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The Countdown to New York Film Fest’s Fiftieth Birthday

Started in the 1960′s, the New York Film Festival is one of the most highly anticipated film events of the year. While it’s a noncompetitive festival, the NYFF is highly selective, with only around 28 features and 12 shorts chosen each year.  2012 marks the year-long countdown to the festival’s fiftieth year, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, who produces the NYFF each year, is making sure the festival is celebrated in style.

Beginning this month, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will feature various great works from festival history.  Prices run from $13 for the general public, $9 for students, seniors & children, and $8 for members.  For the films featured in January and February, there is a special discount package, which allows you to purchase four films for the price of three.

In the next few weeks, here are some of the films that will be featured:

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, drama directed by Werner Herzog, from NYFF 1975 — The film follows Kaspar Hauser, a real life enigma who mysteriously appeared on the streets of Nuremberg in 1828.  With limited talking and walking ability, we learn about how he was held captive in a small dark cell for most of his life.

Gates of Heaven, documentary from Errol Morris, from NYFF 1978 — Morris’s film is a unique look at the trajectory of two pet cemeteries in San Francisco.  Errol Morris’s mentor was Werner Herzog, and Herzog once pledged that he’d eat one of his own shoes if Morris ever finished this film and showed it publicly. Herzog eventually made good on that promise when Morris’s film premiered at the NYFF; the short film of the event was titled, simply, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.

Handle with Care and Melvin and Howard, directed by Jonathan Demme, from NYFF 1977 and 1980 — Jonathan Demme’s Handle with Care focuses on a wide variety of eccentric personalities that broadcast alter-egos via citizen band’s radio. Melvin and Howard is the story of Melvin Dummar, a Utah gas station owner that was named the beneficiary of Howard Hughes.

The Last Metro, directed by François Truffaut, from NYFF 1980 – Truffaut’s drama centers on the wife of a Jewish theater director in Nazi-occupied Paris (played by Catherine Deneuve) and her relationship with an actor that is also a member of the resistance (played by Gérard Depardieu).

For more information on tickets and other films, go to the NYFF website.