MoMA’s Film Contenders for 2015

Filmmaker Michael Moore. | DOG EAT DOG FILMS
Filmmaker Michael Moore. | DOG EAT DOG FILMS

BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Whether or not they’ve even received a theatrical release, the Museum of Modern Art, each year, curates a collection of film “contenders” that its Department of Film concludes “will stand the test of time.”

About the films chosen, the museum’s program notes say, “Their significance can be attributed to a variety of factors, from structure to subject matter to language, but these films are united in their lasting impact on the cinematic art form.”

In a program that runs through Friday, January 15, MoMA screens these films because “any true cinephile will want to catch them on the big screen.” Screenings, for which tickets ($12; $10 for seniors; $8 for students) can be purchased at moma.org/calendar/film/1561, take place (almost) daily at 7:30 p.m. at the museum at 11 West 53rd Street:

Jan. 1: Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart,” a heartbreaking meditation on what China has lost in its staggering modernization.

Jan. 2: Chaitanya Tamhane’s “Court,” an absurdist send-up of institutional injustice in India.

Jan. 3: David Robert Mitchell’s “It Follows,” a post-HIV body horror film about the dangers lurking in every person.

Jan. 4: Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” featuring Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne as the transgender pioneer Lili Elbe.

Jan. 5: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “The Revenant,” a stunning tale, inspired by true events, about one man’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) desperate struggle for survival and revenge.

Jan. 7: Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s “Mustang,” a Turkish director’s examination of repressive sexual mores in her home country.

Jan. 8: Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next,” the iconoclastic documentary filmmaker’s valentine to what he views as European exceptionalism.

Jan. 9: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s “The Assassin,” an anti-“Kill Bill” set in ninth century China.

Jan. 10: Frederick Wiseman’s “In Jackson Heights,” an invaluable look at both diversity and the dangers of gentrification in current day Queens.

Jan. 12: S. Craig Zahler’s “Bone Tomahawk,” a genre melding of the American Western and gothic horror.

Jan. 13: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s “Mississippi Grind,” a buddy film featuring the best turn yet by Ryan Reynolds.

Jan. 14: Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga’s “Flowers,” about a magical intercession into a menopausal woman’s malaise.

Jan. 15: John Crowley’s “Brooklyn,” based on the novel by Colm Tóibín about the dreams mid-19th century New York held out for the wretched masses of Ireland.

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