Following Main Slate and Spotlight, the 61st New York Film Festival has unveiled its Revivals lineup, featuring new restorations of classic and overlooked films. Highlights include Manoel de Oliveira’s Abraham’s Valley, Jean Renoir‘s The Woman on the Beach, Bahram Beyzaie’s The Stranger and the Fog, Abel Gance’s La Roue, Paul Vecchiali’s The Strangler, Lee Grant’s Tell Me a Riddle, Nancy Savoca’s Household Saints, Horace Ové’s Pressure, and more.

“This year’s edition of Revivals is a thrilling showcase of cinema history, packed with groundbreaking discoveries and long unseen classics alike, all in outstanding restorations,” said Florence Almozini, Senior Director of Programming at Film at Lincoln Center and NYFF Revivals Programmer. “We never cease to be amazed at the lasting influence of these cinematic gems on our collective sense of cinema, with the way they have tackled cultural, societal, or political issues with such modernity and artistry. The section is a constant inspiration to all cinephiles!”

See the lineup below.

Abraham’s Valley
Manoel de Oliveira, 1993, Portugal, 203m
Portuguese with English subtitles
North American Premiere of Restoration

Among the most essential films in Manoel de Oliveira’s vast, epoch-spanning oeuvre is this adaptation of Agustina Bessa-Luis’s 1991 transposition of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary to 20th-century Portugal. Leonor Silveira stars as Ema, who, ensnared within a loveless marriage as a young woman, takes on a succession of lovers to satiate the desires that animate her inner life—namely, her desire to be desired. Ema’s passions yield increasingly stifling consequences through her life, and as we behold her struggle to square conflicting realities, Oliveira draws us ever deeper into her labyrinthine complexity through typically captivating images that seem to hover on the precipice between the sensual and the metaphysical. An NYFF31 Main Slate selection. Digitized and restored by Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema. Grading by Cinemateca and image restored by Irma Lucia Efeitos Especiais in 2016. Grading revised in 2023. Sound restored by Billy Boom in 2023.

The Dupes
Tewfik Saleh, 1972, Syria, 107m
Arabic with English subtitles
North American Premiere of Restoration

Set in the 1950s and adapted from assassinated artist, writer, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ghassan Kanafani’s 1962 novella Men in the Sun, Tewfik Saleh’s 1972 masterpiece follows three Palestinian refugees—each man representing a different generation—as they seek safe passage from Iraq to Kuwait, where they hope to secure work and money to send to their families back home. Short on options to achieve this goal, they agree to a questionable plan to get smuggled in, and the possibility of building better lives for themselves grows ever more improbable. An excruciatingly suspenseful and eminently modern work of political cinema that evokes The Wages of Fear and Kafka in equal measure, The Dupes is one of Arab cinema’s most astonishing achievements. A Janus Films release. Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with the National Film Organization and the family of Tewfik Saleh. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

Household Saints
Nancy Savoca, 1993, U.S., 125m
World Premiere of Restoration

Based on Francine Prose’s fifth novel, Nancy Savoca’s comic chronicle of a spirited Italian-American New York family perfectly balances humor, tragedy, and pathos. Vincent D’Onofrio’s Joseph Santangelo is a butcher with a wicked sense of humor who “wins” his wife Catherine (an uncharacteristically reserved Tracey Ullman) in a pinochle game. Together they experience the ups, downs, and wacky in-betweens of city life until teenage daughter Teresa slowly overtakes the film with her yearning to join a convent. Perfectly embodying a modern-day Bernadette, Lili Taylor imbues Teresa with a mix of dedicated innocence and naïveté. Executive produced by Jonathan Demme, with notable appearances from Michael Imperioli, Illeana Douglas, and Judith Malina among others, Household Saints announced a unique voice in 1990s New York City independent filmmaking. A Milestone Films release. Household Saints has been digitally restored and remastered by Lightbox Film Center at University of the Arts (Philadelphia) in collaboration with Milestone Films with support from Ron and Suzanne Naples. Restoration Supervisor: Ross Lipman, Corpus Fluxus. Picture Restoration: Illuminate Hollywood. Sound Restoration: Audio Mechanics.

Preceded by:
Nancy Savoca, 1982, U.S., 16m
U.S. Premiere of Restoration
Nancy Savoca’s first student film, made alongside husband Rich Guay at NYU in the early ’80s, deftly explores the struggles of a young mother living in New York City. Their classmate Marianne Leone gives life to their character of Renata and her plight—weighing her own well-being against her commitment to her family. Crisp black-and-white photography adds to Leone’s dynamic performance, stripping away everything but her struggle. A Milestone Films release. Renata has been digitally remastered from the original 16mm negative by Milestone Film & Video in collaboration with Ross Lipman, Corpus Fluxus. Thank you to Nancy Savoca and Rich Guay, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Todd Wiener, and Paul Foster. 2K Scan: CineSolutions.

Horace Ové, 1975, U.K., 125m
Joint World Premiere of New Restoration

One of the most important British films of the 1970s and an enduringly potent document on the social conditions known by first-generation West Indian immigrants, Horace Ové’s fiction feature debut chronicles the experience of Tony, a young man caught between his parents’ submissiveness and his brother’s militancy. As Tony’s professional prospects grow ever dimmer, he finds community with other young Black Brits whose sense of social alienation has driven them into the streets in search of purpose and enrichment. Mesmerizingly performed by a cast of professional and non-professional actors, Pressure remains a richly forceful work of political cinema that examines the formation of identity by Black immigrants within a miserably racist society. A Janus Films release. Restored by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Pressure will have a joint restoration World Premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express at BFI Southbank and as a Revivals selection at the 61st New York Film Festival on October 11.

Return to Reason: Short Films by Man Ray
Man Ray, 1923–1928, France, 76m
North American Premiere of Restoration

Restored on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, Man Ray’s first foray into filmmaking, the wildly improvisational and unapologetically fragmentary Return to Reason, finds the artist exploding and reconstructing the cinematic medium as a vehicle for accessing the abstract essence of things by way of the rhythmic accumulation of visual details glimpsed in part, never in their wholeness. What emerges from this program—which combines Return to Reason with several other kindred and newly restored early films by Ray, set to haunting and hypnotic new music by SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan)—is the sense of Ray as perhaps the modern artist par excellence, an intrepid experimentalist absolutely committed to delving ever deeper into the space between consciousness and unconsciousness, sense and nonsense, wakefulness and dreaming. A Janus Films release. The restoration process was led by L’Immagine Ritrovata, sourcing original prints from various parts of the world, in partnership with the Cineteca di Bologna, La Cinémathèque française, the Centre Pompidou, the Library of Congress, and the French CNC.

Return to Reason
Man Ray, 1923, France, 3m

Man Ray, 1926, France, 19m

L’Étoile de mer
Man Ray, 1928, France, 27m

Les Mystères du château de Dé
Man Ray, 1927, France, 27m

Preceded by: 
Pier Paolo Pasolini – Agnès Varda – New York – 1967
Agnès Varda, 2022, France, 3m
North American Premiere
French with English subtitles
In 1966, two legendary filmmakers, in town for the 4th New York Film Festival, took a walk through Times Square. Armed with 16mm color film, Agnès Varda captured Pier Paolo Pasolini. A year later, she edited the footage and recorded his brief commentary track, discussing the uses of documentary filmmaking, Christianity, and the nature of reality. The elements were only discovered in 2021 and restored by Cine-Tamaris, in collaboration with L’Immagine Ritrovata, to their lustrous expressivity. Pier Paolo Pasolini – Agnès Varda – New York – 1967 is an NYFF61 Main Slate selection. For more information about the Main Slate, visit here.

La Roue
Abel Gance, 1923, France, 424m

One of silent cinema’s undeniable high-water marks, Abel Gance’s monumental work of psychological realism, La Roue, is a narratively and emotionally expansive epic whose technical innovations changed the course of film history. The film recounts the doomed love of a railroad engineer, Sisif (Séverin-Mars), for the orphan he takes in and raises as his own daughter, Norma (Ivy Close); upon realizing that his affection for Norma is as romantic as it is paternal, he inadvertently sets in motion a tragic chain of events. Shot almost entirely on location and marked by a dazzling array of techniques that would influence countless filmmakers in the decades to come—superimpositions, extreme close-ups, and rhythmic montage, to name a few—La Roue is at once a towering classic of early narrative cinema and a genuine formal experiment whose gambits shaped our understanding of film style. A Janus Films Release. New 4K Restoration. The Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé restored the film in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Française, the Cinémathèque Suisse, and Pathé and with the support of the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée. The reconstitution of the music was supervised in Germany under the responsibility of ZDF/ARTE and the composer Bernd Thewes. It relied on the musical list of the conductor Paul Fosse played during the first screening and which had been kept at the Cinémathèque Française. The reconstitution and interpretation of the music is the result of a collaboration between the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, ZDF/ARTE, the radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The Stranger and the Fog
Bahram Beyzaie, 1974, Iran, 140m
Farsi with English subtitles
North American Premiere of Restoration

One of the most mysterious and magisterial films of the Iranian New Wave, Bahram Beyzaie’s visionary 1974 drama was banned for decades following the Iranian Revolution. A relentlessly oneiric parable, The Stranger and the Fog begins with the titular stranger, named Ayat, arriving at a coastal village on the Persian Gulf aboard a drifting boat, unconscious and with no memory of how he arrived there. The villagers revive him and, some time later, he falls in love with a local widow, causing tensions with her deceased husband’s family. After years of peace, still more strangers descend upon the village from the sea in search of Ayat. This visually ravishing masterwork invents its own mythology to critique the sociopolitical conditions of 1970s Iran. A Janus Films release. Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna in collaboration with Bahram Beyzaie. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

The Strangler
Paul Vecchiali, 1970, France, 95m
French with English subtitles

The psychological thriller receives one of its most distinctive treatments in Paul Vecchiali’s third feature, a stylish and sophisticated investigation into the nature of compulsion. Several unhappy-looking women are murdered by a psychotic young man (Jacques Perrin), who believes these killings to be acts of mercy rather than malice. The detective assigned to the case (Julien Guiomar) becomes utterly fixated on catching his man, and will go to dubiously ethical lengths to bring the killer to justice. A complex, melancholic meditation on isolation as well as a portrait of collective hysteria, The Strangler endures as a key work within Vecchiali’s deeply underrated oeuvre. An Altered Innocence release. Restored with the help of Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC). Laboratory: Cosmodigital.

Tell Me a Riddle
Lee Grant, 1980, U.S., 93m

Tell Me a Riddle. Courtesy of Hope Runs High.

In her theatrical directorial debut, Lee Grant and screenwriters Joyce Eliason and Alev Lytle adapt Tillie Olsen’s O. Henry Award-winning novella as a moving meditation on aging and coming to terms with the past. Melvyn Douglas and Lila Kedrova star as elderly Midwestern Jewish couple David and Eva; when David learns that Eva has terminal cancer, the two set out on a pilgrimage to visit their children and grandchildren, occasioning a reflection on the unexamined corners of their souls they’ve too long neglected in order to raise their family. Also featuring performances by Brooke Adams, Peter Coyote, and Zalman King, Grant’s touching and richly traced directorial debut is notable for having been directed, written, and produced exclusively by women. Restored in 2022 by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Special thanks to Mindy Affrime, Rachel Lyon, and Susan O’Connell.

Preceded by: 
The Stronger 
Lee Grant, 1976, U.S., 30m
The result of Grant’s participation in the American Film Institute’s first directing workshop for women, her debut short adapts August Strindberg’s play of the same title, in which Susan Strasberg and Dolores Dorn play a wife and her husband’s mistress, respectively. Restored in 2022 by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation. 

The NYFF61 Revivals presentations of Tell Me a Riddle and The Stronger are sponsored by Turner Classic Movies.

Un rêve plus long que la nuit
Niki de Saint Phalle, 1976, France, 82m
French and Swiss German with English subtitles
North American Premiere of Restoration

In her second feature (and her first solo feature), the multidisciplinary artist Niki de Saint Phalle pursues her own take on the fairy tale, and the result is a visionary exploration of female desire that unfurls according to the logic of dreams and poetry. The film follows a princess (played by Saint Phalle’s daughter, Laura Duke Condominas) who, following a series of encounters with fantastical beings, is magically transformed into an adult, and finds herself navigating a frightening and surreal new world. A work suffused with ideas and strong ties to Saint Phalle’s work in other media (sculpture, painting, assemblage, etc.), Un rêve plus long que la nuit is both an exemplary artist’s film and an underseen gem of 1970s French avant-garde cinema. The 4K restoration of Un rêve plus long que la nuit was completed using the original 16mm camera and sound negatives. The restored version corresponds to the edit in 1976 when the film was first released. The restoration was supervised by Arielle de Saint Phalle and realized at L’Immagine Ritrovata (Bologna-Paris) in 2023. Restoration funding provided by Dior.

The Woman on the Beach
Jean Renoir, 1947, U.S., 35mm, 71m
North American Premiere of Restoration

Jean Renoir’s beguiling final Hollywood film was conceived as something that would defy conventional narrative storytelling while also exploring the nature of sexual attraction. Robert Ryan’s PTSD-riddled Scott meets Joan Bennett’s steely-eyed Peggy on a deserted beach one day and they’re immediately drawn to each other, despite their respective romantic relationships, particularly Peggy’s with her blind painter husband (an outstandingly gruff Charles Bickford). The mood slowly darkens as Scott and Peggy’s mutual lust overwhelms each nightmarish interaction. The final film, re-edited and re-shot after an ill-fated test screening, may not be as Renoir initially intended, but a special strangeness—an almost ghost-like quality—remains, as does the defiant energy that he brought to this fascinating curio. Restored by the Library of Congress and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

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