"Spike Jonze: The First 80 Years" Film Program

The Museum of Modern Art

poster for "Spike Jonze: The First 80 Years" Film Program

This event has ended.

Continuing its "Filmmaker in Focus" series, MoMA’s Department of Film presents the first-ever retrospective of Spike Jonze (b. 1969, Rockville, Maryland), celebrating his work as a director, producer, cinematographer, writer, actor, choreographer, and sometime stuntman. Few filmmakers can claim to have earned the undying love and respect of skateboarders and rappers, a beloved children’s book author, and scholars of Lacan and Derrida. But Jonze’s reputation as one of the most imaginative, intelligent, and daring filmmakers working today was established early on with his legendary skateboard videos, music videos, and commercials, and has since been cemented by three features: "Being John Malkovich" (1999), "Adaptation" (2002), and "Where the Wild Things Are" (2009). The mind games in Jonze’s films— the existential puzzlements and feats of narrative deconstruction— are bedazzling, to be sure, but so is the exuberant physicality of his work, from the graceful (the Dance of Despair and Disillusionment in "Malkovich," the skateboarding films that recall the gravity-defying acrobatics of Douglas Fairbanks and Harold Lloyd, the Björk, Pharcyde, and Fatboy Slim videos that pay homage to Hollywood’s golden age of musicals); to the anarchical ("Jackass: The Movie," Yeah Yeah Yeah’s "Y Control" music video, the Gap “Pardon Our Dust” commercial); to the endearingly awkward (the stylings of the Torrance Community Dance Group and the silent pantomime of "Maurice at the World’s Fair"). “Spike’s a meshuggener,” Maurice Sendak observes, “a really crazy kid who is willing to be independent and get his way ... kind of goofy, adventurous, whacked-out, but dramatically gifted.” On October 8, Jonze, who came up with the exhibition’s wry title himself, participates in an opening-night discussion with Maurice Sendak and exhibition curator Joshua Siegel.

[Image: "Spike Jonze and Meryl Streep on the set of 'Adaptation'" (2002) © Brigitte Lacombe]



from October 08, 2009 to October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 8 screening of "In Cahoots: Maurice Sendak and Spike Jonze" will be followed by a discussion with Spike Jones, Maurice Sendak, and exhibition curator Joshua Siegel.

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