MoMA Presents: ContemporAsian
Highlighting the Richness and Diversity of Asian Cinema, One Contemporary Asian Film Is Featured Each Month in a Weeklong Engagement September 11–17, 2009 October 14–19, 2009 November 20–27, 2009 December 10–16, 2009 The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
MoMA showcases one contemporary Asian film per month with a weeklong engagement, allowing audiences the rare chance to enjoy films not in wide distribution and to experience the diversity and richness of Asian cinema in its many forms. ContemporAsian is organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, and William Phuan, independent curator. In the monthly exhibition ContemporAsian, MoMA showcases 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. The films in the series include recent independent films and little-seen classics. From September’s opening feature, a stylistically flamboyant series of surreal urban vignettes of social and racial strife offset by characters who break into song Stevie Wonder—style (Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly, 2008, Indonesia), to October’s intimate portrait of a resilient octogenarian, featuring venerated actress Anita Linda in a tour de force performance (Adela, 2008, Philippines), the films showcased encompass a variety of styles and themes. In November, a South Korean film explores the aftermath of a romantic breakup, in which a sticky financial situation gives rise to a revealing roadtrip (My Dear Enemy, 2009), while in December, a Taiwanese film depicts the struggles of two illegal migrant workers trying to build a relationship in a culture alien to both of them, even as they live in fear of deportation (Sincerely Yours, 2009.) September 11–17, 2009 Dajang Soembi, perempoean jang dikawini andjing (Dajang Soembi, the Woman Who Was Married to a Dog) 2004 Indonesia Directed by Edwin Following the examples of silent cinema, Indonesian filmmaker Edwin uses expressionistic sets reminiscent of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and plot overtones of Oedipus Rex to retell an Indonesian folk tale about a beautiful but dull-witted princess who marries a dog. 7 min. Babi buta yang ingin terbang (Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly) 2008 Indonesia Directed by Edwin With Ladya Cheryl, Pong Harjatmo, Carlo Genta In a departure from the short films for which he is celebrated, Edwin brings his prodigious talent for episodic, kaleidoscopic storytelling to this compelling feature film. In a series of minimal, slightly surreal tales, characters loosely linked by their minority status as Chinese-Indonesians are set within a contemporary urban Indonesia beset by social and racial tension. Past and present are jumbled, and events are vaguely symbolic and doubtlessly—albeit obscurely—connected to the violent political events playing out on TV. In this expertly crafted universe, the one constant, bizarrely enough, is Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You”—sung by each of the characters at different points in the film. In Indonesian; English subtitles. 77 min. Screening Schedule: Friday, September 11, 7:00; Saturday, September 12, 1:30 ; Sunday, September 13, 5:00; Monday, September 14, 7:00; Wednesday, September 16, 8:00; Thursday, September 17, 7:00 October 14–19, 2009 Adela 2008 The Philippines Directed and co-written by Adolfo Alix Jr. With Anita Linda, Jason Abalos, Joem Bascon To celebrate her 80th birthday, Adela wants nothing more than a meal with her children and family. Yet as the widow goes about her day preparing and shopping, often stopping to help out her fellow slum-dwellers, the wait for the celebration is long and futile. In a stylistic break from the energetic, fast-moving contemporary cinema we have come to expect from the Philippines, Alix trains his camera on veteran Filipino actress Anita Linda throughout the film, to great effect and with moving results. Adela is as much a tribute to the quiet dignity and indomitable spirit of the titular character as it is to the actress whose compelling, poignant performance inflects every scene. In Tagalog; English subtitles. 88 min. Screening Schedule: Wednesday, October 14, 7:00; Thursday, October 15, 4:00; Friday, October 16, 7:00; Saturday, October 17, 7:30; Sunday, October 18, 5:00; Monday October 19, 4:30 November 20–27, 2009 Meitjin haru (My Dear Enemy) 2009 South Korea Directed and co-written by Lee Yoon-ki With Jeon Do-yeon and Ha Jeong-woo Heui-Su shows up unexpectedly at the betting haunt of her former boyfriend and demands that he pay up the 3.5 million won (about $2,600) that he owes her from more than a year ago. This beautifully crafted film teases out the intricacies of modern relationships as it follows the ex-lovers on an unlikely road trip to borrow money from his contacts to pay her back. The natural chemistry between the two leads makes credible a partnership that is by turns prickly and inscrutable, yet surprisingly tender. In Korean; English subtitles. 123 min. Screening Schedule: Friday, November 20, 4:30; Saturday, November 21, 1:30; Sunday, November 22, 12:30; Monday, November 23, 7:00; Wednesday, November 25, 4:00; Friday, November 27, 8:15. December 10–16, 2009 Qilu tiantang (Sincerely Yours) 2009 Taiwan Directed by Rich Lee With Lola Amaria, Banlop Lomnoi, May Kuei-Mei Yang Setia and Supayong are both illegal workers in Taiwan. Setia works as domestic help to support her child and family in Indonesia, while Supayong, from Thailand, takes on odd jobs to scrape together a living. Even as they develop a tentative love affair while forging a new life, the constant fear of deportation threatens to overwhelm them. Lee's finely tuned first film acutely captures the precarious plight of migrant workers who are often nameless and invisible in big cities; in spite of their halting Mandarin, the characters’ yearning for connection and for a better life is as unmistakable as the contradictions that divide the city. In Mandarin; English subtitles. 96 min. Screening Schedule: Thursday, December 10, 7:00; Friday, December 11, 4:00; Saturday, December 12, 8:00; Sunday, December 13, 5:30; Monday, December 14, 4:00; Wednesday, December 16, 7:00 The Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd Street New York, NY 10019 Hours: Films are screened Wednesday-Monday. For screening schedules, please visit www.moma.org. Film Admission: $10 adults; $8 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D. $6 full-time students with current I.D. (For admittance to film programs only.) The price of a film ticket may be applied toward the price of a Museum admission ticket when a film ticket stub is presented at the Lobby Information Desk within 30 days of the date on the stub (does not apply during Target Free Friday Nights, 4:00–8:00 p.m.). Admission is free for Museum members and for Museum ticketholders.