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Laura2-150x150
May 3, 2016  |  Film
Vincent Price in Otto Preminger’s Laura
Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in Laura. 1944. USA. Directed by Otto Preminger

Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in Laura. 1944. USA. Directed by Otto Preminger

I’ve always associated the American actor Vincent Price (1911–1993) with horror films. His work in Gothic features like House of Wax (1953), The Tingler (1959), and Pit and the Pendulum (1961) seem to align perfectly with his creepy voice and slithering screen persona. And I mean slithering as a compliment, because he brought a lot of skill to acting lecherous. Read more

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March 31, 2016  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Film
MoMA Collects: Jeff Scher’s Pretty, Dead
Pretty, Dead. 2010. USA. Directed by Jeff Scher. Digital cinema. Purchase from the artist

Pretty, Dead. 2010. USA. Directed by Jeff Scher. Digital cinema. Purchase from the artist

In Pretty, Dead, Jeff Scher plays with all the stuff film noir dreams are made of: the hardboiled private eye and the femme fatale; the revolver, the slouched hat, the alley brawl, and the twisted corpse; sweat, paranoia, fatalism, destiny. All this is to be found among the nearly 4,000 collages and paintings in watercolor and gouache that compose the work. Read more

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March 29, 2016  |  Film
Modern Matinees: Norman Chaitin’s The Small Hours

The Small Hours. 1962. USA. Written and directed by Norman C. Chaitin

The Small Hours. 1962. USA. Written and directed by Norman C. Chaitin

Every year I receive a lovely holiday card and note from New York filmmaker Norman Chaitin. He often reminisces about the 1962 premiere of his film The Small Hours at the 55th Street Playhouse, an event that benefitted MoMA’s film preservation fund. Read more

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March 2, 2016  |  Film
Chicken Run: Poultry in Motion
Chicken Run. 2000. USA. Directed by Nick Park, Peter Lord. Courtesy of Dreamworks/Photofest

Chicken Run. 2000. USA. Directed by Nick Park, Peter Lord. Courtesy of Dreamworks/Photofest

Sometimes a movie makes you laugh out loud even if you’re in room by yourself. You can’t contain your laughter and don’t care who might or might not hear. This is exactly the experience I had recently watching Chicken Run (2000) Read more

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February 29, 2016  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Film
“Native Videographers Shoot Back”: An Interview with Adam and Zack Khalil

The 15th Doc Fortnight festival closes on February 29, 2016, with the world premiere of Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil’s INAATE/SE/ [it shines
 a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./], the artists’ reflection on and reframing of their own Native American heritage. I recently spoke with the Khalil brothers about the concept and context for their film: Read more

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February 17, 2016  |  Film
Doc Fortnight 2016: Actions of the Past, Shockwaves in the Present
INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./]. 2016. USA. Directed by Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil. Courtesy of the filmmakers

INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./]. 2016. USA. Directed by Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil. Courtesy of the filmmakers

As we celebrate the 15th installment of Doc Fortnight (February 19–29), it is fitting that we find ourselves looking to the past to illuminate the present, uncovering old stories with new lessons. Read more

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February 9, 2016  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Film
Talking with Ernie Gehr about His CARNIVAL OF SHADOWS
Ernie Gehr. CARNIVAL OF SHADOWS. 2012–15. Five-channel video (black-and-white and color, silent), approx 20 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image courtesy the artist

Ernie Gehr. CARNIVAL OF SHADOWS. 2012–15. Five-channel video (black-and-white and color, silent), approx 20 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Image courtesy the artist

Ernie Gehr is a key figure in postwar American avant-garde filmmaking, best known for such experimental film works as Serene Velocity (1970) and Side/Walk/Shuttle (1991) (both of which are in MoMA’s collection). Gehr’s films dazzle the senses, but they are not mere eye candy; they touch deeper themes of human perception and consciousness Read more

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February 2, 2016  |  Film
William S. Hart: A Pioneer Cowboy
William S. Hart in Branding Broadway. 1918. USA. Directed by William S. Hart

William S. Hart in Branding Broadway. 1918. USA. Directed by William S. Hart

William Surrey Hart was destined to be a cowboy. Known professionally as William S. Hart, he was born in 1864 in Newburgh, NY, into an environment of Victorian gentility. Read more

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January 14, 2016  |  Film
Celebrating Jack Cole, Hollywood Mid-Century Dance Master
The I Don’t Care Girl. 1953. USA. Directed by Lloyd Bacon

Mitzi Gaynor in The I Don’t Care Girl. 1953. USA. Directed by Lloyd Bacon

Can a dance number change your life? “I Don’t Care,” with wildly imagined choreography by Jack Cole (1911–1974) for Mitzi Gaynor in The I Don’t Care Girl, changed mine. As a dance critic of 30 years, weaned on Balanchine and Cunningham, I’m here to tell you that once you’ve gone Jack, there’s no going back. Read more

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January 5, 2016  |  Film
For Immediate Release: Curator Iris Barry Travels
The 1946 press release announcing Iris Barry's trip to the FIAF conference

The 1946 press release announcing Iris Barry’s trip to the FIAF conference

On any given day, MoMA curators, librarians, registrars, educators, and others are en route to a conference, lecture, studio visit, or exhibition near home or abroad. Travel is both a constant and a marvelous perk of working at the Museum. However, unlike the ubiquitous nature of staff travel today, in 1946 the Museum actually issued a press release announcing founding Film Library curator Iris Barry’s trip to Paris Read more