Other films opening in May and June include I Carry You With Me, an exclusive run for Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue, Undine and Summer of ’85.
FLC’s virtual cinema will feature selections from the Human Rights Watch Film Festival May 19 to 26, followed by Open Roads: New Italian Cinema from May 28 to June 6. Hong Sangsoo’s The Power of Kangwon Province will opening in virtual form on June 11.
“When we closed last March, we never imagined that our theaters would be dark for more than a year, and it is thanks to the support of our devoted audience that we were able to sustain ourselves until we could open safely,” FLC Executive Director Lesli Klainberg said in a statement. “It’s been incredibly gratifying to reach people across the country through our virtual cinema, and we’re excited to keep growing that community. But we’re also still a hometown movie theater, now the only art-house cinema on the Upper West Side, and we’re eager to open our doors to our community of New Yorkers, far and wide. We can’t wait to welcome you back.”
New releases and revival runs are organized by Florence Almozini, Dennis Lim, and Tyler Wilson.
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