Hirshhorn Plaza

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum continues to present some of the best in contemporary film with this spring’s series of screenings. Coordinated by associate curator Kelly Gordon, the series features a variety of exceptional, unusual and recently released works from around the world, and offers audiences the chance to hear from celebrated filmmakers and artists. All screenings are free and are located in the Hirshhorn’s Ring Auditorium.

José Padilha’s Elite Squad: The Enemy Within” [Trope de elite 2: O inimigo agora é outro] (2010)
Thursday, March 1; 8 p.m.
This over-the-top cop drama (the sequel to 2007’s Elite Squad), follows Rio “hero” Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura), who has been promoted from head of special ops to intelligence. Now he has to cope with corrupt government officials and the expanding powers of paramilitary gangs—and that is just for starters. This powerful film adds to the director’s strong and varied oeuvre and was this year’s Brazilian Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. In Portuguese with English subtitles. 

 Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler’s Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone (2010)
Thursday, March 8; 8 p.m.
The local debut of the director’s cut of this rock documentary, a portrait of Fishbone that provides sociocultural and musical context to the Los Angeles band’s unlikely emergence in the late 1970s. Studious yet fun, the film illuminates why the group’s winning mash-up of punk, funk, pop, metal, jazz, ska, hip-hop and soul continues to be influential.

Janet Biggs’s “Arctic Trilogy” (2010–2011), with Works in Progress (2011)
Thursday, March 15; 8 p.m.
The video and performance artist and photographer will introduce her work, including her most recent project, for which she scaled a not-quite-dormant volcano in Indonesia. The discussion will focus on her attraction to remote sites and extreme filming conditions. Presented in conjunction with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

Jacob Jørgensen and Henrik Lundø’s “Olafur Eliasson: Space Is Process” (2010)
Wednesday, March 21; 8 p.m.
Compiled during the artist’s “New York City Waterfalls” project and his MoMA PS1 retrospective, this portrait captures the artist in interview clips, working in his studio, and on site at projects all over the world and examines how his works exemplify his concept that “space is a multiple layering of stories.” Presented in conjunction with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

Lech Majewski’s The Mill & the Cross (2011)
Wednesday, March 28; 8 p.m.
The Polish filmmaker brings to life Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting “The Procession to Calvary” (1564), for which the artist reset the Biblical event in 16th-century Antwerp. Following its theatrical release the film was adapted into installations in the Chiesa di San Lio and the Campo San Pantalon for the 2011 Venice Biennale. The big-screen version illuminates the process and power of art and the sociopolitical and theological dynamics of Renaissance Flanders. Charlotte Rampling plays Bruegel’s model for the Virgin Mary.

Ben Rivers’ Two Years at Sea (2011)
Thursday, May 3; 8 p.m.
The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis compared this magical black-and-white portrait of an actual hermit to Thoreau’s Walden. Rivers’ beautiful cinematography (in 16 mm blown up to 35 mm) revisits Jake Williams, the subject of an earlier short by the London-based filmmaker, for this almost wordless feature-length meditation on existence, place, life, cinema and all one needs to survive.