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Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) Directed by Leo McCarey Tokyo Story (1953) Directed by Yosujro Ozu It was the Great Depression, and Leo McCarey was in mourning. He was still recovering from an illness when his father died. He then spent a year crafting Make Way for Tomorrow, a reminder to respect one's elders that didn't reach audiences at time of release. McCarey isn't subtle about his message; an early image of a sunny sky, the...
The meaning of Christmas is something that we all kind of intuit, but it’s also something that Christmas movies have a very hard time agreeing upon. A Christmas Carol and its many reiterations celebrate the holiday’s potential for personal redemption; Miracle on 34th Street and Elf think Christmas is a time to believe; A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas set out to save the holiday from its worst consumer impulses; and...
Cocksucker Blues (1972) Directed by Robert Frank and Danny Seymour This seldom-screened documentary, whose title comes from an unreleased LP by The Rolling Stones, follows the band members during their 1972 North American tour, a short time after the release of the album Exile on Main St and three years after the sad events at Altamont. The black-and-white film was made in vérité fashion by the Swiss-born photographer and filmmaker Frank and his assistant Seymour,...
Seriously Funny: The Films of Leo McCarey July 15th-31st at MoMA Although his name might not be as celebrated today, the film director Leo McCarey was every bit the equal of better-known auteurs such as Frank Borzage, Jean Renoir, and Carl Theodor Dreyer. Like Borzage, he was a born romantic who sought to understand how people (sometimes misguidedly) used love and intimacy to try to protect each other from the dangers of their surrounding world. Like...

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