Virtual Screening Room
The MFA’s Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program continues to present the very best of international, documentary, and independent films during the Museum’s temporary closure. In this unprecedented time, we are glad to offer a thoughtful selection of groundbreaking films to view in the comfort and safety of your own home. New releases premiere every Friday and are available to rent through our partner websites. Your participation provides revenue for the MFA and our colleagues at numerous distribution companies. We remain grateful to you, our audiences, for your generous and continued support.
Lucian Freud: A Self Portrait
Available May 22–June 4, $12
Directed by David Bickerstaff (UK, 2020, 80 min.).
This documentary explores the compelling self-portraits of Lucian Freud that were brought together for a 2019 exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Freud’s self-portraits provide a fascinating glimpse into the artist’s psyche and his development as a painter, and exclusive footage takes viewers inside the studio where he worked.Rent Lucian Freud Today
The Painter and the Thief
Available May 22–June 4, $3.99
Directed by Benjamin Ree (Norway, 2020, 102 min.). In Norwegian and English with English subtitles.
Desperate for answers about the theft of her two paintings, a Czech artist seeks out and befriends the career criminal who stole them. After inviting her thief to sit for a portrait, the two form an improbable relationship and an inextricable bond that will forever link these lonely souls.Rent The Painter and the Thief Today
I, Claude Monet
Available May 29–June 11, $12
Directed by Phil Grabsky (UK, 2017, 90 min.).
Behind his sun-dazzled canvases, Claude Monet suffered from depression and loneliness. At the same time, he was possessed of humor, insight, and a love of gardening. Told through Monet’s own words and shot on location in the very places he painted, I, Claude Monet features is an immersive, unforgettable experience featuring some of the artist’s most beloved paintings.Rent I, Claude Monet Today
Available May 29–June 11, $12
Directed by Dan Sallitt (US, 2019, 94 Min.).
Mara and Jo have been close friends since middle school. Despite her intellectual gifts, Jo loses and acquires jobs at a troubling rate. Substance abuse may be responsible for her instability, but a deeper problem lurks. The more stable Mara sometimes tries to help and backs away at other times, but she never leaves behind her powerful childhood connection with Jo.Rent Fourteen Today
Stills from Lucian Freud: A Self Portrait (2020) and I, Claude Monet (2017) courtesy of Seventh Art. Still from The Painter and the Thief (2020) courtesy of Neon. Still from Fourteen (2019) courtesy of Grasshoper Film.
The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement
Available June 5–18, $12
Directed by Phil Grabsky (UK, 2017, 87 min.).
A feast for the eyes, this documentary looks at a mesmerizing exhibition on American Impressionism that traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Florence Griswold Museum in 2015. Inspired by European artists like Renoir and Monet, American Impressionism followed its own path, one tied to a love of gardens and a desire to preserve nature in a rapidly urbanizing nation.
Available June 5–18, $5.99
Directed by Josephine Decker (US, 2020, 107 min.).
Famed horror writer Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss) is working on her next novel when the arrival of a newlywed couple upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband (Michael Stuhlbarg). The middle-aged couple, prone to ruthless barbs and copious afternoon cocktails, begins to toy mercilessly with the naïve young lovers.
Still from The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement (2017) courtesy of Seventh Art. Still from Shirley (2020) courtesy of Cornerstone.
Picks from the MFA’s Curator of Film
While the MFA is closed, Carter Long, Katharine Stone White Curator of Film and Video, is highlighting some of the best films to watch from home. To coincide with the virtual launch of “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation,” Long shares his thoughts on three classics from the early hip-hop era as well as a recent documentary on Jean-Michel Basquiat. Watch the trailers and get info on where to stream or rent.