From the metropolitan jungles of New York, through the lush fields of Texas, to sunny California, and even further afield – to the land of imagination where the Wizard of Oz rules, or to virtual worlds where there are (almost) no limits. This year’s American Film Festival offers a unique opportunity to travel the length and breadth of the U.S., all from the comfort of a cinema seat (or your own couch at home, thanks to screenings on NH VOD).
There are 126 films to choose from, offering a total of up to 9,879 minutes of cinematic experience. Today, we begin selling tickets for on-site screenings and access to films available online. How can you navigate this American prosperity? Where is the best place to start your adventure at the 14th AFF? Ula Śniegowska, the director of the festival, is here to help by offering a selection of not-to-be-missed titles.
(available only in Poland)
Tickets and online access (including access packages) are exclusively available for purchase via our website. The festival box offices at the New Horizons Cinema will open on November 7 at 9:00 AM. You can find all the details on how to obtain your tickets and the price list in our guide. On-site screenings are available from November 7 to 12, and online screenings on the New Horizons VOD platform can be enjoyed until November 19.
1. The Holdovers, dir. Alexander Payne – Paul Giamatti stars as a disliked teacher whose image warms with every ray of winter sunshine when he decides to take care of a teenager lost in the world. A stylish, subtle tale set in 1970s East Coast academic circles.
2. Dreamin’ Wild, dir. Bill Pohlad – a Sugar Man feature starring Casey Affleck as a rock and roller brought back to favor after years away.
3. and 4. Part two of the (three-year) project, which is a retrospective of Robert Altman’s work – I recomend paying special attention to the lesser-known films that portray women, especially Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean – a cross-section of the attitudes of members of the late actor’s fan club, and Images – a Bergmanesque portrait of a woman in crisis (it’s worth noting that Alex Garland in Men drew on Altman’s concept to the fullest).
5. Retrospective: Camille Billops & James Hatch – I overall recommend exploring this retrospective, which features unknown gems of documentary film. Providing candid, direct, and disarming glimpses into a world that was often underrepresented before, focusing on the lives of Black women in the 1980s. I suggest paying special attention to two films about the Billops family itself: Suzanne, Suzanne and Finding Christa.
6. Crookedfinger, dir. Jason Cortlund, Julia Halperin – making its world premiere, a psychological thriller completed at the Warsaw-based Fixafilm, crafted by Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund, who are good friends of AFF.
7. All of Alex Ross Perry's films, particularly one of his early works that hasn’t been shown in Poland yet, The Color Wheel, which stars Alex. Plus two remarkable films that provide satirical insights into the world of New York intellectuals, personified by Jason Schwartzman in Listen Up Philip and Golden Exits, and women teetering on the edge, whose madness is brilliantly conveyed by Elisabeth Moss in Her Smell.
8. Again, more than one title, yet sharing a common theme – documentary portraits of American music icons and the profound implications of fame on their lives: the rousing Carlos by Rudy Valdez, and the poignant Joan Baez I Am a Noise by Miri Navasky, Maeve O’Boyle, and Karen O’Connor.
9. Return to Reason, dir. Man Ray – a unique opportunity to experience the musical collaboration of Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan (SQÜRL) and to fully appreciate the artistic freedom embraced by Man Ray and the avant-garde visionaries of the 1920s. Such liberated spirits are a rare find in today’s world!
10. Against All Enemies, dir. Charlie Sadoff – the fringes of democracy, the bedrock of social change that ultimately led to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. As a cautionary tale.