What are you doing Labor Day weekend? Nothing, right? Well, here’s your plan: spend the weekend at the MoMA for the Chris Smith retrospective, “American Original.” Wisconsin-based Smith has stayed true to his indie roots ever since bursting onto the scene with his acclaimed (and underseen) debut feature, American Job, in 1996. Since then, he’s directed or co-directed some brilliant and funny documentaries such as American Movie, Home Movie, and The Yes Men.
Then, he shocked and impressed everybody with what he made next: The Pool, a beautiful and hushed narrative feature made in Goa starring mostly non-actor children speaking a language Chris himself did not understand. But, he pulled it off, and the film wound up being a critical smash at Sundance 2007, where it also won a Special Jury prize.
The Pool is finally getting its theatrical release, starting September 3 at New York’s Film Forum. So, in honor of that, MoMA is hosting this much-deserved retrospective of Chris’ feature work. Click here for the details on the retrospective program. And, do yourself a favor: see The Pool, either in New York or when it comes to your town. In the interest of full disclosure, Chris Smith and his projects have often been associated with Cinetic Media. Doesn’t make a difference, I’ve been a big fan long before I came to work here. You should be too.