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For more than 40 years, Larry Fessenden has not only reinvented and reinvigorated the horror and fantasy genre through his contemporary re-imaginings of mythic archetypes—the chimera, the vampire and the Leviathan, the Wendigo and the Modern Prometheus—he has also, as the founder in 1985 of the scrappy, resolutely independent New York production company Glass Eye Pix, nurtured the early careers of a diverse array of talents including Kelly Reichardt (River of Grass and Wendy and Lucy), Ti West (The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers), Rick Alverson (The Comedy), Graham Reznick (I Can See You), Jim Mickle (Stake Land), Ilya Chaiken (Liberty Kid), and James Felix McKenney (Automatons).
Celebrating his extraordinary career as a writer, director, producer, actor, cinematographer, editor, and songwriter, this major retrospective of Larry Fessenden and Glass Eye Pix presents more than 20 feature films screened in MoMA’s theaters, as well as an additional selection of features and shorts streaming on our Virtual Cinema platform (available to MoMA members across the US). Perhaps the true terror—and the liberating promise—of Fessenden’s work, which includes Habit (1997), No Telling (1991), Wendigo (2000), The Last Winter (2007), and Depraved (2019), is the extent to which the world today, our so-called Anthropocene epoch, has come to mirror his own uncanny visions of existential crisis: of ecological collapse and worldwide plague, historical trauma and amnesia, the dehumanizing effects of technology, and a profound alienation from the animal world and ourselves through a failure of the empathic imagination.
Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.