Karen Cooper Carte Blanche: 40 Years of Documentary Premieres at Film Forum

Feb 3–20, 2010


Let’s Get Lost. 1988. USA. Directed by Bruce Weber

Karen Cooper became the director of Film Forum in 1972, two years after its founding as an alternative space for independent cinema on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. For the past 20 years, Film Forum has inhabited a three-screen movie house in the West Village, where it continues to present an array of international films that confront diverse social, political, historical, and cultural realities.

To celebrate Film Forum’s 40th anniversary and the crucial role Cooper has played in keeping it a vital part of New York’s film culture, MoMA’s Department of Film invited her to curate an exhibition of nonfiction films that premiered at Film Forum. While many of the films are drawn from MoMA’s own collection, some have been loaned by distributors and filmmakers, to whom we are very grateful. Just a glance at the titles she chose gives a sense of the diversity and richness of Film Forum’s offerings through the years. Cooper supplements several of the screenings with complementary short films, a staple of Film Forum’s cutting-edge programming. The following film descriptions are excerpted from materials written by Cooper for Film Forum’s original presentations.

Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film.

  • This film series is part of Carte Blanche.

    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


    This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].