AWFJ Women On Film – MoMA Honors Kathryn Bigelow – Jennifer Merin reports

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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will honor Karhryn Bigelow at its third annual Film Benefit, to be held on November 10, and with a retrospective of her work to be presented in June, 2011.

Bigelow, renowned for her Academy Award-winning film The Hurt Locker (2008), has working in film for over 30 years, crafting a body of films that defy genre and gender expectations.

As the first female director to garner directing awards by the Academy, BAFTA, and the DGA, Bigelow has an acknowledged record for transforming the language of genre films to serve her content, as she creates immersive movies that leave the viewer simultaneously exhilarated and affected, thinking, and feeling.

The selection of Bigelow’s films within MoMA’s collection includes Point Break (1991), Blue Steel (1989), Near Dark, The Loveless (1982), and The Set-Up (1978).

The November 10 benefit will include a reception and dinner, and a special presentation recognizing Bigelow’s acclaimed directorial work. The event raises funds to ensure that great works of cinema continue to be added to MoMA’s collection. As you might expect, tickets to the benefit are pricey: tables are available for $75,000, $50,000, and $25,000; individual tickets are $5,000 and $2,500 per person. You can make reservations by calling MoMA at 212-708-9680 or online.

The June 2011 retrospective of Bigelow’s entire career will include screenings of all of her feature films. In conjunction with the retrospective, MoMA has acquired Bigelow’s paper archive which documents all of her film projects from The Set-Up to The Hurt Locker, from pre-production research through production notes to post-release publicity and press materials. The archive contains both process and creative documentation such as storyboards, scripts, filming schedules, location scouting reports, and casting notes. The collection also includes unrealized scripts and other projects.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).