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Marilyn Monroe, George Harrison Featured at N.Y. Film Festival

September 29, 2011

Preview by Rick Warner

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Michelle Williams plays Marilyn Monroe, Roman Polanski adapts a celebrated play and Martin Scorsese directs a documentary about George Harrison at the 49th New York Film Festival.

The festival opens tomorrow night with Polanski’s “Carnage,” based on the Tony Award-winning drama “God of Carnage” about two couples who clash after their sons are involved in a schoolyard fight.

The film stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. It is Polanski’s first feature at the festival since the inaugural event in 1963, when he presented his debut “Knife in the Water.”

“My Week With Marilyn” chronicles tensions on the set between Monroe and Laurence Olivier during the making of his 1957 romantic comedy “The Prince and the Showgirl.” Scorsese’s “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” provides an in-depth look at the most private member of the Beatles.

Other notable films include Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In,” the creepy story of a plastic surgeon who experiments with synthetic skin; and David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” a drama about how the treatment of a neurotic patient (Keira Knightly) led to the split between psychoanalysis pioneers Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender).

The 17-day festival closes Oct. 16 with “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney as a Hawaiian land baron who must care for his two young daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident. It’s the first feature Alexander Payne has directed since his surprise hit “Sideways” in 2004.

End of World

Twenty-seven features will be shown at the festival, which is run by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Among the prominent entries:

“Melancholia” -- Provocateur Lars von Trier contemplates the end of the world in this drama about depression, two sisters and a planet hurtling toward Earth. Starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

“Pina” -- Wim Wenders’s musical tribute to legendary choreographer Pina Bausch.

“A Separation” -- Winner of the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival, this Iranian drama is about an estranged couple whose relationship is further strained by the care of the husband’s dementia-stricken father.

“Shame” -- British artist/director Steve McQueen explores sex addiction in the follow-up to his impressive debut, “Hunger.” Fassbender plays a New York Casanova who is shaken up when his disturbed sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in with him.

“The Artist” -- An homage to the golden age of silent pictures, the story revolves around a dashing silent-movie star (Jean Dujardin) and a stunning young actress (Berenice Bejo) whose careers head in opposite directions as talkies loom.

(Rick Warner is the movie critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

--Editors: Jeremy Gerard, Daniel Billy.

To contact the writer on the story: Rick Warner in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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