New York Film Festival Unveils Spotlight Slate With ‘The Boy and the Heron’ and Garth Davis’ ‘Foe’ Starring Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal

New York Film Festival Unveils Spotlight Slate With ‘The Boy and the Heron’ and Garth Davis’ ‘Foe’ Starring Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal

The 2023 New York Film Festival has revealed the lineup for its Spotlight section, featuring world premieres of Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie’s Showtime series The Curse starring Emma Stone, and Garth Davis’ Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal-starrer Foe.

A collaboration between Fielder and Safdie, The Curse stars Stone and Fielder as married entrepreneurs who plan to flip homes and convert them to eco-friendly residences for struggling residents of Española, New Mexico for an HGTV-style reality show being overseen by Safdie’s producer. The series, the first three episodes of which will be screened at the NYFF with the remaining episodes in the 10-episode project shown at Film at Lincoln Center, tackles issues of race, class and capital and deals with ethical and moral gray zones.

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Foe, adapted from an Iain Reid novel of the same name, centers around a married midwestern couple in the year 2065, living in a desolate environment battled by decades of climate change, as a stranger offers them the chance to change their own futures and that of humanity.

Other noteworthy Spotlight selections include the U.S. premieres of Hayao Miyazaki’s first film in a decade, The Boy and the Heron, and Richard Linklater’s Hit Man, co-written by and starring Glen Powell as a philosophy professor who moonlights as an undercover hit man for the New Orleans Police Department.

The festival has also added the North American premiere of Sean Price Williams’ feature debut The Sweet East, starring Talia Ryder, Simon Rex, Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy O. Harris, and a late-night screening of Harmony Korine’s Aggro Drift, shot entirely in infrared.

Stone, meanwhile, will make her third appearance on New York Film Festival screens in her Poor Things director Yorgos Lanthimos’ silent black-and-white short film Bleat, presented with live accompaniment by an ensemble of musicians and a choir, in its first screening since its Athens premiere and followed by a conversation with Lanthimos. In the wordless film, Stone plays a young widow, who experiences a journey through sex, death and resurrection.

The festival will additionally screen Pedro Almodóvar’s short Strange Way of Life, starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker.

And the Spotlight section features a number of documentaries including Steve McQueen’s four-and-a-half-hour Occupied City, about life in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II and constructed from newly captured images including during the city’s COVID lockdown; Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s Sundance grand jury prize-winning Nikki Giovanni film Going to Mars; and Errol Morris’ look at John le Carré, The Pigeon Tunnel.

The above selections join Bradley Cooper’s Maestro, which was announced Wednesday as a spotlight gala screening on Oct. 2. The festival previously announced its main slate, including opening night screening May December, centerpiece gala Priscilla and closing night film Ferrari. More info about the NY Film Festival’s Spotlight selections is available here.

The 61st annual New York Film Festival, presented by Film at Lincoln Center, is set to run from Sept. 29-Oct. 15.