MoMA Film Series Marks Centenary of Futurism with Films
NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art presents Nuts and Bolts: Machine Made Man in Films from the Collection, a series of films from the collection that reflect a vision of the mechanical being in the machine age: endlessly energetic, productive in the factory, free from sentimentality, immune to disease and death, and yet somehow reflective of the human condition. Created for Performa 09’s celebration of the centenary of Futurism, the series will screen at MoMA from November 1, 2009 through January 2, 2010. It includes a diverse selection of films ranging in date from 1917 to the present, from shorts to features, spanning genres from comedies to thrillers. Nuts and Bolts is organized by Anne Morra, Assistant Curator, the Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.
Throughout cinematic history mechanical creatures-robots, androids, cyborgs-have reflected both the discord and the connection between man and machine. In his essay “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism,” published February 20, 1909, in the French newspaper Le Figaro, Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944) called for a mass cultural movement that would reject the sober and genteel conventions of the bourgeois world and embrace the speed, technology, and dynamism of the early twentieth century. Marinetti breathlessly announced the coming Futurist revolution, in which the heretofore-dark night would be “illuminated by the internal glow of electric hearts.” His veneration of a machine age continued in “War, the World’s Only Hygiene” (1911-15), wherein he averred that the automobiles, trains, and vast machines driving the technology of his day possessed “personalities, souls, or wills,” and presaged the “nonhuman and mechanical being.”
Nuts and Bolts: Machine Made Man in Films from the Collection is organized in collaboration with Performa 09, and was created after Performa Director RoseLee Goldberg approached MoMA about presenting a series of Futurist-related films from the Museum’s collection.