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Gehr-carnival-1-150x150
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

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December 4, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: A Tale of Two Stellas
Alice Joyce, Ronald Colman, and Lois Moran in Stella Dallas. 1925. USA. Directed by Henry King. MoMA Film Archives

Alice Joyce, Ronald Colman, and Lois Moran in Stella Dallas. 1925. USA. Directed by Henry King. MoMA Film Archives

Hollywood loves a remake! That’s certainly the case with Stella Dallas, which has a 1925 silent version directed by Henry King, a 1937 version directed by King Vidor, and a 1990 version (called Stella) starring Bette Midler. Read more

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Why I Like Black-and-White Movies

Like most children growing up in the last half of the 20th century, I dreamed of a 64-count box of Crayola crayons. In school we had eight-count boxes. I wanted 64—all the myriad colors including bittersweet, sky blue, and raw umber. The 64-count box also had a built-in sharpener. A virtual Technicolor assortment of waxy goodness and a sharpener to keep them in ready condition! What more could a child have wanted? I drew all kinds of pictures and shapes, some more recognizable than others. Read more

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November 6, 2015  |  Film
Better Late than Never: The Bad Seed

Poster for the DVD release of The Bad Seed. © Warner Bros.

Poster for the DVD release of The Bad Seed. © Warner Bros.

Since I usually write about films in the MoMA collection and, technically, The Bad Seed was a part of the collection until the depositor asked us to transfer it to another institution a few years back, I may be stretching my usual writing parameters. But I thoroughly want to write about The Bad Seed! Read more

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October 29, 2015  |  Film
MoMA Presents: Jacqui and David Morris’s McCullin
Don McCullin. Turkish woman mourning the death of her husband, Cyprus, 1964. 1964. Image courtesy Don McCullin and the filmmakers

Don McCullin. Turkish woman mourning the death of her husband, Cyprus, 1964. 1964. Image courtesy Don McCullin and the filmmakers

“War is partly madness, mostly insanity, and the rest of it’s schizophrenia. You do ask yourself, ‘Why am I here? What is my purpose? What’s this got to do with photography?’ And it goes on and on, the questioning. You’re trying to stay alive, you’re trying to take pictures, you’re trying to justify your presence there. Read more

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October 22, 2015  |  Film
Modern Matinees: René Clair’s The Ghost Goes West
The Ghost Goes West. 1935. Great Britain. Directed by René Clair. Courtesy United Artists/Photofest

The Ghost Goes West. 1935. Great Britain. Directed by René Clair. Courtesy United Artists/Photofest

Whenever I am on a Metro North train, barreling along the Hudson River north of New York City, I try to sit on the river side of the car in order to get a good look at Bannerman’s Castle. Perhaps you, too, have been intrigued by the carcass of what appears to be a red brick castle fallen into decay, about 1,000 feet from the shoreline on the six-acre Pollepel Island. Having just watched René Clair’s The Ghost Goes West, I couldn’t help but think of the decrepit, battered ruin. Read more

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October 1, 2015  |  Film
Who’s Taken by Storm?
Hipgnosis. Cover of Pink Floyd, Animals. 1977. Courtesy Roddy Bogawa and StormStudios

Hipgnosis. Album cover of Pink Floyd, Animals. 1977. Courtesy StormStudios and Roddy Bogawa

As a teenager growing up in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, grappling with his identity as an Asian American of Japanese heritage, Roddy Bogawa found community in the hardcore rock and punk scenes, where being different was cool. He and his friends spent hours perusing music stores and studying album covers. Read more