‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ will get world premiere at New York Film Festival

NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) — The Film Society of Lincoln Center says Ang Lee‘s drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will have its world premiere at its 54th New York Film Festival this fall.

The gala screening is to take place Oct. 14 at AMC Lincoln Square.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk astonished me, and it moved me deeply — in the grandest way, as a story of America in the years after the invasion of Iraq, and on the most intimate person-to-person wavelength,” New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said in a statement Monday.

“Ang Lee has always gone deep into the nuances of the emotions between his characters, and that’s exactly what drove him to push cinema technology to new levels. It’s all about the faces, the smallest emotional shifts. In every way, Billy Lynn is the work of a master.”

The film is an adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel about an Iraq war hero — played by newcomer Joe Alwyn — who comes home with his fellow members of Bravo Company for a victory tour.

“This culminates in a halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game — a high-intensity media extravaganza summoning memories of the trauma of losing his beloved sergeant in a firefight,” a synopsis said.

The movie co-stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.

“I’m very grateful to the New York Film Festival for selecting our film and giving it such a unique platform,” Lee said. “The New York Film Festival has been such an important event for me both as a New Yorker and a filmmaker, and I am honored to be represented this year with Billy Lynn. With each film, I try to learn fresh ways to connect with the audience and with myself. Since Life of Pi, I have been working with my team towards a new cinematic approach that I hope will revitalize that connection. But technology is merely a tool; it should always be in service of artistic expression, to make it strong and fresh, because story and drama matter most. I thought Billy’s journey, which is both intimate and epic, and told almost entirely from his point of view, lent itself particularly well to the emotion and intensity that this new approach fosters. At least I hope so, as many people have worked long and hard to help me try to make the future a reality today. I am thankful to them all.”

Lee’s films include Brokeback Mountain, The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Sense and Sensibility.

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