Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Monday, January 26, 2009
Contact Info: 

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information                
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Sheri Castelnuovo, Curator of Education
608.257.0158 x 227 or

High-resolution images are upon request

MMoCA Films Reflect Theme of New Exhibition

MMoCA Films Reflect Theme of New Exhibition
Something Wicked This Way Comes
MADISON, WI – The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's “Spotlight Film & Video” series will present two feature films concerned with the dark side of human nature. Charles Laughton's 1950s masterpiece The Night of the Hunter and the 2005 Cannes Film Festival Palme D'Or award-winner L'enfant [The child] provide a fascinating look at humanity's perpetual struggle with wrongdoing and transgression. 
“The films in this series complement the museum's new major exhibition, Something Wicked This Way Comes,” explained series curator Gregg Perkins. “The Night of the Hunter was chosen for its overarching theme of wickedness, and similarly, L'enfant was chosen for its depiction of a wicked act, and a search for redemption thereafter.” Perkins is an artist, writer, and assistant professor of film studies at the University of Tampa, Florida. 
Friday, February 6  •   7 pm
The Night of the Hunter
Charles Laughton, director  •   United States  •   1955  •   35mm  •   93 minutes
Described as “a weird, manic fantasy in which evil confronts the power of innocence,” The Night of the Hunter stars Robert Mitchum in an unforgettable role as a psychopathic preacher in relentless pursuit of two children who have their dead father's stolen fortune hidden in a doll. Set in rural West Virginia during the Great Depression, the film follows the devious trail of Preacher Harry Powell, a murderous, self-proclaimed “man of the cloth” who believes he is doing the Lord's work by marrying and killing widowed women. Upon learning of the stolen fortune, Powell entraps the children's mother in marriage and manipulates and terrorizes them in an effort to find the money. Though their mother is doomed, the children emerge from danger through their courage and the nurturing protection of an elderly woman.
Friday, March 6  •   7 pm
L'enfant [The child]
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, directors  •   Belgium  •   2005  •   35mm  •   95 minutes
Dispossessed twenty-year-old Bruno (Jérémie Renier) lives with his eighteen-year-old girlfriend Sonia (Déborah François) in Seraing, an eastern Belgian steel town. They live off Sonia's unemployment benefits and the panhandling and petty theft committed by Bruno and his gang. Their lives change forever when Sonia gives birth to their child, Jimmy. She returns home after Jimmy's birth to find that Bruno has sublet their apartment to total strangers. After an initial and promising change of heart about becoming a father and changing his ways, Jimmy becomes little more to Bruno than a new source of wealth. Desperate for money and unable to face his parental responsibilities, Bruno sells Jimmy to a black market connection, who promises to find the child an adoptive home. Realizing the error in his actions Bruno sets out to try and undo his callous deed, leading him to a powerful personal transformation.
Films in the Spotlight series are shown in the lecture hall of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Screenings are free for MMoCA members and $5 per screening for the general public. For additional information about the museum's film and video programs, visit and click on Events/Film at MMoCA.
The winter Spotlight series has been generously funded by Theodora Zehner.

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