A Chinese Spotlight for the 2009 New York Film Festival

The Hollywood Reporter brings us the following tidbit on the 2009 New York Film Festival (not to jump the gun or anything, considering the 2008 New York Film Festival starts in just two weeks): Next year’s festival will focus on China, marking “the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China with a rare retrospective of films made between 1949 and the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966.” In July, New York Film Festival director Richard Pena traveled to Beijing to organize the collection of about 20 works, which will revisit well-known period films while also showcasing some more obscure “gems.” 

“That period from ’49 to ’66 is like a black hole,” Pena, who teaches a Chinese cinema course at Columbia, told The Reporter. “Almost no one has written about it. Nobody’s not interested in the period, but it’s just not an easy era to tap into.”

Meanwhile, this year’s festival kicks off on Sept. 26 with the award-winning French film The Class. The full lineup is on the festival’s Web site.