First Look 2024 at Museum of the Moving Image: Preview

Contributing Writer; Chicago, IL (@anotherKyleL)

The First Look Festival returns to the Museum of the Moving Image this month offering audiences opportunities to see exciting new films of all kinds from all over the world.

There are films just out of Sundance, like Haley Elizabeth Anderson’s Tendaberry, which weaves together Nelson Sullivan’s video diaries and archival footage of Coney Island with a narrative about a young woman making her way in today’s Brooklyn, and opening night film Sujo, from the team behind Identifying Features, that delves into the life and psychology of its titular character as he survives and attempts to thrive in the wake of cartel violence.

A trio of documentaries from the Caucasus, 1489, Magic Mountain, and Limitation, highlight the past and present horrors fostered by the Soviet legacy of imperialism and corruption. Other docs, such as The Echo, The Clinic, What Did You Dream Last Night, Parajanov? and Self-Portrait: 47 KM 2020, provide detailed and affecting portraits of people and places from around the globe. Narrative films like Samsara and An Evening Song (for three voices) invite audiences to revel in stunning images and give themselves over to almost mystical filmmaking. And that’s only a fraction of what the festival has to offer, a fraction of which I’ve reviewed in the gallery below.

The First Look Festival runs from Wednesday, March 13, through Sunday, March 17 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. Check their website for tickets and more information.

While it’s tempting to say that Solaris Mon Amour draws some plot elements from the novel it takes part of its name from, given that we hear parts of early radio adaptations of Stanisław Lem’s book, the film offers no narrative. Made up entirely of pieces of films by the Educational Film Studio in Lodz from the 1960s and soundtracked with an original score and sound design by Marcin Lenarczyk along with the clips of the radio dramas, Solaris Mon Amour is a purely aesthetic experience.

Sure, viewers can intellectualize about the contrast of machine and organic imagery, or why director Kuba Mikurda selected these specific sections of the radio adaptations of Lem’s novel, but that would be to fight against the hypnotic power of the film.

At just 47 minutes, Solaris Mon Amour feels almost endless while watching. It pulls us into its often stunningly beautiful black and white world with significant snap, crackle, and pop from the old films, and elicits an instinctual emotional response beyond/past/beneath narrative and conceptual thinking.

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First Look 2024

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