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Inarritu's 'Birdman' will close New York Film Festival

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's black comedy 'Birdman' will close @TheNYFF

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance" will alight on the New York Film Festival as the closing selection, the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Monday.

The black comedy, which stars Michael Keaton as a once-famous superhero actor who is struggling to mount a Broadway play, will screen Oct. 12, five days before it hits theaters.

Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis also star in the Fox Searchlight Pictures and New Regency film.

"'Birdman' is a knockout," read a statement from festival director Kent Jones. "It's consistently surprising and inventive — you think the movie is going in one direction and then Inarritu shifts gears and takes you somewhere else completely unexpected."

Fittingly, "Birdman" was shot and is set in Gotham.

Inarritu screened "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams" at the New York Film Festival, which has become an increasingly important stop on the awards circuit.

Last year's closing film, "Her," went on to earn five Oscar nominations and one win (best original screenplay).

David Fincher's murder-mystery thriller "Gone Girl" was announced earlier as this year's festival opener, and Paul Thomas Anderson's detective drama "Inherent Vice" will screen in the centerpiece slot. Both of those films are making their world premieres at the festival. "Birdman" will bow Aug. 27, when it opens the Venice Film Festival.

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