Academy Film Museum is ready for close-up

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But on this day, these icons are more than just exhibits—Tom Hanks stepped onto the stage of the museum’s David Geffen Theatre to share with the public the historical significance of this new institution, which will open on September 30.

“Owning this museum is important to Los Angeles,” Tom Hanks said when speaking to the media on the stage of the brand new David Geffen Theatre, which was well decorated and paved Red carpet. “We all know that movies are made all over the world, and they are all wonderful movies…but IMHO, in places like Los Angeles created by the film school, this museum really must become the Parthenon of these places.”

According to the academy, Hanks, along with Disney Chairman Bob Eagle and actor Annette Benning, led the fundraiser for the new museum-the entire project costed $482 million.

Actor Anna Kendrick said at the opening press conference: “It’s shiny, novel, huge, full of about 125 years of ideas, dreams and life-changing film experiences.”

A museum nearly a century old

Ruby slippers from the 1939 movie

Considering that Hollywood likes to celebrate its best and brightest people, it may be a little surprising that there is not yet a museum dedicated to filmmaking.

In fact, the road to making museums a reality is a long one. This idea has existed for almost the same time as the academy, which was founded in 1927. But it wasn’t until 2012 that the museum began to take shape. Nearly ten years later, the opening was postponed due to the pandemic. But the Academy Museum is now ready to provide its immersive love letters to the filmmaking craftsmanship.

“We are the only institution dedicated to exploring the art and science of filmmaking,” said Bill Kramer, curator and president of the Academy Museum. “We will rotate different stories through the core exhibition story of the film.”

The museum combines the old with the new and is located on the expanded layout of the former May company department store on Wilshire Avenue and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Now known as the Saban Building, it is home to most of the collection and the 288-seat Tedman Theater. This brand new facility is covered by a concrete and glass sphere weighing 26 million pounds that covers 45,000 square feet and includes the 1,000-seat Geffen Theater. At the top, the Dolby Family Terrace spreads under the glass dome.

The exterior of the museum's spherical theater.

The Italian architect Renzo Piano who designed the museum is also behind The Shard in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, saying that the new facility is “the best An incredible love story…a love story between beautiful, kind, and caring old ladies”-May Company Building-and a soap bubble. “

Piano noted how he used light as an ode to film in the design of the museum, and claimed that the architect was jealous of the filmmaker.

“Everything is in the movie. Everything. It’s a story, action, light and shadow and music, photography-everything is there. Light and shadow,” he said. “Light and shadow are actually the essence of this project, the essence of this building. This is very common in movies.”

Exhibits

ET in the 1982 movie

Visitors can experience the many ways of film production, from screenwriting, casting and costume to mixing, animation and technological advancement. In the composer’s inspirational sound room gallery, there is hardly any light except for the crimson radiation. Once featured the work of a film composer, it is currently the domain of Hildur Guðnadóttir, who won the Oscar for best soundtrack for his 2019 “Joker”. Here, you are invited to get lost in the music.

Overall, the Academy Museum has the world’s largest collection of film-related objects, including more than 13 million photos, 67,000 posters, and 137,000 works of art.

Of course, without an Oscar-winning exhibition, the Academy Museum would not be complete. In fact, an entire room is dedicated to small statues of the academy, including the statue of Sidney Poitier who won the Best Actor Award for “Lilies of the Field” in 1963 This is the first time a black actor has won an award in this category.

Not all film history is golden

The museum displays Oscar statues and provides visitors with a virtual opportunity to experience the feeling of walking across the stage at the Oscars ceremony.

Not all historical expositions go smoothly with the passage of time, but the curators of the museum say that they will not shy away from difficult topics.

“This is a place to learn about film history,” Kramer said, noting that the museum must explore uncomfortable topics. “A lot of our past is not good-a lot of racism, oppression and sexism. So while we celebrate film, art and filmmaking artists, we also want people to find a safe space to have more complex conversations To create our new future together.”

Their craft experts are heard in their own voices, explaining the production decisions of famous films. A series of screen tests of actors are shown, followed by the same scenes in the final work.

“Filmmaking is the ultimate collaborative art form,” Kramer said. “We hope that students…movie lovers will see themselves in the museum, and we hope that people will be inspired by their careers in filmmaking.”

For some inspiration and sure to become a highlight of the museum, the Oscar experience allows visitors to see the feeling of walking across the stage at the Dolby Theater and accepting the Oscar.

After all, great Hollywood stories always start with dreams.

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