Eternity in this Life: On Roberto Rossellini's The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)

Roberto Rossellini’s 1950 masterwork The Flowers of St. Francis, whose Italian title, Francesco, giullare di Dio translates as “Francis, God’s Jester,” seeks less to tell the story of its saint’s life than to show the impact of “the Franciscan message… and spirit” on its followers. This axiomatic expression of Italian neorealism depicts both scenes from the life… Learn More

2016: The Year in Film

Thanks to the continual health of the international art cinema, a deeper dive into recent Chinese independent filmmaking, key restorations, and a Jean Renoir program precipitated by the Museum’s “Matisse in His Time” exhibition, Oklahoma City audiences had many fine alternatives to the multiplex in 2016. Among the more than seventy new releases that Museum Films programmed during that… Learn More

Sometimes the Death Column Brought Good News: For the Devilish Pleasures of Ealing's Kind Hearts and Coronets

Once stupidly dismissed by French film critic and director François Truffaut as a “contradiction of terms,” the British cinema was responsible for a great number of outstanding films throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, first with the poetical, wartime non-fiction of Humphrey Jennings (Listen to Britain) and the myth-focused collaborations of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (The Life… Learn More

José Luis Guerín’s Art of Negotiation: On The Academy of Muses (2015)

A Catalan filmmaker and educator whose body-of-work consists predominately of documentaries and shorts, José Luis Guerín achieved universal acclaim with his fictional 2007 feature, In the City of Sylvia, a minimally plotted portrait of an artist who falls under the spell of the titular Sylvia. Comprised, for much of its frequently dialogue-free duration, of shot/counter-shot sequences of the artist observing café… Learn More

Homo Sapiens & the Post-Human Landscape

As Museum Films begins its October-November 2016 program with three new non-fiction features this Thursday, it is the most experimental of the group, Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Homo Sapiens (2016), whose cause—cinematically—I am most eager to champion. Born in Vienna in 1972, Geyrhalter attained his greatest international notoriety to date for Our Daily Bread, a 2005 documentary that explores uses of technology and unskilled… Learn More

Marginal Geographies: Independent Masterworks from China

Historically Unprecedented Growth Over the course of a single year, China, by its own measure, lifted nearly 40 million people out of poverty. In 2013 alone, China’s share of the world’s extreme poor fell an astonishing 5 percentage points, from 13 to 8 percent. Between 2008 and 2011, China and India (which continues to be much… Learn More

Dispatches from the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival: Yourself and Yours, Daguerrotype, Sieranevada & Paterson + Festival Favorites

One of the greatest pleasures of the major international film festival is the opportunity to see the latest work by leading international auteurs. In the case of South Korean director Hong Sang-soo, whose masterful previous feature Right Now, Wrong Then (2015) played at the Museum earlier this month, there has been at least one “latest” film every year since 2008, and… Learn More

Dispatches from the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival: Elle, (re)ASSIGNMENT, The Birth of a Nation & The Ornithologist

French cinema is especially well represented among this year’s better world premieres, with Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama, Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come, Eugène Green’s Son of Joseph, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Daguerrotype all fine new films by their well-established directors–and in the case of the first two, new career bests as well. Joining both lists is Paul Verhoeven’s enticingly provocative Elle (2016), which received its North American premiere… Learn More

Dispatches from the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival: Toni Erdmann, Nocturama & The Woman Who Left

As unambitious as it may sound, I really only had one hope for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival: see writer-director Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann (2016). As simple a task as this might sound–especially for a festival featuring Oscar hopefuls La La Land and Manchester By the Sea, among many others–I was facing an arrival time after the Press & Industry screening, and had… Learn More

Museum Films Presents: Right Now, Wrong Then & Little Men

Seventeen features into a filmmaking career that began in 1996, Korean master-director Hong Sang-soo has not only created his own distinct genre that exists completely apart from any other. He has also committed himself to working exclusively in that genre, employing the same semantics (narrative tropes) and syntax (how the story elements are assembled) in film… Learn More