Global Lens is a touring film exhibition, organised annually between MoMA and the Global Film Initiative (GFI). Designed to encourage filmmaking in countries with emerging film communities, the select of 10 programs, which include films developed with seed money from GFI, represents a concise survey of contemporary filmmaking from areas where local economic realities making such expensive and technology-driven endeavours a challenge. Accomplished, entertaining, and thought-provoking, the films are deeply rooted in the social and political realities of the countries where their talented and resourceful makers live and set their stories. Taking place from 12 – 28 January in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters at MoMA, the screening schedule is packed. Here are our recommendations for those of you lucky enough to be in NY at the moment:
Gişe Memuru (Toll Booth). 2010. Turkey.
Written and directed by Tolga Karaçelik. With Serkan Ercan, Zafer Diper, Nergis Öztürk.
Various screenings from 12 – 18 January.
In Turkish; English subtitles. 96 min
Kenan is a taciturn 35-year-old toll booth attendant shuffling between the monotony of his traffic
besieged box and caring for his ailing but domineering father at home. Desperate to resist his father’s attempt to marry him off to a neighbor, and equally determined to prove his worth by fixing his father’s old car, Kenan edges ever closer to a nervous breakdown. Making wonderful use of an expert cast (led by the excellent Serkan Ercan), a richly saturated colour palette, and keen art direction, writer-director Karaçelik has crafted a wry, heartbreaking ode to lost dreams in a sleepwalking world.
Amnistia (Amnesty). 2011. Albania.
Written and directed by Bujar Alimani. With Luli Bitri, Karafil Shena, Todi Llupi.
Various screenings from 14 – 20 January.
In Albanian; English subtitles. 83 min
A newly enacted law allowing prisoners conjugal visits sparks an unlikely friendship between two lonely people visiting their incarcerated spouses. Elsa’s contact with her husband is silent and dutiful; Shpetim, a gentle, soft-spoken man who visits the prison to see his wife, experiences equally passionless encounters. When an amnesty sets their spouses free, their fragile bond is threatened. Alimani’s quietly sensual, contemplative first feature takes a wonderfully personal approach to a profound social transformation.
Qarantina. 2010. Iraq.
Written and directed by Oday Rasheed. With Asaad Abudel Majeed, Alaa Najem, Hattam Auda.
Various screenings from 19 – 27 January.
In Arabic; English subtitles. 90 min.
A broken family, headed by the patriarch, Salih, lives within the gated courtyard of a dilapidated house in Baghdad. Salih’s pregnant daughter has fallen mute, and only finds solace with Salih’s young second wife, Kerima, and his preteen son, Muhanad. To keep the family afloat, Muhanad must work in the street shining shoes and, more ominously, they are forced to take in a sullen and imperious boarder. Rasheed’s brooding second feature captures the beautiful surroundings of modern Baghdad, and finds unexpected sources of resilience in the wake of catastrophe.
Riscado (Craft). 2010. Brazil.
Directed by Gustavo Pizzi. With Karine Teles, Camilo Pellegrini, Dany Roland.
Various screenings from 13 – 16 January
In Portuguese; English subtitles. 85 min
Bianca is a talented young actress trying to get her career off the ground, but so far her jobs have been limited to impersonating movie divas and promoting events. After auditioning for a major international film, she finally gets her big break with a director who, inspired by her personality and her work, molds the character into a version of Bianca. Is this the chance of a lifetime? Pizzi portrays the casual cruelty of the competitive world in which we live, and heightens the drama not through melodrama or exaggerated scenarios but by picking the perfect protagonist: an actress. Craft was cowritten with the astounding Teles, who inhabits the role of Bianca with heartbreaking poignancy.
Films are screened Wednesday – Monday. For screening schedules please visit the Film Exhibitions page.
Global Lens 2012, 12/01/2012 – 28/01/2012, The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. www.moma.org
We hope you enjoy reading the Aesthetica Blog, if you want to explore more of the best in contemporary art and culture you should read us in print too. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)1904 479 168. Even better, subscribe to Aesthetica and save 20%. Go on, join us!
Gişe Memuru (Toll Booth). 2010. Turkey. Written and directed by Tolga Karaçelik.
Amnistia (Amnesty). 2011. Albania. Written and directed by Bujar Alimani. Pictured: Luli Bitri
Qarantina. 2010. Iraq. Written and directed by Oday Rasheed. Pictured: Asaad Abudel Majeed.
Riscado (Craft). 2010. Brazil. Directed by Gustavo Pizzi. Pictured: Karine Teles.
All images courtesy of The Global Film Initiative