“You can’t go home again,” said a wise man—things are never quite the same. Therefore, to mark the opening of the new Museum of Modern Art, the Department of Film and Media returns to its newly upgraded and refurbished Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters with Premieres, an unprecedented 10-week series that celebrates the exciting and extraordinary breadth, style, and diversity of contemporary film and media by artists worldwide, many of whom will introduce their work.
December’s program introduces three eagerly anticipated studio films—Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda—and the New York premieres of films by Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Diao Yi’nan, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Marco Kreuzpaintner, Claude Miller, João César Monteiro, and Alexander Sokurov. Fresh from their recent success at the Cannes, Berlin, and Venice Film Festivals are Theo Angelopoulos’s The Weeping Meadow, Jonathan Nossiter’s Mondovino, Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll’s Whisky, and Fatih Akin’s Head-On. Alexandre Trudeau reports on war-torn Middle Eastern families in Embedded in Baghdad and The Fence, and Karen Slater chronicles a South African tribe in The Meaning of the Buffalo. Making special appearances are Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who will be interviewed by Quentin Tarantino on the occasion of Miramax’s 25th anniversary; Alexander Kluge, the father of New German Cinema; the British artist Sam Taylor-Wood; the French filmmaker Laetitia Masson; and avant-garde filmmakers Nathaniel Dorsky and Nancy Andrews. Several eclectic programs present new experimental work by Cory Arcangel, Tacita Dean, Tracey Emin, Valérie Jouve, George Kuchar, Mark Leckey, Mary Lucier, Tracey Moffatt, The Residents, and Guy Richards Smit. Rounding out December are stunning restorations of Mack Sennett’s Tillie’s Punctured Romance, Jean Renoir’s The Diary of a Chambermaid, Otto Preminger’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, and shorts by Charles Chaplin and Carolee Schneemann.
Ringing in the New Year, Premieres opens with Christophe Barratier’s Les Choristes. The program also features Spike Lee’s vibrant Sucker Free City; fellow New Yorker Hal Hartley’s mesmerizing The Girl from Monday; and Kore-eda Hirokazu’s devastating feature Nobody Knows. Continuing its partnership with the Sundance Institute, MoMA presents Mercedes Moncada’s The Immortal and Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know. Michael Almereyda, Kenneth Anger, John Canemaker, Jem Cohen, James Herbert, and Yoko Ono introduce new works. Avant-garde musician John Zorn and electronic artist Ikue Mori accompany Ken Jacobs on one of his phantasmagoric Nervous System performances; Jennifer Todd Reeves collaborates with Icelandic composer Skúli Sverrison on a film-and-music performance; composer James Tenney and pianist Jenny Lin perform original scores of early Stan Brakhage films; and Chinese composer Tan Dun is profiled in Frank Scheffer’s gorgeous Tea. Donna Cameron, Tom Kalin, Todd McCammon, and Bill Morrison explore the origins of cinema. Experimental work is represented by contemporary artists like Breda Beban, Paul Chan, Brice Dellsperger, Janie Geiser, Christian Jankowski, Jim Jennings, Lewis Klahr, Monteith McCollum, Satoshi Ono, John Pilson, Travis Preston, Kara Walker, Julie Wyman, and Yang Fudong. Drew Berry, Kota Ezawa, Lauri Faggioni, Candy Kugel, and Bill Plympton present new animation, and documentarians like David Dixon, Harun Farocki, Heddy Honigmann, Gary Keys, Matt Mahurin, and Jacques Richard travel the world in search of good stories. Restorations of classics by Michelangelo Antonioni, Philippe Garrel, Kenji Mizoguchi, Robert Siodmak, and Mauritz Stiller are also featured. We conclude the series with Jean-Luc Godard’s epic Histoire(s) du cinéma, shown for the first time with English subtitles—truly a summa of the director’s half-century of filmmaking, and indeed of cinema itself.
Organized by the Department of Film and Media.