Today marks the opening of the 2005 New York Jewish Film Festival, a co-venture of The Film Society of Lincoln Center, and The Jewish Museum. The Festival will screen shorts, docs and features, from Israel, Argentina, France, and elsewhere, for 16 days. All screenings are at the Walter Reade Theater. I am particularly interested in two films making their New York premieres:

Director Yaron Zilberman's documentary Watermarks uses exquisitely preserved archival footage to tell the story of Hakoah Vienna, an all-female, all-Jewish water-sports brigade that banded together to find safe passage abroad just before the Nazi annexation of Austria. The film then follows the surviving members of the swim team, sixty-five years after their escape from Vienna, to a reunion at their old competition pool. Watermarks screens Thrusday and Sunday at 4pm, and Tuesday, January 16 at  6pm.

In the feature film corner, the cool kids will no doubt be foaming at the mouth when they hear that the Festival is screening new work by Belgian experimental-narrative goddess Chantal Akerman. In Tomorrow We Move, French actress Sylvie Testud plays Charlotte, a dirty-novel scribe who opens up her small apartment to her recently widowed mother, to find that the new living situation is less than conducive to the creation of literary smut. The duo decides to move and are bombarded with eccentric potential buyers for the apartment, turning an uncomfortably neurotic situation into a farcically psychotic one. The festival sanctioned blurb calls Tomorrow We Move "a slyly Jewish tale of rootlessness, familial burdens, unavoidable but unachievable writing assignments, and the occasional black cloud." I can't wait.

For more info on The Festival, please check out its official site.

categories Cinematical