Q&A with Wang Bing on Oct. 2 & 3

Trailer of a Film That Will Never Exist: Phony Wars
Jean-Luc Godard, 2023, France/Belgium, 20m
French with English subtitles
At the time of his death in September 2022, Jean-Luc Godard had been in the midst of planning another feature, an adaptation of Belgian author Charles Plisnier’s 1937 novel Faux Passports. Though the film was not fated to be, the intricate and beautiful “trailer” that Godard put together in preparation now stands as his final work, a complex collage of history, politics, and cinema constructed of paper and glue, paintings and photographs, sound and silence. A Kino Lorber release.

Man in Black
Wang Bing, 2023, France, 60m
Mandarin with English subtitles

North American Premiere
An 86-year-old man prowls the proscenium of a crumbling theater, his naked body stretches and bends, illuminated under glaring lights or hidden by shadow, always heaving with the weight of history. This is Wang Xilin, one of China’s leading classical composers, who becomes the passionate narrator of his life, art, and political persecution against the dramatic backdrop of Paris’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. Whether emotionally relating the abuse suffered at the hands of the Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, describing how he translated personal and historical pain into the furious abstraction of his symphonies, or simply displaying his miraculously persistent flesh, the musician is at once witness to history, grand storyteller, and physical evidence of his own torment. With director Wang Bing’s tirelessly circling, endlessly compassionate camera and the striking use of Wang Xilin’s glorious music, which buffets, buoys, or sometimes drowns out the composer’s words, Man in Black is an overwhelming sensory experience that speaks to the power of creation amidst human deprivation. An Icarus Films release.

The Daughters of Fire (As Filhas do Fogo)
Pedro Costa, 2023, Portugal, 9m
Portuguese with English subtitles

U.S. Premiere
A triptych of images set within a widescreen frame, The Daughters of Fire is a musical of ecstasy and ache featuring singers Elizabeth Pinard, Alice Costa, and Karyna Gomes as women separated from one another following the eruption of the volcanic Fogo island in Cape Verde. This short film from Pedro Costa (Vitalina Varela, NYFF57), whose best-known work highlights the beauty of Lisbon’s struggling immigrant communities, summons something entirely entrancing, pushing his art to rhapsodic new heights. A Cinema Guild release.

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