Film Comment Selects, the annual Lincoln Center festival programmed by the editors of the eponymous magazine, is deservedly regarded as one of the major cinematic discovery events on the local film calendar.
There's a good chance you haven't heard of many selections and an even better chance that you'll be impressed by what you discover.
These are five reasons you should check out the festival, which kicks off tomorrow and runs through March 5.
It's always thrilling to see big names take on different, ambitious projects, even if they don't ultimately pan out. Film Comment Selects offers "Anarchy," a modern-day version of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," starring Ed Harris, "50 Shades of Grey's" Dakota Johnson, Penn Badgley, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich (singing a Bob Dylan cover), Anton Yelchin, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman and, yes, more. The picture chronicles the conflict between cops and a biker gang, only adding to the weirdness. March 3
Programmers pay tribute to the late Mike Nichols by screening his lesser-known "The Fortune," a 1975 farce starring Stockard Channing, Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson. Sydney Pollack was one of the most dependable American film directors and actors of his day; he could always be counted upon for solid craft and respectable entertainment, at minimum, at the helm of movies such as "Tootsie" and "Three Days of the Condor."
Film Comment Selects will screen Pollack's 1975 movie "The Yakuza," in which Robert Mitchum stars alongside Japanese star Ken Takakura in a script co-written by Paul Schrader, his brother Leonard and "Chinatown" scribe Robert Towne. "Fortune": March 5, "Yakuza": Sunday
There's a decent chance you've seen "Gremlins" a bunch of times, especially if you're a child of the '80s. But the festival offers a chance to experience it anew, in a sense, by screening an early cut of the classic horror comedy about the little monsters. Sunday
Films from all over the world
Film Comment Selects is routinely hailed for its compendium of international cinema, which this year ranges from "Belleuscone: A Sicilian Story" about former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, "The Smell of Us," a Paris-set film from Larry Clark ("Kids"), the Iranian feature "Tales" from the country's pre-eminent female filmmaker and the Chilean comedy-drama "Voice Over."
Tribute to Cannon
Cannon Films, the beloved '80s schlockmeisters behind everything from "Masters of the Universe" to Chuck Norris' "Delta Force" and other B and C-grade genre pictures, gets the documentary treatment in opening night selection "Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films." A sidebar tribute features "10 to Midnight," starring Charles Bronson, "The Last American Virgin" and "Ninja III."