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Armageddon Time directed by James Gray
Armageddon Time directed by James Gray. Courtesy of Anne Joyce / Focus Features

James Gray’s Armageddon Time has been selected as a Main Slate film of the 60th New York Film Festival, playing at Alice Tully Hall on October 12. The premiere has been designated a special 60th anniversary screening event celebrating the history of the festival, featuring Gray and cast in attendance, along with NYFF filmmakers and supporters who have been integral to the festival’s success.

The most personal film yet from James Gray (The Immigrant, NYFF51 Main Slate selection; The Lost City of Z, NYFF54 Closing Night selection) is also one of his greatest, an exquisitely detailed and deeply emotional etching of a time and place: Queens, 1980. Set against the backdrop of a country on the cusp of ominous sociopolitical change, Armageddon Time follows Paul Graff (Banks Repeta), a sixth grader who dreams of becoming an artist. At the same time that Paul builds a friendship with classmate Johnny (Jaylin Webb), who’s mercilessly targeted by their racist teacher, he finds himself increasingly at odds with his parents (Jeremy Strong and Anne Hathaway), for whom financial success and assimilation are key to the family’s Jewish-American identity. Paul feels on firmest ground with his kind grandfather (a marvelous Anthony Hopkins), whose life experiences have granted him a weathered compassion. Rejecting easy nostalgia for a more difficult, painful form of recall, Gray’s film—shot with intimate naturalism by Darius Khondji—has made a perceptive and humane coming of age story that does what only cinema can do, elevating the smallest moments into the greatest drama. A Focus Features release.

“I am truly honored to have my film Armageddon Time chosen as the 60th Anniversary screening at NYFF, and to return to this great festival for a third time,” said Gray. “This is a film that’s deeply personal – it’s inspired by my childhood growing up in New York City – so I can’t imagine a more fitting place to share it.”

As part of its 60th anniversary celebration, the New York Film Festival will offer festival screenings in all five boroughs of New York City in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Staten Island), BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) (Brooklyn), The Bronx Museum of the Arts (Bronx), Maysles Documentary Center (Harlem) and The Museum of the Moving Image (Queens). Each venue will present a selection of films throughout the festival (September 30 – October 16).

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