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“Carte Blanche: Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans” at MoMA (7/1-6/09)

While this week marks the 20th birthday of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing—a worthy cause for celebration, indeed—MoMA has decided to hold a 20th anniversary party of their very own. It just so happens that 1989 was responsible for another noteworthy chapter in cinema history, as Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans formed the hugely influential Strand Releasing. Twenty years later, Strand continues to bring some of the world’s most challenging and invigorating cinema to American audiences. To honor Hu and Gerrans, MoMA’s Department of Film has assembled “Carte Blanche: Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans,” a program of six films that show just how diverse, daring, and necessary Strand is.

The series kicked off last night with a sneak preview of Lucrecia Martel’s hypnotically befuddling (or is that befuddlingly hypnotic?) The Headless Woman, which opens at the Film Forum on August 19th. But that’s just the beginning. Also included is an HTN favorite from last year, Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven. However, in this humble writer’s opinion, the program’s main event is, without question, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady. For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to catch up with this stunningly poetic treatise on the mysterious and haunting dimensions of love until it was released on DVD. The thought of experiencing it in an all-consuming, theatrical environment has me oh-so-very excited.

Congratulations to Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans for making it this far. But more importantly, thank you for having such great taste and being so committed to your cause. Keep up the very good work!

The lineup:

Wednesday, July 1st: The Headless Woman (7pm)

Thursday, July 2nd: The Edge of Heaven (8pm)

Friday, July 3rd: The Edge of Heaven (4:30pm); Time To Leave (8pm)

Saturday, July 4th: Before I Forget (2pm); Tropical Malady (5pm); Time To Leave (8pm)

Sunday, July 5th: Before I Forget (2:30pm); The Wayward Cloud (5:30pm)

Monday, July 6th: Tropical Malady (4:30pm); The Wayward Cloud (8pm)

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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