Carte Blanche

Amy Taubin

Apr 27–May 26, 2023

MoMA

Pickup on South Street. 1953. USA. Directed by Samuel Fuller. Courtesy 20th Century Fox/Photofest
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

Amy Taubin’s brilliant, iconoclastic, and impassioned writing on cinema has spurred delight and dissent in readers of the Soho News, the Village Voice, Artforum, and Film Comment since the 1970s. And when she wasn’t championing then-unknown or willfully ignored filmmakers like Chantal Akerman and Todd Haynes, she was appearing as herself in films by Gregory Markopoulos, Jonas Mekas, Yvonne Rainer, Michael Snow, and Andy Warhol. Taubin has accepted our invitation to delve into MoMA’s film archives—and borrow titles through Steven Soderbergh (who will be presenting High Flying Bird on April 29), Joie Lee, Darnell Martin, and other indie writer-directors—to conjure a thrilling, thrumming vision of New York City, the place she has called home her entire life. Inspired in part by the isolation we’ve all experienced over the past three years, and by her own solitary walks throughout the city, Taubin’s selections celebrate a New York of the collective imagination—whether popular, personal, or somewhere in between—and features Akerman’s News from Home and Andy Warhol’s unseen, unfinished feature Batman Dracula, starring Jack Smith in the titular double role. The series opens with a movie Taubin discovered as a high school freshman, Samuel Fuller’s 1953 Pickup on South Street, about which she recalls, “When Richard Widmark reaches into Jean Peters’s pocketbook and steals her wallet, I instantly understood in my body and psyche that the subway on which I innocently traveled alone could be an opening into a dangerous and, yes, erotically exciting underworld, rendered even more thrilling on screen by Fuller’s kinetically charged camera movements. Later my involvement with underground film and then with independently made narrative film was similarly fueled by the connection of these movies to my hometown.” All film descriptions are written by Amy Taubin.

Past guest-curators of MoMA’s Carte Blanche series have included Samuel R. Delaney, Adam Pendleton, Pierre Rissient, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Sondheim, and Christopher Williams.

Guest curated by Amy Taubin. Organized at MoMA by Joshua Siegel, Curator, and Olivia Priedite, Film Program Coordinator, Department of Film.

  • This film series is part of Carte Blanche.

    Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

    Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, and Karen and Gary Winnick.

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