Film Forum turns 40

Bruce Weber’s 1988 LET’S GET LOST, one of 30 films in the Film Forum screening at MoMA.

When Film Forum opened in 1970 in Manhattan’s Upper West Side it operated with one projector, 50 folding chairs and a $19,000 annual budget, but when Karen Cooper was hired on as director in 1972, things changed. Now, 40 years later, Film Forum is a thriving 3-screen theatre in Greenwich Village and New York’s only autonomous nonprofit cinema. It’s also one of the most relevant and groundbreaking venues for independent art house film and to celebrate its 40 year anniversary, MoMA’s Department of Film has invited Cooper to curate an exhibition of documentary and nonfiction films that have debuted at Film Forum over the years.

The screenings, which begin Wednesday, February 3rd, will be held at MoMA and run the gamut from the 1994 biography CRUMB to lots and lots on war and politics, to a little known Maysles gem on the Getty Museum and two by Werner Herzog, the 30 minute LA SOUFRIERE (1977) and LESSONS OF DARKNESS (1992). For a full schedule see below.

Karen Cooper Carte Blanche: 40 Years of Documentary Premiers at Film Forum” at MoMA, February 3 – February 20, 2010.