Arts and Culture, Astoria, Long Island City, Movies, Museums and Galleries
Jul 11, 2013

Persol Magnificent Obsessions at MOMI – Movie Magic Uncovered

This is an amazing exhibit and well worth a trip to the Museum of the Moving Image. Our arts correspondent, Megan Green, checked it out and shared her visit with (…)

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This is an amazing exhibit and well worth a trip to the Museum of the Moving Image. Our arts correspondent, Megan Green, checked it out and shared her visit with us. -Meg

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Opening today, July 11th at the Museum of the Moving Image is the third installation of Persol Magnificent Obsessions: 30 Stories of Craftsmanship in Film. In line with part of the Museum’s overall mission to educate and and explore technology, Carl Goodman, Executive Director, says of the exhibit that “you can’t look at Hollywood without looking at the creative innovation that comes from the people making—and breaking—the rules.”

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Curator Michael Connor explores the passion behind the processes of creating a landmark film by presenting drawings, notes, photographs, costumes, film clips and other props from ten diverse subjects. Fans of Ang Lee’s breathtaking film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will delight in not only seeing the location scouting photos, but at the same time be in room lined with weapon props from the set.

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Costumes created by Eiko Ishioka for Bram Stoker’s Dracula include the terrifying red armor suit worn by Gary Oldman, and Julie Weiss perhaps epitomized the theme of obsession by creating shadow box arrangements of drawings and baubles from Frida, as well as providing a rather meta quote painted on the wall for deteriorating costumes from Twelve Monkeys.

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On a smaller scale, actual film pieces from cinematographer and story consultant Slawomir Idziak’s work on Three Colors: Blue are arranged on a long lightbox with magnifying glasses for a much closer look. In another room, be fascinated by the various sized puppets from the allegedly unmakeable Being John Malkovich.

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Essential to any successful film, actors are not left out of the equation; Jennifer Connelly’s character studies for Requiem for a Dream and Johnny Depp’s time with Hunter S. Thompson to recreate him on screen in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas give a good look into the real work of acting.

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There is much more to be discovered in this exhibit, whether you’re a casual film buff that likes to see the pop culture artifacts from your favorite flicks, or you’re a kindred spirit curious to learn what makes the other obsessive creatives tick—so no more spoilers.

Persol Magnificent Obsessions: 30 Stories of Craftsmanship in Film will be open from July 11 through November 10, 2013 at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, 36-01 35th Avenue (at 37 Street), a quick walk from the 36th Ave. stop on the N/Q or the M/R to Steinway. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday – check the website for hours and other entry information.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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