Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Screened Sunday, Oct. 14th
More than a few viewers who saw this year's New York Film Festival opener Life of Pi were put in mind of Robert Zemeckis' 2000 Cast Away--another sort of Robinson Crusoe story featuring a protagonist stranded with only a non-sentient, proper-named companion for company: Bengal tiger "Richard Parker" in Ang Lee's film, a volleyball named "Wilson" in Zemeckis's. There is a sort of symmetry, then, in the NYFF having had Zemeckis's first live-action outing in a dozen years as its closing night film.
At the press conference after the Walter Reade screening, scriptwriter John Gatins stated that he had begun the script that would become Flight in 1999, though of course it is impossible to watch his film without thinking of the Hudson River landing of Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger in 2009. (It also suggests that Gatins, screenwriter of Real Steel and Coach Carter, wrote this before he had coarsened his talents.) Gatins added that Flight was "Born out of my two greatest fears--drinking myself to death and dying in a plane crash," from whence comes the character of alcoholic commercial airline pilot Captain William "Whip" Whitaker.More »