BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
With 2018 less than a month away, Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image has announced the seventh edition of First Look, a festival that includes selections of new international films.
Kicking off on Jan. 5, First Look will feature more than two dozen new movies from Brazil, Canada, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Indonesia, Lebanon, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Syria, Thailand, the United Kingdom and United States.
“This is an exceptionally strong edition of First Look,” said David Schwartz, who is the chief curator and organizer of First Look. “The films are at once remarkably assured, yet boldly experimental. There is a sense of discovery to all of the works, whether they are by established masters or bold new talents.”
The lineup includes Canada’s Blake Williams’ Prototype, which takes place in the 1900s and demonstrates the aftermath of the Galveston disaster; Switzerland’s Raed Andoni’s Ghost Hunting, which shows former inmates of Jerusalem’s Al-Moskobiya’a interrogation center come together to construct a set and perform scripted scenes dramatizing their experiences; France’s Hendrick Dusollier’s Last Days in Shibati, which visits the Chinese city of Chongqing to witness the gradual dismantling of its last standing pre-modern hutong; Germany’s Alexandre Koberidez’s Let the Summer Never Come Again, which provides an endless sense of visual surprise that emerges through its daring ultra-low-resolution style; and Croatia’s Matjaša Ivanišin’s Playing Men, an essay film that starts as an inventory of manly activities and their ancient roots within remote corners of the Mediterranean and becomes something unconventional and comedic.
Other films in the series include Portugal’s Teresa Villaverde’s Colo, which is about a family falling apart in Lisbon; Poland’s Anna Zamecka’s Communion, which follows a teenage brother and sister who play out their lives on camera; France’s Sebastien Lifshitz’s The Lives of Therese, a story about a French feminist who was diagnosed with a terminal disease; Thailand’s Sompot Chidgasornpongse’s Railway Sleepers, which was shot over eight years on the Thailand railway system; Astoria’s Jeff Reichert, Damon Smith and Eric Hynes’ homage to Wim Wenders’ documentary Room 666; Lebanon’s Ziad Kalthoum’s Taste of Cement, which explores Syrian refugees employed as construction workers in post-Civil War Beirut; and Poland’s Pawel Lozinski’s You Have No Idea How Much I Love You, which documents the psychotherapeutic encounters between a woman and her mother.
First Look will run through Jan. 15. The full schedule will be posted online on Dec. 8. Tickets are $15, but discounts are available for seniors and students and screenings are free for MOMI members.
For more information call (718) 777-6888 or visit movingimage.us. The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria.