In Focus: IFC Entertainment June 15–24, 2011
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters In the past decade, the death of international auteurist cinema has been proclaimed at regular intervals by the press and paranoid cineastes. Through the hype and hysteria, IFC Entertainment (a constellation of brands dedicated to the acquisition, distribution, and multi-platform presentation of these supposedly imperiled films) has thrived. Navigating a shifting theatrical landscape, tackling the new digital delivery conundrum as well as helping to revitalize the art-house tradition, IFC has championed the work of truly visionary filmmakers. From highly respected directors such as Gus Van Sant, Alfonso Cuaron, Abbas Kiarostami, Steven Soderbergh, Olivier Assayas, Michael Winterbottom, Arnaud Desplechin, Werner Herzog and Claire Denis to brilliant new-comers like Steve McQueen, Christian Mungiu, Mia Hansen-Love, Matteo Garrone, Miranda July and Lena Dunham, their catalog reads like a document of the best of the past decade. Their vision extends into the future as well, having donated many of the influential films to MoMA. The series features ten works in ten days celebrating ten years of the IFC catalog. A special sneak preview will close the series, shining light on the future.
Organized by Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.
In Focus: IFC Entertainment
June 15-24, 2011
Wednesday, June 15
4:30 Touching the Void. 2003. Great Britain/USA. Directed by Kevin Macdonald. Based on the book by Joe Simpson. With Simpson, Brendan Mackey, Simon Yates, Nicholas Aaron. As much a white-knuckle thriller as a moving document of an ill-fated attempt to scale and descend Siula Grande in the Andes. Experienced climbers Simpson and Yates recount their harrowing journey with visceral reenactments of their adventure-turned-nightmare. 107 min.
8:00 Y tu mamá también. 2001. Mexico. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón. With Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Diana Bracho. The Cuarón brothers’ instant classic represents a high point of the exuberant wave of films and filmmakers from Mexico in the 1990s and early 2000s. The story follows two privileged boyhood friends (Bernal and Luna in international star-making performances) on an allegorical journey to manhood—helped along by a sexy and wise older woman (Verdú). In Spanish; English subtitles. 105 min.
Thursday, June 16
4:00 The Wind That Shakes the Barley. 2006. Ireland/Great Britain/Germany/Italy/Spain. Directed by Ken Loach. Screenplay by Paul Laverty.
With Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham. In 1920s Ireland, two brothers join the fight against British rule during the Irish War of Independence. While the uprising is successful, the terms of surrender set them on opposite sides of the civil war that follows. Loach’s class-conscious historical drama proved controversial in his native England, but it claimed the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was a box-office phenomenon in Ireland. 127 min.
6:30 Touching the Void (See Wednesday, June 15, 4:30).
8:45 Me and You and Everyone We Know. 2005. USA. Written, directed by, and starring Miranda July. Richard and Christine meet in a department store; she is fascinated by him, but he is in the process of a divorce and won’t do anything that could jeopardize custody of his kids. July, a performance artist, has created a quirky yet satisfying feature debut that embraces the search for love as a lifelong pursuit. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. 91 min.
Friday, June 17
4:30 Y tu mamá también (See Wednesday, June 15, 8:00).
8:00 4 luni, 3 saptamini si 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days). 2007. Romania. Written and directed by Cristian Mungiu. With Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov, Alex Potocean. “Set two years before the bloody downfall of the Ceausescu regime, Mungiu’s brilliant, suspenseful exemplar of the new Romanian cinema tracks the ordeal, by turns harrowing and surreal, of a college student’s efforts to negotiate her best friend’s black-market abortion and that of the abortion itself. Graced by superb performances and quietly stunning camera work, Mungiu’s portrait of female friendship and oppression becomes a window on a corrupt, brutalized society approaching total collapse” (Karen Durbin, Elle). NYFCC Best Foreign Film, 2008 In Romanian; English subtitles. 113 min.
Saturday, June 18
2:00 4 luni, 3 saptamini si 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days) (See Friday, June 17, 8:00).
8:00 In the Loop. 2009. Great Britain. Directed by Armando Iannucci. Screenplay by Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche. With Peter Capaldi, Tom Hallander, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini. It has taken ten years for the new millennium to produce a contemporary screwball comedy. With In the Loop, we finally have one, but now sex is complicated by military hardware. Literate, foul-mouthed, and paced like a heat-seeking missile, In the Loop is connected to the real world more authentically than any “reality show” on television. A British minister’s public statement is misunderstood, Washington replies (sort of), and the entire Western world blithely heads for bedroom, boardroom, and disaster. Courtesy IFC Films. 105 min.
Sunday, June 19
2:30 Che (Part 1). 2008. Spain/France. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Screenplay by Peter Buchman. With Benicio Del Toro, Demian Bichir, Santiago Cabrera, Elvira Minguez. Acclaimed director Soderbergh demonstrates his incomparably assured hand at long-form storytelling with this investigation of the battlefront career of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Del Toro won the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of the iconic revolutionary at war first in Cuba and then in Bolivia. The luminous digital format enhances the film’s cinéma vérité style. Part 1: 129 min. (Presented in two parts. 258 min).
5:30 Che (Part 2). 129 min (See Sunday, June 19 (Part 1), 2:30).
Monday, June 20
4:00 In the Loop (See Saturday, June 18, 8:00).
6:30 Paranoid Park. 2008. USA. Directed by Gus Van Sant. Screenplay by Van Sant, based on the novel by Blake Nelson. With Gabe Nevins, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller, Dan Liu. A stunning example of Van Sant’s languid visual virtuosity, Paranoid Park was awarded the 60th Anniversary Special Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Cast from an open call on MySpace, the film is as much an ode to skateboarding culture in Portland, Oregon, as it is a masterful literary adaptation. 84 min.
8:30 Me and You and Everyone We Know (See Thursday, June 16, 8:45).
Wednesday, June 22
8:00 Tillsammans (Together). 2000. Sweden/Denmark/Italy. Written and directed by Lukas Moodysson. With Lisa Lindgren, Mikael Nyqvist, Gustaf Hammarsten, Anja Lundqvist. Moodysson expands his cinematic repertory of keen social observation with this bitingly funny indictment of the “everything-goes” Scandinavian commune culture of the 1970s. Sex, love, relationships, and responsibility are all called into question, and brought to resolution, to the beat of ABBA. In Swedish; English subtitles. 106 min.
Thursday, June 23
4:00 Paranoid Park (See Monday, June 20, 6:30).
6:30 Tillsammans (Together) (See Wednesday, June 22, 8:00).
8:45 Daremo Shiranai (Nobody Knows). 2004. Japan. Written and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. With Yuya Yagira, Kimura Hiei, Kitaura Ayu, Momoko Shimizu. This heartbreaking tale of abandonment and loyalty is based on the true story of four siblings, aged 14 to 2 years old, left alone by their mother in a small Tokyo apartment. The eldest brother’s (Cannes Best Actor–winner Yagira) tragic failure to fend for his younger siblings would seem to overshadow his valiant attempts to provide for the family, but the film retains a sense of innocence and admiration for the children’s determination. In Japanese; English subtitles. 140 min.
Friday, June 24
4:30 Daremo Shiranai (Nobody Knows) (See Thursday, June 23, 8:45).
8:00 Tabloid. 2010. USA. A film by Errol Morris. Academy Award-winner Errol Morris’ Tabloid follows the much stranger-than-fiction adventures of Joyce McKinney, a former ‘beauty queen’ whose single-minded devotion to the man of her dreams leads her across the globe and directly onto the front pages of the British tabloid newspapers. Equal parts love story, film noir, brainy B-movie, and demented fairy tale, Tabloid is a delirious meditation on hysteria both public and personal from a filmmaker who continues to break down and blow open the documentary genre with his penetrating portraits of eccentric and profoundly complex characters. (Sundance Selects). 88 min.
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