MoMA presents an illustrated talk by Robert Sitton, the author of Lady in the Dark: Iris Barry and the Art of Film, which examines the life of the Museum’s founding film curator, Iris Barry (1895–1969), including her legendary years in New York from 1930 to 1949. The discussion—which is bookended by the classic documentary short Movies March On (1939), about MoMA’s Film Library, and the feature They Live by Night (1948), one of Barry’s last MoMA premieres—will touch on her role in the London Film Society, her relationship with artist Wyndham Lewis, and her troubled retirement in France.
Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, Department of Film.
Movies March On (The March of Time, Vol. V, no 12)
A historic profile of the MoMA Film Library, released two months after its opening.
They Live by Night
Directed by Nicholas Ray.
With Farley Granger, Cathy O’Donnell. Produced by one of Barry’s longtime friends, John Houseman, this Depression-era film noir was the directorial debut of budding auteur Nicholas Ray (Rebel without a Cause, Johnny Guitar). The film, based on Edward Anderson’s novel Thieves Like Us—which was adapted again in 1974 by Robert Altman—follows a pair of fugitive lovers doomed by their own naïveté and a violent justice system. Robert Sitton remarks: “The rough realism of the film answered Barry’s challenge that American filmmakers need to pay attention to the post-war Italians.”
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