Todd Haynes

Curtain goes up on a documentary-rich New York Film Festival

Ninety-nine feature films will dot the sparkling lineup at the 55th New York Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday night with Richard Linklater's "Last Flag Flying." There is no way, really, to take as a whole an 18-day festival that will include new films from Todd Haynes, Woody Allen, Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, Greta Gerwig and Hong Sangsoo.

But the common denominator at the sober-eyed New York festival has always been quality, as discerned through an especially global outlook. The only currency that matters at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's annual uptown event is the movies, themselves — not red carpets (they're typically short and perfunctory), not prizes...