Art on Screen

Film Festival / February 2010

Highlights of the 27th Montreal Festival of Films on Art (FIFA)

During the month of February 2010, MUSE Film and Television will launch its fourth annual New York presentation of selections from the 27th annual Montreal International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), in collaboration with three prestigious New York institutions: The Morgan Library & Museum, The New York Public Library Mid-Manhattan Branch, and a new partner this year, The Center for Architecture.

FIFA is the only North American festival devoted exclusively to all of the arts. In 2009 the FIFA presented 270 productions from 35 countries. An international jury awarded prizes to an outstanding group of films/videos, which New Yorkers will have the opportunity to view in February. With nine days of vibrant films presented across three Manhattan venues, ART ON SCREEN: FIFA IN NYC will enliven the grey days of winter.  A full screening schedule, with dates, times and locations, can be downloaded at left (PDF).

At the New York Public Library Mid-Manhattan Branch
Sundays in February

On Sundays at 2:00 PM, the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library will present films on literature, sculpture, photography, painting, and dance. Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun (Feb. 7), directed by Sam Pollard, profiles the writer who was one of the most important and controversial figures of the Harlem Renaissance. In Anthony Caro: Sculpture as Religion (Feb. 14), director Alain Fleischer follows the renowned British sculptor as he creates a monumental installation for a French gothic church. On February 21, two celebrated Canadian artists are featured: Karsh Is History, directed by Joseph Hillel, traces the career of Armenian-born photographer Yousof Karsh, whose portraits of 20th-century celebrities are known worldwide, and Colville, directed by Andreas Schultz, offers an intimate portrait of painter Alex Colville, Canada’s most famous living artist. Two dance films wrap up the month-long series on February 28: In Nora, Zimbabwean dancer and choreographer Nora Chipaumire creates a vibrant narrative poem of music, movement, and images, directed by Alla Kovgan and David Hinton; and in Light, No Light, director Ludovica Riccardi follows the creative process of choreographer Pierre Droulers as he develops a new work.

At The Morgan Library & Museum
February 17, 19-20

Preceding a weekend of screenings at the Morgan, an opening reception and screening will take place on Wednesday, February 17. The featured film will be Death in Venice: A Musical Journey with Louis Lortie, in which the Montreal-born piano virtuoso shares his passion for the city of Venice and the music and art it has inspired. Film director Mathieu Roy will introduce the film. (Limited tickets available for this special event.)

The Morgan will host a weekend of selections on art, music, and poetry, February 19 and 20. Friday evening opens with Solo, where director Maciej Pisarek takes us on a journey with one of Poland’s most important artists: composer, playwright, and author Boguslaw Schaeffer (b. 1929). Next, in Boris Ryzhy, director Aliona van der Horst investigates the tragic life of the Russian poet (1974-2001) who embodied the hidden drama of the perestroika generation.

Art takes center stage at the Morgan on Saturday, February 20, beginning with a lively look at the life and work of sculptor Alexander Calder in Calder: Sculptor of Air, directed by François Lévy-Kuentz. Then, director Tessa Boerman’s Painted Black offers a thoughtful examination of the depiction of people of African origin in Dutch and Flemish paintings from the late Middle Ages to the present. The weekend at the Morgan wraps up with Bending Space: Georges Rousse and the Durham Project, directed by Kenny Dalsheimer and Penelope Maunsell, which documents a public art project in Durham, North Carolina, where the French sculptor, painter, and photographer spent a month transforming four historical buildings into pictorial spaces with the aid of 200 volunteers. (The filmmakers are expected to attend—to be confirmed.)

At The Center for Architecture
February 26-27

On February 26 and 27, The Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets) will host a series of international productions on architecture, selected from the 2009 FIFA. On Friday afternoon, Center director Rick Bell will introduce two films about mid-century private villas that explore architect-client relations: El Cerrito, directed by Juan Andrés Bello, focuses on the Villa Planchart in Caracas, Venezuela, designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti for Armando and Anala Planchart in the 1950s; and in Villa Mairea, director Rax Rinnekangas traces the history of this famous Finnish villa designed by Alvar Aalto for Maire and Harry Gullichsen and built on the eve of World War II.

Following a reception from 5:30-6:30, the Friday evening program will feature The Oslo Opera House, designed by the firm of Snøhetta, in which director Anne Elisabeth Andersen chronicles Norway’s biggest cultural construction project from inception to its opening in 2008. Craig Dykers, co-founder of Snøhetta, will introduce the film. It will be preceded by the short, City of Cranes, by Eva Weber.

Saturday afternoon opens with a humorous and insightful look at the world of shopping malls, Malls R Us, by Canadian director Helene Klodawsky. MUSE’s ART ON SCREEN series concludes with Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner, directed by Murray Grigor, which explores the uniquely original buildings designed by the California architect. Both filmmakers are expected to attend—to be confirmed.