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Spotlight Cinema: Hermia And Helena

  • Madison Museum of Contemporary Art 227 State Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

In its second week, the stellar Spotlight Cinema series at MMoCA presents Hermia And Helena from playful Shakespeare revisionist Matías Piñeiro. The native Argentine director continues in the tradition of his prior pair of quietly theatrical romantic dramas this decade: Viola (2012), which riffs on Twelfth Night, and Princess Of France (2014), which surreally channels Love's Labour's Lost into a radio play. Each ongoing "Shakespearead" (as the director has dubbed them) boasts an overflowing adoration of the blurring of art and life. Through Piñeiro's vibrant, predominantly female troupes, these films explore the fluidity of human identity, literally setting into motion the process of rehearsal as a soft form of time-travel. In essence, these films exist as breezy fantasy, yet they also contain elements of academic documentary on account of both their crew and performers (as Piñeiro is a film professor). The tension between these two elements lends a profound and psychological air to the unfurling drama. In Hermia And Helena, the bright Piñeiro regular Agustina Muñoz stars as Camila, a sort of surrogate for the director himself, a Buenos Aires student on her way to New York on an arts fellowship to fashion a new Spanish translation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. While staying in her friend and former fellowship recipient Carmen (María Villar)'s apartment, Camila begins to receive postcards from a mysterious woman and inherit Carmen's internal and external affairs. Piñeiro uses achronolgical structure to highlight his metaphysical curiosities and meditations on ephemerality and permanence. Fans of the approach here will also appreciate the final film on the Spotlight calendar (Nov 29), Hong Sang-soo's On The Beach At Night Alone. —Grant Phipps

Earlier Event: October 9
Zola Jesus, John Wiese
Later Event: October 12
Indie Game Night (free)