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Pandemic Affect: Every Movie Cough

Oct 19, 2020

Every Movie Cough ( is an online exhibit presenting coughs and sneezes from the history of cinema, commissioned by Museum of the Moving Image in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1894’s Fred Ott’s Sneeze, filmmakers have depicted bodily outbursts. Some of these expulsions are pivotal to the narrative, while others are purely incidental.

Today, they all take on new significance as vectors for possible disease. Monday, October 19, Every Movie Cough curators Jason Eppink and Mike Lacher will talk with critic and cultural studies professor Maggie Hennefield (Death from Laughter, Female Hysteria, and Early Cinema) about the performance of involuntary expulsions across history and movie genre, and the mixed feelings—from enjoyment to anxiety—that these scenes now provoke. Moderated by Associate Curator of Science and Film, Sonia Epstein.


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Discussions with creative figures in film, television, and digital media—formerly the Pinewood Dialogues—made possible with a generous grant from the Pannonia Foundation.