For those of us in New York not making the trip to Park City, mid-January’s offered up a surprising plentitude of film and media events to keep us busy, with the release of Philippe Garrel’s Regular Lovers, another chance to catch up on Altman at the IFC Center, and the always-rewarding New York Film Critics Circle series at Museum of the Moving Image (this year, it’s documentaries).
Most exciting of all, not least for its unconventional presentation, may be Doug Aitken: sleepwalkers, a large-scale artwork projected as eight continuous sequences on various facades of the Museum of Modern Art. Starring Donald Sutherland, Tilda Swinton, and others, sleepwalkers almost has the feel of a city symphony for the digital era, its characters literally rendered through the city-scape itself, the rumble of midtown traffic providing the soundtrack for their stories. The whole thing is beautifully done, with audio commentary from various people involved with the project, including MoMA chief curator Klaus Biesenbach and the artist, accessible through a call from your cell phone. I’m no expert on video art, but take my word for it: sleepwalkers is essential viewing. Through February 12th at the Museum of Modern Art, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.