We are pleased to announce our spring repertory and festival programs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which include the first complete U.S. retrospective of the work of Czech animation master Jiří Trnka, series dedicated to Luchino Visconti and Lucrecia Martel, plus our annual festivals Art of the Real, the New York African Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and the New York Asian Film Festival. More details and series dates are listed below.
Few contemporary directors have left a more indelible mark on world cinema than Lucrecia Martel, whose small but rich body of work has gained worldwide recognition since her debut feature, La Ciénaga, in 2001. Born in Salta—a culturally conservative region of northwestern Argentina—Martel studied film in Buenos Aires during one of the country’s worst economic crises, and eventually lent her worldview and sense of place to intimate, elliptical dramas that broke from the aesthetic and ideological tendencies of the prevailing national film scene. A singular artist, Martel combines a formal mastery—particularly through her attention to sound design—with a sensibility entirely her own, defined by atmosphere, mystery, and caustic humor alongside provocative critiques of class and patriarchy in Argentine society. To coincide with the U.S. release of her long-anticipated fourth feature, Zama, the Film Society revisits the work of one of cinema’s truly brilliant minds. Also showing: Free screenings of Manuel Abramovich’s Light Years, a documentary portrait of Martel during the making of Zama on April 14 and 15 in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater.
The Puppet Master: The Complete Jiří Trnka
The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Comeback Company are pleased to present the U.S.’s first complete retrospective of the works of Czech animation master Jiří Trnka (1912-1969). With 20 short and six feature-length animated films, Trnka was rivaled only by Walt Disney Studios in output. Revered as the pioneer of a remarkable new genre of animation that utilized puppets, Trnka conveyed the drama and psychology of his characters through his figures’ body language, expressive lighting, and camera movement. A prolific artist, beloved book illustrator, and author before making his first movie, Trnka had enormous impact on the development of animation in his country, and he inspired the careers of an entire generation of filmmakers around the globe. This essential series includes two new digital restorations and 11 newly translated works directed by Trnka, as well as a two-program sidebar dedicated to Jiří Brdečka, a screenwriter and animation director whose close friendship with Trnka occasioned a number of short- and feature-film collaborations.
Art of the Real
April 26–May 6
The usual movie categories don’t apply here. Celebrating its fifth year, the Art of the Real festival offers a survey of the most vital and innovative voices in nonfiction and hybrid filmmaking. Past editions have featured titles from Mati Diop, Agnès Varda, Derek Jarman, Corneliu Porumboiu, Robert Greene, Thom Andersen, Harun Farocki, Jem Cohen, Robinson Devor, Michael Glawogger, Theo Anthony, and Nicolás Pereda; this year’s slate promises a host of works from new filmmakers as well as exciting artist spotlights. Art of the Real is documentary redefined. Presented with support from MUBI.
New York African Film Festival
The New York African Film Festival celebrates its milestone 25th edition. Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the African Film Festival, Inc., the 2018 festival will feature new and classic African cinema, with a special focus on intergenerational discourse, featuring works by women and younger generations of African and diaspora artists. This year, the festival will also feature films that celebrate the centennial of Nelson Mandela. As in previous years, the festival program will include screenings and discussions with filmmakers and artists, panels, an art exhibit, and ancillary events at locations around the city.
Open Roads: New Italian Cinema
May 31 – June 6
Open Roads: New Italian Cinema is the only screening series to offer North American audiences a diverse and extensive lineup of contemporary Italian films. Co-presented by FSLC and Istituto Luce Cinecittà, this year’s 18th edition again strikes a balance between emerging talents and esteemed veterans, commercial and independent fare, outrageous comedies, gripping dramas, and captivating documentaries, with in-person appearances by many of the filmmakers.
Italian nobility, a member of the Italian Communist Party during World War II, openly gay and staunchly Catholic, Luchino Visconti inhabited a complicated, at times paradoxical, role in Italian cinema culture. A leader in the neorealism movement who also worked with international stars like Burt Lancaster, Helmut Berger, Alain Delon, and Dirk Bogarde, Visconti produced an oeuvre of modest and humane dramas as well as decadent, sprawling historical spectacles. Deftly aware of the subtle and rich means of cinematic expression, he imposed the narrative customs of opera and the novel onto film, yet remained sharply attuned to the social and political climates of the 20th century. This June, the Film Society, in collaboration with Istituto Luce Cinecittà, is pleased to present a complete retrospective of Visconti’s feature films, including many restorations.
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, and its annual film festival is a vital forum for movies that tackle important global issues. Showcasing an international selection of acclaimed works that bring human rights struggles to life through storytelling, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival presents challenging, provocative art that calls for justice and social change. Selections in recent years have included some of the most urgent documentary and fiction films of our time (including The Act of Killing, Born Into Brothels, Dheepan, Incendies, The Invisible War, Iraq in Fragments, The Oath, and Restrepo), and this year promises to again feature essential and entertaining films everyone will be talking about.
New York Asian Film Festival
June 29–July 15
The seventeenth edition of the New York Asian Film Festival is nearly upon us. This annual survey of essential—and often wild—films is New York’s most exhaustive selection of titles from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries across Southeast Asia. Programmed and operated by Subway Cinema, NYAFF features contemporary premieres and classic titles, plus a host of in-person appearances and Q&As with up-and-coming and established stars and auteurs.