The French educational system will be in the spotlight come late September. The Class, a fictional look at a French high school featuring a real-life teacher, will open the New York Film Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Directed by Laurent Cantet, The Class won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in May and was picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics in June.

Critical notices, including one from our own James Rocchi, were quite positive. James wrote in part: "Chronicling a year in the life of a junior high school class in a rougher section of Paris, there's something undeniably French about the film ... But at the same time, these kids and their teacher (Francois Begaudeau) are going through a series of challenges and opportunities that will be familiar to anyone who's ever gone to school." The film is inspired by a novel Begaudeau wrote, based on his own experiences as a teacher.

The festival will also showcase the work of Japanese director Nagisa Oshima (In the Realm of the Senses) and will feature a 30th anniversary presentation of We Spin Around the Night Consumed by the Fire, by Guy Debord, in their "Views From the Avant-Garde" sidebar.

As if often the case with certain festivals, there is no additional information at the official NYFF web site, but eventually I'm sure something will appear. The New York Film Festival runs from September 26 to October 12.

categories Cinematical