Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” concludes New York Film Fest this weekend

By Sean O’Connell The 48th annual New York Film Festival draws to a close this weekend with screenings of “Meek’s Cutoff,” Joe Dante’s “The Hole 3D,” and Sunday’s gala screening of Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter,” with Matt Damon in the lead.

Before the curtain falls on the Gotham fest, several New York journalists are summarizing what they saw, and what impact the festival continues to have on film’s expanding landscape.

The Wall Street Journal, for instance, encourages patrons to think outside the marquee and chase titles that lack the star power of “Hereafter” or “Cutoff.” Sebastian Silva and Pedro Peirano’s “Old Cats” gets a nod, as does the 1946 film “A Matter of Life and Death” by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, which stars Roger Livesy and David Niven and screens as a tribute to cinematographer Jack Cardiff.

Film Journal International, meanwhile, predicts that “change is afoot off-screen at The Film Society” as Rose Kuo takes over as the fest’s executive construction wraps on Lincoln Center’s new Film Center.

And Gordon Cox admits in Variety that NYFF “has turned into an unusually high-profile platform this year” as he breaks down a few last-minute sales in the fest’s final weekend.

As for the annual Oscar race, “The Social Network” – which opened the fest – seems to have elevated its awards profile while Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest” took even more hits from unimpressed media members. We’ll find out this weekend how “Hereafter” plays, because Eastwood’s drama remains on the fringe of certain categories and could work itself back into the race with a strong New York showing.

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