In 1988, in an office the size of an elevator, two women of extraordinary vision launched a distribution company they named Zeitgeist Films. The films and directors that Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman have consistently sought out and championed encompass the full spectrum of international cinematic innovation over the last 20 years. Film lovers first, Russo and Gerstman have always dedicated themselves to the time-tested art-house experience, with focused releases and a dedication to local cinemas, reserving risk for their often audacious acquisition choices. To celebrate their ongoing success, MoMA presents a selection of works by critical figures in the company’s history and catalog—from artists they embraced at early stages of their film careers, including Bruce Weber, Todd Haynes, Deepa Mehta, François Ozon, Olivier Assayas, and Guy Maddin, to established masters like Agnes Varda, Yvonne Rainer, Derek Jarman, and Jacques Demy. This monthlong series includes several introductions and post-screening Q&A sessions with some of the filmmakers, along with appearances by Gerstman and Russo.
Organized by Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese, The George Eastman House, Bruce Weber, Eva Lindemann, and The Cinematheque Ontario.