Hans Christian Andersen for Grown-Ups

April 9–23, 2005

MoMA

La Petite Marchande d’allumettes (The Little Match Girl). 1928. France. Directed by Jean Renoir. Acquired from Jean Renoir and Jean Tedesco

To celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen (1805––1875), the Department of Film and Media presents four programs of film versions of The Little Match Girl, one of the Danish fairy-tale author’s most beloved stories. Andersen continues to inspire generations of artists—children and adults alike—including the filmmakers in this series, whose multifaceted interpretations of the tale date from 1902 to the present. The variety of styles on view illustrates how filmmakers as diverse as Jean Renoir, Aki Kaurismaki, and Andrew Meyer (with the help of Andy Warhol) have interpreted Andersen’s fertile imagination. The need to clothe tales in cultural and time-specific garb, thus claiming the content for a specific era, has only become more irresistible with the proliferation of new media—to wit, the latest film in this series, Resurrection of the Little Match Girl (Korea, 2002), in which Andersen’s match girl is partly (and/or part of) a video game.

Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film and Media.

This exhibition is part of a worldwide celebration coordinated, supported, and promoted by the Danish organization HCA 2005.

Prints courtesy of the bfi National Film and Television Archive; Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv; Deutsches Filmmuseum; Finnish Film Fund; G.G. Film, Berlin; The Netherlands Filmmuseum; The Norwegian Film Institute; and Tube Entertainment, Korea.

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