The 2010 New York Film Festival is upon us, and that means that our coverage of the 2010 New York Film Festival is upon you. Because NYFF doesn't traditionally concern itself with nabbing world premieres (nor with distributing awards), it doesn't receive the oodles of attention usually reserved for the likes of Berlin or Venice, or even less qualitatively selective fests such as Sundance and Toronto. Having said that, the fest routinely provides the art-house sensations of tomorrow with their (North) American debuts, and it does so in a calm and civilized fashion (crucially, there's always free Illy espresso) that lends the proceedings a feeling of public accessibility despite how historically difficult the tickets can be to obtain.
The event - an uncluttered fortnight during which the main slate unspools on a single screen - temporarily transforms Lincoln Center into Promenade de la Croisette, as the fest invariably drops the cream of the Cannes crop right onto Broadway and readers the world over are provided more critiques of the year's most important films, this time removed from the wayward pomp and circumstance of the Cannes madness. As that festival offers a decreasingly reliable indication as to how certain films will fare in the outside world (e.g. 'Inglourious Basterds' was derided there last year only to be received ecstatically upon its public release) and the Toronto discourse leans towards the mainstream, NYFF has become the venue in which cinema's most formative offerings are first given an opportunity to take center stage and shine.