New York Premiere of Fugue
directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska as a part of Panorama Europe festival
Saturday, May 11, 6:30PM
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Ave, Astoria, NY
Tickets: $15 Students/ $11 Seniors
Panorama Europe 2019, the essential festival of new and vital European cinema, co-presented by Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) and the members of European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) will include screenig of a Polish film, Fugue, directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska. Her debut film, The Lure, a wildly imaginative mermaid vampire disco-musical, was a surprise international hit. Equally impressive, but starkly different in tone, Fugue is her sophomore feature, a tense and mysterious drama about a bedraggled woman who staggers out of the darkness one night, onto a city railway platform. It turns out that the woman had vanished from her domestic life, leaving behind a husband and young son. Slowly she tries to connect to her past identity, but she is unable to truly fit in. Smoczynska’s filmmaking is masterful, and tightly controlled, but it is the courageous and brilliant work of Gabriela Muskala, who wrote the screenplay and stars as the amnesiac woman, that gives the film its haunting power and strangeness.
The eleventh edition of Panorama Europe, includes fiction and documentary works that present a portrait of contemporary Europe during a period of tremendous flux. If there is a unifying thread in the diverse, exciting array of films in this year’s selection, it is a focus on the myriad of ways that the pressures and anxieties of modern life filter down into the most intimate aspects of personal identity. While the films tackle such macro subjects as politics, history, labor, and feminism, they do so with stories that focus microscopically on the lives of individuals. A blind piano player who is both shunned and admired by the aristocracy. A husband and labor activist abandoned by his wife. A lawyer whose wife is in a coma and can only find comfort in self-pity. A glamorous actress reflecting on the emotional turmoil of her life. A mother who reappears after mysteriously leaving her family. These are just some of the unforgettable people whose lives are examined in the inventive and accomplished films in Panorama Europe 2019. Though some of the movies are by established directors, many are by first-time and emerging artists, and more than half are directed by women. While the world these films depict may be fraught, the movies are invigorating in their artistry, a testament to the continued vitality of European cinema.
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