Museum of the Moving ImagePlus, annual Curators’ Choice series; theatrical runs of Feast of the Epiphany, Downtown 81, and Chinese Portrait; and a special live performance event relating to Andy Kaufman

December 2019–January 2020

Astoria, N.Y. — Museum of the Moving Image has announced that the major exhibition Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey will open January 18, 2020, accompanied by a series of films that influenced Kubrick and co-writer Arthur C. Clarke; regular screenings of 2001: A Space Odyssey, in DCP and 70mm; plus additional to-be-announced events. In addition, the annual Curators’ Choice series returns in December and January and features some of the past year’s best films, and curators’ personal favorites, with some filmmaker appearances. Below is an overview of programs from late-November through January 2020; additional programs will be announced as they are confirmed.

Please note: First Look Festival will take place March 11–15, 2020.


Feast of the Epiphany
Exclusive New York theatrical run of a Reverse Shot film directed by Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert, and Farihah Zaman
NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 8, 2019: With filmmakers in person for select screenings
On a weekend day like any other, the simple but lovingly prepared meal a young woman makes for friends takes on unexpected significance. Revelry turns to meditations on mortality, and the tiniest, hard-won gesture of goodness comes from an unexpected party. Night turns to day, and viewers are taken somewhere else entirely―albeit with a lingering dissolve of emotions, ideas, and grace. The first Reverse Shot film production, Feast of the Epiphany, is both a formally ingenious docu-fictional diptych and an uncommonly sensitive, unified rumination on the ways people form and choose communities, collaborations, and support groups in the face of hardship, labor, and loss. (Dirs. Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman. 2018, 80 mins. With Meng Ai, Nikki Calonge, Sean Donovan, Jill Frutkin, Jessie Shelton.) Available for review. Schedule & Tickets

Downtown 81
A time capsule of 1980s Lower Manhattan featuring artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
DECEMBER 6–15, 2019
In 1981, writer and Warhol associate Glenn O’Brien, Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio, and then unknown artist Jean-Michel Basquiat hit the streets of lower Manhattan to make a movie about the bombed out bohemia that they knew. Left incomplete due to money problems and assembled for release in 2000, Downtown 81, which follows Basquiat trying to move a painting while hustling for a place to sleep, became a window on a lost world of life on the margins and crazy creative ferment. Featuring John Lurie, Fab Five Freddy, and Debbie Harry, with musical performances by DNA, James White and the Blacks, and Kid Creole and the Coconuts—and Manhattan in all its mangy glory. (Dir. Edo Bertoglio. 1981. 72 mins. 35mm. With Jean-Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry, John Lurie, Fab 5 Freddie, Kid Creole and the Coconuts.) A Metrograph Pictures release. Schedule & Tickets

Chinese Portrait
Exclusive New York theatrical run of the stunning nonfiction film by acclaimed director Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle; So Long, My Son)  
DECEMBER 13–22, 2019
Wang Xiaoshuai’s personal snapshot of contemporary China in all its diversity, Chinese Portrait was shot over the course of ten years on both film and video, and showcases carefully composed tableaus of people and environments, each one more extraordinary than the last. Pedestrians shuffle across a bustling Beijing street, steelworkers linger outside a deserted factory, tourists laugh and scamper across a crowded beach, worshippers kneel to pray in a remote village. With a painterly eye for composition, Wang captures China as he sees it, stealing moments of reflection from a society in a constant state of change. (Dir. Wang Xiaoshuai. 2018, 110 mins. In Mandarin with English subtitles.) A Cinema Guild release. Available for review. Press Materials | Schedule & Tickets

Curators’ Choice
DECEMBER 20, 2019–JANUARY 12, 2020
MoMI Curator of Film Eric Hynes and Assistant Curator of Film Edo Choi select some of the best films of the past year, including their personal favorites and critically acclaimed awards contenders, with some filmmakers in person. Titles include: Khalik Allah’s Black Mother, American Factory with Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert in person, Midsommar with Ari Aster in person, Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, Kent Jones’s Diane, James Gray’s Ad Astra, Claire Denis’s High Life, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Robert Eggers’s The Lighthouse, Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (in 35mm), Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I & II, Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki, Dominga Sotomayor’s Too Late to Die Young, Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book, Carlos Reygadas’s Our Time, Mati Diop’s Atlantics, Nathan Silver’s Cutting My Mother, and other titles to be confirmed.

Influencing 2001: Films That Inspired Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke
This film series accompanies the Museum’s new exhibition Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey, which opens January 18, 2020. Stanley Kubrick was an omnivorous cinephile. While conceiving 2001: A Space Odyssey, he and his co-writer Arthur C. Clarke watched science-fiction films from around the world, Cinerama westerns, documentaries, and avant-garde movies, looking for artistic, technical, and narrative inspiration. Organized by Curator-at-Large David Schwartz, this eight-film series features some of the films that clearly had an influence on Kubrick’s masterpiece. They include: George Pal’s Destination Moon, Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and The Virgin Spring, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, the Czech fantasy–sci-fi Ikarie XB-1, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and more.

In addition, the Museum continues to present programs in its ongoing series Changing the Picture (see below); Fist and Sword (Kung Fu League on Dec 6); Always on Sunday: Greek Film Series (John Cassavetes’s Gloria on Dec 15); New Adventures in Nonfiction; Jim Henson's World; Science on Screen; and World of Animation (Studio Ghibli’s The Cat Returns on Dec 14 & 15).


Thanksgiving Recess with Toy Story 4
Daily matinees of Pixar’s Toy Story 4 at 12:00 p.m. accompanied by drop-in mediamaking studios spotlighting animation. (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Info & Tickets

Lunch Poems in VHS Tapes
With Miss Expanding Universe and J Triangular in person
Guest curator Tiffany Joy Butler interviews artists J Triangular and Ashley Yang-Thompson (a.k.a. Miss Expanding Universe) after a screening of their experimental video journal that extends performance art into the everyday, daring to imagine a surreal world of intimacy between kindred spirits who wander, dance, sing, and simply live in New York City. Part of the series Changing the Picture. Info & Tickets

I Trusted You: Andy Kaufman on the Edge of Performance
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 5:00–9:00 P.M.
Organized by guest curator Brian Hubble, this happening celebrates the genius of Andy Kaufman, who challenged the traditional role of the comic throughout his career. The event will feature live performances that Kaufman either performed himself or conceived of, clips of some of his interventions on live television, a screening of My Breakfast with Blassie (1983) starring Andy Kaufman and wrestler Freddie Blassie, and a conversation between Kaufman's brother and sister followed by a Q&A. (Oat) Milk and cookies will be served, courtesy of Oatly and Bread Alone Baker. Press Release | Info & Tickets

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
With Sonia Manzano in person
A special holiday screening of the beloved 1978 special, in which Big Bird deals with a major question (How does Santa fit down the chimney?) and Ernie & Bert face their own gift-giving dilemma. Special guests will be on hand to discuss the show and present clips from other Sesame Street holiday shows. Part of the Museum’s monthly series Jim Henson’s World. Info & Tickets

Cinema Eye Honors: Koyaanisqatsi with Godfrey Reggio in person
JANUARY 4, 2020
Koyaanisqatsi, the 2020 recipient of the Cinema Eye Honors Legacy Award, will be presented in a special screening with director Godfrey Reggio in person. “Each element of Koyaanisqatsi: Ron Fricke’s epic cinematography, Philip Glass’s legendary score and Fricke and Alton Walpole’s stunning editing endures and inspires new generations of filmmakers and influences many of the films that are made today,” said CEH Founding Director A.J. Schnack. The Cinema Eye Honors awards ceremony will take place January 6 at MoMI.

A Tribute to Gilberto Perez
The Museum will host a tribute to film historian and critic Gilberto Perez (1943–2015), author of the posthumously published The Eloquent Screen: A Rhetoric of Film (University of Minnesota Press, 2019). Guest speakers to be announced.


Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey
JANUARY 18–JULY 19, 2020
In the Changing Exhibitions Gallery
Directed by Stanley Kubrick and developed in collaboration with writer Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) depicts the fraught relationship between humanity and technology, using pioneering special effects. Made before the first moon landing, the film had and continues to exert widespread influence on cinema, design, painting, architecture, and advertising. Museum of the Moving Image will present a major exhibition that explores Kubrick’s influences, his obsessive research, and his innovative production process in envisioning a world of the future—the year 2001 from the viewpoint of the 1960s. The exhibition includes original artifacts from international collections and from the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of the Arts London, as well as from the Museum’s own collection. Press Release | More Info
Envisioning 2001: Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey was organized by the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum in Frankfurt am Main (where a version of the exhibition debuted in 2018), supported by the Stanley Kubrick Archive at University of the Arts London, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., and Stanley Kubrick Film Archives LLC. Additional support provided by: George Lucas Family Foundation, Film and Furniture.

The Situation Room
Featuring work by Carlos Alfonzo Sanchez
JANUARY 8–MARCH 8, 2020: Sam Rolfes
Commissioned by the Museum, six artists have each created four original GIFs that will be presented as two-month installations on the walls and ceiling of the visitor elevator, an exhibition environment that offers a unique and intimate encounter with the work. Organized by independent curator Lindsay Howard. Presented with support from Giphy Arts. Press Release | More Info

Creatures from the Land of Thra: Character Design for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Part of the core exhibition Behind the Screen. Press Release | More Info

Don’t Forget the Pictures: Glass Slides from the Collection
In the Amphitheater Gallery. Press Release | More Info

Reimagining the Cel: Experiments in Animation from the 1980s
OCTOBER 12–MARCH 15, 2020
In the Video Screening Amphitheater. More Info

The Jim Henson Exhibition
Second floor. More Info

Behind the Screen
Second and third floors. More Info

Press contact: Tomoko Kawamoto, or 718 777 6830.

Museum of the Moving Image ( advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In its stunning facility—acclaimed for both its accessibility and bold design—the Museum presents exhibitions; screenings of significant works; discussion programs featuring actors, directors, craftspeople, and business leaders; and education programs which serve more than 70,000 students each year. The Museum also houses a significant collection of moving-image artifacts.

Hours: Wednesday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Museum Admission: $15 adults; $11 senior citizens (ages 65+) and students (ages 18+) with ID; $9 youth (ages 3–17). Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. 
Free Friday Nights: free gallery admission every Friday, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. presented by the Richmond Country Savings Foundation. Additionally, this program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. 

Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $15 adults / $11 students and seniors / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted or free for Museum members. Advance purchase is available online. 

Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.

Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street. W (weekdays only). N or W to 36 Ave.

Program Information: Telephone: 718 777 6888; Website:

Membership: or 718 777 6877

Museum of the Moving Image is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and has received significant support from the following public agencies: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York City Council; New York City Economic Development Corporation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Institute of Museum and Library Services; National Endowment for the Humanities; National Endowment for the Arts; and Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation). For more information, please visit