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Thread: NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2024 (Apr. 3-Apr. 14)

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    NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2024 (Apr. 3-Apr. 14)



    New Directors/New Films 2024

    FESTIVAL COVERAGE THREAD


    A DIFFERENT MAN

    SOURCE

    Film at Lincoln Center and The Museum of Modern Art announce the Complete Lineup for the 53rd edition of New Directors/New Films, April 3–April 14, 2024. Two Sundance films featured: Opening Night—Aaron Schimberg's A Different Man; Closing Night—Theda Hammel's Stress Positions. All films presented at both Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art


    FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
    Films will screen at either Film at Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th Street), and the Francesca Beale Theater (144 W. 65th Street) or The Museum of Modern Art Titus 1 / Titus 2 Theaters (11 W. 53rd Street). Please note the screening location for each film below. The film descriptions are the festival blurbs.
    .

    Opening Night
    A Different Man
    New York Premiere
    Aaron Schimberg, 2023, U.S., 112m

    With the hotly anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed sophomore feature, 2018’s Chained for Life, New York-based director Aaron Schimberg boldly announces himself as one of the most fearless and socially incisive new voices in American independent cinema. Sebastian Stan, winner of this year’s Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance at the Berlin Film Festival, delivers an ingeniously embodied performance as Edward, an aspiring actor with severe facial disfigurement, to whom we’re introduced as he navigates a dreary daily existence marked by discouragement and resignation. When a winsome playwright (Renate Reinsve) moves in next door, and an experimental medical procedure becomes available to change his face, Edward’s outlook brightens, and he jumps at the chance for a new lease on life—until the arrival of Oswald (Adam Pearson), an outgoing and warmly charismatic stranger puts his newfound “normalcy” into perspective, and his artistic aspirations in jeopardy. Schimberg’s latest is a discomfiting tour de force, a social satire that wrangles thorny questions of identity and authenticity with unflinching honesty and slyly virtuosic storytelling flair. An A24 release.

    Wednesday, April 3
    7:00pm, MoMA T1 (Q&A with Aaron Schimberg and Sebastian Stan)
    7:30pm, MoMA T2 (Intro with Aaron Schimberg and Sebastian Stan)

    Thursday, April 4
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Aaron Schimberg)

    Closing Night
    Stress Positions
    Theda Hammel, 2024, U.S., 95m
    New York Premiere

    The bewilderment of the early days of COVID is given a manic queer twist in Theda Hammel’s propulsive, brilliantly discombobulating comedy set in Brooklyn in the summer of 2020. Feeling the sting from a recent separation from his husband, Terry (John Early) is doing his due, über-masked diligence to watch over his nephew Bahlul (Qaher Harhash), a Moroccan male model who is staying with Terry while nursing a broken leg. Meanwhile, Terry is fearful that his punchy best friend, Karla (Hammel, in a vibrant, take-no-prisoners turn), working through her own relationship chaos, will be a bad influence on Bahlul, who proves to be a lot wiser and less naive than his uncle might think. Hammel’s cinematic approach is thrillingly unpredictable both visually and sonically, alternating between cacophonous volleys of dialogue and meditative journeys into her characters’ subjective states, while the heightened delirium of Hammel and Faheem Ali’s script evokes the hapless rules of engagement in the ever-shifting borders of queer politics. A NEON release.

    Saturday, April 13
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Theda Hammel)
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Intro with Theda Hammel)

    Sunday, April 14
    5:15pm, MoMA T1 (Q&A with Theda Hammel)

    All, or Nothing at All
    Jiajun "Oscar" Zhang, 2023, China, 124m
    Mandarin and Shanghainese with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    The innovatively conceived and constructed feature debut from Jiajun “Oscar” Zhang takes place entirely within the overwhelming, majestically artificial confines of the vertical Global Harbor shopping mall in Shanghai. Against a gleaming and glittering backdrop of endless escalators, perfume samples, skin-care product demonstrations, breakdancing, and elaborately foamed coffee beverages, we are introduced to alternate yet thematically overlapping narratives centered around two pairs of strangers nursing or running from romantic crushes on each other—pursuits experienced in Zhang’s visual approach as both profoundly human and technologically mediated. Threading various narrative avenues and aesthetic textures, All, or Nothing at All offers an entertaining examination of a new generation of young adult disaffection amidst the overload of contemporary living that conceptually parallels the multistory consumerist landscape where it’s set.​​Zhang conceived the film to be presented in two versions, the second of which inverts the order of the film’s two halves; we will be presenting both versions at this year’s festival.

    Thursday, April 11
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Jiajun “Oscar” Zhang)

    Friday, April 12
    5:45pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Jiajun “Oscar” Zhang)

    Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry
    Elene Naveriani, 2023, Switzerland/Georgia, 110m
    Georgian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Winner of the grand prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry is the funny, tender, and erotic story of 48-year-old Etero, an unmarried shopkeeper in a Georgian village mocked as a spinster by her gossipy friends even as she secretly carries on a torrid affair with a married man. Georgian cinema is famous not only for the quality of its absurdist storytelling but also for the predominance of women filmmakers throughout its history; now we can celebrate the arrival of writer-director Elene Naveriani and actress Eka Chavleishvili, as the defiantly independent, pleasure-seeking Etero, boldly upholding this rich tradition.

    Saturday, April 13
    1:00pm, MoMA T2

    Sunday, April 14
    6:15pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Blaga’s Lessons
    Stephan Komandarev, 2023, Bulgaria/Germany, 114m
    Bulgarian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Seventy-year-old retired schoolteacher Blaga (Eli Skorcheva) has recently lost her beloved husband, a former police officer well-known in the austere, small northern Bulgarian town where she still lives. Determined to purchase a substantial gravesite and headstone for the deceased, the stern-minded, no-nonsense widow continues to work, giving Bulgarian language lessons to immigrants. However, Blaga’s already precarious world is overturned when one afternoon she falls prey to a frightening telephone scam. This is merely the beginning of a tautly conceived thriller that skillfully captures the feeling of a bleak post-Communist society beset by corruption—in both criminal and official capacities. Stephan Komandarev’s entirely gripping film rests on the ever-strengthening shoulders of veteran actress Skorcheva, whose remarkable journey from weather-beaten victimhood to aggressive resolve persuasively transforms the film into a provocative story of individual morality in a world gone wrong.

    Tuesday, April 9
    8:30pm, MoMA T2

    Sunday, April 14
    1:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Cu Li Never Cries
    Pham Ngoc Lân, 2024, Vietnam/Singapore/France/Philippines/Norway, 92m
    Vietnamese with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    Personal and political histories are ever-present in the story of Mrs. Nguyên (Minh Châu), who returns to her hometown to spread the ashes of her estranged husband and to reconnect with her niece, Vân (Hà Phuong). Yet Vân harbors resentment against Mrs. Nguyên—a mother figure to the orphaned young woman—for her long absence, complicating this homecoming and dredging up a difficult past. As the older woman traverses the familiar yet increasingly alien environs of her past, she has the companionship of Cu Li, the pygmy slow loris her deceased spouse left her, whose impossibly wide, glassy eyes become a reflection for characters caught in a half-dreamscape. Shot in a pristine black-and-white that offers immersive realism one moment and a fairy-tale shimmer the next, Cu Li Never Cries is a tender yet commanding feature debut for Pham Ngoc Lân in which the legacies of Vietnamese history are written on its characters’ uncertain futures. Winner of the Best First Feature prize at the 2024 Berlin Film Festival.

    Tuesday, April 9
    6:00pm, MoMA T2

    Wednesday, April 10
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    The Day I Met You
    André Novais Oliveira, 2023, Brazil, 71m
    Portuguese with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    This micro portrait of two individuals finding comfort in each other’s company offers a refreshing reprieve from the daily grind. Set in the vicinity of Belo Horizonte, the capital of the mountainous Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, the film follows Zeca (Renato Novaes), whose job, body, and mind have all gone out of whack. The weight of setbacks is lifted when he spends a few impromptu hours with Louisa (Grace Passô), his colleague at a local school, and the two even find joy in poking fun at their shared misery. Combining a chic sense of pace and magical long takes, returning ND/NF director André Novais Oliveira (Long Way Home, ND/NF 2019) makes the most unassuming encounter infinitely cool and full of hope.

    Saturday, April 6
    12:30pm, MoMA T2

    Sunday, April 7
    6:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Dreaming & Dying
    Nelson Yeo, 2023, Singapore/Indonesia, 77m
    Mandarin, English, and Singlish with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    High school reunions are invariably awkward, all the more so when only three people show up. At midlife, those three (Peter Yu, Doreen Toh, Kelvin Ho), two married to each other, appear in a peculiar love triangle, unclear if they are grappling with unresolved desires from the past or repressed yearnings of the present. Their romantic entanglement is given a middle-age-appropriate treatment; mysteries of the adult heart find subtly comical expression through a merman, a talking fish, and various surreal scenarios. Channeling Hong Sangsoo’s razor-sharp and at times offbeat gaze, as well as Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s affinity for fantasia and nature, Singaporean director Nelson Yeo’s debut feature, winner of the Locarno Film Festival’s Filmmaker of the Present award, combines reality and magic to provide three troubled souls with a moment to dream.

    Thursday, April 11
    6:00pm, MoMA T2

    Friday, April 12
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Exhibiting Forgiveness
    Titus Kaphar, 2024, U.S., 111m
    New York Premiere

    Titus Kaphar creates powerful work that is multidisciplinary in nature and profound in historical meaning, often incorporating multiple layers and sculptural dimensions to his canvases. Kaphar brings the same sense of profoundly felt dynamism to his startlingly accomplished cinematic debut, Exhibiting Forgiveness, a wrenching work of emotional depth and visual flair starring the magnificent André Holland in one of the actor’s greatest screen roles so far. Painter Tarrell Rodin (Holland) is a loving and grounded husband to singer Aisha (Andra Day) and father to young Jermaine (Daniel Berrier), but he’s violently haunted by nightmares of his childhood. While preparing for a new gallery show, Tarrell finds his life upended by the sudden return of his father, La’Ron (John Earl Jelks). His mother, Joyce (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor), has forgiven La’Ron for the abuse and addiction of their family’s troubled past, but Tarrell cannot bring himself to do the same. While working on his large-scale canvases, Tarrell journeys to his past, wondering if he can alter the pain of his present. Kaphar’s film—as provocative in its depiction of unresolvable familial crises as it is about the meaning and co-opting of Black voices in the contemporary art scene—wrestles with difficult, personal questions without settling on easy answers.

    Friday, April 5
    8:30pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Titus Kaphar)

    Saturday, April 6
    12:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Titus Kaphar)

    Explanation for Everything
    Gábor Reisz, 2023, Hungary/Slovakia, 152m
    Hungarian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Under intense pressure from home and school to pass his graduation exams, Budapest high school senior Abel finds himself distracted and ultimately derailed by his own nerves as well as his crush on a fellow classmate. However, the simmering anxieties of teenagehood boil over into something far greater than Abel ever could have intended when a minor confrontation between the boy and a teacher becomes a talking point in an escalating generational and political conflict. Gábor Reisz’s scintillating drama keeps a firm grip on its audience as it unfolds an intricately structured screenplay that’s as tuned in to tiny gestures between people as it is to the grand statements about a contemporary climate in which we are often encouraged to take definitive sides. While Explanation for Everything is specific in its portrait of a contemporary Hungary wrestling with its own political past and nationalist legacy, its diagnoses are universally relevant, and endlessly compelling.

    Friday, April 5
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Saturday, April 6
    2:30pm, MoMA T2

    Foremost By Night
    Víctor Iriarte, 2023, Spain/Portugal/France, 109m
    Spanish with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Spanish artist and curator Víctor Iriarte’s debut feature unfolds across four epistolary chapters, following middle-aged Vera (Lola Dueñas) as she emerges from a years-long search for the biological son whom she gave up for adoption at birth, and whose identity and whereabouts were rendered all but untraceable by a callously negligent bureaucracy. When Vera’s letters reach teenaged Egoz (Manuel Egozkue) and his adoptive mother Cora (Ana Torrent), the three of them converge on the banks of Portugal’s Douro River for a long-delayed reunion—and a shared reckoning with the intimate legacies of Spain’s political history. Deceptively airy and noir-inflected, Iriarte’s unhurried, methodical gaze lingers over bodies and structures, interpolating velvety 16mm compositions with tactile close-ups of maps, floor plans, and microfiche newspaper clippings to evoke the textural and symbolic traces of a family discovering itself.

    Saturday, April 6
    8:15pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Víctor Iriarte)

    Monday, April 8
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Víctor Iriarte)

    Good One
    India Donaldson, 2024, U.S., 90m
    New York Premiere

    A seemingly small incident has monumental implications in the extraordinary feature debut of India Donaldson, a film of expertly harnessed naturalism and restrained emotional intensity. Seventeen-year-old high school senior Sam (a revelatory Lily Collias) has agreed to join her father Chris (James Le Gros) and his longtime buddy Matt (Danny McCarthy) on a camping trip in the Catskills, though she’d rather be hanging with her friends for the weekend. Affable and wise, Sam at first seems to enjoy the intergenerational bonding experience with the two divorced dads, yet the men’s own festering, middle-aged resentments begin to change the emotional tenor of the trip—until something happens that alters Sam’s perception of the men and her place in their orbit. Amidst the lush beauty and contemplative forest atmosphere in upstate New York, Good One asks provocative questions about the dynamics of family, friendship, and what it means to engage in or avoid conflict. A Metrograph Pictures release.

    Thursday, April 4
    6:00pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with India Donaldson and cast)

    Saturday, April 6
    6:15pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with India Donaldson and cast)

    A Good Place
    Katharina Huber, 2023, Germany, 108m
    German, English, and Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    Economic yet expansive, at once intricately engaged with present-day anxieties and steeped in a sparingly realized speculative future, the debut feature from Katharina Huber (who has worked largely in animation until now) radically reimagines the hangout film against an apocalyptic backdrop. A Good Place follows the daily routines and companionship of two young women, Güte (Clara Schwinning) and Margarita (Céline De Gennaro), who eke out a living in a remote, sparsely inhabited farming village as radio broadcasts describe an unfolding global crisis and count down to the launch of a spacecraft that might save humanity. With an incomparable sense of atmosphere and style, Huber—who wrote, directed, edited, and produced the film—filters and displaces her characters’ fears and comradery onto an enigmatic narrative about survival and isolation. Winner of the awards for best emerging director and best performance (for Schwinning) in the 2023 Locarno Film Festival’s Filmmakers of the Present section.

    Thursday, April 4
    8:15pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Katharina Huber)

    Sunday, April 7
    1:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Katharina Huber)

    Grace
    Ilya Povolotsky, 2023, Russia, 119m
    Russian, Georgian, and Karachay-Balkar with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    A father and daughter duo traverse the vast, winding, and seemingly vacant backroads of rural Russia in a rusted, rambling van that serves as both home and transport for the adolescent and her living parent (mom travels with them in the form of ashes in an urn). Clandestine DVD sales, fleeting sexual encounters, and checkpoint-avoiding detours signal the outlaw lifestyle these two share as they slowly, inevitably drift apart. The “road movie” is about as familiar a genre as any in motion pictures, which is what makes Ilya Povolotsky’s debut fiction feature, which premiered at the 2023 Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, such a discovery. Echoes of Tarkovsky quiver in the frosty landscapes as we sense the possibility of escape, of individuality.

    Tuesday, April 9
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Wednesday, April 10
    5:45pm, MoMA T2

    Hesitation Wound
    Selman Nacar, 2023, Turkey, 84m
    Turkish with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    The unwelcome intrusion of law and society in affairs of the heart, so remarkably limned of late in Anatomy of a Fall, is a story grippingly told in Hesitation Wound, following 24 stressful hours in the life of a Turkish criminal lawyer torn between her allegiances to her client, a murder suspect; her mother, who convalesces in a hospital; and the judge, a man of questionable principles. A Dostoyevskian thriller laced with moral anguish, Hesitation Wound places writer-director Selman Nacar in the company of his compatriot Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

    Thursday, April 4
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Selman Nacar)

    Friday, April 5
    6:00pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Selman Nacar)

    Intercepted
    Oksana Karpovych, 2024, Canada/France/Ukraine, 93m
    Russian and Ukrainian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    In the two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Security Service of Ukraine has intercepted, recorded, and made public thousands of cell phone calls between Russian soldiers on the front line and their mothers, wives, and girlfriends back home. For her sophomore feature, Ukrainian-Canadian documentarian Oksana Karpovych charted a photojournalistic course across the country in the occupation’s wake to construct a fraught dialectical juxtaposition of sound and image, pairing fragments of those overheard conversations with arresting filmic compositions that capture the unsettled aftermath of invasion. Karpovych’s keen editorial sensitivity produces startling contrasts, drawing out the inherent tension between the soldiers’ casual accounts of looting and violent displacement (coupled with their family members’ muddled and distorted perception of geopolitical realities) and the camera’s deceptively tranquil tableaux of destruction and waste. The result is a document of astonishing discursive power, at once a stark reflection of the Russian imperial project’s callous disregard for civilian lives and a testament to the insidious efficacy of its propaganda machine.

    Friday, April 12
    8:15pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Sunday, April 14
    12:30pm, MoMA T2

    A Journey in Spring
    Wang Ping-Wen and Peng Tzu-Hui, 2023, Taiwan, 90m
    Taiwanese Hokkien and Mandarin with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    With their feature debut, filmmaking duo Wang Ping-Wen and Peng Tzu-Hu have composed a lyrical family vignette of quiet transcendence, poised on the cusp between past and future, city and countryside, life and death. Aging married couple Khim-Hok (Jason King) and Siu-Tuan (Yang Kuei-Mei) share a modest home perched high in the wooded hills outside Taipei, where they bicker, gripe, and commiserate, inhabiting the familiar rhythms of a well-trod daily routine—until a sudden death throws their world into a state of muted disarray and brings the abrupt return of their estranged son. Luminous Super 16mm photography and an intricately textured soundscape cast a mesmerizing, melancholic spell, giving way to a delicate, understated meditation on the before-and-after of loss, and the intractably lingering traces of love.

    Saturday, April 13
    3:45pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Wang Ping-Wen and Peng Tzu-Hui)

    Sunday, April 14
    3:45pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Wang Ping-Wen and Peng Tzu-Hui)

    Lost Country
    Vladimir Perišić, 2023, Serbia/France/Luxembourg/Croatia, 105m
    Serbian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Serbian filmmaker Vladimir Perišić evokes a seismic moment in his nation’s past from the vulnerable perspective of a teenager in the riveting and personal drama Lost Country, which he based on his own experiences. Fifteen-year-old Stefan (Jovan Ginić, winner of the Rising Star Award at Cannes last year) begins to notice a harrowing chasm opening between the way he idealizes his mother (Jasna Đuričić) and how many of his fellow classmates and citizens have begun to see her in her role as the public spokesperson for Slobodan Milošević, the Serbian president ultimately convicted of war crimes committed during the Balkan Wars. Set amidst the 1996 protests that saw university students and opposition party members speaking out against electoral fraud conducted by Milošević’s Socialist Party, Perišić’s film functions as both a brutal reckoning with a historical moment that has clear parallels to today, and a compelling coming-of-age story under circumstances that young Stefan is only starting to comprehend.

    Thursday, April 11
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Friday, April 12
    8:45pm, MoMA T2

    Malu
    Pedro Freire, 2024, Brazil, 103m
    Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    A blistering performance by Yara de Novaes, volatile, and poignant all at once, is the magnetic centerpiece of Brazilian filmmaker Pedro Freire’s passionate and intensely moving feature debut. Novaes stars as Malu Rocha, a free-spirited actress approaching middle age and constantly at odds with the world and herself. Living with a conservative, religious mother (Juliana Carneiro da Cunha) who fears that Malu’s anti-authoritarian, bohemian approach to life is indicative of a mental breakdown, and reconnecting with a grown daughter (Carol Duarte) who has returned from a stint in France and is also pursuing an artistic life, Malu has idealistic plans to transform her modest home into an arts center for poor local kids. Yet Malu’s erratic behavior and recurrent, explosive battles with her brittle mother leave her vulnerable to a confusing, sometimes cruel world. Based on the life of the director’s mother, Malu is a profoundly felt study of a woman with an all-consuming, unstable love, directed with an intense force to match its unforgettable protagonist.

    Thursday, April 11
    8:15pm, MoMA T2

    Saturday, April 13
    3:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Meezan
    Shahab Mihandoust, 2023, Canada/Iran, 72m
    Farsi and Arabic with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere

    Filmmaker Shahab Mihandoust’s 16mm-shot portrait of the fishing industry in Iran’s Khuzestan province—home to Abadan, the first oil company town in the Middle East and a site of mass destruction and migration during the Iran-Iraq War—is at once an immersive process film about labor and a rich, sensorial account of a former combat zone reorganized by decades of industrialization. Across three distinct chapters, an inquisitive camera and intricately detailed sound design (by Ernst Karel) closely attend to both the individual and collective in the environments that dictate daily life and the scale of production operating along the margins of a petro-capitalist landscape: from the fishermen trawling Abadan’s temperamental coast, to an arduous bartering system on a Bahrain wharf, to a remote shrimp processing-packaging plant operated by women shuttled in from nearby villages. Winner of the 2023 Montreal International Documentary Festival New Vision Award.

    Saturday, April 13
    12:45pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Sunday, April 14
    3:00pm, MoMA T2

    Of Living Without Illusion
    Katharina Lüdin, 2023, Germany, 110m
    German, Italian, and Norwegian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    Embodying the mercurial nature of romantic relationships in all their contradictory facets—hope and despair, joy and cruelty—writer-director Katharina Lüdin’s penetrating feature debut interrogates love and art with a singular expressiveness. At the same time that she’s rehearsing an emotionally difficult play, in which she’s co-starring with her ex-husband, middle-aged Merit (Jenny Schily) is navigating heartbreaking terrain in her everyday life: a rapidly deteriorating relationship with her girlfriend Eva (Anna Bolk), whose feelings of rejection and unrequited love are beginning to consume her. Lüdin further widens the frame to take in the complicated lives of those who are affected by the disillusionment of these two women, including Merit’s increasingly alienated son and his wife. Moving between unnerving restraint and full-throated feeling, Of Living Without Illusion is an unusually perceptive film reminiscent of the work of fellow German director Angela Schanelec in its abstracted visual approach, yet with a direct, almost Bergman-like intensity as it illustrates the sometimes unbridgeable divides between lovers—and between reality and pretense.

    Sunday, April 7
    3:45pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Monday, April 8
    5:45pm, MoMA T2

    Omen
    Baloji, Belgium, 2023, 95m
    English, French, Swahili, and Lingala with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    The sense of dread that often accompanies being around blood relatives with whom you share no real connection is brought into vivid focus in Belgian rapper Baloji’s debut feature, Omen. Having been banished to Europe as a baby after a birthmark convinced his mother that he must be a sorcerer, Koffi (Marc Zinga) and his white Belgian fiancée Alice (Lucie Debay) embark on a family reconciliation trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The kinetic chaos of the return––missed airport transfers and traffic, bloody noses, family gatherings and judgments––sets the stage for a visceral reimmersion tale. Winner of the New Voice Prize at Cannes and selected as Belgium’s entry for the 96th Academy Awards, Omen melds the modern and the mystical in mesmerizing fashion. A Utopia release.

    Friday, April 5
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Baloji)

    Saturday, April 6
    6:00pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Baloji)

    Otro Sol
    Francisco Rodríguez Teare, 2023, Chile/France/Belgium, 85m
    Spanish and Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    In 1978, a Chilean thief named Alberto Candia entered the grand Cádiz Cathedral in southern Spain, and, it is believed, stole priceless ancient artifacts before being tracked down and killed. In Chilean filmmaker Francisco Rodríguez Teare’s form-defying feature debut, the maybe-true tale of Candia provides the unstable center of an absorbing inquiry into mythmaking, following a pair of young thieves across the Atacama Desert as they meet a community of local prospectors digging for gold. Through stories that seem to be real and others that can only be fantasy, Teare’s inventive film constantly shifts the borders between truth and fable, while presenting to the viewer the staggering, vast beauty of the mountains, beaches, and rivers of Atacama and Andalusia.

    Sunday, April 7
    5:00pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Francisco Rodríguez Teare)

    Monday, April 8
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Francisco Rodríguez Teare)

    The Permanent Picture
    Laura Ferrés, 2023, Spain/France, 94m
    Catalan and Spanish with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    Who said time heals all wounds? Shot in her hometown of El Prat de Llobregat (located in the southwestern periphery of Barcelona) with an impressive cast of nonprofessional actors, Catalan writer-director Laura Ferrés’s alternately tender, clever, and mysterious debut feature mixes realism with melodrama in the story of a fiftysomething casting director who—while on an assignment to find “normal-looking people” for a left-leaning political party’s campaign video—unwittingly befriends the woman who gave birth to and abandoned her as a teenager in Andalusia. The Permanent Picture is a reunion film unlike any other: a strange yet genuine inquiry into familial love, estrangement, and image-making across generations, and whose thorny references to the legacy of Francoist Spain belie its endlessly generative charm and sense of humor.

    Tuesday, April 9
    6:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

    Wednesday, April 10
    8:45pm, MoMA T2

    The Rim
    Alberto Gracia, 2024, Spain, 90m
    Spanish and Galician with English subtitles
    U.S. Premiere

    Told in elliptical fashion and moving to a surreal rhythm all its own, director Alberto Gracia’s grimy and dazzlingly dissonant vision takes place in the port city of Ferrol in Galicia, the northwestern region of Spain. Damian (Alfonso Míguez), unkempt and barely scraping by, has returned to his hometown after his father dies. Most recently a failed game show contestant, he becomes the inexplicable victim of mistaken identity when everyone starts referring to him as “Cosme”—who happens to be a tour guide who has already disappeared from the movie’s parallel narrative. Both compelling and confounding, The Rim is at once an existential portrait of the limits of individual agency and a depiction of a community’s economic struggle.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-01-2024 at 11:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
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    LIST OF THE FEATURES
    All, or Nothing at All dir. Jiajun “Oscar” Zhang
    Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry dir. Elene Naveriani
    Blaga’s Lessons dir. Stephan Komandarev
    Cu Li Never Cries dir. Pham Ngoc Lân
    The Day I Met You dir. André Novais Oliveira
    A Different Man dir. Aaron Schimberg
    Dreaming & Dying dir. Nelson Yeo
    Exhibiting Forgiveness dir. Titus Kaphar
    Explanation for Everything dir. Gábor Reisz
    Foremost By Night dir. Víctor Iriarte
    Good One dir. India Donaldson
    A Good Place dir. Katharina Huber
    Grace dir. Ilya Povolotsky
    Hesitation Wound dir. Selman Nacar
    Intercepted dir. Oksana Karpovych
    A Journey in Spring dir. Wang Ping-Wen, Peng Tzu-Hui
    Lost Country dir. Vladimir Perišić
    Malu dir. Pedro Freire
    Meezan dir. Shahab Mihandoust
    Of Living Without Illusion dir. Katharina Lüdin
    Omen dir. Baloji
    Otro Sol dir. Francisco Rodríguez Teare
    The Permanent Picture dir. Laura Ferrés
    The Rim dir. Alberto Gracia
    Stress Positions dir. Theda Hammel
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-01-2024 at 12:41 AM.

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    MALU (Pedro Freire 2024)

    Brazilian film, theatre and TV director, writer and producer Pedro Freire's first feature length film is a striking dramatization of the last days of his actress mother as a woman in wild and memorable decline. In the lead role the actress Yara de Novaes is a wonder to watch at work and the closing scenes are very fine.

    Screened for this review as part of New Directors/New Films (Apr. 3-14, 2024), MoMA and FLC. Showtimes:
    Thursday, April 11
    8:15pm, MoMA T2
    Saturday, April 13
    3:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

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    New Directors/New Films 2024, April 3-14, begins on Wednesday.

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    ALL, OR NOTHING AT ALL (Jiajun "Oscar" Zhang 20223)


    Chinese director Zhang and his Korean collaborator writer Pyun join are reunited for this feature debut following a widely admired short called If You See Her, Say Hello. A style emerges here of blurred boundaries, rule-breaking narratives and use of odd lenses like cell phones and surveillance cameras to experiment with parallel stories told with lush, almost abstract closeups and overwhelming ambient sound, following on a similar timeline and in identical places. This is a dreamy exploration of a place, the Global Harbor Mall in Shanghai.

    All, or Nothing at All, 124 mins., in Mandarin and Shanghainese, debuted at Tallinn Black Nights (Estonia), Nov. 2023. Screened for this review as part of of Film at Lincoln Center and MoMA's New Directors/New Films series (Apr. 3-13, 2024). Showtimes:
    Thursday, April 11
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Jiajun “Oscar” Zhang)
    Friday, April 12
    5:45pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Jiajun "Oscar" Zhang)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-02-2024 at 12:06 AM.

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    THE DAY I MET YOU (André Novais Oliveira 2023)

    The filmmaker's penchant for the everyday triumphs in this study of two ordinary educational employees, a librarian and a schoolteacher,who bond on the day when one of them gets fireed. Very much in keeping with the same director's ND/NF 2018's Long Way Home/Temperada,

    The Day I Met You/O dia que te conheci, 71 mins. Olveira's third feature after his 2015 She Comes Back on Thursday (debuted at Rotterdam and Marseille) and the 2018 Long Way Home/Temporada (debuted at Locarno) debuted at Entrevues Belfort, wining the grand prize. It was screened for this review as part of the Apr. 3-14, 2024 FLC-MoMA New Directors/New Films series. Showtimes:
    Saturday, April 6
    12:30pm, MoMA T2
    Sunday, April 7
    6:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater

  7. #7
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    GRACE (Ilya Povolotsky 2023)

    A father and daughter travel around almost wordlessly over vast prts of remote Russia in a road picture that has echoes of Tarkovsky.

    Grace/Blazh, 119 mins., debuted at Cannes May 2023; screened for this review as part of the Apr. 3-14, 2024 FLC-MoMA New Directors/New Films series. Showtimes:
    Tuesday, April 9
    8:30pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater
    Wednesday, April 10
    5:45pm, MoMA T2

  8. #8
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    A GOOD PLACE/EIN SCHÖNER ORT (Katharina Huber 2023)

    A vaguely apocalyptic sci-fi film. Fans of German cinematic oddity may be interested.

    A Good Place/Ein schöner ort,, 108 mins., in German, English, and Italian, debuted at Locarno Aug. 9, 2023. Screened for this review as part of the Apr. 3-14, 2024 New Directors/New Films series at MoMA and FLC. Showtimes::
    Thursday, April 4
    8:15pm, MoMA T2 (Q&A with Katharina Huber)
    Sunday, April 7
    1:00pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater (Q&A with Katharina Huber)

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    OF LIVING WITHOUT ILLUSION (Katharina Lüdin 2023)


    Of Living without Illusion explores a dry, neurotic world. Viewers, especially German-speaking ones, may relate to the neuroticism (and the dryness) because it is presented with intelligence and clarity and is, unfortunately, the way people do sometimes behave. Someone asked on Letterboxd why the first Lesbian relationship in a German film has to be such a dysfunctional one.

    Of LIving Without Illusion/Und dass man ohne Täuschung zu leben vermag, 110 mins., debuted at Locarno Aug. 10, 2023, and was screened for this review as part of the Apr. 3-14, 2024 joint MoMA/FLC New Directors/New Films series. Showtimes:
    Sunday, April 7
    3:45pm, FLC Walter Reade Theater
    Monday, April 8
    5:45pm, MoMA T2

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