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Snowpiercer_4-150x150
November 26, 2014  |  Film
Going to the Engine: Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer
Snowpiercer. 2013. South Korea/Czech Republic/USA/France. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Courtesy of Radius TWC

Snowpiercer. 2013. South Korea/Czech Republic/USA/France. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Courtesy of Radius TWC

The first time I remember going to “the Engine,” I was probably six or seven years old and I was taking my little sister with me. We were flying across the country alone, unaccompanied minors in the late 1970s. I remember feeling in charge; I’d been on planes since I was 10 days old. Read more

Decasia-150x150
November 19, 2014  |  Artists, Film
Bill Morrison: Old Films, Contemporary Music, Timeless Themes
The Great Flood. 2013. USA. Directed by Bill Morrison. Courtesy of Bill Morrison

The Great Flood. 2013. USA. Directed by Bill Morrison. Courtesy of Bill Morrison

Music is a central component of the films of Bill Morrison (currently the subject of a mid-career retrospective at MoMA) and his collaborations with contemporary composers reflect his early interest in music as “a soundtrack in [his] life” and are informed by his artistic training as a painter and filmmaker. Read more

Excalibur-150x150
November 13, 2014  |  Film
A Knight at the Opera: John Boorman’s Excalibur
Excalibur. 1981. Great Britain. Directed by John Boorman. © Orion Pictures. Courtesy Orion/Photofest

Excalibur. 1981. Great Britain. Directed by John Boorman. © Orion Pictures. Courtesy Orion/Photofest

On Saturday, November 15, as part of To Save and Project: The 12th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation, director John Boorman will introduce a screening of his Excalibur (1981) in an excellent 35mm print. A second screening takes place on Monday, November 17. Read more

Light_is_calling-150x150
October 15, 2014  |  Film
Bill Morrison: Compositions
Light Is Calling. 2004. USA. Directed by Bill Morrison. Courtesy of Bill Morrison

Light Is Calling. 2004. USA. Directed by Bill Morrison. Courtesy of Bill Morrison

A key component of curatorial work is the discovery of a new artist, the study of their continued output, and the development of a long-term, supportive relationship. Following an artist’s work over many years and investigating their growth or, in certain cases, their failure to evolve, is an essential endeavor for a curator. Read more

Auteurist_five_years-150x150
September 9, 2014  |  Film
Five Years of An Auteurist History of Film
Clockwise, from top left: The Lady Eve. 1941. USA. Written and directed by Preston Sturges; The Passion of Joan of Arc. 1928. France. Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer; On the Waterfront. 1954. USA. Directed by Elia Kazan; The Great Dictator. 1940. USA. Directed, produced, and written by Charles Chaplin; Raging Bull. 1980. USA. Directed by Martin Scorsese; Yojimbo. 1961. Japan. Directed by Akira Kurosawa; Jaws. 1975. USA. Directed by Steven Spielberg; Witness for the Prosecution. 1957. USA. Directed by Billy Wilder; Rabbit of Seville. 1950. USA. Directed by Charles M. (Chuck) Jones

Clockwise, from top left: The Lady Eve. 1941. USA. Written and directed by Preston Sturges; The Passion of Joan of Arc. 1928. France. Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer; On the Waterfront. 1954. USA. Directed by Elia Kazan; The Great Dictator. 1940. USA. Directed, produced, and written by Charles Chaplin; Raging Bull. 1980. USA. Directed by Martin Scorsese; Yojimbo. 1961. Japan. Directed by Akira Kurosawa; Jaws. 1975. USA. Directed by Steven Spielberg; Witness for the Prosecution. 1957. USA. Directed by Billy Wilder; Rabbit of Seville. 1950. USA. Directed by Charles M. (Chuck) Jones

Last week you may have noticed that Charles Silver’s long-running Tuesday column, An Auteurist History of Film (based around the MoMA daytime screening series of the same name), was absent. Unfortunately, the August 26 post about Woody Allen’s Manhattan marked the final installment in the series. Read more

Adorable-150x150
August 28, 2014  |  Film
Discovering Adorable
Adorable. 1933. USA. Directed by William Dieterle

Adorable. 1933. USA. Directed by William Dieterle

For a number of years now I’ve been meaning to engage in a research project to learn more about the American film editor Irene Morra (1893–1978). This interest first began because we share the same last name. I don’t think we’re related, but as a wise friend once told me, trees have lots of branches! Read more

Manhattan_1979_203a-150x150
August 26, 2014  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Woody Allen’s Manhattan
Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway in Manhattan. 1979. USA. Directed by Woody Allen

Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway in Manhattan. 1979. USA. Directed by Woody Allen

These notes accompany screenings of Woody Allen’s Manhattan on August 27, 28, and 29 in Theater 3.

For me, having lived in the city for almost half a century, Woody Allen has been as vital to New York as Hendrik Hudson was. In between, there was a long string of greats, men and occasionally women with extraordinary accomplishments who walked our streets. Read more

Yartsa-rinpoche-150x150
August 20, 2014  |  Film
Lens on Tibet: An Intimate View
Embrace. 2011. China/Germany/USA. Directed by Dan Smyer Yu, Pema Tashi. Courtesy of Yu, Tashi, and Sundance Institute

Embrace. 2011. China/Germany/USA. Directed by Dan Smyer Yu, Pema Tashi. Courtesy of the filmmakers and Sundance Institute

Lens on Tibet, a dedicated look at the cinema of the Tibetan Plateau from 2005 to the present, is a special presentation of MoMA’s ContemporAsian screening series that runs August 21–31. This 12-film selection of recent feature-length documentaries and dramatic narratives celebrates the emergence of the new Tibetan film culture onto the global stage. Read more

Raging_bull-150x150
August 19, 2014  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull
Raging Bull. 1980. USA. Directed by Martin Scorsese

Raging Bull. 1980. USA. Directed by Martin Scorsese

These notes accompany screenings of Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull on August 20, 21, and 22 in Theater 3.

I attribute my lifetime fascination with boxing to my maternal grandfather, Louie Greenberg. Chewy Louie (as he was affectionately known for his steadfast support of the Wrigley franchise) lived upstairs from us in the house he built. Read more

Apocalypse_now-150x150
August 12, 2014  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now Redux. 1979/2001. USA. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now Redux. 1979/2001. USA. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

These notes accompany screenings of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now on August 13, 14, and 15 in Theater 3.

By the time of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola, through his first two Godfather films, had become the American director most able to garner both critical acclaim and box office success. I would be loath to accuse Coppola of hubris, but the heights of his achievement led to an understandable ambition. Read more