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MoMA to Present ContemporAsian 2014 with Films from Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea and Japan, 4/21-8/31

Related: MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, ContemporAsian 2014
MoMA to Present ContemporAsian 2014 with Films from Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea and Japan, 4/21-8/31

The Museum of Modern Art presents the seventh season of ContemporAsian, an ongoing series showcasing films that get little exposure outside of their home countries or on the international festival circuit, but which engage the various styles, histories, and changes in Asian cinema, from April 21 to August 31, 2014, in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters.

Presented in weeklong engagements, the films in the series include recent independent gems by both new and established filmmakers whose work represents the rapidly transforming visual culture of the region. This year's selection, which includes films from Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, and Japan, culminates in Lens on Tibet, a dedicated look at contemporary Tibetan film. ContemporAsian is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film. Lens on Tibet is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, and Paola Vanzo, Director of Communications and Development, and Kristina Dy-Liacco, Librarian, Trace Foundation.

ContemporAsian's seventh season opens with Bends (2013), Flora Lau's classical drama, which debuted in the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section. The film is a two-character piece in which each personifies the differences between Hong Kong and mainland China, and their somewhat uneasy co-existence. A wealthy Hong Kong housewife, Anna, lives a spoiled, bored life. When her husband suddenly leaves, taking the money and prestige with him, she refuses to accept her changed circumstances. Her chauffeur, Fai, who lives in an ugly barrack across the border in Shenzhen, is trying to get his wife-whose second pregnancy is a violation of the Chinese one-child policy-over the border so she can give birth in Hong Kong. With beautiful camera work by the incomparable Christopher Doyle, the film's elegant look and languorous rhythms create an affecting reflection of the characters' emotional isolation. As they become increasingly desperate, the sharp distinctions between their two worlds become ever clearer.

In May, Atsushi Funahashi's Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom) (2012), tells an achingly beautiful tale of grief and forgiveness in post-Fukushima Japan. The film takes place in Hitachi, a seaside town recovering from its 2011 devastation, and follows a young couple named Shiori and Kenji who work in a small factory. Embracing a tender humanism and classical style, Cold Bloom's distinctly contemporary setting and narrative infuse a rich tradition with vitality and aplomb.

Making its New York debut in June, the explosive Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn) (2013)-the latest from Iran's great dissident filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof-will be presented in collaboration with the film's U.S. distributor, Kino Lorber. Produced clandestinely to circumvent a 20-year filmmaking ban passed down by the Iranian authorities, the film draws from the true story of the government's attempted 1995 murder of several prominent writers and intellectuals. In the film, Rasoulof imagines a repressive regime so pervasive that even the morally righteous are subsumed or cast aside. A lacerating, slow-burning thriller filmed in a frigid palate of blues and greys, Manuscripts Don't Burn is perhaps the most subversive and incendiary j'accuse lodged at an authoritarian regime since the fall of the Soviet Union.

In July, MoMA presents South Korean newcomer Su-jin Lee's Han Gong-Ju (2013), the bold and impressive tale of a young teenager grappling with her dark past. The titular teen, Han Gong-Ju, is introduced as she's being shuffled from meeting to meeting, in an attempt to settle into a new city, a new school, and a new life. Set against reticent new friendships, Han Gong-Ju's story eventually emerges. In his unusually brave debut feature, Su-jin Lee handles both complex plotting and difficult subject matter with a thoughtful sophistication, bolstered by an impressive performance from the emotive Woo-hee Chun.

Finally, in August, the series turns a Lens on Tibet with a 13-film program of recent Tibetan documentary and narrative films. Lens on Tibet includes the world premiere of Tashi Chopel's The Son of a Herder (2014), an unembellished portrait of the life of a plateau herder in eastern Tibet's remote Zehok region. The film highlights an existence caught between ideals and reality, modernity and tradition, and individual choices. Yartsa Rinpoche (2013), directed by Dorje Tsering Chenaktsang, follows Darlo, an elder in the Amdo region, and his family as they journey 800 kilometers to collect Cordyceps sinensis (in Tibetan, Yartsa-gunbu), which has been called "Tibet's golden worm" and "The Viagra of the Himalayas." Yartsa Rinpoche-which is presented in a weeklong run-receives its North American premiere along with Jocelyn Ford's breakout Nowhere to Call Home (2014), Dan Smyer Yu's Embrace (2011), Khashem Gyal's The Valley of the Heroes (2013), and Dukar Tsering's They Are One Hundred Years Old (2014).

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 708-9400, MoMA.org. Hours: Saturday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Museum Admission: $25 adults; $18 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D.; $14 full-time students with current I.D. Free, members and children 16 and under. (Includes admittance to Museum galleries and film programs). Free admission during Uniqlo Free Friday Nights: Fridays, 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
MoMA.org: No service charge for tickets ordered on MoMA.org. Tickets purchased online may be printed out and presented at the Museum without waiting in line. (Includes admittance to Museum galleries and film programs).

Film and After Hours Program Admission: $12 adults; $10 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D.; $8 full- time students with current I.D. The price of an After Hours Program Admission ticket may be applied toward the price of a Museum admission ticket or MoMA Membership within 30 days.

Screening Schedule
MoMA Presents: ContemporAsian Bends
April 21-27, 2014

Monday, April 21

7:00 Bends. 2013. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Flora Lau. With Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan. Flora Lau's classical drama, which debuted in the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section, is a two-character piece in which each personifies the differences between Hong Kong and mainland China, and their somewhat uneasy coexistence. A wealthy Hong Kong housewife, Anna, lives a spoiled, bored life. When her husband suddenly leaves, taking the money and prestige with him, she refuses to accept her changed circumstances. Her chauffeur, Fai, who lives in an ugly barrack across the border in Shenzhen, is trying to get his wife-whose second pregnancy is a violation of the Chinese one- child policy-over the border so she can give birth in Hong Kong. With beautiful camera work by the incomparable Christopher Doyle, the film's elegant look and languorous rhythms create an affecting reflection of the characters' emotional isolation. As they become increasingly desperate, the sharp distinctions between their two worlds become ever clearer. In Cantonese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 97 min. Introduced by Flora Lau. Post-screening discussion with Lau

Tuesday, April 22

7:00 Bends. 2013. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Flora Lau. With Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan. In Cantonese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 97 min. (See Monday, April 21, 7:00 for description)

Wednesday, April 23

4:00 Bends. 2013. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Flora Lau. With Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan. In Cantonese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 97 min. (See Monday, April 21, 7:00 for description)

Thursday, April 24

4:00 Bends. 2013. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Flora Lau. With Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan. In Cantonese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 97 min. (See Monday, April 21, 7:00 for description)

Friday, April 25

7:00 Bends. 2013. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Flora Lau. With Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan. In Cantonese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 97 min. (See Monday, April 21, 7:00 for description)

Saturday, April 26

4:00 Bends. 2013. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Flora Lau. With Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan. In Cantonese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 97 min. (See Monday, April 21, 7:00 for description)

Sunday, April 27

5:00 Bends. 2013. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Flora Lau. With Carina Lau, Chen Kun, Tian Yuan. In Cantonese, Mandarin; English subtitles. 97 min. (See Monday, April 21, 7:00 for description)

Screening Schedule
MoMA Presents: ContemporAsian
Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom) May 16-22, 2014

Friday, May 16

4:30 Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom). 2012. Japan. Directed by Atsushi Funahashi. Screenplay by Funahashi, Shigeru Murakoshi. With Marika Matsumoto, Riki Miura, Takahiro Miura. In Hitachi, a seaside town recovering, if slowly, from its 2011 devastation, the young couple Shiori and Kenji are working in a small factory and even thinking of children, until one day Kenji is killed in a work accident, leaving Shiori and the remorseful coworker responsible for the accident to confront difficult questions of grief and forgiveness. Embracing a tender humanism and classical style, Cold Bloom's distinctly contemporary setting and narrative infuse a rich tradition with vitality and aplomb. In Japanese; English subtitles. 120 min.

Saturday, May 17

4:00 Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom). 2012. Japan. Directed by Atsushi Funahashi. Screenplay by Funahashi, Shigeru Murakoshi. With Marika Matsumoto, Riki Miura, Takahiro Miura. In Japanese; English subtitles. 120 min. (See Friday, May 16, 4:30 for description)

Sunday, May 18

5:00 Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom). 2012. Japan. Directed by Atsushi Funahashi. Screenplay by Funahashi, Shigeru Murakoshi. With Marika Matsumoto, Riki Miura, Takahiro Miura. In Japanese; English subtitles. 120 min. (See Friday, May 16, 4:30 for description)

Monday, May 19

4:00 Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom). 2012. Japan. Directed by Atsushi Funahashi. Screenplay by Funahashi, Shigeru Murakoshi. With Marika Matsumoto, Riki Miura, Takahiro Miura. In Japanese; English subtitles. 120 min. (See Friday, May 16, 4:30 for description)

Tuesday, May 20

7:00 Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom). 2012. Japan. Directed by Atsushi Funahashi. Screenplay by Funahashi, Shigeru Murakoshi. With Marika Matsumoto, Riki Miura, Takahiro Miura. In Japanese; English subtitles. 120 min. (See Friday, May 16, 4:30 for description)

Wednesday, May 21

7:00 Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom). 2012. Japan. Directed by Atsushi Funahashi. Screenplay by Funahashi, Shigeru Murakoshi. With Marika Matsumoto, Riki Miura, Takahiro Miura. In Japanese; English subtitles. 120 min. (See Friday, May 16, 4:30 for description)

Thursday, May 22

7:00 Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita ni (Cold Bloom). 2012. Japan. Directed by Atsushi Funahashi. Screenplay by Funahashi, Shigeru Murakoshi. With Marika Matsumoto, Riki Miura, Takahiro Miura. In Japanese; English subtitles. 120 min. (See Friday, May 16, 4:30 for description)

Screening Schedule
MoMA Presents: ContemporAsian
Manuscripts Don't Burn
Presented in collaboration with the film's U.S. distributor, Kino Lorber June 13-19, 2014

Friday, June 13

7:00 Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn). 2013. Iran. Written and directed by Mohammad Rasoulof. Cast and crew names withheld. Clandestinely produced in disavowal of a 20-year filmmaking ban passed down by the Iranian authorities, the scathing Manuscripts Don't Burn brings a whole new level of clarity and audacity to Mohommad Rasoulof's already laudable career. Drawing from the true story of the government's attempted 1995 murder of several prominent writers and intellectuals, Rasoulof imagines a repressive regime so pervasive that even the morally righteous are subsumed or cast aside. A lacerating and slow-burning thriller filmed in a frigid palate of blues and greys, Manuscripts Don't Burn is perhaps the most subversive and incendiary j'accuse lodged against an authoritarian regime since the fall of the Soviet Union. In Persian; English Subtitles. 125 min.

Saturday, June 14

4:00 Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn). 2013. Iran. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof. In Persian; English subtitles. 127 min. (See Friday, June 13, 7:00 for description)

Sunday, June 15

5:00 Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn). 2013. Iran. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof. In Persian; English subtitles. 127 min. (See Friday, June 13, 7:00 for description)

Monday, June 16

4:00 Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn). 2013. Iran. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof. In Persian; English subtitles. 127 min. (See Friday, June 13, 7:00 for description)

Tuesday, June 17

7:00 Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn). 2013. Iran. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof. In Persian; English subtitles. 127 min. (See Friday, June 13, 7:00 for description)

Wednesday, June 18

4:00 Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn). 2013. Iran. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof. In Persian; English subtitles. 127 min. (See Friday, June 13, 7:00 for description)

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