Screen Worlds Turns Five
Posted on: 25/09/2014
Bake the cake, hang the balloons and light the candles - there's a birthday to celebrate! On Sunday the 20th September, our permanent free exhibition - Screen Worlds - turned five years old.
Can it really be five years since that glorious star-studded opening when pictures of Cate Blanchett wearing the 'dress of the moment' were beamed around the world, and Hollywood heavyweights Geoffrey Rush and Hugo Weaving helped declare the $8.95 million dollar gallery open for business? Time really does fly.
Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture opened its doors to the public on 20th September 2009. Since then tens of thousands of visitors of all ages have spent time marvelling at the 19th century Magic Lantern, turning the handle of the Mutoscope, watching flickering images from the 1896 Melbourne Cup and viewing fragments from the first Australian feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906). And that's just within a few feet of the entrance.
With three distinct areas, Emergence, Voices and Sensation, Screen Worlds has something for everyone. The friendly Visitor Services team are always at the entrance to greet patrons and guests and over the years the team has played host to hundreds of school groups, thousands of overseas and interstate visitors, and of course many Victorians and Melburnians who've discovered a real treasure trove on their doorstep - not to mention a wonderful local destination for their visiting friends and family.
Many of the more popular attractions such as the Timeslice, where visitors can replicate the 'bullet-time' moves from The Matrix, or the Anthony McCall installation You and I Horizontal II (more commonly know to us as the McCall or Dark Room) seem to be on visitors' lists before they arrive, but it's always worth a return visit. There's been an ever-changing parade of Kylie Minogue's (often skimpy) costumes from her music videos, and Australian icon, Dame Edna's, outrageous dresses are rotated on a regular basis.
Screen Worlds has seen its fair share of famous faces over the last five tears too, including visits from the famed film critic Leonard Maltin who declared that the Oscar Academy in Los Angeles should resurrect its own moving image project and "would do well to visit [Screen Worlds] in Melbourne to see how well the Aussies have pulled it off". Praise indeed. It seems that Hollywood took note, with plans to create a beautiful sister moving image centre in L.A.
Legendary film director John Landis (Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London) stopped by Screen Worlds when his wife Deborah Nadoolman Landis was here at ACMI last year for the opening of our Hollywood Costume exhibition which she curated. He was particularly impressed by the Flip Book attraction he found in Sensation and immediately used it to create a unique souvenir of his visit. Here's an interview with Deborah on the art of costume design:
I can also remember NASA astronaut Rex Walheim, here for the Star Voyager exhibition opening, wandering around Emergence and delightedly viewing the moon landing film clips and photos of the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin.
From Oscar statuettes belonging to Cate Blanchett (for her role in The Aviator), and Melbourne's own 'Prince of Plasticine' Adam Elliot (for his delightful short animated film Harvie Krumpet), Screen Worlds has something for every visitor.
Young and young-at-heart alike can have fun with Philip Worthington's wonderful Shadow Monster artwork, and if you're in need of a party hat to celebrate Screen Worlds' birthday, try finding Paul Hogan's Crocodile Dundee headgear or Molly Meldrum's battered Stetson when you next visit.
Come and celebrate with us at Screen Worlds, where everyone's a star!
- Mike Childs, Visitor Services Officer
Screen Worlds is open daily, from 10am to 5pm.comments powered by Disqus
Image courtesy of Javier Cirujeda Photography