Spotlight Cinema

Wednesdays at 7 pm • September 17; October 1, 15, 22, and 29; November 5, 12, and 19

Stills from top to bottom: Only Lovers Left Alive, We Are the Best, and Venus in Fur.

This fall, MMoCA’s Spotlight Cinema will feature Madison premieres of five critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary and  narrative feature films. The series, which is curated by Mike King and Tom Yoshikami, screens on selected Wednesday evenings through the fall; see schedule below. Admission is free for MMoCA members and $7 per screening for the general public. Ticket sales begin at 6:30 pm in the museum’s lobby; films screen at 7:00 p.m. in the lecture hall.

Spotlight Cinema is a program of MMoCA’s education department. The series is generously funded by maiahaus and Venture Investors, LLC.


September 17 · 7 pm
Only Lovers Left Alive
2013, USA, 123 min., HD
Dir.: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright

The series kicks off Wednesday, September 17 with Only Lovers Left AliveJim Jarmusch’s take on the vampire genre is just as poetic and engrossing as you might hope and imagine. The celebrated director of Stranger than Paradise, Down By Law, Dead Man, and Ghost Dog, among others, sets this epic love story against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, wherein centuries-old lovers Adam and Eve (played by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton), reunite only to have their debauched idyll disrupted by Eve’s uncontrollable younger sister (Mia Wasikowska). Jarmusch’s trademark wry humor is on full display in what Todd McCarty calls, “The filmmaker’s best work in years… physically and musically, the film is lovely.” 

See the trailer.

October 1 · 7 pm
We Are the Best!
2014, Sweden, 102 min., HD
Dir.: Lukas Moodysson
Cast: Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne

Bullied at school and ignored at home, three teenage girls decide to form a punk band, despite not having any instruments and being told that punk is dead. Set in early ’80s Stockholm, Director Lukas Moodysson’s (Show Me Love, Together) sweet but never cloying celebration of DIY culture and youthful rebellion will make you want to yell right along with the girls as they perform their lone song, “Hate the Sport.” “We Are the Best! is the rare film about childhood friendship that seems to take place inside the world of children, not filtered through an adult scrim of nostalgia” (Dana Stevens, Slate). 

See the trailer.

October 15 · 7 pm
Venus in Fur
2013, France, 96 min., HD
Dir.: Roman Polanski
Cast: Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Amalric

This mischievous, minimalist comedy from master auteur Roman Polanski (Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby) is a twisty, head-spinning delight.  At the end of a day of fruitless auditions for his new play, a theater director is bewitched by Vanda, a mysterious actress who knows every line.  The two embark on a feverish, all-night collaboration that blurs the boundaries between theater and reality.  With only two actors and a single set, Polanski crafts a nimble, self-reflexive duologue that you’ll continue untangling long after the credits roll.

See the trailer.

To Be Announced
October 22 · 7 pm
October 29 · 7 pm
November 5 · 7 pm
November 12 · 7 pm
November 19 · 7 pm