New York Film Fest: ‘the Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ Splits Critics, Charms Festivalgoers (analysis)

Carlos Nieves said Friday. Lien drove off with his door slightly open, but further down the road, traffic backed up, cutting off his path, and allowing the motorcyclists to corner him. A biker, who police identify as Chance, smashed the driver’s side window with his helmet. That’s where the video ended. Afterward, some of the bikers dragged Lien from the vehicle and beat him, police said. His wife and daughter were unharmed. Cop among the bikers An off-duty New York police officer was riding with the bikers Sunday and saw much of the confrontation that ended with five injured. But he didn’t step in, an official said. He also didn’t tell his superiors about what happened until Wednesday, the source said. The officer, who works undercover, is a member of the motorcycle club. He may not have been legally obligated to immediately intervene, according to the same source.

The subpoena could uncover the names and identities of the thousands of New Yorkers who have used Airbnb, potentially creating a chilling effect on it and on similar services, said Jeremiah Owyang, founder of Crowd Companies, a firm that advises companies on the collaborative economy. “People are concerned about being on some blacklist or graylist,” Owyang said. “It might deter new customers.” To fight the subpoena, Airbnb could need to file a court motion to quash it, said Nick Cardozo, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group. “We always want to work with governments to make the Airbnb community stronger, but at this point, this demand is unreasonably broad and we will fight it with everything we’ve got,” David Hantman, Airbnb’s head of public policy, wrote in a blog post on Sunday. Cardozo said: “If the subpoena is upheld, it should be upheld only with a very strict privacy protective order.” That would mean data is not broadly disclosed, for example, to hosts’ landlords who want to keep close tabs on their tenants. Schneiderman is not targeting casual users who might be renting their apartments while on vacation, the person familiar with the matter said. Rather, he is seeking information on property managers or brokers who skirt the law by renting multiple units, or people who rent their primary unit for extended periods of time throughout the year, the person said. The attorney general has said he sees no need to change state law to accommodate services like Airbnb, but Airbnb Chief Executive Brian Chesky wants clarification of the law. “We believe regular people renting out their own homes should be able to do so, and we need a new law that makes this clear,” wrote Chesky in his post last week, referring specifically to New York. Airbnb also faces another challenge, an easy way to ensure that guests pay local taxes, including occupancy taxes. Some hotels have argued that nonpayment of the taxes puts them at an unfair disadvantage. Last week, Chesky took to his blog to say that hosts should pay occupancy taxes.

It’s a moviegoing experience that leaves some viewers cold and others deeply moved. Last year, that film was Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, which went on to score a best picture Oscar nomination, among many others, and won the best director Oscar. This year, it is Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which might go on to snag a few noms of its own. our editor recommends NYFF REVIEW: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty On Saturday morning, the film’s first press screening generated sharply divided reactions, but the prevailing reaction at its official world premiere Saturday night, as the fest’s centerpiece screening, was much more positive: It received a lengthy standing ovation. Stiller introduced the film at its premiere by saying, tongue-in-cheek, “I want to thank the Film Society of Lincoln Center for having the courage to include a Ben Stiller film in the festival.” Noting that he grew up just 20 blocks from Alice Tully Hall, where the screening took place, he added thatWalter Mitty was a “valentine” to New York, having been shot all across the city. The dramedywas loosely adapted bySteve Conradfrom a 1939 James ThurberNew Yorker short story, which itself was made into a musical-comedy motion picture starring Danny Kaye in 1947. The new film takes place in the present day. It stars Stiller as the title character, a good-hearted but sad-sack loner who has known sadness, sacrificed for others and worked all but invisibly for 16 years in the photo processing department at waning Life magazine. A perpetual daydreamer prone to awkwardness, he develops a crush on a co-worker (Kristen Wiig), but before he can muster the courage to do anything about it he loses a photo from a famous photographer (Sean Penn), prompting his new boss (a heavily bearded Adam Scott) to tell him that he will lose his job if he doesn’t find it. In order to track it down, Walter Mitty must finally go out and experience the world. PHOTOS: New York Film Festival 2013: 13 Movies to Know This sort of a story is not new. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) is about a man who gave up so much for others that he never had time for himself. The Wizard of Oz (1939) is about a girl who ventures far from home and eventually concludes that there’s no place like it. And Stranger Than Fiction (2006), a film that possesses a tone perhaps most similar to Mitty’s, is about a man whose bland life becomes dangerous and exciting because of the presence of unusual activity in his mind. Films of this sort are generally categorized as “fantasy,” which is not the Academy’s favorite genre, and this year’s awards season is tremendously competitive, so I cannot say with any degree of confidence that this film will be nominated for any major Oscars.

New York Times to New Yorkers: You’re Supporting the Wrong Mayoral Candidate!

A more plausible explanation is that the opposite of the Times’ lead is true: The public sides with de Blasio on most of the key issues in the race, and by substantial margins. And you can find evidence for that by reading, well, the very same New York Times article. Well into the article, the Times essentially takes back the implication of the story’s headline and lead: Voters shared several of Mr. de Blasio’s prioritiesparticularly his desire to address income inequality and the high cost of housing and to improve public education. And a majority of voters suggested that they want the next mayor to prioritize reducing the gap between rich and poor, a key plank for Mr. de Blasio, rather than to create a climate that would reduce taxes and regulation to sustain job growth, something emphasized by Mr. Lhota. On most issues, the poll found, Mr. de Blasio enjoyed a strong advantage over Mr. Lhota. By almost four to one, voters thought that Mr.