New York Film Festival Unveils Spotlight Program, With ‘Dune’, Joaquin Phoenix-Starrer ‘C’Mon C’Mon’, ‘Red Rocket’ & More

C'mon C'mon
"C'mon C'mon" Tobin Yelland

New York Film Festival organizers have unveiled the slate for its Spotlight section, which includes Dune, C’mon C’mon, Red Rocket and other titles of note.

Spotlight is the venue where the festival’s presenting organization, Film at Lincoln Center, aims to showcase the fall season’s most anticipated films. The festival, which is returning to in-person screenings after a 2020 edition at drive-ins and online, runs September 24 to October 10.

A24 is distributing C’mon C’mon, which stars Joaquin Phoenix and is directed by Mike Mills. The company hasn’t divulged plans for its festival run, but Film at Lincoln Center is listing the film as a New York premiere. That’s a common designation for films debuting at Telluride, which falls a few weeks before NYFF but announces its lineup just prior to its first screenings. Dune is ticketed for Venice ahead of Warner Bros’ theatrical release in October. Sean Baker’s Red Rocket and Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch had their world premieres in July in Cannes.

Other Spotlight selections include Belle, director Mamoru Hosoda’s portrait of a shy teenager who becomes an online sensation as a pop star; Charlotte Gainsbourg’s profile of her mother, Jane Birkin, Jane By Charlotte, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directing debut, The Lost Daughter; and director Marco Bellocchio’s Marx Can Wait, an examination of the legacy of his twin brother’s suicide.

As an extension of Spotlight, Film at Lincoln Center announced plans to honor the centenary of late co-founder and film programmer Amos Vogel with a special sidebar. Vogel’s curatorial career included many years running the influential film society Cinema 16 as well as stints at Lincoln Center and Grove Press. His classic study, Film as a Subversive Art, will soon be reissued by The Film Desk.

FLC’s tribute focuses on the NYFF period, bookended by screenings devoted to his work before and after his involvement with the festival. Included are films from Glauber Rocha, John Huston, and trailblazers of the Czech New Wave; Lebert Bethune’s Malcolm X: Struggle for Freedom, Santiago Álvarez’s dispatch from postrevolutionary Cuba, Now; and David Neuman and Ed Pincus’s snapshot of Civil Rights-era Mississippi, Black Natchez. Also on the docket are works from the era’s burgeoning avant-garde scene, such as Tony Conrad’s The Flicker and a world premiere restoration of Robert Frerck’s Nebula II.

The Spotlight retrospective will be followed by tributes at repertory cinemas across New York City, among them Anthology Film Archives, Film Forum, Light Industry, Metrograph, MoMA and the Museum of the Moving Image.

“Our Spotlight section is a new part of our reshaped New York Film Festival, a place that this year encompasses a range of cinema, new and old,” fest director Eugene Hernandez said.

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