Film Series

Modern Cinema: Criterion Collection and Apichatpong Weerasethakul

October 7–23, 2016

Phyllis Wattis Theater

Co-presented by SFMOMA and the San Francisco Film Society, Modern Cinema is a new film series exploring the dynamic forces interacting between cinema’s past and present.

Cinema is a thoroughly modern invention—one that has evolved in tandem with and illuminated the complexities of the modern world. This drive to investigate the relationships, trials, and transformations that define our lives continues to motivate contemporary filmmakers—who build on and question the films and techniques of their predecessors. Modern Cinema reveals this ongoing dialogue, and shines a light on the historical continuity and ongoing impact of this most modern of art forms.

In our inaugural program, we pay tribute to an institution that has become synonymous with the very best of international art cinema. Founded in 1984, the Criterion Collection and its sister company Janus Films have championed filmmakers and films that have made a significant impact on critics, audiences, and artists alike. The resulting canon of works brings the defining moments of cinema to a wide audience, moments that continue to reappear like spirits through contemporary films.

Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose video installation Phantoms of Nabua is featured in the exhibition Film as Place, on view at SFMOMA September 10 through October 30, draws on this rich history of filmmaking. His work, which often features ghostlike characters caught between states of life and death, repurposes elements from a broad swath of modern film culture to make his much-celebrated feature films, experimental shorts, and ambitious installation projects.


Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by The Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. Additional support is provided by Becky Draper.

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Header image: (mobile) Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels (still), 1975; image: courtesy Janus Films

Three Weekends of Modern Cinema

Join us for Modern Cinema, a new film series unfolding over three weekends in October—themes include films that haunt cinema, the spectral work of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and tales of horror and the supernatural.