Celebrating the centennial of Vincente Minnelli’s birth and the recent publication of Emanuel Levy’s Painting with Light: The Life and Times of Vincente Minnelli (William Morrow/HarperCollins), the Department of Film and Media presents 12 of the Hollywood director’s most acclaimed films. This exhibition is dedicated to the late MoMA curator Stephen Harvey, organizer of the Museum’s first major Minnelli retrospective and author of its accompanying monograph.
Primarily known for his lavish musicals, Minnelli contributed significantly to other genres, including intensely emotional melodramas and domestic comedies. Minnelli got his start in Hollywood as a set and costume designer, and the opulent scale and elaborate décor of his films led critics at the time to perceive the director as a mere stylist. But Minnelli never neglected narrative or character development, and as an astute critic of social taboos and conventions of gender and class, he infused even his glossiest films with dark, autobiographical undertones, revealing his own struggle between self-expression and conformity.
Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film and Media, and Emanuel Levy, author and noted Los Angeles critic.