Thanks for checking out the third installment of A Few Minutes with Feinberg, THR's new weekly video series in which I spend -- you guessed it -- a few minutes dissecting a different aspect of the race to the Oscars.
This week, I preview -- from the middle of Times Square, and with the help of a few "colorful" friends -- the 50th annual New York Film Festival, which will kick off this Friday, Sept. 28, and run through Sunday, Oct. 14.
The 2012 fest is, as always, relatively small (there are just 33 films on the main slate, chosen by the selection committee from hundreds that were submitted) and predominantly filled with art-house fare (foreign language films, documentaries, shorts, revivals, restorations, and rediscoveries). Its two-plus week schedule is structured around three titles that are somewhat more "mainstream" than the rest: the opening night, centerpiece, and closing night gala screenings.
This year's opening night film -- following in the considerable footsteps of Chariots of Fire (1981), Pulp Fiction (1994), About Schmidt (2002), Mystic River (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), and The Social Network (2010), and the somewhat smaller footsteps of last year's opener, Carnage (2011) -- will be the world premiere of Life of Pi, Oscar winner Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's acclaimed book of the same title. It will become the first 3D film to open the fest, but not the first to play there -- both Hugo and Pina were a part of the fest just last year.
The centerpiece film, meanwhile, will be Not Fade Away, a 1960s period piece drama that reunites director David Chase and actor James Gandolfini, who famously collaborated for years on the hit HBO show The Sopranos.
And the closing night film will be Robert Zemeckis's Flight, which stars Oscar winner Denzel Washington.
It is worth noting that a huge number of the foreign language films that were chosen by the fest's selection committee months ago have, in recent weeks, also been submitted by their home countries as official entries in the best foreign language film Oscar sweepstakes. Among them: Amour (Austria), Barbara (Germany), Beyond the Hills (Romania), Bwakaw (Philippines), No (Chile), and Our Children (Belgium). Fill the Void, another film at the fest, will likely be submitted by Israel this week.
For more information, check out the video.