Mistaken for Strangers

  • Tuesday June 16, 2015 9:00 PM

June 16 – Mistaken for Strangers, 2013
75 minutes
Hailed by Michael Moore as “one of the best documentaries about a band that I’ve ever seen” and by Pitchfork as “the funniest, most meta music movie since Spinal Tap,” Mistaken for Strangers is a truly hilarious, unusual, and moving film about two brothers, Matt and Tom Berninger. Matt, the lead singer of the critically acclaimed rock band The National, invites his brother Tom, a loveable slacker, filmmaker, and metal-head still living with his parents, to join the band as a roadie as The National embarks on their biggest tour to date. Unbeknownst to Matt, Tom decides to film the entire adventure, and what begins as a rock documentary becomes an honest portrait of a charged relationship between two brothers and the frustration of unfulfilled creative ambition.

Mistaken for Strangers relates to the Modern’s recent acquisition of A Lot of Sorrow, 2013–2014, by Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson, for which Kjartansson enlisted The National to perform the song “Sorrow” repeatedly, for more than six hoursIn this minimalist yet expansive video of the performance, the band commences with “Sorrow found me when I was young, sorrow waited, sorrow won,” conjuring notions of romantic suffering and serving as a melodic and melancholic soundtrack for the Modern’s current exhibition, Framing Desire: Photography and Video.


Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Films is a new summer program. As an extension of the very popular lecture series Tuesday Evenings at the Modern, which is offered 10 weeks in the spring and fall of each year, this film-based weekly program runs through the summer months and strives to continue the consideration of ideas and issues pertaining to the art and architecture of the Modern and to contemporary art in general.

Selections for screenings are related to or recommended by artists and speakers who have participated in the lecture series or are otherwise affiliated with the museum. There is nothing particularly prescriptive about the line-up, but as with the lecture series, themes can be found and connections made. To create a full experience, these presentations include a brief introduction and opportunity for discussion following the films.

Seating is available in the Modern’s auditorium at 6:30 pm, and the program runs from 7 pm to no later than 9 pm. The museum’s galleries and Café Modern are open until 7 pm on Tuesdays during the run of Tuesday Evenings at the Modern: Films.

This program is free and open to the public. Up to two free tickets can be obtained at the admission desk beginning at 5 pm the day of the screening.