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MoMA announces mid-career retrospective of celebrated French filmmaker Jacques Audiard
A Prophet. 2009. France/Italy. Directed by Jacques Audiard. Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics/Photofest.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art presents Jacques Audiard, a mid-career retrospective highlighting the works of the award-winning French filmmaker. Running August 31 through September 20, 2018, in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, the series closes with a screening of Audiard’s new darkly comic Western The Sisters Brothers, starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. Audiard and Reilly will be present for a postscreening conversation on Thursday, September 20. The film, Audiard’s first English-language feature, will be released in select cities by Annapurna Pictures on Friday, September 21. The series is organized by Sean Egan, Senior Producer, with Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

For audiences who live and breathe film, the cinematic atmosphere created by writer-director Jacques Audiard is among the most intoxicating and sustaining. Since the mid 1990s, he has immersed us in the deeply nuanced worlds of his intricately drawn characters, providing actors like Emmanuelle Devos, Romain Duris, and Tahar Rahim with career-defining roles in the process. A dedicated cinephile, Audiard plays with genre conventions, from crime-thriller to romance to Western, and infuses them with new vitality.

“I have often visited MoMA and I have always marveled, sometimes been literally stunned, at what I see, re-see, or discover,” said Jacques Audiard. “Knowing that my films are going to be screened there immediately provokes in me two sentiments. First of all surprise, the humbled surprise of a director who has always doubted what he is doing. After comes the gratitude, because my films are thought of as meriting being projected at MoMA, where the spirit breathes. I am so thankful.”

“Jacques Audiard is one of the most accomplished filmmakers in current cinema and we are proud to showcase influential works from his career, especially on the eve of his Englishlanguage film debut. We look forward to more art from Audiard in the years to come,” said Rajendra Roy, MoMA’s Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film.

The Sisters Brothers will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it is screening in competition. It will also screen as part of the Toronto International Film Festival as a Special Presentation. The film, based on the novel by Patrick deWitt, is a reimagining of the cinematic Western as a dangerous, witty, and emotionally cathartic exploration of what it means to be a man.

In the film, set in 1851, brothers Charlie and Eli Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly) are assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and hostile world. They have blood on their hands—of both criminals and innocents—and they know no state of existence other than being gunmen. The older of the two, introspective Eli (Reilly), rides hard with his younger sibling yet dares to dream of a normal life. Hard-drinking Charlie (Phoenix) has taken charge with gusto, taking the lead on the duo’s assignments. Each increasingly questions, and quibbles with, the other’s methods.

The Sisters brothers find themselves on a journey through the Northwest, bringing them to the mountains of Oregon, a dangerous brothel in the small town of Mayfield, and, eventually, the Gold Rush land of California—a journey that will test the deadly family ties that bind.

The Sisters Brothers also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, as learned scout John Morris, and Riz Ahmed, as fugitive chemist Hermann Kermit Warm

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