Richard Peña Selects

December 1–3, 2023
Lenfest Center for the Arts

Programmed by Rob King, Film & Media Studies and Jack Lechner, Film
Managed by Alexandre Ilic, Film

For three decades, Richard Peña has been one of the leading voices and tastemakers in New York film culture – as former director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as former head programmer of the New York Film Festival, and as host of Reel 13 Classics on PBS channel Thirteen. Along the way, he has been instrumental in introducing North American audiences to the diversity and richness of global cinema, a legacy that he has continued as a professor at Columbia University for the past 25 years.

On the eve of his retirement, Professor Peña has selected six films of particular importance to him and his career, ranging from classic Hollywood noir (Kiss Me Deadly) to one of the last Chinese films made before the Cultural Revolution (Two Stage Sisters). In keeping with the breadth and pluralism that have always been his hallmark, many of the selected films are either little known or hard to see. The series culminates with an in-person discussion moderated by MoMA curator Josh Siegel, in which Professor Peña reflects on his career as New York City’s most influential film curator.

Festival Schedule

still from Law of Desire
Law of Desire (La ley del deseo)

Friday, December 1 @ 7 PM
Pedro Almodóvar, 1987, DCP

still from Residue film

Saturday, December 2 @ 12 PM
Merawi Gerima, 2020, DCP

women starlets from Kiss Me Deadly film
Kiss Me Deadly

Saturday, December 2 @ 3 PM
Robert Aldrich, 1955, DCP

The Day I Became a Woman (Roozi ke zan shodam)
The Day I Became a Woman (Roozi ke zan shodam)

Sunday, December 3 @ 12pm
Marzieh Meshkini, 2000, DCP

richard pena
Richard Peña in Conversation

Sunday, December 3 @ 3 PM

still from Two Stage Sisters
Two Stage Sisters

Sunday, December 3 @ 6:30 PM
Xie Jin, 1964, DVD

The program organizers would like to thank Annette Insdorf and Ron Gregg for providing funds for the series. Thanks also to Andrew Castillo, Dawn Elizabeth Clements, Chris Chouinard, Sarah Cole, Tiffany M. Davis, Michael DiCerto, Youssef Jouini, Maysam Makhmalbaf, David Maxwell Park, Richard Peña, Josh Siegel, Zack Tinkelman, Kimberly Tran, Bernardo Garcia Valencia, Wenxin Wang, Lauren Weigel, and Jana Wright.