Sunshine for the Poor + That Old Dream That Moves

2001, France, 55m/51m, 35mm

Showtimes & Tickets

Screened May 9, 2019

Part of the program

We present a 35mm double bill from acclaimed queer French filmmaker Alain Guiraudie (Stranger by the Lake). Selected by artist Shahryar Nashat in partnership with the Swiss Institute, on the occasion of Nashat’s first institutional New York exhibition, currently on view. The films will be introduced by writer Bruce Benderson.

Sunshine for the Poor (Du soleil pour les gueux)
France, 2001, 55m, 35mm

Roaming a pastoral landscape, a cast of characters resembling figures from Alice in Wonderland contemplate their burdens, past failures, and mundane lives as they search for a mythical vampire-sheep hybrid—with Guiraudie himself as a shepherd. A verdant, gently existential romp.

In French with English subtitles

Followed by:

That Old Dream That Moves (Ce vieux rêve qui bouge)
France, 2001, 51m, 35mm

A young man arrives at a factory about to be demolished. As he begins to dismantle the machinery, his fellow workers develop a curious attraction to him. Ever attuned to everyday social exchange and the unknowability of desire, Guiraudie’s fixed, unobtrusive camera and eye for lush landscapes convey a deep empathy for the working class, as the sinuous storytelling surprises moment to moment. Jean-Luc Godard anointed it the best movie in Cannes in 2001.

In French with English subtitles

“Alain Guiraudie knows how to film desire.  When asked about the role of desire in his films, he simply said that it is something mysterious that pushes us against each other. His movies illustrate this sentiment. Alain Guiraudie’s characters, settings, and objects are always multivalent. No one is ever just one thing. For Guiraudie, an embrace hides a chokehold, an enemy becomes a partner, and a stare can be both a warning and an invitation. Alain Guiraudie’s films portray a world where people are driven by the need to be close to one another. The technician named Jacques in Guiraudie’s Ce vieux rêve qui bouge at one moment says, “When I want someone, I want someone.” Which is all to say that if he gives up on desire, then he gives up on everything else. I hope you enjoy the screening.” -Shahryar Nashat
Bruce Benderson is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and translator. His long memoir, The Romanian: Story of an Obsession, won the French literary prize, the Prix de Flore, in 2004. Other publications include the essay collection Sex and Isolation, the novels Pacific Agony and User, and the story collection Pretending to Say No. He has also written for The New York Times, Vogue Hommes, The Wall Street Journal, and countless other magazines and newspapers. He is the translator of fifteen books from the French. His story collection Urban Gothic is forthcoming from Itna Press.

A film by Alain Guiraudie

[Guiraudie’s films are] as subtly erotic as [they are] uncompromising and eccentric.”


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