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MoMI to Premiere First Look International Showcase

MoMI to Premiere First Look International Showcase

The Museum of Moving Image has announced the schedule for its upcoming First Look international showcase.

The program, running from January 6 – 15 will offer 13 feature films and seven shorts.

The films include Johnnie To’s “Life Without Principle,” Chantal Akerman’s “Almayer’s Folly” and Phillippe Garrel’s “This Summer.”

Full press release below:

Chantal Akerman’s Almayer’s Folly, Christoph Hochhäusler’s The City Below, Philippe Garrel’s This Summer, Johnnie To’s Life Without Principle, and Gonçalo Tocha’s It’s the Earth Not the Moon are among premieres
January 6–15, 2012
To start the new year, Museum of the Moving Image introduces a brand new showcase for inventive, groundbreaking international cinema. First Look runs from January 6 through 15, 2012 and includes 13 features and 7 shorts: a highly selective group of films that are distinguished by their artistic audacity. Nearly all of the selections are New York premieres, and many are accompanied by personal appearances.  

First Look is curated by Dennis Lim, editor of Moving Image Source, the Museum’s multimedia magazine; Assistant Curator of Film Rachael Rakes; and Chief Curator David Schwartz. Essays on the films will be published on Moving Image Source ( in early January.

“Established and emerging directors featured in this series create new approaches to narrative, documentary, and experimental film, in many cases creating hybrid forms,” said David Schwartz. “These films are adventures; they don’t only bring us to new places, they offer new ways of seeing the world, and they redefine their medium.”

“We wanted to create a program that makes a clear and coherent statement on what’s important and exciting in world cinema today,” said Dennis Lim. “Challenging, invigorating new work all too often gets marginalized because of the tough realities of art-film distribution and exhibition in the U.S. today. We believe that cinema remains a healthy, flourishing art form, and with this series, which brings together many of our favorite films of the past year, we hope to prove that point.”

The opening film, on Friday, January 6, will be Almayer’s Folly, Chantal Akerman’s adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s first novel, and will be accompanied by a personal appearance by Akerman and an opening reception.

With the exception of Mark Jackson’s Without and the Artavazd Peleshian shorts, the films in First Look are all New York premieres. The titles are:
• Almayer’s Folly, Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman’s free adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s first novel about the faded dreams of a European trader and his ruptured relationship with his half-Malay daughter
• From Italian documentarian Pietro Marcello, The Silence of Peleshian (Il silenzio di Pelesjan), a lyrical portrait of the Armenian master filmmaker Artavazd Peleshian and screenings of two of Peleshian’s greatest films, The Seasons of the Year and Life
• Nominee for the Gotham Awards’ “Best Movie Not Playing at a Theater Near You,” Mark Jackson’s feature film debut Without, a taut psychological thriller set in a remote Pacific Northwest locale (Jackson, cinematographer Jessica Dimmock, and star Joslyn Jensen will appear in person)
• Winner of the Un Certain Regard special jury prize, Cannes Film Festival, Elena from Russian filmmaker Andrei Zyvagintsev (The Return), a contemporary family drama that has the intensity and inevitability of a great film noir; and featuring an original score by Philip Glass
• It’s the Earth Not the Moon, Portuguese filmmaker Gonçalo Tocha’s ambitious, quixotic portrait of the island of Corvo in the Azores, a tiny dot in the vast Atlantic and the westernmost point of Europe  
• It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve: Masao Adachi, a portrait of the controversial Japanese filmmaker (and one-time Red Army member) by Philippe Grandrieux, the French director known for intense nocturnal dramas like La Vie nouvelle; showing with Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s hourlong fable Palaces of Pity
• That Summer (Un Eté brulant), the latest tour de force by Philippe Garrel, French cinema’s great romantic, about a brooding artist (Louis Garrel) and his actress wife (Monica Bellucci)
• Théo Court’s feature debut Ocaso, an exquisite document of the last days of an old man’s useful existence as caretaker of a decaying farmhouse estate in Chile; screening with João Rui Guerra da Mata and João Pedro Rodrigues’s short Red Dawn, set in a Macao wet market
• Winner of the Best First Feature award at the Locarno Film Festival, Valérie Massadian’s Nana, an intimate, enigmatic expression of life from the point of view of a child abandoned in rural France; screening with Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso’s Letter to Serra (Massadian will appear in person)
• Life Without Principle, Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s most complex film since 2005’s Election
• Papirosen, a deeply affecting meditation on the meaning of family and the weight of history from young Argentinian director Gastón Solnicki, incorporating a decade’s worth of home movies from his own family (director in person)
• The City Below, a sleek, provocative drama from German filmmaker Christoph Hochhäusler, who recently directed the final installment of the widely acclaimed Dreileben trilogy
• Road trip meets acid trip in Buena Noches, Espana, a bold Super-8 feature by the prodigious Filipino filmmaker Raya Martin, showing with two shorts by Martin, Ars Colonia and Boxing in the Philippine Islands (director in person)

Tickets for the opening night event, the screening of Chantal Akerman’s Almayer’s Folly and reception, are $15 and may be purchased in advance. All other First Look screenings are included with Museum admission, which is $12 for adults and $9 for senior citizens and college students. A First Look series pass, allowing the holder admission to the Museum and all First Look screenings for the run of the series, will be available for $40. All screenings, including the opening event, are free for Museum members. Memberships start at $75 with benefits that include year-round free admission to the Museum and its programs, reservation privileges, and discounts on special programs.

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