Thursday, January 7, 2016

Get Your New Year's Cinephilia on with MoMI's First Look 2016

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Starting this Friday and running for three consecutive weekends (1/8-1/24), in their beautiful state of the art theater in Queens, Astoria, the Museum of Moving Image's First Look Film Festival is fast becoming a new New York institution for many film aficionados. Selecting its roster from cinema's most cutting edge filmmakers, the 5th edition of First Look opens with the US premiere of Alexandr Sokurov's new film Francofonia.

Switching gears a bit this year with guest programmers such as Jean-Pierre Rehm of FIDMarseille, and Aliza Ma of Metrograph and Mónica Savirón, along with chief curator David Schwartz, this year's eclectic roster is heavy on the experimental/avant-garde/documentary.

It includes renowned experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs' new films in 3D, Canadian video artist Dominic Gagnon's youtube culled Inuit epic Of the North, artist Margaret Honda's 70mm silent film Spectrum Reverse Spectrum, short films of Austrian visual artist Björn Kämmerer and Philippe Grandrieux's new film, Meurtrière (his continued exploration of bodies which started with White Epilepsy).

Then there are behind-the-scenes documentaries from Léa Rinaldi (This is What It Is- about Los Aldeanos, the most popular hip-hop group in Cuba, Traveling at Night with Jim Jarmusch and Behind Jim Jarmusch), a documentary on João Bérnard da Costa, a director of the Portuguese Film Museum in conjunction with Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar.

Here is how chief curator David Schwartz describes this year's edition in the press release:

This year's edition is a true cinephile's feast, filled with works that reflect on the medium itself, that urge us to reconsider our intimate connection to the ways that we experience cinema. as always, the films in First Look cannot be easily defined. They are artisan works, expressing distinct personal visions, with a strong emphasis this year on avant-garde cinema. To engage in the new possibilties of an art form is also to engage with the past, and this edition of First Look contains an ongoing dialogue with film history, with a selection of older works in dialogue withthe many premieres.

Twitch's own Christopher Bourne will be reporting on some of these selections in a short while, so keep a look out.

First Run Film Festival 2016 runs 1/8 to 1/24 at Museum of Moving Image. Please visit MoMI website for further information and showtimes.

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