The New York Film Festival kicks off its golden-anniversary edition tonight with the world premiere of Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" -- Kris will be on hand to offer his thoughts. In the meantime, A.O. Scott shares his notes on the films he's seen from the lineup, including "Pi," which he describes as "a lavish reminder that film nowadays is sometimes not film at all, but rather a rapidly evolving digital art form." He also notes that it's an unusually large-scale choice of opener for an arthouse-dominated fest that kicked off with an Alain Resnais film three years ago. Have they sold out? Scott discusses. [New York Times]

Ted Johnson looks into the tricky Hollywood issue of "life rights," after an army sergeant sued the makers of "The Hurt Locker" for "improperly" using his likeness for its protagonist. [Variety]

Tom O'Neil wonders whether "Silver Linings Playbook" can really win Best Picture. As usual, his straight-white-guy-voter theories come into play. [Gold Derby]

"Looper" director Rian Johnson talks to Kyle Buchanan about piling all the makeup work on Joseph Gordon-Levitt... and directing episodes of "Breaking Bad." [Vulture]

David Poland does his video thing with Elizabeth Banks and Jason Moore, respectively the producer-star and director of "Pitch Perfect" -- which you should totally see this weekend, by the way. [Hot Blog]

A real of surplus footage from "The Master" has been unveiled -- the same one, more or less, that was screened to select journalists at Cannes in the spring. [The Playlist]

Peter Bradshaw talks to pop pixie Kylie Minogue about going deeper underground in Leos Carax's "Holy Motors," opening today in the UK. [The Guardian]

Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes is planning a prequel to "Downton Abbey." I'll leave you to it. [Hollywood Reporter

Katie Kilkenny ponders traces of Hitchcock in the trailer for Park Chan-wook's God-I-can't-wait "Stoker." [Slate]

More characters are smoking in the movies than before. My exclusive sources suggest Hollywood may have found more important things to care about. [LA Times]