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Aurora’s Sunrise, Beyond the Mat, Real Rap Summer Dance Party: special events and personal appearances in August

Plus: 70mm films continue their spectacular run

August 10, 2023

illustration of a movie premiere at the Plaza hotel with "Auction of Souls" in the marquee
From Aurora's Sunrise, a scene depicting the premiere of the 1919 film Auction of Souls at the Plaza Hotel.

August at MoMI offers plenty to do for both New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors exploring the city. See below for program highlights and appearances by filmmakers and other special guests:

See monthly schedule overview for August 2023 here.

See It Big: 70mm!
Through August 27
What a stunning start to this annual series devoted to 70mm film! Thank you to all the audiences who came out for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Christopher Nolan’s Inception, and John Carpenter’s Starman. Our curator Eric Hynes reports the magnetic soundtrack on Starman holds up, and others have noted the “pristine” print of Inception (which has one more show this Friday, August 11). A draw for cinephiles and anyone curious about experiencing the beauty of seeing movies ON FILM, this series offers the opportunity to see how 70mm offers a crisper, brighter image than 35mm film, with a more robust sound to match. This weekend, we are thrilled to start our runs of Spike Lee’s epic masterwork Malcolm X and Jordan Peele’s Nope, a film that made innovative use of IMAX cameras for a horror movie that is also a provocative dive into Hollywood history, childhood trauma, and a sci-fi western. Note that 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to screen every Sunday night in August. Plus: a new print of the 1970s disaster movie Airport begins showing August 19, and encores of Starman. See schedule. 

Real Rap Summer Dance Party
Saturday, August 19, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Real Rap: Hip-Hop Star Power on Screen, our 14-film series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New York City–born artform of hip-hop, continues with movies featuring OutKast, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, LL Cool J, Eve, Tupac Shakur, and more coming up this month and next. An August highlight is the Real Rap Summer Dance Party on Saturday, August 19, which follows a screening of Idlewild but is open to all who visit the Museum. Join us in the courtyard for refreshments, dance, games, and tunes. Featuring DJ Wiz of Kid ‘n Play, DJ Kaykay47, and Bossman. All museumgoers and film ticketholders are welcome! Upcoming: save the date for our special screening of House Party, followed by a discussion hosted by Afrikan Poetry Theatre on September 19. See full Real Rap schedule.

Aurora’s Sunrise
With director Inna Sahakyan in person

Saturday, August 12, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 13, 1:00 p.m.
The remarkable life of Aurora Mardiganian, who survives the horrors of the Armenian genocide as a teenager and goes on to write her life story and star in a film about her experience, is captured in Sahakyan’s film. Aurora’s Sunrise blends vivid animation, archival photos, interviews with Aurora as an elderly woman (she died at age 93), and footage from the silent film Auction of Souls. Armenia’s official 2022 Oscar submission and winner of Best Animated Film – Asia Pacific Screen Awards and the Audience Award at 2022 Animation Is Film Festival, Los Angeles. Get tickets.

Mariupolis and Mariupolis 2
August 18 (for both films), plus additional dates
In 2016's Mariupolis, director Mantas Kvedaravicius explored everyday life in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in the wake of Russia’s siege of Crimea in 2014. In 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he returned to be with the people he had met and filmed to make Mariupolis 2. Shortly after the last footage we see in the film, Kvedaravicius was murdered by Russian forces—leaving his widow Hanna Bilbrova to edit and complete this film. It received a world premiere mere months later at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. This raw, fiercely human document illuminates staggering acts of endurance and resistance within a community under siege. See both films August 18 (combo ticket available), with repeat screenings on August 19 & 20. Part of New Adventures in Nonfiction. Get tickets.

Beyond the Mat
Introduced by Tod Gordon, creator of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and author Sean Oliver, co-owner of pro wrestling production company Kayfabe Commentaries

Saturday, August 26, 6:00 p.m.
A rare, intimate look behind the curtain of the no-holds-barred world of professional wrestling that has been billed as “the movie Vince McMahon doesn’t want you to see,” Barry W. Blaustein’s Beyond the Mat will screen as part of our Disreputable Cinema series. Tod Gordon, who created the cult-favorite Extreme Championship Wrestling, will be our special guest. He and Sean Oliver, co-authors of Tod Is God: The Authorized Story of How I Created Extreme Championship Wrestling, will sign copies of their book in the MoMI Gift Shop before and after the screening. Get tickets.

King Coal
With Elaine McMillion Sheldon in person

Saturday, September 9, 6:00 p.m.
Native Appalachian and Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon joins us in person for a screening of her alluring cinematic journey through the past, present, and future of Appalachia. Part of New Adventures in Nonfiction. Get tickets.

See you at MoMI!