Can’t Be In Cannes? Find Fine Film Features at MoMA in Summer 2011

by Brian Willett

Let’s face it – Cannes is an epic experience, but not everyone can make the pilgrimage to pay homage to some of the finest established and up-and-coming filmmakers in the industry.  But don’t be discouraged; even if the Cannes Film Festival didn’t fit into your 2011 travel plans, you can still enjoy a number of top-notch film events on this side of the Atlantic – all it takes is a trip to the Museum of Modern Art.

MoMA is celebrating motion pictures all summer long, and we’re not talking about The Hangover: Part 2. Instead, MoMA visitors will find professionally curated film exhibitions housed in each of the museum’s three theaters.  As with all MoMA exhibitions, the film features range widely in topic — from celebrating Ireland to the individual achievements of Kathryn Bigelow — but do not range in quality, as all are immensely impressive.  Here’s a look at Bloginity’s favorite upcoming film exhibitions at MoMA.

MoMA Summer 2011 Film Exhibitions

Drama Queens: The Soap Opera in Experimental and Independent Cinema: Stay with us – this isn’t your average soap opera showing. This MoMA film exhibition offers a unique look at the film industry’s response to the oft-maligned, somewhat trashy television genre of the soap opera, providing films in which soaps are parodied, perfected and reimagined. Films include Hold Me While I’m Naked (1966), Meshes of the Afternoon (1941), finally destroy us (1991) and of course, Soap Opera (1964).  This exhibition runs from June 4 to June 19.

MoMA Presents: DocPoint: This exhibition toasts the 10th anniversary of DocPoint, an annual documentary film festival in Finland. The award-winning documentaries in this exhibition offer a look at a nation that is at times strikingly like our own yet at others is dramatically different. DocPoint films investigate Finland past and present,offering a wide angle lens on the nation. Films include Bohemian Eyes (2010), Steam of Life (2010) and The Living Room of the Nation (2009). This exhibition runs from June 8 to June 13.

Revisiting The Quiet Man: Ireland on Film: Ireland is a small nation, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t rich with a vast amount of culture waiting to be discovered. Irish actor Gabriel Byrne curates this exhibition through the lens of the iconic Irish film The Quiet Man, breaking it down into key themes – from Irish identity and religion to the role of women – and picks films that explore those themes in depth. Films include The Informer (1935), Hunger (2008) and In the Name of the Father (2003).  This exhibition runs from May 20 to June 3.

Crafting Genre: Kathryn Bigelow: Even if the name Kathryn Bigelow doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve likely been affected by a film that this talented writer, producer and director has created. Bigelow’s fortes include investigating the morals of society and dissecting individual personalities, which produces stunning, cerebral films in a variety of genres. Films include Near Dark (1987), Point Break (1991), The Hurt Locker (2008) and The Loveless (1982).  This exhibition runs from June 1 to August 13.