Museum of the Moving Image

by Peter Aaron/Esto

OK. ok. So I know that I’m a little late jumping on the MoMI bandwagon. The museum re-opened in mid-January after a massive architectural renovation and exhibition re-design. Here’s what the NYT said about the Museum and the building. My instructor Justin Davidson also wrote an architecture review of the MoMI for New York Magazine.

But I finally managed to over there this weekend and boy was I impressed! Not only is the building exquisitely designed, but the exhibitions are fascinating and have a large interactive component.

Walking into the vast whiteness of the lobby is like walking onto a stage set of the future. Everything is white, angular, and subtly asymmetrical. The museum store is directly to the right upon entrance and beyond that is the admissions desk. I purchased my ticket and was told that the best way to see the museum is to begin on the third floor and work my way down.

My friend and I walked past the electric blue ramp leading to the main theater, past the white tables and chairs of the cafe and left down a short passage to the elevator. The third floor featured the temporary exhibition Real Virtuality: Experiments in Art and Technology which was a collection of 6 installations of interactive video games, art pieces, etc. The two games were meh. The best piece by far was Augmented Sculpture by Pablo Valbuena composed of projected light onto a large white geometrical structure. It was mesmerizing and beautiful. You can watch a similar work here.

The third floor also houses a portion of the permanent collection Behind the Screen, a combination of interactive projects and display of historical objects. IT IS AMAZING. My friend and I were able to record a silly movie of ourselves that was turned into a flip book in the museum store ($10). I made a stop motion animation movie and recorded my voice over Audrey Hepburn’s in a scene from My Fair Lady. In between, we learned about the history and development of motion pictures. It was marvelous!

Then we hurried back to the first floor to catch a 2:30pm screening of Forbidden Planet (ticket price included in admission). I had never seen the movie before and was very entertained by it. Then a quick snack in the cafe and up to the second floor. There is an amphitheater on the second floor near the main stair where one could sit and watch the film Dolls Vs Dictators but I  wasn’t quite in the right mood to watch a baby doll tear off the head of Kim Jong Il.

The second floor is mostly a continuation of the core exhibition focussed on actors, costumes, licensed merchandise, and video games. It too had interactive features throughout. At the end is Tut’s Fever, an art installation/movie house currently showing screenings of old Green Hornet serials.

This museum is one of the most accessible, most entertaining and informative museums I have had the pleasure of visiting. I left with a brochure on becoming a member.

Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106
Tuesday–Thursdays: 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Fridays: 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.(Free admission: 4:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.)
Saturdays and Sundays: 10:30 a.m.–7 p.m.
$10 adults, $7.50 senior citizens and college students with valid ID, $5 children

Great museum for grown-ups and kids alike. Bring a friend and make some beautiful movies together. Also, check out their movie screenings and events, some pretty cool stuff!


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