This week we’re excited to present two conversations, the first with programmers Madeline Whittle and Nicholas Elliott about our upcoming retrospective, Never Look Away: Serge Daney’s Radical 1970s, and the second with Kleber Mendonça Filho, director of the NYFF61 Main Slate selection Pictures of Ghosts, opening in our theaters on January 26th.
Film at Lincoln Center presents a series celebrating French film critic Serge Daney (1944–1992) and the films he championed in his book La Rampe, occasioned by its long-awaited English translation by Semiotext(e) under the title Footlights. The series runs from January 26 through February 4 and features a robust selection of works by master filmmakers, with many presented on 35mm or in digital restorations, accompanied by guest introductions. With guest introductions from translator and series co-programmer Nicholas Elliott, French filmmaker-critic Axelle Ropert, and others, this series aims not only to bear witness to the catholic taste and acute intelligence of Daney, a thinker whom Jean-Luc Godard recognized as the last in a long critical tradition started by Denis Diderot, but to bring his thought into the present and ask what it means to those working and thinking in film today.
The programmers of the retrospective, Madline Whittle and Nicholas Elliott, spoke with Digital Marketing Manager Erik Luers about how they curated the lineup and the importance of Daney’s writing and views on cinema.
The life of a true cinephile is one constantly haunted by the dead, as the history of the movies is a corridor of ghosts. Brazilian filmmaker and unrepentant cinema obsessive Kleber Mendonça Filho’s new documentary—Brazil’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards—serves as a poignant testament to the liminal state of movie love. It tells, in three chapters, the story of his cinematic world—namely the city of Recife, where his youthful film education took place. At theaters like the Veneza and the São Luiz, Mendonça discovered a popular art form that would change his life; today, with the landscape of the city altering drastically, he surveys its empty rooms now pregnant with memories. This moving and playful film, as much about the architectural and social structures of a city as about the movies that inspire and haunt us, honors the personal spaces that are also the communal lifeblood of our urban centers. An NYFF61 Main Slate selection. A Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films co-release.
The conversation was moderated by FLC Vice President of Programming Florence Almozini.