“1947 was the peak year of noir, both in quality and quantity.” —William K. Everson, program notes on Fear in the Night
In 1957, the George Eastman Museum honored both director Clarence Brown and actress Greta Garbo at the Second Festival of Film Artists with the George Eastman Award for distinguished contribution to the art of film. Though each had stellar individual careers, it was the seven films they made together from 1926 to 1937 that truly represented the peaks of their careers.
To celebrate the Juneteenth holiday, the George Eastman Museum will open its doors free of charge for the day.
What makes something a classic? Unlike automobiles that simply age into being “classics,” cinema needs more. Yes, there should be some passage of time, but there should be an enduring quality as well. Cinema has a short history relative to other art forms, so it makes sense that we look not only to the beginnings of film, but to our own lifetimes to find those movies of quality that have a lasting impact.
A growing tradition at the George Eastman Museum, Eastman Entertains is a community-sourced exhibition of tabletops and place settings celebrating George Eastman’s fondness for hosting parties and get-togethers at his mansion, as well as the rich cinematic history his innovations produced.
Michael Lasser, longtime radio host of Fascinatin’ Rhythm, scholar, writer, and expert of The Great American Songbook, returns in 2022 to take us through some of his favorite musicals.
Over the last one hundred years, no one has symbolized the art and craft of cinema more than Judy Garland. Many of the lasting, iconic images we have of classic Hollywood feature Judy Garland, who appeared in over thirty feature films, a handful of shorts, and several television programs (including her own). Last year, The Dryden Theatre screened some of her best-known color musicals.
Last summer the Dryden Theatre presented the series “In Solidarity: Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Directors,” which focused on directors of Asian and Pacific Islander descent who told stories through their own lens. But Asian Americans were working in film since the silent era, both in front of and behind the camera. This series will highlight three of the biggest Asian American contributors from the first seven decades of cinema: actress Anna May Wong, actor Sessue Hayakawa, and cinematographer (and George Eastman Award honoree) James Wong Howe.
Producer/director Stanley Kramer made his name as a director of “message films,” works that examined and challenged notions of society and the problems it faced. From the beginning of his career, Kramer worked outside of the studio system, forming his own production company. This allowed him to work cheaply by renting space instead of owning it, and without studio control. As a producer, he tackled prejudice (Cyrano de Bergerac), social responsibility (High Noon), disaffected youth (The Wild One), and authoritarianism (The Caine Mutiny). Moving into the director’s chair allowed him to have a more direct hand on the narrative as he examined racism (The Defiant Ones and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner), evolution vs. creationism (Inherit the Wind), and the threat of nuclear war (On the Beach).