PREMIERES

CONCRETE UTOPIA

The latest and greatest in global cinema comes to Madison! Our popular Madison Premieres series continues on Thursday nights from January 25-February 29! Join us for early or exclusive looks at the most exciting films being created today from all corners of cinema, ranging from a major new works by arthouse icons (like Wim Wenders Anselm in 3-D!), invigorating debut features (Julio Torres’ Problemista and Felipe Gálvez Haberle’s The Settlers), an action-packed international blockbuster (Concrete Utopia from South Korea), and more! This calendar’s selection begins with a movie ranked high on many critics “Best of 2023” lists, Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest. This series was made possible by a generous donation from an anonymous cinephile. Other support provided by UW LACIS and the Center for East Asian Studies.

  • Thu., Jan. 25 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This chilling adaptation of Martin Amis’ novel depicts the rather banal domestic life of Hedwig Höss (Hüller) and her husband, Rudolf Höss (Friedel), commandant at Auschwitz. Filmed on location, the story is set almost entirely in the family home of the Hösses, who raised their children directly adjacent to the train tracks, gas chambers, and crematoria of the death camp. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and one of the best-reviewed films of the last year, The Zone of Interest is another fascinating study of pathological behavior from the eclectic Glazer, director of Sexy Beast, Birth, and Under the Skin.

  • Thu., Feb. 1 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

As he did in Pina (2011), director Wenders makes full use of the latest in 3-D technology to craft a suitably visionary portrait of another acclaimed and forward-thinking German artist: Anselm Kiefer. Filmed primarily in the artist’s vast, 200-acre property-cum-studio, Wenders uses ultra-high resolution 3-D to photograph Kiefer’s massive artworks in almost sculptural detail. “Wenders continues to push the boundaries of 3D filmmaking with a visually-striking documentary that pulls the audience into the artistic process” (Sight & Sound). (MK)

  • Thu., Feb. 8 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

The effervescent new comedy from Ozon is buzzing with giddy verve and resplendent in Art Deco luxury. The story, set in 1930s Paris, tells of an aspiring actress accused of murdering a lascivious producer. When the charming Madeline takes the stand (with her roommate as her defense attorney), she quickly wins over the press and finally achieves the fame and glory she’s been after all these years… until another actress turns up, claiming to be the real killer. This madcap farce “is full to bursting with brilliant lines” (Cineuropa). (MK)

  • Thu., Feb. 15 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Parasite-style class warfare meets the disaster movie in this highly entertaining Korean blockbuster. An apocalyptic earthquake levels Seoul, with only one apartment building left standing. As desperate outsiders scramble to gain entry to this high-rise paradise, its threatened residents seal themselves inside—only to begin turning on one another. Concrete Utopia won Best Film at the Grand Bell Awards (Korea’s Oscar equivalent), joining the ranks of the last three winners: Decision to Leave, Parasite, and Burning. Presented with the support of the Center for East Asian Studies at UW Madison. (MK)

  • Thu., Feb. 22 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

A conflict between a misbehaving fifth-grader, his defensive mom, and his school’s bureaucracy threatens to boil over with tense accusations. But as the film twice doubles back to replay its central events through different characters’ perspectives, we come to see that the truth is far more complex than any individual can comprehend. Monster’s engaging, daring, and illuminating three-part structure fittingly won the Best Screenplay award at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Featuring the final score by the iconic composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, Monster also marks master filmmaker’s Hirokazu Kore-eda's first Japanese feature since winning the Palme d’Or for Shoplifters. Presented with the support of the Center for East Asian Studies at UW Madison. (MK)

  • Thu., Feb. 29 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

At the dawn of the 20th century in the remote corners of the Tierra del Fuego, three men—a Scottish soldier, an American mercenary, and a mestizo marksman—are tasked with surveying the region for a wealthy landowner. As they roam the Andes, it becomes apparent that their real mission is to wipe out the indigenous population. This mesmerizing, superbly crafted debut feature has been compared by critics to the works of Martin Scorsese and Budd Boetticher. (MK)