A new show at the Museum of Modern Art here is examining the relationship between film and photography from an unusual angle - by focusing on movies that have portrayed photographers, from the early days of cinema to recent years. Shown in conjunction with a current Museum of Modern Art exhibition called ``Photography Until Now,'' the series is entitled ``The Photographer's Image in Motion Pictures.''

The program's oldest offerings are turn-of-the-century films dealing with photography. It also includes silent movies from later dates, as well as such modern classics as Alfred Hitchcock's astonishing ``Rear Window'' and Michael Powell's controversial ``Peeping Tom.''

The show's concern is not with artists who have used both photography and film in their work, but with how movies have used photographers as characters and subjects.

The range of movies falling into this category is remarkably diverse. ``Alice in the Cities,'' one of the most lyrical films, is by West German director Wim Wenders, for instance, while ``Blow-Up'' is a self-consciously hip and alienated drama by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni.

Similar contrasts may be found between, say, Hollis Frampton's visionary ``Nostalgia'' and Chris Marker's apocalyptic ``La Jet'ee,'' which turns still photos into cinema of the highest order; or between Roger Spottiswoode's underrated political drama ``Under Fire'' and Oliver Stone's explosive ``Salvador.''

Other films range from the dramatically jolting ``Pretty Baby,'' by Louis Malle, to the passionately didactic ``Letter to Jane,'' by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin, and many more.

The series will continue at the museum through May 22.

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