Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Thursday, September 2, 2010
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 available; see website links below

MMoCA Announces Fall Spotlight Cinema

MMoCA’s Spotlight Cinema Series Features
Madison Premieres of Award-Winning Films

MADISON, WI—The fall 2010 Spotlight Cinema Series at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will feature the Madison premieres of five of the most important, entertaining, and beautiful films of 2009 and 2010. The films will be shown in the museum’s lecture hall on Thursday and Friday evenings. Organized by guest curators Tom Yoshikami and Mike King, the series includes these films:

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench 
Thursday, September 16 (7 pm) 
Included on Artforum’s list of top 10 films of 2009.

Winnebago Man 
Thursday, October 28 (7 pm) 
“The funniest documentary ever made,” according to Michael Moore.

Thursday, November 11 (7 pm) 
“A nearly hypnotic immersion in the brilliantly aqua, impossibly tranquil Caribbean.” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice)

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 
Thursday, December 2 (7 pm) 
Winner of the 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or. 

Women Without Men 
Friday, December 10 (7 pm) 
A film by acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat described by Filmmaker Magazine as a “poignant, moving marriage of politics and art.”

Curators’ notes, as well as links to film websites and online trailers, follow this press release.

Films in the Spotlight Cinema series are free for MMoCA members and $7 per screening (or $25 for the series) for the general public.

Spotlight Cinema is supported in part by generous donations from Venture Investors LLC and the Maia Foundation.

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Curators’ Notes
Fall 2010 Spotlight Cinema Series

Thursday, September 16, 7:00 p.m.
Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench 
2009. USA, 82 min., digital
Dir.: Damien Chazelle. Cast: Jason Palmer, Desiree Garcia, Sandha Khin

Hailed by Variety as, “A magical amalgam of Jean-Luc Godard, Miles Davis, Morris Engel, and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” Damien Chazelle’s critically acclaimed debut is a playful yet melancholy musical about the often uneasy but always beautiful relationship between music and love. The film follows Guy, a young jazz trumpeter played by Jason Palmer (recently named by Down Beat Magazine as one of the top 25 “trumpeters for the future), as he drifts from affair to affair. “An ingenious, enchanting hybrid of an old-fashioned Hollywood-style musical and a vérité cityscape, the film was shot in 16mm black-and-white on a shoestring budget that was stretched to accommodate the orchestral arrangements of Justin Hurwitz’s lilting tunes and swingy score” (Amy Taubin, Film Comment). Named by Artforum as one of the top 10 films of the year, the film will kick off our Fall Spotlight series two months before its theatrical premiere in New York!

Official Site:

Thursday, October 28, 7:00 p.m.
Winnebago Man 
2009, USA, 85 min., digital
Dir.: Ben Steinbauer. Cast: Jack Rebney, Ben Steinbauer

“The funniest documentary ever made,” according to Michael Moore, Winnebago Man follows Jack Rebney, an RV salesman whose hilarious, foul-mouthed outbursts circulated underground on VHS tapes in the ‘90s before turning into a full-blown Internet phenomenon, seen by more than 20 million people worldwide. Documentarian Ben Steinbauer goes in search of Rebney, and finds him living alone on a mountaintop, unaware of his fame. “An intriguing meditation on character, celebrity, and the filmmaking process itself” (The New Yorker), the film will surely leave you with the same reaction as Roger Ebert: “Holy sh*t, is this a f**king funny documentary.”

Official Site:

Thursday, November 11, 7:00 p.m.
Alamar (To the Sea)
2009, Mexico, 73 min. 35mm
Dir.: Pedro Gonzàlez-Rubio. Cast: Jorge Machado, Nathan Machado Palombini, Nestór Martin

Pedro Gonzàlez-Rubio’s sumptuously photographed second feature tells the story of Natan, a five-year-old boy who, before relocating to Rome with his mother, travels with his father to the pristine Banco Chinchorro—the richest coral reef in Mexico—where he learns to dive for lobster and fish for barracuda. A graceful mediation on the relationship between humans and their environment, Alamar is a “luminous semi-documentary film that plays on the border of reality and fiction, (and portrays the) tender, ritualistic passing of knowledge, experience and love from one generation to the next” (Stephen Holden, New York Times). “A nearly hypnotic immersion in the brilliantly aqua, impossibly tranquil Caribbean—a Paradise Regained not just for Natan but for everyone” (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice). Winner of the Rotterdam International Film Festival’s Tiger Award. In Spanish and Italian with English subtitles.

Official Site and Stills:

Thursday, December 2, 7:00 p.m.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Loong Boonmee raleuk chat)
2010, Thailand/UK/France/Germany/Spain
Dir.: Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Cast: Sakda Kaewbuadee, Jenjira Pongpas

Inspiringly enigmatic, fantastically sublime, and gently comic, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is acclaimed director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s sixth feature and the winner of the 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or. Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave, the birthplace of his first life. Uncle Boonmee will surely top many year-end best-of lists, and may be “both [Weerasethakul’s] simplest work to date and a step forward in his ongoing project to change the way we experience movies” (Dennis Lim, Artforum). In Thai with English subtitles.

Official Site and Stills:{BFD06A96-7612-4F21-AEC0-3452C34902C4}&ProjectID={FB5491AC-0A25-4244-8DE1-9DCD012E49B3 }

Friday, December 10, 7:00
Women Without Men (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan)
2009, Germany/Austria/France, 95 min., 35mm 
Dir.: Shirin Neshat. Cast: Shabnam Toloui, Pegah Ferydoni, Arita Shahrzad

Against the tumultuous backdrop of Iran’s 1953 CIA-backed coup d’état, the destinies of four women converge in a beautiful orchard, where they find independence, solace and companionship. Acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat makes her directorial debut with this incisive and gorgeously filmed reflection on the pivotal moment in history that directly led to the Islamic revolution and the Iran we know today. “A poignant, moving marriage of politics and art” (Filmmaker Magazine). “The film surpasses even Michael Haneke’s White Ribbon in the fierce beauty and precision of its cinematography” (Stephen Holden, New York Times). In Persian with English subtitles.

Official Site:

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