INSPIRING WONDERSTRUCK features Nine Films Selected by Brian Selznick
Brian Selznick's books, including Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret, are cabinets of wonder, drawing us into their magical tales with child-eyed awe. Both novels drew upon cinematic influences for both story and visual style. On the occasion of the new movie adaptation of Wonderstruck, directed by Todd Haynes, Museum of the Moving Image will present the screening series Inspiring Wonderstruck, featuring some of the movies that inspired both the book and the movie, from October 13 through 22, 2017. On October 14, during the opening weekend of the series, the Museum will present a preview screening of Wonderstruck with Selznick, production designer Mark Friedberg, and costume designer Sandy Powell in person, followed by a book signing with Selznick.Wonderstruck is the best-selling, acclaimed 2011 novel written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. The film Wonderstruck, which features a screenplay by Selznick, will be released in theaters on October 20 by Amazon Studios. A pair of deeply emotional stories of obsession from different time periods ultimately converge in Todd Haynes's wondrous adaptation of Selznick's stunning book. Ben, a young deaf boy (Oakes Fegley), travels from Minnesota to New York in 1977 to look for the father he has never known; while in another storyline, set a half-century earlier, a girl named Rose (Millicent Simmonds), also deaf, dreams of a mysterious movie actress (Julianne Moore) and goes to New York to find her. "It is fitting that Wonderstruck, which has been brilliantly brought to the screen by Todd Haynes, is partly set in two beloved New York museums, with keys scenes in the American Museum of Natural History and the New York panorama at the Queens Museum," said Chief Curator David Schwartz. "Set in two different time periods-the 1970s and 1920s-Wonderstruck feels like a magical museum of sorts; collecting and exploring the past are two of its key themes. We are pleased to partner with Brian Selznick in putting together a series of films that inspired the book and the film." Among the films in Inspiring Wonderstruck are two starring Lillian Gish, who was a direct inspiration for the character played by Julianne Moore in Wonderstruck: Victor Sjöström's The Wind (1928) stars Gish "at the height of her powers, fighting the wind and insanity nonstop for the entire movie," and will be presented in a restored 35mm archival print from MoMA; followed by The Night of the Hunter (1955), Charles Laughton's gothic tale of abandoned children stalked by the evil preacher, with an "angelic" Gish, long past her silent era prime who "makes it feel as if the history of cinema itself has come to save the children." Both screen October 15. The series also includes a pair of films featuring astonishing performances by young people: Walkabout (1971, 35mm), Nicolas Roeg's "cinematic freak-out set in the Australian Outback" and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, 35mm), directed by Richard Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck. Other films in Inspiring Wonderstruck are two by Todd Haynes, I'm Not There (2007, 35mm), a bold portrait of Bob Dylan featuring the legendary singer and songwriter embodied by multiple actors, and Haynes's debut feature Poison (1991, 35mm), a favorite of Selznick's; Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974) for its ingenious sound design; Hal Ashby's "enigmatic masterpiece" Being There (1979, 35mm), which directly inspired a scene in Wonderstruck; and the TV documentary Through Deaf Eyes (2007), an in-depth look at deaf life and culture in the United States, the film which inspired Selznick to write his book in the first place. A complete schedule with descriptions written by Brian Selznick are included below and also posted at movingimage.us/wonderstruck. Advance tickets are available online.
SCHEDULE FOR 'INSPIRING WONDERSTRUCK,' OCTOBER 13-22, 2017 All screenings take place at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, Queens, NY. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $15 ($11 seniors, students, Standard level members / Free for Museum members at the Film Lover, and Kids Premium levels and above).
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Francis Ford Coppola. 1974, 113 mins. DCP. With Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Cindy Williams. "Gene Hackman at the height of the 1970s cinema of paranoia. A master of surveillance uses high-tech equipment to listen in on conversations. The movie's sound design is genius, and when I was writing the screenplay for Wonderstruck I watched it to see the ways in which sound and silence could be used in a movie."-Brian Selznick PREVIEW SCREENING
With Brian Selznick, Mark Friedberg, and Sandy Powell in person; followed by a book signing
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 4:00 P.M.
Dir. Todd Haynes. 2017, 117 mins. DCP courtesy Amazon Studios. With Oakes Fegley, Millicent Simmonds, Julianne Moore. A pair of deeply emotional stories of obsession from different time periods ultimately converge in Todd Haynes's wondrous adaptation of Brian Selznick's stunning book. A young deaf boy travels from Minnesota to New York in 1977, after his single mother dies, to look for the father he has never known. A half-century earlier, a girl named Rose, also deaf, dreams of a mysterious movie actress. An ideal blend of artistic sensibilities, Wonderstruck is one of the most enchanting and moving films of the year. This preview screening will be followed by a discussion with author and screenwriter Brian Selznick, production designer Mark Friedberg, and three-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell.
Tickets: $20 public/$15 Museum members/Free for Silver Screen members and above. The Wind
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2:00 P.M.
Dir. Victor Sjöström. 1928, 72 mins. Restored 35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art with original music and effects soundtrack, from the original Vitaphone discs. With Lillian Gish. "Lillian Gish at the height of her powers, fighting the wind and insanity nonstop for the entire movie. A silent film made just after the silent era ended, the film is now recognized as one of Gish's greats. The character of Lillian Mayhew, played by Julianne Moore in Wonderstruck is directly inspired by Gish, and the fictional movie within a movie, Daughter of the Wind, is exactly that, an offspring of this very movie."-Brian Selznick
Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from The Lillian Gish Trust for Film Preservation The Night of the Hunter
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 4:00 P.M.
Dir. Charles Laughton. 1955, 92 mins. DCP. With Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish. "Both Night of the Hunter and Walkabout were movies that Todd recommended we watch to look at Great Performances by children. Night of the Hunter has long been one of my favorite films, a kind of gothic fairy tale lullaby, with two extraordinary siblings hunted by a nightmarish Robert Mitchum. The kids are saved by the angelic Lillian Gish. Long past her silent movie heyday, she makes it feel as if the history of cinema itself has come to save the children."-Brian Selznick I'm Not There
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Todd Haynes. 2007, 135 mins. 35mm. With Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger. "Todd Haynes shows his mastery of cinematic languages with this fantasia on the life of Bob Dylan. Perhaps the least traditional bio-pic ever made, Todd uses interlocking stories, in color and black-and-white, and he even uses miniatures, as he did at the beginning of his career in his Barbie doll masterpiece Superstar (and which he delves back into with a long miniature sequence in Wonderstruck). These stories evoke, rather than directly portray, Bob Dylan, yet in the end we feel like we've gotten a glimpse directly into the musician's (and the filmmaker's) soul."-Brian Selznick Walkabout
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 7:00 P.M.
Dir. Nicolas Roeg. 1971, 100 mins. 35mm. With Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg. "I'd never seen Walkabout before Todd's recommendation, though I'd always loved several of Nicolas Roeg's other movies. Walkabout is a stunner, a cinematic freak-out set in the Australian Outback with three unforgettable performances by very young actors. You can see Roeg's influence on Wonderstruck in the moment when a boy is hit by lightning and the editing and images evoke Roeg's wildness and shock."-Brian Selznick Through Deaf Eyes
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1:00 P.M.
Dirs. Diane Garey, Lawrence Hott. 2007, 120 mins. Digital projection. "The movie that inspired my book Wonderstruck in the first place. A rich and detailed look at deaf culture and deaf history, several key parts of this documentary became story points in Wonderstruck."-Brian Selznick Poison
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 3:30 P.M.
Dir. Todd Haynes. 1991, 85 mins. 35mm. With Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell. "Todd Haynes's first major film, it was a favorite of mine from the moment it came out at the height of the AIDS crisis in 1991. Todd tells three different narratives, in three different genres (including one in black-and-white) that prefigure much of the work he does in Wonderstruck."-Brian Selznick To Kill a Mockingbird
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1:30 P.M.
Dir. Robert Mulligan. 1962, 125 mins. 35mm. With Gregory Peck, Brock Peters, Robert Duvall. "This classic film was another one that Todd Haynes recommended we watch to see Great Performances by children. Watch young Mary Badham's eyes as she tries to understand the world around her. The character of Ben, a hearing boy who suddenly finds himself deaf after a lightning strike, learns to take in the world by what he sees, and this movie was an inspiration. I've also always loved the opening credits, with the little box of treasures collected by Scout. These collections were an inspiration when I was first writing the book of Wonderstruck."-Brian Selznick Being There
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 6:30 P.M.
Dir. Hal Ashby. 1979, 130 mins. 35mm. With Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas. "Hal Ashby's enigmatic masterpiece, a comedy, a tragedy, a political satire, and a one-sided love story, directly inspired a scene in Wonderstruck. When Peter Sellers's character, Chauncey Gardiner, first leaves the house where he's lived his life, he's accompanied by the familiar sound of the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but in a disco version by Deodato (the real title of the music is "Also Sprach Zarathustra"), and this walk, and music, are used in a key moment in Wonderstruck."-Brian Selznick
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