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MoMA

AUTHOR: ANNE MORRA

Posts by Anne Morra
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February 2, 2016  |  Film
William S. Hart: A Pioneer Cowboy
William S. Hart in Branding Broadway. 1918. USA. Directed by William S. Hart

William S. Hart in Branding Broadway. 1918. USA. Directed by William S. Hart

William Surrey Hart was destined to be a cowboy. Known professionally as William S. Hart, he was born in 1864 in Newburgh, NY, into an environment of Victorian gentility. Read more

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January 5, 2016  |  Film
For Immediate Release: Curator Iris Barry Travels
The 1946 press release announcing Iris Barry's trip to the FIAF conference

The 1946 press release announcing Iris Barry’s trip to the FIAF conference

On any given day, MoMA curators, librarians, registrars, educators, and others are en route to a conference, lecture, studio visit, or exhibition near home or abroad. Travel is both a constant and a marvelous perk of working at the Museum. However, unlike the ubiquitous nature of staff travel today, in 1946 the Museum actually issued a press release announcing founding Film Library curator Iris Barry’s trip to Paris Read more

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December 4, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: A Tale of Two Stellas
Alice Joyce, Ronald Colman, and Lois Moran in Stella Dallas. 1925. USA. Directed by Henry King. MoMA Film Archives

Alice Joyce, Ronald Colman, and Lois Moran in Stella Dallas. 1925. USA. Directed by Henry King. MoMA Film Archives

Hollywood loves a remake! That’s certainly the case with Stella Dallas, which has a 1925 silent version directed by Henry King, a 1937 version directed by King Vidor, and a 1990 version (called Stella) starring Bette Midler. Read more

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Why I Like Black-and-White Movies

Like most children growing up in the last half of the 20th century, I dreamed of a 64-count box of Crayola crayons. In school we had eight-count boxes. I wanted 64—all the myriad colors including bittersweet, sky blue, and raw umber. The 64-count box also had a built-in sharpener. A virtual Technicolor assortment of waxy goodness and a sharpener to keep them in ready condition! What more could a child have wanted? I drew all kinds of pictures and shapes, some more recognizable than others. Read more

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November 6, 2015  |  Film
Better Late than Never: The Bad Seed

Poster for the DVD release of The Bad Seed. © Warner Bros.

Poster for the DVD release of The Bad Seed. © Warner Bros.

Since I usually write about films in the MoMA collection and, technically, The Bad Seed was a part of the collection until the depositor asked us to transfer it to another institution a few years back, I may be stretching my usual writing parameters. But I thoroughly want to write about The Bad Seed! Read more

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October 22, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: René Clair’s The Ghost Goes West
The Ghost Goes West. 1935. Great Britain. Directed by René Clair. Courtesy United Artists/Photofest

The Ghost Goes West. 1935. Great Britain. Directed by René Clair. Courtesy United Artists/Photofest

Whenever I am on a Metro North train, barreling along the Hudson River north of New York City, I try to sit on the river side of the car in order to get a good look at Bannerman’s Castle. Perhaps you, too, have been intrigued by the carcass of what appears to be a red brick castle fallen into decay, about 1,000 feet from the shoreline on the six-acre Pollepel Island. Having just watched René Clair’s The Ghost Goes West, I couldn’t help but think of the decrepit, battered ruin. Read more

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September 22, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise
Trouble in Paradise. 1932. USA. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Acquired from Paramount Pictures. Preserved with funding from the Richard Griffith Memorial Fund

Trouble in Paradise. 1932. USA. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Acquired from Paramount Pictures. Preserved with funding from the Richard Griffith Memorial Fund

There is an old-fashioned expression about “honor among thieves.” What does this mean exactly? Perhaps this group swears an oath that no one criminal will interfere in the nefarious actions of another? If the question leaves you flummoxed, be sure to see the 1932 film Trouble in Paradise for an enjoyable resolution. Read more

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September 1, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: Focus on Grandma’s Boy

Poster for Grandma's Boy. 1922. USA. Directed by Fred Newmeyer. Produced by Hal Roach. Public domain image reproduced via Wikimedia Commons

Poster for Grandma’s Boy. 1922. USA. Directed by Fred Newmeyer. Produced by Hal Roach. Public domain image reproduced via Wikimedia Commons

We kick off the new film series Modern Matinees with the 1922 Harold Lloyd (American, 1893–1971) silent feature Grandma’s Boy. As an unexpected confluence of film programming and film history, Grandma’s Boy was first released on September 3, 1922—93 years ago this week—so it seems like an opportunity to take a deeper look into the film and its bespectacled star, Harold Lloyd. Read more

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July 9, 2015  |  Film
MoMA’s Department of Film at 80: An Unprecedented Vision

Iris Barry and John Abbott, 1935. Photo by Lewis Jacobs

Iris Barry and John Abbott, 1935. Photo by Lewis Jacobs

How does one map out the scope, purpose, and practice of something that had never existed before? That might be the question Iris Barry and John E. Abbott asked themselves as they were drafting “An Outline of a Project for Founding the Film Library of The Museum of Modern Art” (1935). Read more

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June 5, 2015  |  Film
MoMA’s Department of Film at 80: Commencement
July 1935 signing of the document establishing the MoMA Film Library. From left: John Abbott, Iris Barry, John Hay Whitney (seated), A. Conger Goodyear, Nelson A. Rockefeller

July 1935 signing of the document establishing the MoMA Film Library. From left: John Abbott, Iris Barry, John Hay Whitney (seated), A. Conger Goodyear, Nelson A. Rockefeller

Long before The Museum of Modern Art Department of Film was so named, it was called the Film Library. The entity to be known as the Film Library was officially announced on June 27, 1935, and on July 2 The Museum of Modern Art Film Library Corporation was formalized with documents signed by trustees A. Conger Goodyear, John Hay Whitney, and Nelson A. Rockefeller. Read more