A Guide to the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Newly-Expanded Free Summer Talks Series

Film Center

If you’re a cinephile living in New York City, the wealth of movie-going options and special events open to you is simply staggering, but not many of them ring up at the bargain price of free. One of those rare, literally priceless events? The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Summer Talks Series. This year’s series kicked off on May 16th with a Before Midnight talk, featuring Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke all in conversation on the final film in their beloved trilogy. Last week, the society played host to Sofia Coppola as she chatted about this week’s new release, The Bling Ring. The rest of the summer’s series has long been set to include talks with the talent of such films as Museum Hours, Fruitvale Station, Crystal Fairy, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, and Drinking Buddies, but the society has now unveiled three additional talks, a trio of events that should tickle any movie lover living in Gotham.

Fine, florid language aside, the Summer Talks will now include Only God Forgives director Nicholas Winding Refn, Prince Avalanche director David Gordon Green, and Passion director Brian De Palma, all chatting about their latest films in what should be some of the best cinema-serving events of the season. We’re already lined up for all three events as we type this (and, yes, we’ve included instructions for how to get tickets after the break, and no, it doesn’t include lining up now, dammit all).

Wait, what does a Summer Talk consist of? 

Per the Film Society of Lincoln Center, “all talks will include clips, trailers and an extended conversation, with questions also taken from the audience.” Remember, ask questions, don’t make statements and don’t talk about how the film reminds you so much of this thing that happened in you life and do not ask for any of the present talent (or, hell, anyone in the audience) to help get your script to Tom Hanks/Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg. Etiquette is still cool, guys.

So, the films themselves aren’t shown?

Nope, but just imagine how much you’ll learn about the films before you see them. Think of the chances to dazzle friends and loved ones with trivia and insight!

And when exactly are these Summer Talks?

They started on May 16th, with the final one (Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies) wrapping the series up on August 21st. They take places on various days, but all kick off in the evening (between 6PM and 7PM).

How long do they last?

About an hour or so.

Where are the Summer Talks located?

At the Film Center’s amphitheater, located at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at 144 W. 65th St. You can read more about the center here.

Are the Summer Talks moderated?

Thankfully, yes. The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s own Director of Digital Strategy, Eugene Hernandez, is set to moderate most of this series, but a few moderators are yet to be announced.

How do I get tickets?

Show up early! Free tickets will be distributed at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center box office (located at 144 W. 65th St., between Broadway and Amsterdam) on a first-come, first-served basis starting one hour prior to the conversations. There is a limit of one ticket per person, per availability.

What if I can’t go?

Video from the event will be available online at FilmLinc.com. We may have embedded a sample below (we did – it’s from the Before Midnight talk, you’re welcome).

What’s the full schedule for the Summer Talks?

It’s right here!

Director: Jem Cohen
Well known for his distinctive work in Super 8 and 16mm film, as well as numerous music videos for the likes of R.E.M., Fugazi, Vic Chestnutt, Jem Cohen has made a name for himself with a number of acclaimed feature films, including InstrumentBenjamin Smoke and Chain. His latest film, Museum Hours, observes the burgeoning relationship between a quiet Vienna museum guard (Bobby Sommer) who meets a lonesome American visitor (Mary Margaret O’Hara). Anchored within a grand gallery at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours is an examination of art, architecture and ultimately, contemporary humanity.
*Wednesday, June 26: 6PM
Summer Talk with director Jem Cohen. Will also include a screening of a short film as a way of describing how he came to make Museum Hours. 
Moderator: The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Digital Strategy, Eugene Hernandez.

Director: Sebastián Silva
New York based Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva took his cast and crew on a fun ride when making Crystal Fairy, one of two feature films he had at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Produced by Pablo Larraín, director of last year’s No (NYFF 50), Crystal Fairy is based on a real road trip from Silva’s youth. Michael Cera stars as an American tourist who encounters a wanderer (played by Gaby Hoffman) during a Chilean vacation. The two of them, along with a group of locals (played by Silva’s real-life brothers) embark on a journey in search of an elusive hallucinogen cactus that leads them to unexpected places.
*Monday, July 8: 7PM 
Summer Talk with director Sebastián Silva. 
Moderator: TBC

Director: Ryan Coogler
Remember the name Ryan Coogler. If all goes according to plan, you should be hearing it a lot. The winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for his first feature, Fruitvale Station, Coogler is a former college football player who eventually embraced filmmaking. In the film, Coogler examines the tragic story of Oscar Grant, a victim of excessive police force in Coogler’s own Oakland neighborhood. Charming and inspiring, Ryan Coogler is one of the most celebrated new filmmakers of the year.
*Thursday, July 11: 6PM
Summer Talk with director Ryan Coogler. 
Moderator: The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Digital Strategy, Eugene Hernandez.

Director: Nicolas Winding-Refn
Perhaps the most divisive film from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Nicolas Winding-Refn’s Only God Forgivesstars Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Gosling as mother and son in a Thailand-set thriller. During a recent FilmLinc.com interview, Refn said that his new film continues themes that he’s explored in his recent films Drive(2011) and Valhalla Rising (2009). The film opens at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on July 19.
*Sunday, July 14: 5PM
Summer Talk with director Nicolas Winding Refn. 
Moderator: TBC

Director: David Gordon Green
Director David Gordon Green first came to the Film Society very early on in his career. His first feature, George Washington, screened at the 38th New York Film Festival in 2000. His latest movie, Prince Avalanche — starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch — debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Rudd and Hirsch portray brothers in Green’s indie feature. The movie — conceived, filmed and finished in just a few months last year — is apparently a remake of Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s Icelandic film, Either Way. Green is an always engaging, conversation guest and with eight movies under his belt since his first trip to the Film Society, he’ll surely have a lot to talk about.
*Thursday, August 1: 6:30PM
Summer Talk with director David Gordon Green. 
Moderator: The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Digital Strategy, Eugene Hernandez.

Director: David Lowery
An exciting discovery at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, David Lowery is no stranger within American indie circles. Not only did he write and direct the upcoming Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, but he edited Shane Carruth’s recent Upstream Color and co-wrote Yen Tan’s Pit Stop. Lowery’s Texas drama, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, stars Rooney Mara, Ben Foster and Casey Affleck in a story of outlaws set in Texas.
*Wednesday, August 12: 7PM
Summer Talk with David Lowery.
Moderator: TBC

Director: Brian De Palma
A hit from the 50th New York Film Festival, Brian DePalma’s Passion is a film that is sure to have people talking. De Palma exhibits great panache and a diabolical mastery of frequent, small surprises in his cinematically most ingenious movie since his magical comedy-of-coincidences, Femme Fatale. With tongue planted in cheek, or maybe not — it’s up to you to decide — De Palma turns French director Alain Corneau’s 2010 Love Crime into a droll, erotic tale of female competition. Noomi Rapace more than matches her performance in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as the assistant to an unscrupulous advertising honcho (Rachel McAdams), who steals her ideas and acts as if it’s all good sport. It’s great fun until De Palma zeros in on the fury in Rapace’s eyes. The De Palma trademarks are all present and deployed with coolly calculated abandon: a brilliant use of split screen; a confusion of identical twins; dreams within dreams; and shoes to die for.
* Monday, August 19: 7PM
Summer Talk with director Brian De Palma. 
Moderator: TBC

Director: Joe Swanberg
Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) work together at a craft brewery. They have one of those friendships that feels like it could be something more. But Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick). And Jill wants to know if Luke is ready to talk about marriage. The answer to that question becomes crystal clear when Luke and Kate unexpectedly find themselves alone for a weekend. Drinking Buddies is written and directed by Joe Swanberg and stars Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston.
*Wednesday, August 21: 7PM
Summer Talk with Joe Swanberg.
Moderator: The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Digital Strategy, Eugene Hernandez.

Never attended a Summer Talk at Lincoln Center? Get a taste with the video of last month’s Before Midnight talk, embedded below.

Will you be attending any of these Summer Talks?

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for VanityFair.com, Cosmopolitan.com, RollingStone.com, Vulture, MTV.com, Details.com, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and Film.com. She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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