By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER announces creation of new annual documentary-as-art showcase ART OF THE REAL


Opening Night  will be Raya Martin and Mark Peranson’s LA
ÚLTIMA PELICULA with Robert Greene’s ACTRESS selected for Closing Night

 New York, NY (February 6, 2014) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today plans to present Art of the Real, a new documentary-as-art  series to take place April 11-26. Formerly a monthly series highlighting independent documentary at the Film Society, Art of the Real is being relaunched as an annual nonfiction showcase founded on the most expansive possible view of documentary film. The complete lineup will be announced next month.

“Despite its growing popularity, the documentary as we have come to know it, especially in the United States, too often emphasizes content over form, information over aesthetics,” said Dennis Lim, the Film Society’s Director of Programming. “We think of Art of the Real as a necessary showcase for some of the most daring and unclassifiable work in contemporary film as well as a call for the documentary to be re-considered as art.”

The inaugural edition of Art of the Real will feature new work from around the world alongside retrospective selections by both known and unjustly forgotten filmmakers. In keeping with the emergence of documentary as a primary mode of art making, it also includes work that has typically played out in galleries and art-world contexts rather than in cinemas, or that has forged connections between both worlds.

The documentary tradition ranges far and wide: from Dziga Vertov’s kino-eyes and Robert Flaherty’s ethnographic portraits to Chantal Akerman’s globe-trotting reveries and Werner Herzog’s ecstatic truths, taking in essay films and travel diaries, fiction hybrids and genre-defying whatsits, autobiography and agitprop. Art of the Real will be a platform for filmmakers and artists who have given us a wider view of nonfiction cinema and at the same time brought the form full circle, back to its early, boundary-pushing days.

Raya Martin and Mark Peranson’s LA ÚLTIMA PELICULA, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last fall, will be the opening film for the 2014 Art of the Real. This documentary within a narrative—and vice versa—about a grandiose filmmaker (Alex Ross Perry, THE COLOR WHEEL) scouting locations in Mexico on the eve of the Mayan Apocalypse—engages with the impending death of celluloid through a veritable cyclone of film and video formats, genres, modes, and methods. Peranson and Perry are both slated to attend.

The closing film, Robert Greene’s ACTRESS, which will have its World Premiere at the upcoming True/False Film Festival is a documentary that feels like intimate melodrama. Brandy Burre had a recurring role on HBO’s The Wire when she gave it up to start a family. Greene’s riveting film follows her bumpy return to work, though it’s never clear at what level this film may simply be the next role. Greene and Burre will attend the screening.

Additional highlights include a retrospective of film and audio works from the Sensory Ethnography Lab (SWEETGRASS, MANAKAMANA), with a carte blanche selection of films that have inspired SEL makers, including work by Jean Rouch and Jana Ševčíková. Presented in collaboration with the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

The series will also feature many in-person appearances. Rachel Kushner, author of the acclaimed, best-selling novel The Flamethrowers, will introduce a rare screening of Antonio Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli’s landmark 1975 documentary ANNA. Artists Amie Siegel and Nicolas Provost will participate in special screening and discussion programs. Visual artist Carolee Schneeman will introduce a screening of Derek Jarman’s BLUE, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Jarman’s death.

A regular of the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde, James Benning will present the world premieres of three new digital works. Thom Andersen will present new restorations of his seminal works RED HOLLYWOOD and EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE, ZOOPRAXOGRAPHER. Other featured filmmakers and artists include Eric Baudelaire, Alain Cavalier, Raymond Depardon, Mati Diop, Harun Farocki, Jane Gillooly, Philipp Hartmann, Narimane Mari, Jesse McLean, Corneliu Porumboiu, Davi Pretto, Paulo Rocha, Tan Pin Pin, and John Torres.

The Art of the Real is programmed by Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming, and Rachael Rakes, independent curator. The series is supported in part by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, New York, and German Films, Munich. Special thanks to Institut Français, Paris, for the loan of their prints.

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, LatinBeat, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and Rendez-vous With French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, The Film Society recognizes an artist’s unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year round programs and the New York City film community.

 

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the Kobal Collection, Trump International Hotel and Tower, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

 

For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.

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