Movie musings in a museum…

Aborted trip to LACMA, the art museum here in LA because of Wednesday closing resulted in an extra few minutes walk to the Movie Museum nearby.

There’s enough going on in here to keep you interested for days, so like a good movie, we had to edit it all a little and then we’ll take a look at what’s left for another trip.

First of all a typographical gripe, why the hell does someone think that setting white text on black is a good idea? It’s not. Then further along setting white on pale green for crying out loud. Fire the typographer. As for hyphenating , well just leave it out. Rant over.

I did take a photo of the head but it truly was a bit gruesome, almost as gruesome as the typography.

I was always a big fan of ‘The Godfather’ and it features large in this museum, with out takes and ephemera, not just a horse’s head, to look over. Seeing the trouble they took to get things exactly right illustrates exactly why these films cost such astronomical sums.

The machine below is a film editing suite and the editing on ‘The Godfather’ was the best you can get. These days you can edit on a smart phone!

Editing suite

Alfred Hitchcock’s early film ‘The Birds’ also features in the museum and I took particular pleasure seeing these storyboard frames drawn by Harold Michelson for the film. He was something of a storyboard legend in his time, and it was his storyboard frame of Dustin Hoffman and the crook of Anne Bancroft’s provocative stockinged leg that became the iconic poster for the movie ‘The Graduate’. Apparently the leg in the poster was not Anne Bancroft’s, or so I’ve read subsequently.

Read more about Harold Michelson here

Taken from the original storyboard…one of the many versions of the poster.
Harold Michelson’s original storyboard frame for the movie that became iconic. Probably only took him a few minutes to draw but what a great composition, and the design of the poster was done!

I used to do storyboards for TV commercials way back, so my interest in these was particular. I never got near a feature film, which I’d have loved to have done, depending on the director of course.

Storyboard from ‘The Birds‘
And another

Then there’s make up. This is a lovely make up case in the museum. There’s a small feature about how they made up Marlon Brando for the Godfather changing his face to look older and the set of his jaw, amazing.

Apologies for the poor image here, the whole place was dark inside and it’s only the wonder of the iPhone that allowed me to get anything half decent.

All this in one small corner, loads of other bits and bobs to see. It’s not cheap to get in to this place but you can spend the entire day there if you like, and wander off outside and back. They give you a wristband, bit like when you go clubbing, which I don’t.

The location for this Museum and the Art one is Wilshire Boulevard, which is in a park in the La Brea area. I’ve been to the area a couple of times before and it’s grassy and well laid out, but they seem to be constantly developing it as evidenced in this pic here. It’s also the location of the Tar Pits, an area where dinosaurs were found in the pits and where research into them continues. All well worth it.

Queues of trucks wait to lay down yet more concrete.

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