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Best Films of 2013 to Screen in THE CONTENDERS at MoMA, 11/4-1/16

Related: Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, The Contenders

Best Films of 2013 to Screen in THE CONTENDERS at MoMA, 11/4-1/16

The Museum of Modern Art announces a selection of films and special guests for the 2013 lineup of The Contenders, MoMA's annual end-of-the-year series that offers filmgoers the opportunity to see a wide spectrum of influential and innovative films released within the last 12 months. The Contenders 2013 runs from November 4, 2013, through January 16, 2014, in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters.

Selected from major studio releases and top film festivals by curators in the Museum's Department of Film, these films represent the best of mainstream movies, independents, foreign-language films, documentaries, and art-house sensations. Now in its sixth year, the highly anticipated series highlights films that are contenders for lasting historical significance, whether bound for awards glory or destined to become a cult classic. Films featured in last year's The Contenders series garnered 61 Oscar nominations. The exhibition is organized by Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator, and Sean Egan, Producer, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

Opening the series on November 4 at 7:30 p.m. is the theatrical world premiere of the concert film Duran Duran: Unstaged. Directed by David Lynch, the film features iconic British rock band, Duran Duran, in concert at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles on March 23, 2011, during the All You Need Is Now world tour. The performance was originally streamed live on YouTube as part of an ongoing, innovative, web-based concert series sponsored by American Express that pairs music artists with Hollywood directors. This is the first Web-originated project to be featured in The Contenders. In the film, the band performs 18 songs, including "Hungry Like the Wolf," "A View to a Kill," "Ordinary World," and "Rio," alongside tracks from their most recent studio album. Duran Duran members Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, and Nick Rhodes will be in attendance on opening night, and will participate in a special Q&A that will be live-streamed on MoMA.org following the 7:30 p.m. screening. The band will also introduce the encore showing at 8:00 p.m.

Other highlights include a November 17 screening of Steve McQueen's powerful historical drama 12 Years a Slave, based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup, featuring a post- screening discussion with actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o; Alfonso Cuaro?n's stunning Gravity, with both Cuaro?n and co-writer Jonas Cuaro?n in attendance for a special Q&A following the film on November 19; and Ryan Coogler's moving Fruitvale Station, featuring a discussion with producer Forest Whitaker following the film on December 3. Documentary highlights include The Act of Killing-featured in the 2013 New Directors/New Films festival-with a post-screening discussion with director, Joshua Oppenheimer. Another standout from the 2013 New Directors/New Films festival is Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell, which examines the many layers and truths in family storytelling.

On January 9, director and Troma Films founder Lloyd Kaufman participates in a discussion following a screening of the horror film The Return to Nuke 'Em High: Volume 1, the first Troma film celebrating the 40th anniversary of the cult ?teensploitation? production company. Additional noteworthy films include the forthcoming Inside Llewyn Davis, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, which explores New York's folk music scene in the 1960s; and Denis Villenueve's tense and unrelenting drama, Prisoners. Featured foreign films include French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue Is the Warmest Color, winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival; and Pema Tseden's Chinese film Old Dog, which was featured in MoMA's 2013 Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions exhibition.

Several screenings feature special appearances by directors and actors. Filmmaker Paul Greengrass participates in a discussion following a screening of his Captain Phillips on November 6; Derek Cianfrance participates in a discussion following a screening of his crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines on November 13; filmmaker Noah Baumbach participates in a Q&A following a screening of his film Frances Ha on December 9; and J.C. Chandor participates in a discussion following All Is Lost on December 11. On November 10, actor, writer, and producer Steve Coogan will introduce his drama Philomena; and on January 6, actress Brie Larson participates in a discussion following the screening of Destin Daniel Cretton's Short Term 12. Additional titles and the full schedule for The Contenders are forthcoming on MoMA.org.

Selection of Films for The Contenders (Full schedule forthcoming on MoMA.org.):

- 12 Years a Slave. 2013. USA. Directed by Steve McQueen. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o in attendance. Courtesy of Fox Searchlight


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