As fog enshrouds the city, the summer is the perfect time to become immersed in films based on gothic tales written by women. This season, Modern Cinema features gothic classics adapted to film from Wuthering Heights and Frankenstein to The Haunting, as well as fresh takes on gothic storytelling in films that push or upset the conventions of the genre such as The Babadook and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Eerie, atmospheric and always dark in tone, the gothic haunts the imagination with moody landscapes, brooding architecture, and unforgettable characters. These films also peer into wide ranging conceptions of women in society and mechanisms by which the mind and the body can be used as a site for power and oppression. This season’s Haunted! spans more than eighty years of gothic cinema culled from literary classics and exemplary screenwriting efforts by women, making its rich cinematic legacy and influence on contemporary filmmaking ripe for celebration.
Modern Cinema is a film series exploring the dynamic interactions between cinema’s past and present. Presented by SFMOMA in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.
Header Image: James Whale, Frankenstein (still), 1931; courtesy of PHOTOFEST