Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fun at the Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving image is located in Astoria, New York City. This is not it. This is the Tyrell Building from Blade Runner. It's about the size of a piano and it's only one of many objects from film history exhibited here: 

Prosthetics from the prologue in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Almost all of the apes were played by actors. The  face pieces were especially developed for the movie, to allow the actors maximum expression.

John Hurt's prosthetic from The Elephant Man. 

Hair pieces worn by Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. 

Al Pacino and Christopher Walken life masks. Life masks are used by make-up artists to create facial prosthetics. 

The single movie that has the most space devoted to it is Silence of the Lambs. There is an extensive exhibit of production design from this one. Above is a detailed scale model of Jame Gumb's house, complete with  the well in which he kept his victims. 

A beautiful sketch of the same house.


A sketch for the scene with the crucified guard. It's based on a method of torture/execution called the Blood Eagle. Only click on the link if you're not squeamish. Here is an interesting analysis of the film. 

The museum also has a large collection of filming equipment from different eras, television sets, pre-film era machines such as the zoetrope and film franchise toys. There are some rather interesting choices in terms of what movies and shows are represented. For example: one of Elizabeth Taylor's dresses from Cleopatra is placed next to a Robin Williams costume from Mrs Doubtfire.

A few random snapshots:   

Screening of Boxing Cats, a short film from the earliest days of cinema where films were simply a few minutes of people or animals doing something quaint. 

Authentic Cosby Sweater.

Star Trek Barbie and Ken dolls. Observe that Barbie is a Redshirt.

Crockett and Tubbs suits from Miami Vice.

 Museum interior. Like something from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

Ok, but the museum is not all about movies. Example: an exhibit of arcade and video games, which you can play. What got me most excited?

I used to have one of these! You can sit down and play Super Mario Bros 1 on it. It's a funny feeling when you find something you used to own in a museum.

The End
(Music swells)

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