What she does: Simply said, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Film Curator Marian Luntz determines the year-round film programming for the museum including several showcases and film festivals. In order to do that, Luntz watches hundreds of movies a year and travels to film festivals around the world in search of new gems to show local audiences. It's a gig lots of people would like, it seems. "People often walk up to me at screenings and ask, 'How can I get your job?'" she jokingly tells Art Attack.
"Another term that's more common for this...is film programmer. People sometimes don't think of the word curator when it comes to people who do film programming; it's thought of more with people who organize exhibitions," Luntz says. "Our theater is our gallery, the way that other curators would hang art on the walls in a traditional gallery. Ultimately, it's just the person whose vision is driving the selection of films."
Why she likes it: "I love film," she says simply. "Peter Marzio was very committed to film at the museum; he would often say that film was the dominant art form for the 20th century. I agree with that.
"Films, especially the way we show them at the museum, are so varied. We show classics to brand-new, popular films. There's always something new."
What inspires her: "Conversations with people inspire me. Whether it's people who come to the museum for the first time or are regular visitors, I love to hear what people want to see and what they think about films.
"Often I come out after we've shown a film and I see little groups of people talking about what they've just seen in our dark parking lot. That excites me, that people want to talk about what they've seen, that the movies provoke discussions." (Luntz recently started an after-screening discussion series.)
If not this, then what: Luntz hasn't given much thought to work outside of film programming, but she's sure that she'd be involved in the arts in some way or another. A 25-year breast cancer survivor, she says she might use her skill in the arts to help a nonprofit group involved in helping survivors or with some other community organization.
If not here, then where: "When you're from the north and you've lived here a long time, you kinda question whether or not you could live in a cold climate again," she laughs. "But I really don't know where. It would be nice to live in a blue state, that's for sure. I would love to live abroad in a country where I could use the fact that I speak French, I suppose. But it's hard, Houston is such an easy place to live in."
What's next: "Of course, we have Cinema Film Arts Festival, we'll be one of the venues. And coming up, I'll be going to a few film festivals. One of my favorite film festivals to go to is in Rotterdam in January. It's a good festival for us because they tend to spotlight emerging filmmakers from Asia and Latin America."
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For information about films at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, visit www.mfah.org/films.