15 Films Art Lovers Can Watch in Theaters in April

Get ready for a month of movies.

Im Heung-soon, Factory Complex (2014), film still. Photo: courtesy the Art of the Real.

Im Heung-soon, Factory Complex (2014), film still.
Photo: courtesy the Art of the Real.

When the Tribeca Film Festival (April 13–24, 2016) kicks off next week, its opening night will be dedicated to the biggest exhibition the Metropolitan Museum of Art has seen in many a year: First Monday in May, directed by Andrew Rossi, goes behind the scenes at the institution’s Costume Institute during preparations for last year’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” show and the accompanying Met Gala.

The First Monday in May film still. Photo: Magnolia.

The First Monday in May film still.
Photo: Magnolia.

The documentary, which will screen twice during the festival—the world premiere will take place at Tribeca Performing Arts Center on April 13 at 7:30, with an encore at Regal Cinemas Battery Park on April 14 at 9:00—is just one of a number of art-related films that will be on offer during the ten-day event.

Tribeca is hardly the only place to catch arty films in New York this month, however. Here’s a list of some other film selections artnet News is looking forward to in April.

Thursday, April 7–ongoing:

Alexander Sokurov, <em>Francofonia</em>, film still (2015). <br>Photo: courtesy Film Forum.

Alexander Sokurov, Francofonia, film still (2015).
Photo: courtesy Film Forum.

1. Francofonia at Film Forum/Lincoln Plaza Cinema
From Russian director Alexander Sokurov comes the true story of museum director Jacques Jaujard (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) and German officer Count Franz Wolff-Metternich (Benjamin Utzerath), who tried to save the Louvre‘s artworks from the Nazis during World War II. In case you’re wondering, it has way better reviews than The Monuments Men.

Location: 209 West Houston Street/1886 Broadway
Price: $14/15
Time: numerous daily screenings

Thursday, April 7–Tuesday, April 12:

Jacques Tardi, <em>April and the Extraordinary World</em> (2015), film still. <br>Photo: courtesy IFC Center.

Jacques Tardi, April and the Extraordinary World (2015), film still.
Photo: courtesy IFC Center.

2. April and the Extraordinary World at IFC Center
In this animated feature based on Jacques Tardi‘s graphic novel of the same name, a young girl lives in a steampunk Paris in the 1940s, where there are two Eiffel Towers and no scientists. The fantastical film is directed by Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci and comes from the producers of the Oscar-nominated 2007 graphic novel adaptation Persepolis.

Location: 323 Avenue of the Americas
Price: $14
Time: 10:40 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 3:05 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:55 p.m., 10:10 p.m.

Thursday, April 7:

The poster for Randall Wright's David Hockney documentary, Hockney. Photo: courtesy the BBC.

The poster for Randall Wright’s David Hockney documentary, Hockney.
Photo: courtesy the BBC.

3. Hockney at Nitehawk Cinema
Ahead of the official April 22 New York/Los Angeles debut of this Randall Wright-helmed documentary, the Nitehawk in Williamsburg will screen the film as part of its “Art Seen” series, run in partnership with Frieze. Drawn from David Hockney’s personal archive of photographs and films, the movie, shot in 2014, chronicles the British artist’s decades-long career, from the 1960s onward.

Location: 136 Metropolitan Avenue between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue
Price: $15
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 8:

Harvey Wang, <em>Sally Mann</em>. <br /> Photo: courtesy SVA.

Harvey Wang, Sally Mann.
Photo: courtesy SVA.

4. From Dark Room to Daylight, SVA Theatre
Director Harvey Wang interviews analog photographers Sally Mann, David Glodblatt, Jerome Liebling, and more, to find out how the rise of digital photography has changed their careers. Photoshop co-creator and Steven Sasson, who  built the world’s first digital camera, also chime in. A Q&A and book signing with Wang will follow the screening.

Location: 333 West 23rd Street
Price: Free
Time: 7:00 p.m.

What Means Something. Photo: courtesy Ben Rivers.

What Means Something.
Photo: courtesy Ben Rivers.

5. What Means Something at Art of the Real
The opening night of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual non-fiction film festival (now in its third year) features the world premiere of British director Ben Rivers’s short documentary film on octogenarian artist Rose Wylie. Offering a quiet portrait of the painter at work, the film captures Wylie’s creative process, in all its intricacies. The night will also include a Q&A with Rivers.

Location: Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, north side, upper level
Price: $14
Time: 9:15 p.m.

Sunday, April 10:

Im Heung-soon, Factory Complex (2014), film still. Photo: courtesy the Art of the Real.

Im Heung-soon, Factory Complex (2014), film still.
Photo: courtesy the Art of the Real.

6. Factory Complex at Art of the Real
Im Heung-soon’s exposé on the exploitation of unskilled female factory workers in South Korea and Cambodia earned him the Silver Lion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. In Khmer and Korean with English subtitles, the 2014 film is being screened in the US for the very first time, although Im’s 2015 two-screen video installation Reincarnation was the subject of a MoMA PS1 exhibition of the same name last year.

Location: Francesca Beale Theater, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at 144 West 65th Street
Price: $14
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Poster for <em>Unzipped</eM>, the Isaac Mizrahi documentary. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Poster for Unzipped, the Isaac Mizrahi documentary.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

7. Unzipped at Film Forum
This 1995 documentary about fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi preparing for his fall 1994 show is being revisited by Film Forum on the occasion of his first museum exhibition, “Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History” at New York’s Jewish Museum. Iconic supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Kate Moss all feature in the Douglas Keeve-directed film, and Mizrahi himself will be on hand for the screening.

Location: 209 West Houston Street
Price: $14
Time: 8:00 p.m.

Monday, April 11

Rosa Barba, <em>The Empirical Effect</em> (2009). <br>Photo: © 2016 Rosa Barba.

Rosa Barba, The Empirical Effect (2009).
Photo: © 2016 Rosa Barba.

8. An Evening With Rosa Barba, at the Museum of Modern Art
For MoMA’s Modern Monday, Berlin-based artist and filmmaker Rosa Barba will present a number of her works from the past decade, including landscape films, experimental documentaries, and text-based works. The day before, on Sunday, April 10, Barba will debut a new performance, White Museum – Live, at MoMA PS1.

Location: MoMA, T2, Titus Theater 2, 11 West 53rd Street
Price: $12
Time: 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13

Andrés Duque, <em>Oleg and the Rare Arts</em> (2016), film still. <br>Photo: courtesy Art of the Real.

Andrés Duque, Oleg and the Rare Arts (2016), film still.
Photo: courtesy Art of the Real.

9. Oleg and the Rare Arts at Art of the Real
The spectacularly gorgeous Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg serves as a stunning backdrop for this film about Russian pianist Oleg Nikolaevitch Karavaychuk, a legend in his native land. A number of riveting performances are interspersed with shots of Karavaychuk ruminating about his day, the museum’s artwork, and his life in general. Seen here in its North American debut, the film, by Andrés Duque, was the top prizewinner at Punto de Vista’s documentary festival.

Location: Francesca Beale Theater, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at 144 West 65th Street
Price: $14
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 14

Mick Rock. Bowie, Limp Wrist, San Francisco, (1972). Copyright Mick Rock 2016

Mick Rock. Bowie, Limp Wrist, San Francisco, (1972).
Copyright Mick Rock 2016

10. Big Bowie Bash: A Tribute… Redux, at Anthology Film Archive
In honor of the recent passing of beloved artist and musician David Bowie, KGB Movie Friends has produced a tribute video, being screened at Anthology for the second time. “Celebrate the bounty of everything Bowie, with clips, videos, performance footage, interviews, and miscellany,” reads the event description. This over four-hour compilation “will have you singing, crying, laughing, gasping, and… dancing in the streets!”

Location: 32 Second Avenue
Price: $11
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 15

Denis Côté, <em>Bestiaire</em> (2012), film still. <br>Photo: courtesy the Museum of Art and Design.

Denis Côté, Bestiaire (2012), film still.
Photo: courtesy the Museum of Art and Design.

11. Bestiaire at the Museum of Arts and Design
This avant-garde nature documentary from Denis Côté explores our relationship with the natural world by training the camera on grazing animals. Rather than anthropomorphizing our furry friends, this approach depersonalizes the animals’ blank stares, causing the viewer to question how animals may be studying them.

Location: The Theater at MAD, 2 Columbus Circle
Price: $11
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 16

José Luis Guerín, <em>Academy of the Muses</em> (2015), film still. <br>Photo: courtesy Art of the Real.

José Luis Guerín, Academy of the Muses (2015), film still.
Photo: courtesy Art of the Real.

12. Academy of the Muses at Art of the Real
University of Barcelona philology professor Raffaele Pinto’s attempt to teach a class on how women have served as muses in art and literature are documented by director José Luis Guerín. Pinto’s students, all actresses, pose incisive questions and objections to his points. The film also steps outside the classroom, visiting Pinto at home with his wife and providing a glimpse into the women’s personal lives.

Location: Francesca Beale Theater, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at 144 West 65th Street
Price: $14
Time: 6:30 p.m.

Monday, April 25

Don Hardy Jr., <em>Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents </em> (2015), film still. <br>Photo: courtesy Metrograph.

Don Hardy Jr., Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents (2015), film still.
Photo: courtesy Metrograph.

13. Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents at Metrograph
Formed in 1969, the Residents art collective is known for its avant-garde music and its commitment to anonymity, often performing in face-obscuring eyeball-shaped helmets. Director Don Hardy Jr. accompanied the mysterious group on their 40th tour across Europe and the US, capturing behind-the-scenes moments as well as their elaborately-staged performances.

Location: Francesca Beale Theater, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at 144 West 65th Street
Price: $15
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 27–Tuesday, May 10

Hesse's career was cut short when she died of a brain tumor aged just 34. Photo: Eva Hesse, Life + Work Documentary via Facebook.

Hesse’s career was cut short when she died of a brain tumor aged just 34.
Photo: Eva Hesse, Life + Work Documentary via Facebook.

14. Eva Hesse at Film Forum
Film Forum debuts this new documentary on the innovative, all-too-short life and career of German-born artist Eva Hesse, who died of a brain tumor at age 34. Director Marcie Begleiter combines archival footage with contemporary interviews and mines Hesse’s personal journals and extensive correspondence with friend and mentor Sol LeWitt to paint a vivid portrait of Hesse’s complex career, which endures today despite its tragic brevity.

Location: 209 West Houston Street, west of 6th Avenue
Price: $14
Time: 12:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:10 p.m. 7:30 p.m., 9:50 p.m.

Friday, April 29

Yung Jake, <eM>Datamosh</em> (2011). <br>Photo: courtesy Steve Turner, Los Angeles.

Yung Jake, Datamosh (2011).
Photo: courtesy Steve Turner, Los Angeles.

15. An Evening With Yung Jake, at the Museum of Modern Art
Rapper and new media art sensation Yung Jake offers a unique night of film, combining his viral music videos with GIFs, memes, and live rapping, tweeting, and texting. The evening marks the final night of MoMA’s “Slithering Screens” series of original cinematic works from the Sundance Film Festival‘s “New Frontier” program, now in its tenth year. “Come see him IRL,” the event listing commands.

Location: MoMA, T1, Titus Theater 1, 11 West 53rd Street
Price: $30
Time: 8:00 p.m.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share

Article topics