Todd Haynes’s insidious showbiz drama “May-December” went off like fireworks at the opening of the New York Film Festival last Friday. Now the Oscar-nominated director will face another tribute at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York.
IndieWire exclusively reports that the Museum of the Moving Image will honor Haynes with the Moving Image Award for Career Achievement on December 4, with a career-spanning film retrospective, a gallery exhibition and the publication of a new book about his process in tandem. The museum also acquired the Carol and Safe director’s film archive into its collection, including liner notes, scripts and sketches from all of Haynes’ feature films, as well as his short films (yes, that stands for “Superstar,” his hard-to-find time-lapse biopic about the Barbie doll Karen Carpenter) and work on television.
Presented as a temporary addition to the museum’s main “Behind the Curtain” exhibition, the exhibition will be open from November 18 and will focus on Haynes’s elaborate “picture books”, albums that compile the visual inspiration for each of his productions, with a focus on “December in May” “starring Natalie Portman as an actress who learns to play a controversial celebrity played by Julianne Moore. Netflix will open the film in theaters on November 17th and begin streaming on December 1st.
The exhibition will also feature a video interview with Haynes and additional material drawn from an archive recently donated to the museum.
From December 1st to 30th, the museum will screen all of Haynes’ feature films, from his Jean Genet-inspired Sundance Film breakthrough Poison (1991) to May December, as well as early short films and television works such as HBO’s Mildred. Pier. (You can bet that “Superstar” won’t be included since the film about Karen Carpenter’s passing remains in music rights limbo with the Carpenter estate.)
Todd Haynes: The Enthusiastic Trial, published by MoMI, is an adaptation of the Center Pompidou book published on the occasion of Haynes’s own retrospective in Paris in 2023, but with new material for English-language readers. It includes an in-depth career interview with Haynes by Judith Revault d’Allonne of the Pompidou in 2023, a new essay by Michael Koreski, a conversation about “May December” between Haynes and director Kelly Reichardt, and a foreword by Julianne Moore. The book features more than 200 pages of material from Haynes’s archive, including drawings, paintings, storyboards, notes, set photos, costume and set designs, and more. You can purchase the book at MoMI and online starting in November.
“We are thrilled to honor Todd Haynes’ distinguished career with this expansive initiative,” said Barbara Miller, MoMI’s associate director for curatorial affairs, in an official statement. “From his impressive emergence in the 1980s to the brilliant May December, Haynes has remained an exceptional director, creating artistically fearless films that subvert genre expectations and explore transgressive identities. We are pleased to present a retrospective of his work and to be able to offer, through the exhibition and publication of Todd Haynes: Enthusiastic Process, a glimpse into his fascinating creative process.”