Film Treasures from MoMA

film treasure from moma

In December, Hiroshima film buffs have an opportunity to see a selection of a selection of the films from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection shown at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival earlier this year. The films are being shown at the Hiroshima City Cinematographic and Audio-visual Library December 3-14 and admission is to each program is only ¥520 for adults.

Panic in the Streets, 1950
Panic in the Streets, 1950

An interesting variety of US film history and technology and is touched upon in the course of the week long program. A restored print of The Big Trail (full film embedded below) with a young John Wayne in first starring role in 1930 is an early use of widescreen 70mm film. Noir thriller, Panic in the Streets from 1950 has renewed resonanceduring concerns about the spread of Ebola. Also from the 1950s, are Otto Preminger’s Bonjour Tristesse which has both black and white and color sequences and The Band Wagon, a highly rated musical comedy starring Fred Astair.

the band wagon 1953
The Band Wagon, 1953

Two films by Andy Warhol – Four of Andy Warhol’s Most Beautiful Women and The Velvet Underground and Nico (full film embedded below) are shown on December 4. The X-rated Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss, directed, produced, written, scored by its leading man Melvin Van Peebles, and ItalianAmerican (full film embedded below) and a personal documentary by Martin Scorsese shot in the Manhattan apartment where he grew up represent the 1970s.

sweet sweetback’s baadasssss 1971
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss, 1971

The finale returns to the early beginnings of the motion picture industry with a series of shorts, starting with a 4 minute film of the New York subway from 1905. Films by director of the problematic, but influential 1908 feature film The Birth of a Nation D.W. Griffith are also included as is some animation work by Walt Disney himself. An eight-minute silent meditation on the memory of a murdered waitress by the artist Joseph Cornell from 1965 closes the program.

The Program

Panic in the Streets [暗黒の恐怖]

December 3 (Wed) 14:00, 18:30

  • 1950
  • 60min
  • Director Elia Kazan
  • Black and white, 35mm

Andy Warhol Program

Four of Andy Warhol’s Most Beautiful Women

  • 1964
  • 16min
  • 16fps, 16mm, Silent
  • Black-and-white
  • Director and Cinematographer Andy Warhol

The Velvet Underground and Nico

December 4 (Thursday) 14:00
December 4 (Thursday) 18:30(Free, preceded by lecture by Charles Worthen from Hiroshima City University starting at 18:00)

  • 1966
  • 66min
  • 16mm
  • Black-and-white
  • Director/Appearance Andy Warhol
  • Director/Cinematography Paul Morrissey

Bonjour Tristesse [悲しみよこんにちは]

December 5 (Fri) 14:00, 18:30

  • 11958
  • 94min
  • 35mm
  • Black-and-white
  • Color
  • Director Otto Preminger

The Big Trail [ビッグ・トレイル]

December 6 (Sat) 14:00, 18:00

  • 1930
  • 122min
  • 35mm
  • Black and white
  • Director Raoul Walsh

The Band Wagon [バンド・ワゴン]

December 7 (Sun) 10:30, 14:00

  • 1953
  • 112min
  • Black and white, 35mm
  • Director Vincente Minnelli

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song [スウィート・スウィートバック]

December 12 (Fri) 14:00, 18:30

  • 1971
  • 98min
  • 35mm
  • Color
  • Director/Screenplay/Music/Appearance Melvin Van Peebles

ItalianAmerican [イタリアン・アメリカン]

December 13 (Sat) 14:00, 18:00

  • 1974
  • 48min
  • 35mm
  • Color
  • Director/Screenplay/Appearance Martin Scorsese

Short film collection (51min)

December 14 (Sun) 10:30, 14:00

Interior N.Y. Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street

  • 1905
  • 4min
  • 24fps
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • Black-and-white
  • Diretor G. W. Bitzer

The Lonedale Operator

  • 1911
  • 17min
  • 16fps
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • Black-and-white, color
  • Director D.W. Griffith
  • Friends

  • 1912
  • 13min
  • 18fps
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • Black-and-white
  • Director/Screenplay D.W. Griffith

The Tourists

  • 1912
  • 6min
  • 16fps35mm
  • Silent
  • Black-and-white
  • Director Mack Sennett

Newman Laugh-o-Grams

  • 1920
  • 3min
  • 19203 min
  • 23fps
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • Black-and-white
  • Director/Appearance Walt Disney

Flushing Meadows

  • 1965
  • 8min
  • 16mm
  • Silent
  • Color
  • Director Joseph Cornell


Film admission is ¥520 for adults, ¥250 for high schoolers and free for junior high school and below (except for the evening Andy Warhol program December 4).

After Hiroshima, the selection moves on to Yamaguchi Museum of Modern Art where it will be shown December 19-23.



Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.