Spotlight Cinema Details Released
MMoCA Provides First Chance to See Acclaimed Films
MADISON, WI—The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) reveals details of Spotlight Cinema, returning this fall with the Madison premieres of eight critically-acclaimed and award-winning narrative features and documentaries from around the world. One of two films series organized by MMoCA, Spotlight Cinema reflects the museum’s commitment to contemporary art and film making.
The films will screen in the MMoCA lecture hall on Wednesday nights from October 16 through November 20, and on December 4 and 11. Highlights include a one-of-a-kind live expanded cinema performance by artist Zia Anger (My First Film), major international prizewinners including the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival (Synonyms), Best Documentary at the Cannes and SXSW Film Festivals (For Sama), and the “Best Gay Film of the Year” per Indiewire (End of the Century). Ticket sales begin at 6:30 pm in the museum lobby; films screen at 7 pm in the lecture hall. Admission is free for MMoCA members and $7 per screening for the general public.
Spotlight Cinema is curated by Mike King and is a program of MMoCA’s education department. Funding for the series has been provided by maiahaus, Venture Investors, LLC, and an anonymous donor.
|At-A-Glance Screening Schedule||Film Details|
|OCTOBER 16, 2019 • 7 PM|
End of the Century (2019, Argentina, 84 min., Digital)
Dir: Lucio Castro
Cast: Juan Barberini, Ramón Pujol
|An alluring art-house romance set in sun-soaked Barcelona, End of the Century begins with a seemingly casual hookup. What seemed a quick tryst unexpectedly spirals backwards and forwards into a decades-spanning relationship with no clear beginning or end. Lucio Castro’s open-ended meditation on missed connections and lives shared plays like a mindexpanding riff on the Before Sunrise series. In Spanish with English subtitles.|
“The best gay film of the year. Like a great poem, End of the Century gives voice to a seemingly indescribable feeling, one anyone who’s ever fallen in love will recognize from deep in their soul.” – Indiewire
|OCTOBER 23, 2019 • 7 PM|
My First Film (2019, USA, 75 min., Digital)
Dir: Zia Anger Filmmaker in person!
|My First Film is a feature-length multimedia performance in which filmmaker Zia Anger interacts with media on screen and the audience using real-time text, spontaneous Google searches, audience directives and AirDrops. Through the performance, Anger probes and dissects her “abandoned” works to re-imagine the relationship between the audience, the filmmaker, the movie theater and cinema and erases the line between a filmmaker’s corporeal body and their body of work. A vital, singular, innovative work that explores what it means to be a woman and an artist, the project showcases Anger’s sensibilities and pushes the boundaries of cinematic experience.|
“Vastly imaginative… the entirety of Anger’s performance of My First Film is a deeply moving and distinctive creation in itself. An extraordinary movie event.” – The New Yorker
“A reclamation of a ‘failed’ work and a rebuke of the independent film industry’s standards for success, My First Film plies the formal limits of a theatrical experience.” – Filmmaker Magazine
“A cathartic collective experiment in what it might mean to challenge failure, recalibrate it, and reclaim it anew.” – Sight & Sound
|OCTOBER 30, 2019 • 7 PM|
In My Room (2018, Germany, 119 min., Digital)
Dir: Ulrich Köhler
Cast: Hans Löw, Elena Radonicich
|Ulrich Köhler’s In My Room is an exploration of fate, freedom, and selfdiscovery. Armin may be approaching middle age, but his life has been stalled for decades. All his problems are wiped away when he wakes up one day to find that all of humanity has inexplicably vanished. Apparently the last man on Earth, this schlubby slacker has no option but to transform into a rugged survivalist, begging the question: could the apocalypse be Armin’s second chance at life? In German with English subtitles.|
“Horrifying, hilarious, and deeply humane.” – Sight & Sound
“Critic’s Choice! Wondrously wry… a mysterious and surprising movie about the frustration of the unseen and the poignancy of paths not taken.” – Los Angeles Times
|NOVEMBER 6, 2019 • 7 PM|
For Sama (2019, UK, 94 min., Digital)
Dir: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
|Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 2019 Cannes, SXSW, and numerous other film festivals, For Sama is an essential first-person account of life in a war zone. Taking the form of a letter to her infant daughter, Syrian journalist Waad al-Kateab captures her life in Aleppo in all its contradictions— experiencing the joy of falling in love and raising a daughter while bombs explode around her young family and the hospital run by her husband. In Arabic with English subtitles.|
“One of the most important films you will ever see in your life.” – Film Threat
|NOVEMBER 13, 2019 • 7 PM|
Synonyms (2019, France/Israel/Germany, 123 min., Digital)
Dir: Nadav Lapid
Cast: Tom Mercier, Quentin Dolmaire, Louise Chevillotte
|Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and already appearing on Best of the Decade lists, here is an immigrant tale like no other. A young Israeli man arrives empty-handed in Paris, eager to erase his former identity. With a pocket dictionary as his constant companion, he vows to speak only French. Based on director Nadav Lapid’s personal experiences, Synonyms is an exhilarating reckoning with nationalism and personal history. In French and Hebrew with English subtitles.|
“A bonafide masterpiece. Destined to go down as one of the most thrilling, infuriating, and essential movies of 2019.” – Indiewire
|NOVEMBER 20, 2019 • 7 PM|
The Image You Missed (2018, Ireland/USA/France, 73 min., Digital)
Dir: Dónal Foreman
|The Image You Missed, Dónal Foreman’s very personal essay film, probes the Northern Ireland’s “The Troubles” through the work of his estranged documentarian father. Foreman repurposes his father’s footage to explore how charged political movements and moments can shape our personal lives in unexpected ways, with ramifications for years to come.|
“Exquisite and profoundly moving. How to reconcile the personal and the political, how we connect (or fail to) with images and with each other through images lie at the heart of this absolute must-see, one of the most charged and beautifully weighted essay films of recent times.” – Sight & Sound
|DECEMBER 4, 2019 • 7 PM|
I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians (2018, Romania/Germany/ Bulgaria/France/Czech Republic, 140 min., Digital)
Dir: Radu Jude
Cast: Ioana Iacob, Alexandru Dabija, Alex Bogdan
|When a nervy young theater director is commissioned to stage a public performance about Romanian history, she subverts the project by making it about one of her country’s darkest chapters. Crowned Best Film at the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film Festival, I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians is a fiercely intelligent satire that recaptures the incisive and entertaining spirit of 1960s-era Godard. In Romanian with English subtitles.|
“The unapologetic intelligence, compassion, and sublime artistry of Radu Jude works beautifully to awaken us to our better selves… an act of supreme resistance against the barbarism of our time.” – Cine-File
|DECEMBER 11, 2019 • 7 PM|
Jinpa (2018, China, 86 min., Digital)
Dir: Pema Tseden
Cast: Jinpa, Genden Phuntsok, Sonam Wangmo
|A mystical road movie from Tibet’s leading filmmaker, Jinpa unfolds across the Kekexili Plateau, the highest plain in the world. Two men, both named Jinpa, meet in these remote hinterlands; one is a long-haul truck driver, the other is a hitchhiker nearing the end of a decade-long revenge quest. Produced by Wong Kar-wai (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love). Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival. In Tibetan with English subtitles.|
“A fable, a Tibetan road movie, and a tribute to classic Westerns all at once. Jinpa’s ferocious, visionary power is onscreen for all to see.” – Cinema Scope
Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli-designed building, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art provides free exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The museum’s four galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The museum is open: Tuesday through Thursday, noon–5pm; Friday, noon–8 pm; Saturday, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, noon–5 pm; and is closed on Mondays.
Still image from Lucio Castro’s End of the Century (2019).
Still image from Zia Anger’s My First Film (2019).
Still image from Ulrich Köhler’s In My Room (2019).
Still image from Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts For Sama (2019).
Still image from Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms (2019).
Still image from Dónal Foreman’s The Image You Missed (2018).
Still image from Radu Jude’s I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians (2018).
Still image from Pema Tseden’s Jinpa (2018).