Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Friday, October 2, 2015
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Spotlight Program Shines Light on New Films

Spotlight Program Shines Light on New Films

MMoCA Program Premieres Award-Winning Films in Madison

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Spotlight Cinema series returns this fall with the Madison premieres of eight critically acclaimed and award-winning narrative features and documentaries from around the world. Kicking off the series this week with the hypnotic film Eden by Mia Hansen-Løve, Spotlight continues to hold an important position in bringing artful, compelling film to Madison audiences.

Screening every Wednesday night from September 30 through November 18, the series highlights include new works by legendary directors Hou Hsiao-hsien (The Assassin), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Cemetery of Splendor), and Jafar Panahi (Jafar Panahi’s Taxi), as well as timely documentaries on police militarization (Peace Officer) and the FBI’s domestic counterterrorism measures ((T)ERROR).

Spotlight Cinema is curated by Mike King and Tom Yoshikami, and is a program of MMoCA’s education department. Visit for the complete schedule and program information.

Funding for the series has been provided by maiahaus, Venture Investors, LLC, and an anonymous donor; with additional media support from Footlights and Yelp Madison. Ticket sales begin at 6:30 p.m. in the museum lobby; films screen at 7:00 p.m. in the lecture hall. Admission is free for MMoCA members and $7 per screening for the general public. 


UPCOMING FILM DETAILS                               

Wednesday, October 7 ·  7 pm              

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (2015, Iran, 82 min., Digital)

Director: Jafar Panahi(uncredited)  Cast: Jafar Panahi(uncredited) 

Under house arrest for creating anti-Islamic propaganda, banned Iranian director Jafar Panahi (This is Not a Film) cleverly sets Taxi almost entirely within the confines of a taxicab, in which, posing as a cabbie, he drives around Tehran. Presented almost in real-time over the course of one afternoon, Panahi picks up a variety of passengers whose differing world views and relationships to each other and to himself present a humanizing yet provocative portrait of modern Iranian society. In Farsi with English subtitles.


Wednesday, October 14 ·  7 pm            

Peace Officer(2015, USA, 109 min., Digital)

Directors: Scott Christopherson, Brad Barber

Described by Indiewire as “half Thin Blue Line-style crime procedural, half political study about the militarization and overreach of police,” Peace Officer follows the work of Dub Lawrence, a former county sheriff who established and trained Utah’s first SWAT team in the 1970s, only to witness that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Using his keen investigative skills that served him well as a cop, Lawrence takes on investigating several other officer-involved shootings in his community, and starts asking questions that he himself would have bristled at years before.


Wednesday, October 21 ·  7 pm                        

Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey (Fidelio, l'odyssée d'Alice)(2014, France, 97 min., Digital)

Directors: Lucie Borleteau  Cast: Ariane Labed, Melvil Poupaud, Anders Danielsen Lie, Pascal Tagnati, Jean-Louis Coulloc’h

"Easily the most fascinating film to come along and challenge traditional gender roles in the past year" (Variety), Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey is the emotionally complex and provocative directorial debut of Lucie Borleteau. The film follows Alice, who, on the cusp of turning 30, leaves her fiancé ashore to join the crew of an old cargo ship as an engineer. Once on board, she discovers that she is replacing a man who has just died under mysterious circumstances and that her first great love happens to be the ship’s captain. Dramatic but not melodramatic and sexually graphic but not exploitive, Fidelio deftly captures the camaraderie and loneliness of life at sea. In French, English, Norwegian, Romanian, and Tagalog with English subtitles.


Wednesday, October 28 ·  7 pm                       

The Assassin (Nie Yinniang)(2015, Taiwan, 105 min., Digital)

Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien  Cast: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Zhou Yun, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Juan Ching-tian

Set during the decline of the Tang Dynasty, The Assassin tells the story of Nie Yinniang, a 10-year-old daughter of an Army general, who is abducted by a nun and trained in marital arts to be an expert assassin of corrupt local politicians. After failing to complete a mission, she’s sent as punishment back to her hometown with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised, a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China. In Mandarin with English subtitles.


Wednesday, November 4 ·  7 pm          

(T)ERROR(2014, USA, 93 min., Digital)

Directors: Lyric R. Cabral, David Felix Sutcliffe

At turns an edge-of-your-seat political thriller and a humanizing portrait of two men swept up in the FBI’s domestic counterterrorism efforts, first-time filmmakers Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)ERROR is a mesmerizing and powerful documentary on the modern surveillance state.


Wednesday, November 11 ·  7 pm                    

The Wonders (Le meraviglie)(2014, Italy/Switzerland/Germany, 110 min., Digital)

Director: Alice Rohrwacher  Cast:Alba Rohrwacher, Maria Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck, Sabine Timoteo, Agnese Graziani

The Wonders revolves around the efforts of a father and his eldest daughter to confront the struggles of their family beekeeping operation: the former by taking on a troubled teenage boy as a farmhand, and the latter by entering the family into a reality-TV competition showcasing ancient Etruscan culture. But both the farmhand and the TV show (featuring a fantastically dressed-up Monica Bellucci) threaten to disrupt the already tenuous family dynamic. In Italian and German with English subtitles.


Wednesday, November 18 ·  7 pm                    

Cemetery of Splendor (Rak ti Khon Kaen)(2015, Thailand, 122 min., Digital)

Director: Apichatpong WeerasethakulCast:Banlop Lomnoi, Jenjira Pongpas, Jarinpattra Rueangram 

One of the most exciting and imaginative directors working today, Apichatpong Weerasethakul returns to Spotlight with Cemetery of Splendor, a beguiling and poetic meditation on historical memory and the battles we fight during sleep. The enigmatic plot ostensibly centers on a hospital full of soldiers who have contracted a mysterious sleeping sickness and are said suffer from troubling dreams, in which they fight battles of their country’s past, and the treatment they receive from a kindly volunteer and a clairvoyant, who uses her psychic powers to communicate with the dreaming men. In Thai with English subtitles.



Hours at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art are Tuesday–Thursday (noon–5 pm); Friday (noon–8 pm); Saturday (10 am–8 pm); and Sunday (noon–5 pm). The museum is closed on Mondays. 

Admission to exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is free of charge. MMoCA is supported through memberships and through generous contributions and grants from individuals, corporations, agencies, and foundations. Important support is also generated through auxiliary group programs; special events; rental of the museum’s lobby, lecture hall, and rooftop garden; and sales through the Museum Store.


# # #