NY Film Festival “Secret Screening” Not Happening

I learned earlier today (and I’m told that some kind of statement will be forthcoming) that the currently running New York Film Festival (9.27 to 10.13) won’t be presenting a secret screening this year. As I hear it, the festival’s programming director Kent Jones had hoped to arrange a special showing of Martin Scorsese‘s Wolf of Wall Street, but that dream went south when a elephant-sized cut delivered by Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker failed to satisfy Paramount Pictures, the film’s distributor, necessitating their return to the editing room. For whatever reason no other unreleased film quite fit the bill. A fair-sized portion of Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel was viewed but it’s nowhere close to being completed. David O. Russell‘s American Hustle seemed like a good candidate but it’s currently going through a fine-tuning process via research screenings and isn’t quite ready to be shown. I’m guessing that the NYFF statement will say something like “with sad regret we’ve decided not to have a NY Film Festival secret screening this year but we’re having a great festival regardless,” etc.

  • moviewatcher

    They’ve already released that statement. it’s actually much more light-hearted that that:

    “So while you won’t get to see another of this year’s Oscar contenders a few weeks early, we’re betting you’re on the same page as we are when we say this is a once-in-a-lifetime viewing opportunity and, to put it crudely, a cinephile’s wet dream!”

    • Glenn Kenny

      Yeah, ouch. The issue was settled a week ago.

    • cinefan35

      Such a lame posting from the NYFF: “We couldn’t get anything on the level of Hugo or Lincoln (23 Oscar nominations combined) so we’re just going to roll out an old Godard film for you to see instead…”

  • Mr. F.

    Wait a minute — Scorsese doesn’t get final cut?!

  • Deliox

    “Failed to satisfy Paramount” because of what? Length? Them not thinking it good enough? Can you clarify the sense of that? I mean, The Aviator (which did well at the box office) was just short of 3 hours and having read the WoWS script, it’s bound to have more commercial appeal. I don’t get it.

  • Jeff

    I got one of the invites to an American Hustle test screening this morning.

  • cinefan35

    No other way to see see this but as a sizeable failure for Kent Jones in his first year as programming director of the NYFF.

    • alexw116

      Secret screenings aren’t really a staple of NYFF–it’s only happened twice. The movies weren’t ready. Whose failure was that?

      • cinefan35

        I guess I’m just feeling underwhelmed by this year’s festival so far. Last year there was Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Flight and, this year, the Centerpiece is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (a film not even close to being in the same category). I’m just hoping that the Festival ends strong with Her.

        • AW

          And last year’s Centerpiece was Not Fade Away…

          If you’re comparing both years’ world premieres of American films as if they’re the only thing at NYFF, don’t forget Captain Phillips.

          • cinefan35

            I actually liked Not Fade Away quite a bit and felt that it was unfairly overlooked by critics and audiences. But you’re right, I should have mentioned Captain Phillips as a strong opening film. I think I’m just bummed that there is no secret screening this year. The surprise screening of Lincoln last year with Spielberg and Day-Lewis in attendance was incredible (easily the highlight of last year’s festival for me) and it’s disappointing that there’s not going to be anything comparable this year.

  • Shucks. Was hoping to hear early word on Hustle.