what can only be viewed as good news for a group of veteran filmmakers in desperate need of critical re-validation, The New York Film Festival has tapped Brian De Palma’s Redacted, John Landis’s Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project and Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead for their 2007 lineup. These films will join new works from eight other American directors: Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men), Noah Baumbach (Margot at the Wedding), Gus Van Sant (Paranoid Park), Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited), Abel Ferrara (Go Go Tales), Todd Haynes (I’m Not There), Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Ira Sachs (Married Life). Sounds like someone’s gonna have to get credentialed.

Though the festival is going unusually heavy on American movies this year, the foreign selections look very strong: Eric Rohmer’s The Romance of Astrea and Celadon, Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Flight of the Red Balloon, Claude "Mr. Dependable" Chabrol’s A Girl Cut in Two, Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi’s animated Persepolis, Bela Tarr’s The Man from London, Juan Antonio Bayona’s horror flick The Orphanage (produced by Guillermo del Toro!), Carlos Reygadas’s Silent Light, Jia Zhang-ke’s Useless and Alexander Sokurov’s Alexandra will join the previously announced 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu’s 2007 Palme d’or winner) and Secret Sunshine (from director Lee Chang-dong).

Also screening this year will be something called Blade Runner. It’s apparently got a "definitive cut" now. Ridley Scott directed it. Sounds kinda cool.

This is the most excited I’ve been for the New York Film Festival since 2001 – which was also the last time I attended. The above list of films makes a persuasive argument for a return trip. It goes without saying that I’m stoked for Redacted (De Palma’s first-ever appearance at the NYFF!), but the idea of a Don Rickles documentary directed by John Landis is just as exciting. And what’s not to like about a Lumet-directed crime drama starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Albert Finney and Ethan Hawke?

If you live in New York, good luck getting tickets. Of course, most of these titles will be out by the end of the year, but the Landis doc doesn’t even have a distributor at the moment. Who knows when we’ll get to see it?