Following news of the 2021 Venice Film Festival line-up, announced yesterday morning and including Jane Campion‘s “The Power Of The Dog” as a world premiere, Film at Lincoln Center announces Campion’s latest as the Centerpiece selection for the 59th New York Film Festival, making its New York premiere at Alice Tully Hall on October 1. Take a first look at the movie below.
The film, a Netflix original, stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Thomasin McKenzie, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Frances Conroy and is Campion’s first film or TV series since “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” in 2017 with Elisabeth Moss.
Here’s NYFF’s synopsis of the film.
Jane Campion reaffirms her status as one of the world’s greatest—and most gratifyingly eccentric—filmmakers with this mesmerizing, psychologically rich variation on the American western. Adapted from a 1967 cult novel by Thomas Savage that was notoriously ahead of its time in depicting repressed sexuality, The Power of the Dog excavates the emotional torment experienced at a Montana cattle ranch in the 1920s. Here, melancholy young widow Rose (Kirsten Dunst) has come to live with her sensitive new husband, George (Jesse Plemons), though their lives are increasingly complicated by the erratic, potentially violent behavior of his sullen and bullying brother, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose mistrust of both Rose and her misfit son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) leads to tragic consequences. Mirroring the unpredictable story turns, Campion crafts a film of unexpected cadences and rhythms, and her daring is matched every step of the way by her extraordinary, fully immersed cast and a mercurial, destabilizing score by Jonny Greenwood. A Netflix release.
“I am very honored that The Power of the Dog has been selected as the Centerpiece Gala at this year’s New York Film Festival,” Campion said in a statement. “Public screenings we long took for granted feel exceptional now, so it is going to be a very emotional and joyous experience for me and my team to be there and present the film to such a film-celebrating audience.”
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Jane Campion back to the festival with one of her very best films,” said Dennis Lim, NYFF Director of Programming. “Everything about The Power of the Dog is alive with surprise: its narrative turns, its rich characterizations, its complex ideas about masculinity and repression. It will introduce many to the work of the underappreciated novelist Thomas Savage, but it also reminds us of what cinema can do as a medium for accessing and expressing inner life.”
Four of Campion’s previous films—Sweetie (1989), An Angel at My Table (1990), The Piano (1993), and Holy Smoke (1999)—have been official selections of NYFF, and in 2017, Film at Lincoln Center presented Jane Campion’s Own Stories, a retrospective of her film and television work.
Note, Film At Lincoln Center calls “The Power Of The Dog” a New York premiere, which pretty much guarantees it’ll either play first at TIFF, Telluride or both before NYFF for those festival heads keeping score.