Film Comment’s festival of movies returns in a new extended format in 2020, shining a spotlight on a selection of titles, new and old, curated by the magazine’s editors in special events throughout the year. In the first event of the new decade, join us for a pair of differently mesmerizing films that envision hypervivid worlds of experience on screen.

Acknowledgments
Arthouse Hotel

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Over the Rainbow
6:30pm, New York Premiere—Q&A with the director!

Jeffrey Peixoto’s mesmerizing, wholly original film enters the mindsets of people who have had experiences with Scientology. But this is no sensational exposé of secrets—instead, Over the Rainbow is a fascinating, universal reflection on what shapes our perceptions of reality. Using skillful, disarming interviews and a heady brew of sound and image, Peixoto has made a profound, productively unsettling, and extremely accomplished film. The eye-opening cast of interviewees, mulling over their unique experiences, also includes a cognitive psychologist and an archival librarian, trying to make sense of it all. As the director said of his movie in an interview with Film Comment: “It’s just interested in you, really.”

mother!
8:45pm, 35mm screening—Q&A with the director!

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and a world of chaos, Darren Aronofsky’s wild first-person vision of domestic and global apocalypse is one of the decade’s outstanding cinematic accomplishments. It all begins with odd marital quibbles in a mysteriously isolated country house, but with the arrival of strange guests—including an irresistible Michelle Pfeiffer and a haunting Ed Harris—it explodes into an exhilarating spectacle of comedic absurdity and primal emotion. All of which is realized with virtuous skill on a technical level, as Aronofsky collaborates again with cinematographer Matthew Libatique. Released in 2017 to a flurry of imaginative interpretations, mother! plunges into a bewildering end-of-days mood that feels ever more apt—and that only truly comes to life on the big screen.