The Experimental Narratives of Warren Sonbert

May 11–19, 2023


Warren Sonbert with his Bolex. Courtesy Jon Gartenberg
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

In a career that spanned the American experimental film world from New York City to San Francisco, filmmaker Warren Sonbert (1947–1995) was driven by the belief that “independent the only avenue for those who want to take risks and satisfy their own self-imposed demands.” This retrospective of a seminal figure in experimental film encompasses Sonbert’s complete body of work from its beginning in 1966. Comprising seven programs, the series opens on the theme of queer identity, and goes on to focus on Sonbert’s early flirtation with Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, his travel diaries, the evolving styles, strategies, and poetics of his 16mm film work, and much more. Guest curator and Sonbert's archivist, Jon Gartenberg, remarks, “Sonbert’s film Carriage Trade was first shown in 1971 in the MoMA Cineprobe series, and it has been nearly two decades since the last retrospective of his films in New York City. This series can be considered a capstone to Warren Sonbert’s creative career.”

All screenings May 11-13 will be introduced by Jon Gartenberg, Guest Curator and Sonbert Archivist.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, Department of Film, and guest curator and archivist Jon Gartenberg, with Carson Parish, Associate Producer, Department of Film.


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