A Foreign Affair

On September 25, the New York Film Festival opens in France, then closes October 11 in Spain. In between, it dashes all over the globe, making relatively few stops in the U.S. (one notable exception being the New York–based Precious). Below, our suggested itinerary.

Photo: Courtesy of The Film Society of Lincoln Center/Sony Pictures Classics

1. Wild Grass
Alain Resnais, France
Resnais (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad) opens the festival with one of his lightest films in years: a complex romantic comedy about a married man and a dreamy single-gal dentist brought together by a snatched purse. (9/25)

Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

2. Vincere
Marco Bellocchio, Italy
Catholic hypocrisy and Fascist oppression dominate a high-stakes historical drama about Benito Mussolini’s secret affair with Ida Dalser, played by Giovanna Mezzogiorno, who has already won raves worldwide. (9/26)

Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films

3. Police, Adjective
Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania
Winner of major prizes in Cannes, Porumboiu’s follow-up to 12:08 East of Bucharest examines a police officer’s crisis of conscience, as he tries to justify his choice to protect a teenage hash-dealer. (9/28)

Photo: Courtesy of The Film Society of Lincoln Center/Celluloid Dreams

4. Lebanon
Samuel Maoz, Israel
In his first feature, Maoz, a war veteran who fought for the Israeli army in 1982, offers this intentionally claustrophobic film about a tank that’s lost its way and whose passengers can only see the world through the gun-sight of their turret. (10/1)

Photo: Courtesy of The Film Society of Lincoln Center/IFC Films

5. Antichrist
Lars Von Trier, Denmark
The controversial psychosexual horror film stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a couple tortured over the death of their child. Finally you can decide: misogynistic crime or legitimately disturbing allegory? (10/2)

Photo: Courtesy of The Film Society of Lincoln Center/CJ Entertainment

6. Mother
Bong Joon-Ho, South Korea
From the director of the sharp crime flick Memories of Murder and the breakout horror film The Host: a tragicomic thriller about a woman who is obsessed with proving the innocence of her son, an alleged murderer. (10/9)

Photo: Courtesy of The Film Society of Lincoln Center/Pyramide Films

7. Bluebeard
Catherine Breillat, France
The sexual provocateur behind The Last Mistress and Anatomy of Hell returns with her own take on the legendary fable of a man who murders his wives and hangs their bodies in one very crowded room. (10/11)

Photo: The Film Society of Lincoln Center/Sony Pictures Classics

8. Broken Embraces
Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
Almodóvar, together again with Penélope Cruz—and back to the noirish melodrama of Bad Education and All About My Mother—serves up a twisty mystery involving a desperate actress and a passionate director. (10/11)

A Foreign Affair