Magnet of Doom (1963)
With the New York Film Festival celebrating its 50th edition next week I thought I’d look back on the very first festival, 49 years ago, in 1963. Whereas this year’s festival has a main slate of 33 films (as well as abundant sidebars) the inaugural event, programmed by Richard Roud and Amos Vogel, had only 21 features and a selection of shorts. The festival opened—on a Tuesday evening, September 10th, 1963—with a now-classic but then ill-received Buñuel, The Extermining Angel, and closed with a film and a director that have been all but forgotten: Dragées au poivre (Sweet and Sour), a French-Italian comedy with an all-star cast, directed by one Jacques Baratier.
Of the 21 selections—handpicked by Roud and Vogel as the year’s best—only six (masterpieces by Buñuel, Ozu, Olmi, Kobayashi, Polanski and Resnais) are currently available on DVD in the Us,
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