Another week, another slew of choices for New York film lovers. We reach the half-way point of the 43rd New York Film Festival this weekend. We've already presented some coverage from the fest, and there will be more to come tomorrow, and through the very busy weekend and next week at Alice Tully Hall, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's annual celebration of the best of world cinema will continue to dominate the attention of local cinephiles, but there's actually plenty of other stuff going on around the city that's worth your time.

2005_09_movieguide29_redsho.jpgHappy Birthday Michael Powell: A Don't-Miss Event: Gothamist knows where we'll be tomorrow at 6 PM. In celebration of what would have been British filmmaking genius Michael Powell's 100th birthday, MoMA is presenting a special screening of The Red Shoes -- in our humble opinion, one of the best movies of all time and a film that should be seen projected on a big screen whenever possible. But that's not all -- the screening will be introduced by Powell's greatest fan, Martin Scorsese, and Scorsese's long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who also happens to be Powell's widow.

A Gothamist Pick: If you missed Noah Baumbach's excellent new semi-autobiographical film The Squid and the Whale (which we talked about on Monday) earlier this week at the NYFF, it has another preview screening with Q&A tonight at 7 PM BAM (but you've got to be a Cinema Club or BAMfans member to attend). It will also open on Wednesday at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and Angelika Film Center. It seems everything's coming up roses for Baumbach these days; on the heels of his family divorce comedy drama comes the news that Baumbach married actress Jennifer Jason Leigh over the Labor Day weekend. Shockingly, this news seemed to become public after his press conference for the NYFF last Friday. Let's see, Baumbach was about 12 or 13 when Fast Times at Ridgemont High came out and every pubescent boy had a crush on Leigh and co-star Phoebe Cates. We give him some major props for patience.

Also, like last week, we're going to throw in another choice for the film we most want to see, namely Joss Whedon's sci-fi western Serenity. We weren't as big fans of Firefly as we were fanatical about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (at least its first five seasons during which it exhibited arguably the best writing and production on television), but maybe some of that is due to the fact that Firefly always felt bigger than a television show. Well, it's time to find out -- Serenity opens everywhere tomorrow.

This week's Midnight Movies,the rest of the week, and the other new releases after the jump:

Midnight Movie Smackdown: The battle between complementary themes continues, at least in our eyes, this week as both the IFC Center and the Landmark Sunshine have fantastic selections this week, each screening both Friday and Saturday and midnight. Now Gothamist doesn't want to explicitly suggest that anyone partake in any form of drug use, but as good as both Pink Floyd The Wall (IFC Center) and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

A quick day-by-day

The Loews 34th Street wraps-up it's Back-to-School month of "Fan Favorites" with one of the best teenage films of the '80s and probably ever: Ferris Bueller's Day Off. These screenings are free as long as you RSVP through this website. Tonight's is at 8 PM, and isn't it time you saw it again the way it was meant to be -- without commercials and bad overdubbing of swear words like on the never-ending TBS repeats?

Earlier we mentioned the screening of The Red Shoes at MoMA. Well, MoMA just might be the place to be on Friday for several reasons. If you go to The Red Shoes, yo might want to stick around at 8:45 PM when as part of the series "Swoon: 10 Years of Killer Films", the museum screens John Cameron Mitchell's magnificent adaptation of his own transgendered rock musical stage play, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

However, if you find yourself in a more academic mood, you won't want to miss "Alexander Mackendrick: Auteur and Academic" at 7 PM in the Titus 2 theater, a panel discussion featuring, among others Tony Curtis, who starred in two of Mackendrick's films -- Sweet Smell of Success and Don't Make Waves, and the late director and CalArts dean's wife, Mrs. Hilary Mackendrick. The panel wraps-up MoMA's month-long series of the same name.

2005_09_movieguide29-animat.jpgThe Coney Island Film Festival kicks off on Friday night with a big opening bash, but the actual programming runs on Saturday and Sunday. Taking place at Sideshows by the Seashore (3006 W. 12th St) and Coney Island Museum (1208 Surf Ave.), you can catch a wide-variety of short films in 13 different programs over the two days. Program 1 (Sat. at 1 PM) features six shorts -- narrative, documentary, experimental and animated -- about Coney Island, including Happy Ride, Coney Island, Coney Island 1945, Coney Island Catch and Under the Roller Coaster. Still, the highlight of the festival might just be a special Saturday at 10:30 PM screening of Walter Hill's New York gang classic, The Warriors. What better place to see this late-'70s classic than in the home that The Warriors spend the entire movie fighting their way trying to get back to.

If you can't bring yourself to take the subway all the way out to Coney Island, you may want to stop off at BAM in Ft. Greene for the Second Annual Brooklyn Digifest, a two day festival of digital works -- shorts and features -- produced and set in Brooklyn.

Another weekend, another selection of films from the complete Billy Wilder series at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. This week's highlight is the last of Wilder's films to win any Oscars, and the only won to take home Best Picture, the absolutely brilliant dark comedy The Apartment, screening Sunday at 4:30 PM. (It also screens Saturday at 4.) Earlier in the day at 2 PM, you can see Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine together again in Irma la Douce, made just three years after The Apartment. Irma may not be as good, but that's almost like comparing Antony and Cleopatra to Hamlet; sure it doesn't stand up, but it's still Shakespeare and better than most.

This would be a good day to head back to Film Forum to check out both of the spectacular revivals running this week. First, Film Forum's "Summer Samurai" series may be over, but as usual, there was such a clamoring for a longer run of Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece Seven Samurai, playing now through Tuesday only. Also playing at Film Forum (starting this Friday and for one week only) is a new print of Once Upon a Time in the West, Sergio Leone's remarkable Spaghetti Western starring Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards and a menacing Charles Bronson.

Tuesday is the last day you can catch the "Newsfakers/Filmmakers" series of shorts by the writers of The Daily Show at the IFC Center. See them before they're gone.

Head back to Astoria on Wednesday for a special event at MMI: a screening of Serpico, one of the best police dramas of the '70s, and that's saying something. To make things even more enticing, the screening will be followed by one of MMI's great "Pinewood Dialogues" featuring the film's director, the great Sidney Lumet. More information on this screening can be found at the MMI web site.

So, what else is new?

  • Capote: Following it's screenings earlier this week at the New York Film Festival, Philip Seymour Hoffman's channeling of author Truman Capote gets its public release in theaters. We actually didn't much care for the overall movie, but Hoffman's performance is remarkable proving why he's one of the best actors working today. (Starts Friday)
  • Into the Blue: We must admit to not having seen it, but we can only imagine that Jessica Alba probably looks Oscar-worthy acting opposite possibly the worst name-above-the-title actor in Hollywood Paul Walker. And yes, we mean he even beats out Keanu and Hartnett! (Starts Friday)
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played: Bill Paxton surprised a lot of people with his genuinely well-made and scary directorial debut Frailty in 2001. And yes, we're talking about "Game over man!" Bill Paxton. Somehow, from that horror film, Disney determined that Paxton was the man to helm this underdog sports drama based on the true story of 20 year old golfer Francis Ouimet's shocking the world at the 1913 US Open. (Starts Friday)
  • The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: Writer Jane Anderson directs her own adaptation of author Terry Ryan's memoir about her mother Evelyn, a woman who helped support her 10 children by winning jingle contests in the '50s and '60s. Stars Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. (Starts Friday)
  • Going Shopping: Hey, look at that. Henry Jaglom has finally made another movie. If you're a fan, you'll want to rush out and see it. If you're asking, "Henry who?" there's a good chance you won't like it anyway. (Opens Friday at Angelika Film Center and Embassy's New Metro Twin)
  • Little Manhattan: TV vet Mark Levin directs this love story between 11 year olds. That's not enough to entice you? What about the fact that it was shot on location in New York? Besides, based on the posters that have blanketed the city for what seems like forever, that little "Made in NY" circle is its big marketing ploy. (Opens Friday at Loews Lincoln Square and Regal Union Square 14)
  • Three Days of Rain: Peter Falk and Blythe Danner star in writer-director Michael Meredith's debut feature which adapts six stories by Anton Chekhov to modern-day Cleveland. The film screened at the first Tribeca Film Festival and at Cannes in 2002, but is only now seeing a limited theatrical release. (Opens Friday at Quad Cinema)
  • MirrorMask: Sci-fi and comics enthusiasts will probably rush out to see this Neil Gaiman-scripted fantasy film. (Opens Friday at Landmark Sunshine)
  • Duma: Director Carroll Ballard has made a career out of films involving the relationship between people and animals -- The Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf, Fly Away Home. Now he's back with Duma, the story of a South African boy and his cheetah. (Opens Friday at AMC Empire 25 and Village East Cinemas)
  • Forty Shades of Blue: This year's winner of the Grand Jury prize at Sundance. Directed by Ira Sachs and starring Rip Torn. (Now playing at Film Forum)
  • Santo Domingo Blues: A documentary from first-time director Alex Wolfe about the Caribbean form of music known as Bachata. (Opens Friday at Cinema Village)