By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire December 16, 2013 at 11:9AM
Indiewire has an exclusive first look at...First Look, the Museum of the Moving Image's annual showcase for inventive new international cinema that runs on weekends from Jan. 10-19. This year's program is comprised of 16 films from 10 countries.
Opening the third edition is the U.S. premiere of Alexandre Rockwell's "Little Feet," a tale of two young siblings on their own, starring the filmmaker's own children. The U.S. premiere of Antonin Peretjatko's "The Rendez Vous of Deja Vu (La Fille du 14 Juillet)" -- recently listed by Indiewire's critic as one of the top undistributed films of 2013 -- will close the event.
Chief Curator David Schwartz, who programmed First Look with Assistant Curator of Film Aliza Ma, said: "Between the delightfully free-spirited opening and closing night films, 'Little Feet' and 'The Rendez-Vous of Déjà Vu,' is an eclectic selection of films that offer fascinating excursions into the histories of film and music ('Rohmer in Paris,' 'Natan,' 'Wavemakers'), deeply intimate personal stories ('The Inner Jungle,' 'The Summer of Flying Fish)', bracingly dark comic visions ('Ape,' 'Vic + Flo Saw a Bear'), riveting social dramas that unfold in unforgettable landscapes ('Rags and Tatters,' 'Quispe Girls,' 'To the Wolf'), and distinctive and beautiful short films ('Looking for Adventure and America'). We are also very pleased to be presenting a special preview screening of 'Visitors,' the contemplative and stunning new film by Godfrey Reggio with a score by Philip Glass. What this year’s films have in common is that they are all visually and cinematically spellbinding movies that will linger in the memory."
Full lineup below with synopses courtesy of the Museum of the Moving Image.
• OPENING NIGHT: Alexandre Rockwell’s "Little Feet" (United States, 2013). Rockwell, one of the leading iconoclasts of American independent film (In the Soup, 13 Moons), brings indie cinema back to its ultra-low-budget roots with this film reminiscent of Truffaut and Jean Vigo, and starring his own two children. Followed by a reception, with Alexandre, Lana, and Nico Rockwell in person. U.S. Premiere.
• Raisa Bonnet’s short film "Old Moon." (Puerto Rico, 2013) Bonnet, a student of Alexandre Rockwell at NYU, shot this almost wordless tale about the relationship between a young girl and her grandmother in Puerto Rico; the film screens with Rockwell’s Little Feet on Opening Night.
• Richard Misek’s "Rohmer in Paris" (United Kingdom, 2013). A loving ode to the French New Wave master Eric Rohmer, and to cinema itself, Rohmer in Paris is made entirely with footage from Rohmer’s films, with a narration by Misek. U.S. Premiere. Screening followed by Eric Rohmer’s short The Bakery Girl of Monceau (La boulangère de Monceau) (France, 1963).
• Juan Barrero’s "The Inner Jungle" (La Jungla Interior) (Spain, 2013). Barrero’s autobiographical film intimately captures his relationship with girlfriend Gala Pérez Iñesta as they approach a major milestone in their lives; with Barrero and star Gala Pérez Iñesta in person, who will give a brief violin performance after the screening. U.S. Premiere.
• Valérie Massadian’s short film "America" (United States/France, 2013). Massadian (whose film Nana screened in First Look 2012) was given a reel of 35mm film and a day to make a film in one shot. The result is this lush meditation on love filmed deep in a Northwestern forest; screening with The Inner Jungle. U.S. Premiere.
• Denis Côté’s "Vic + Flo Saw a Bear" (Vic + Flo ont vu un ours) (Canada, 2013). Critic-turned-auteur Denis Côté paints a darkly comic portrait of spiritual isolation and doomed love for lesbian lovers trying to reconstruct life after prison in a remote Quebecois forest; with Côté in person. Winner of Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for “a feature film that opens new perspectives” at Berlin Film Festival. New York Premiere.
• Marcela Said’s "The Summer of Flying Fish" (El verano de los peces voladores) (Chile, 2013). Said’s debut feature is a bittersweet coming-of-age tale set amidst the majestic primeval forests of Patagonia. U.S. Premiere.
• Sebastián Sepúlveda’s "The Quispe Girls "(Las Ninas Quispe) (Chile, 2013). Set during Pinochet-era Chile, The Quispe Girls tells the tragic and true story of a family of sisters whose livelihood herding goats in the remote mountains of Chile is threatened. U.S. Premiere.
• Kimi Takesue’s "Looking for Adventure" (United States/Peru, 2013). New York filmmaker Takesue (Where Are You Taking Me?) explores the pleasures and strains of group tourism in Peru; with Takesue in person. Showing with The Quispe Girls. U.S. Premiere.
• Godfrey Reggio’s "Visitors" (United States, 2013). This new film from the maker of Koyaanisqatsi also features a score by Philip Glass, but might otherwise be considered the stylistic opposite of its predecessor, a cosmic look at the human experience conveyed in crisply beautiful black-and-white images; with Reggio and co-editor and co-filmmaker Jon Kane in person. A special preview screening courtesy of Cinedigm Films. New York Premiere.
• Caroline Martel’s "Wavemakers" (Le chant des ondes) (Canada, 2012). Martel tells the rich history of the Ondes Martenot, the electronic musical instrument, through archival material, an entrancing soundtrack, and interviews with musicians Jonny Greenwood and Suzanne Binet-Audet, the “Jimi Hendrix of the Martenot.” The screening will be followed by a live performance on the Ondes Martenot; with Martel in person. New York Premiere.
• Ahmad Abdalla’s "Rags and Tatters" (Egypt, 2013). The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 is the backdrop and driver of circumstance in this tale of an escaped convict searching for a way home on the outskirts of Cairo. U.S. Premiere.
• Joel Potrykus’s "Ape" (United States, 2012). Michigan native Joel Potrykus won the Best New Director and Best First Feature prizes at the Locarno Film Festival for his vividly downbeat portrait of a struggling comedian in Grand Rapids; with Potrykus in person. New York Premiere.
• Aran Hughes and Christina Koutsospyrou’s "To the Wolf "(Sto Lyko) (Greece, 2013). A hybrid of documentary and fiction, To the Wolf captures the struggles of two goatherding families as they try to survive in the wilderness of the Greek mountains during a period of national crisis. U.S. Premiere.
• David Cairns and Paul Duane’s "Natan" (Ireland, 2013). A fascinating and lovingly crafted documentary that attempts to restore the record on French film pioneer Bernard Natan who died in Auschwitz; co-director Paul Duane in person. New York Premiere.
• CLOSING NIGHT: Antonin Peretjatko’s "The Rendez Vous of Déjà Vu (La fille du 14 Juillet)" (France, 2013). U.S. Premiere. A highlight of the Cannes Director’s Fortnight, Antonin Peretjatko’s film is a fast-paced, pun-and-gag-filled romantic burlesque about a lovelorn museum guard who falls for a woman; with Peretjatko in person and followed by a reception. U.S. Premiere.