The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) presents the retrospective Larry Fessenden & Glass Eye Pix
Larry Fessenden has been instrumental in the evolution and popularity of indie horror, not only through his own directing efforts through Glass Eye Pix, but also supporting diverse and unique voices. Over nearly four decades, Larry Fessenden and Glass Eye Pix have amassed an incredible portfolio of features, shorts and animation, and it will all be on display in New York at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from March 30 through April 19. an in-person and online program, we have all the details on special events and screenings, including the premiere of Jack Fessenden foxhole!
“Glass Eye Pix, the independent New York production helmed by artistic horror author Larry Fessenden, is pleased to announce that a retrospective of 26 feature films as well as numerous shorts, animations and early works created over the of its 37 years of activity, is presented by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from March 30 to April 19. The series of films will be animated by Fessenden and many directors who participated in the Glass Eye Pix mission to support ” individual voices in the arts”.
Fessenden will unroll all the feature films he has directed: No indication, habit, Wendigo, the last winter, under, and Depraved, each of which grapples with the intersection between horror, societal breakdown, and self-betrayal. Fessenden’s films of the 90s pioneered the idea of ”personal” horror that is now a staple of the genre.
In addition to the work of Fessenden, the retrospective will present works by famous directors Kelly Reichardt (Grass River, Wendy and Lucy)Ti West (Le Perchoir, The Devil’s House, The Innkeepers)Rick Alverson (The comedy)and Jim Mickle (pile land), all of whom made first or second films in the production company with Fessenden producing, exemplifying the mentorship that defined Glass Eye Pix. Films by promising auteur films will also be screened, including Ana Asensio’s award-winning film The most beautiful islandJenn Wexler the ranger, by Rob Mockler Like me, At Mickey Keating’s DearIlya Chaiken child of freedomby Joe Maggio bitter partyGlenn McQuaid I sell the dead, the hallucinatory I see you by Graham Reznick and the very experimental B&W-s8mm-Sci-Fi-futuristic-
A highlight of the series will be the April 2 New York premiere of Fessenden’s son’s latest Glass Eye Pix film: foxhole by Jack Fessenden. Set over 36 hours in three separate wars – the American Civil War, World War I and Iraq – foxhole follows a small group of soldiers trapped in a confined space as they grapple with morality, futility, and an increasingly unstable combat situation. The film is notable for its structure, but also for its focus on classic themes of honor, sacrifice, camaraderie, and cowardice. foxhole is the follow function after Lost bullets (2016, also playing at MoMA) by young Fessenden, who was 19 when filming took place in August 2019.
In addition to theatrical fare, the retrospective will also feature an online program featuring the works of longtime Glass Eye Pix collaborator Beck Underwood, whose animated shorts will delight connoisseurs of the macabre sweet Brothers Quay and Jan Švankmajer. Underwood will present various films, including There in spirit, an exquisite task, perfectly perfect, as well as Uncle Ben, produced in collaboration with artist Melissa Stern. Also on offer, select shorts from the collection curated by Underwood Spooky Christmas Film Festival: Glenn McQuaid bloated archives, by Larry Fessenden wild ride and Merrill (with Maud, Sam and Gareth) Rauch’s Memory.
The online program also features two behind-the-scenes documentaries on the making of the Glass Eye films. Nothing to say and Lost bullets as well as two feature documentaries produced by the company: one by Matt Kliegman entitled Markie in Milwaukee, a deeply moving portrait of a Midwestern evangelical preacher contemplating a transition from Mark to Markie; and Birth of the living dead, a historical documentary by Rob Kuhns about the making of George Romero’s zombie image Night of the living dead. Also available online: the ambitious hand-drawn animated short by Glass Eye contributor James Siewert, titled The past in the present. And there are other unexpected shorts and oddities from the archives: 70s s8mm films from Fessenden, collaborations with performance artists David “The Impact Addict” Leslie, and an 80s featurette made with performer Heather titled Woodbury Venus digs; Diary of a Go-Go Dancer.
Fessenden said of the program, “I am honored to have our film collection recognized by such a venerable institution as MoMA. Although my name appears in the title of this retrospective, it is actually a celebration of all the artisans who have worked under the Glass Eye banner over the years: fellow producers, crew members, actors, sound designers, graphic designers. and of course the directors and writers, many of whom have collaborated on more than one project and in different capacities, in different roles, telling original stories that are personal and vital across many disparate genres and mediums, created under one production with the philosophy that art matters. It means a lot that our little corner of showbiz is enjoying a brief moment in the spotlight.