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The Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Titane,” about a serial killer with rather unorthodox sexual tastes, and the Sundance critical hit “Passing,” an adaptation of the Harlem Renaissance novel by Nella Larsen, are among the highlights of the 59th New York Film Festival, organizers announced on Tuesday.
After last year’s virtual edition, screenings will be held in-person with proof of vaccination required, although there will be some outdoor and virtual events. (More details on pandemic protocols will be released in the coming weeks.)
As previously announced, “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” Joel Coen’s solo directing debut, will play opening night, Sept. 24. A take on the play by Shakespeare, it stars Denzel Washington in the title role and Frances McDormand, the director’s wife, as Lady Macbeth. The centerpiece of the festival will be “The Power of the Dog,” the first Jane Campion film in more than a decade, and “Parallel Mothers,” from Pedro Almodóvar, will be the closing-night title.
The main slate will feature a mix of premieres and highlights from earlier festivals. The body horror tale “Titane” made headlines last month when its director, Julia Ducournau, became only the second woman (after Campion in 1993) to win Cannes’ top prize. Other titles from the French festival heading to New York include “Benedetta,” Paul Verhoeven’s 17th-century lesbian nun potboiler; “The Souvenir Part II,” Joanna Hogg’s follow-up to her 2019 semi-autobiographical drama about a film student in 1980s London; and “The Velvet Underground,” Todd Haynes’s documentary about the band synonymous with Andy Warhol’s New York.
From Sundance, “Passing,” directed by the actress Rebecca Hall, who adapted Larsen’s 1929 novel, stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as childhood friends who reconnect from opposite sides of the color line. Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated “Flee,” which won the Sundance world cinema documentary prize, focuses on a gay Afghan refugee in Denmark.
Other titles of note include Mia Hansen-Love’s “Bergman Island,” starring Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth; the comic-drama “Hit the Road,” from Panah Panahi, son of the Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi; and two films from the Korean director Hong Sangsoo, “In Front of Your Face” and “Introduction.”
Passes are on sale now; tickets to individual films will go on sale Sept. 7. Go to filmlinc.org for more details.