This section complements the Main Slate, tracing a more complete picture of contemporary cinema with an emphasis on new and innovative forms and voices.
NYFF60 Currents features are sponsored by:
Currents Opening Night · U.S. Premiere · Q&As with João Pedro Rodrigues on Oct. 1 & 2In transgressive queer auteur João Pedro Rodrigues’s deliriously outré “musical fantasia,” a young prince shocks his riotously wealthy royal family by becoming a volunteer fireman—both to battle climate change and, it seems, to douse his own dormant desires amidst a bevy of beefcake firefighters.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Alessandro Comodin on Oct. 12 & 13Alessandro Comodin follows his breakthrough shape-shifter Happy Times Will Come Soon with a slippery, often funny, occasionally surreal slice-of-life portrait of a good-natured, contemplative policeman in a small village in northern Italy whose boring days barely conceal a growing melancholy in the town—a world whose contours are just barely discernible.
North American PremiereThe latest from director Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama) is a sui generis work of pandemic-era interiority, tracking the anxiety and estrangement of a teenage girl (Louise Labeque, from Bonello’s Zombi Child) who appears to live alone during COVID lockdown and gradually begins to experience the dissolution of boundaries between her real and imagined zones.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Ali Cherri on Oct. 1 & 2In his debut feature, Lebanese visual artist Ali Cherri has constructed a riveting film about a bricklayer in northern Sudan that straddles the line between nonfiction naturalism and supernatural mysticism, merging ancient and contemporary worlds.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Joana Pimenta & Adirley Queirós on Oct. 9 & 10A lightning rod dispatch from contemporary—and maybe future—Brazil, this astonishing mix of documentary and speculative fiction takes place in the nearly postapocalyptic environs of the Sol Nascente favela in Brasilia, where fearsome outlaw Chitara (Joana Darc Furtado) leads an all-female gang that siphons and steals precious oil from the authoritarian government.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Helena Wittmann on Oct. 10 & 11Fascinated by the male rituals and camaraderie of a crew of French Foreign Legionnaires, Ida (Angeliki Papoulia) follows them on a journey across the Mediterranean, which director and cinematographer Helena Wittmann depicts as an enigmatic reconfiguration of space and time, connecting the past and present, body and spirit, earth and water.
North American Premiere · Q&As with Ruth Beckermann on Oct. 2 & 4In this playful yet charged project from Austrian filmmaker Ruth Beckermann (The Waldheim Waltz), a vast group of men, from teenage to nonagenarian, have volunteered to appear on camera, perched on a floral pink couch in a cavernous abandoned factory, discussing, and in some cases reading aloud from, a work of infamous erotica—a catalyst for a surprising, humorous, and nonjudgmental treatise on contemporary male sexual attitudes towards women.
U.S. Premiere · Q&As with Ashley McKenzie and Sarah Walker on Oct. 1 & 2Ashley McKenzie’s follow-up to her breakthrough addiction drama Werewolf charts the budding friendship of a suicidal teen and a volunteer immigrant hospital worker and creates an aesthetically audacious two-hander constructed of complex sonic landscapes and visual textures.
Q&As with Mika Rottenberg and Mahyad Tousi on Oct. 12 & (with Okwui Okpokwasili) Oct. 13Finding new cinematic language to express the desire for physical contact in our increasingly isolated, mediated, and highly consumer-driven environments, Mika Rottenberg and Mahyad Tousi’s Remote follows the daily routines of a quarantined woman (Okwui Okpokwasili) in her sealed-off, ultra-modern apartment, where she falls down a rabbit hole playing an inexplicable interactive game with a community of women from around the world. Screening with Bi Gan’s A Short Story.
Q&As with Elisabeth Subrin and Alain Gomis on Oct. 8 & 10Using newly discovered footage from the recording of a 1969 French television interview of the legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, French-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis has constructed a gripping behind-the-scenes documentary; a subtle yet searing exposé of casual racism; and a chance to see one of the monumental geniuses of twentieth-century music at work. Screening with Elisabeth Subrin’s Maria Schneider, 1983.
World Premiere · Q&As with Heinz Emigholz on Oct. 8 & 9Contemporary cinema’s preeminent chronicler of architectural spaces and their intersection with the ever-present crisis of 20th-century modernity, Heinz Emigholz returns with a film of quiet observation and historical excavation, focusing on creation and destruction in cities and provinces in Argentina, Germany, and Bolivia.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Abbas Fahdel on Oct. 11Filmed over two years, Tales of the Purple House is an extraordinary, expansive cinematic vision combining images of mundane observation with social and political upheaval, focusing on the experiences of Nour Balllouk, a Lebanese artist living in the house she shares with director Fahdel (her husband, who stays off-screen) in the dramatic mountainous countryside outside of Beirut.
Q&As with Gustavo Vinagre on Oct. 13 & 14A warm, bittersweet queer utopia bursts from the sidelines of Bolsonaro’s Brazil in Gustavo Vinagre’s loose-limbed comic marvel, set during a vibrant São Paulo one sunny afternoon amidst a peculiar pandemic that affects people’s short-term memory.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Daniel Eisenberg on Oct. 1Continuing a project he began in 2011, filmmaker Daniel Eisenberg presents a dynamic triptych that patiently observes people working at three factories around the world, showing the rigorous labor as well as the intricate design and craft that go into every detail and level of production.
North American PremiereJonás Trueba paints an alternately rapturous and neurotic impression of contemporary western living in his small-scale yet endlessly rich new feature in which two couples reunite after they have been kept apart from each other for months by the pandemic and major life changes. Screening with Pedro Neves Marques’s Becoming Male in the Middle Ages.
Q&As with Nicolás Pereda, Natalia Escobar, Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau, and Simon Velez on Oct. 7 & 8Featuring Nicolás Pereda's Flora, Simón Vélez's Underground Rivers, Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel's Watch the Fire or Burn Inside It, and Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau and Natalia Escobar's Aribada.
Q&As with Sara Cwynar, Diane Severin Nguyen, Fox Maxy, and Riccardo Giacconi on Oct. 7 & 10Featuring Riccardo Giacconi's Fingerpicking, Sara Cwynar's Glass Life, Fox Maxy's F1ghting Looks Different 2 Me Now, and Diane Severin Nguyen's IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS.
Q&As with Mary Helena Clark, Joshua Solondz, and Jordan Strafer on Oct. 7 & 9Featuring Mary Helena Clark's Exhibition, Edward Owens's Remembrance: A Portrait Study, Jordan Strafer's PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER, Joshua Gen Solondz's NE Corridor, and James Richards's Qualities Of Life: Living in the Radiant Cold.
Q&As with Kim Salac, Mackie Mallison, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi, Courtney Stephens, Sheilah ReStack, and Angelo Madsen Minax on Oct. 8 & 9Featuring Angelo Madsen Minax's Bigger on the Inside, Dani and Sheilah ReStack's The Sky’s In There, Courtney Stephens's Lesser Choices, Kim Salac's Diana, Diana, Mackie Mallison's It Smells Like Springtime, and Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi's Into The Violet Belly.
Q&As with Simon Liu, Alexandra Cuesta, and Pablo Mazzolo on Oct. 8 & 9Featuring Eva Giolo's The Demands of Ordinary Devotion, Ute Aurand's Renate, Alexandra Cuesta's Lungta, Pablo Mazzolo's The Newest Olds, and Simon Liu's Devil’s Peak.
Q&As with Jamil McGinnis, Sarah Friedland, Charlotte Ercoli, Alex Ashe, and Lloyd Lee Choi on Oct. 10 & 12Featuring Lloyd Lee Choi's Same Old, Sarah Friedland's Trust Exercises, Mark Jenkin's 29 Hour Long Birthday, Alex Ashe's Magic Ring, Charlotte Ercoli's Little Jerry, and Jamil McGinnis's as time passes.