Celebrated television writer, producer and noted arts patron, Maria Bell points to studio-era Hollywood as an inspiration for her work, especially during her time as head writer of the enduring soap opera The Young and the Restless. Guided by her passion for Hollywood cinema, Bell carefully assembled a collection of vintage 35mm prints of recognized milestones from Hollywood's Golden Age, as well as important contemporary classics. Bell's discriminating and inspired tastes as a major collector of modern and contemporary art—together with her husband Bill Bell—also helped shape this impressive collection, which gives a special place to American cinema of the late 1980s and 1990s.
In celebration of Maria Bell's generous donation of her collection to the Harvard Film Archive, we are pleased to present a showcase that reveals the collection's strengths, screening influential works from the Eighties and Nineties in need of reconsideration, as well as the rousing and ruminative musical Yankee Doodle Dandy, itself an unsung classic. On the opening night of the program Maria Bell will be with us in person to present the screening of Working Girl. – Haden Guest