It was in my email, absolutely on point, at 10:00 a.m. on a Wednesday morning — the digital equivalent of the dreaded question that follows every industry screening. As the old joke says: “How do you like my movie?”
I (finally) visited the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Tuesday afternoon. The follow-up survey, among other things, wanted to know what my “Top 5 Museum Experiences” were. But the list of options in the convenient pull-down didn’t have my favorite. For me, the five best things starting with the top were Salade Niçoise, Free Parking at 6th Cent (we only got in after hours of cleaning), friendly staff (they let us in well before our 1pm reservation, no questions asked), vintage photos of Mid-Wilshire when it really was There was the Miracle Mile, and a foggy patio view of the Hollywood Hills, just across the museum’s top-level Barbra Streisand bridge.
in 21scheduled tribe Century Los Angeles, it doesn’t get much better than this.
As far as the exhibits are concerned, not being a certified museum critic, I am not qualified to say anything other than sharing a purely personal view. The film museum, which I had been sidestepping since it opened to the public in 2021, made me feel a little uneasy, as if it was somehow dismissing or undermining what I had experienced in 40 years of covering was designed for. and working in the film business. a lot of big things (besides) Saint Performance, John Singleton and a beautiful tribute to him Boyz N the Hood, and a few other mainstream touches) were unfamiliar. And the people and photographs I’d known, loved, and written about for decades were either missing, or relegated to the museum as footnotes, like that wonderful photo of a young Peter Barth. Godfather Gallery.
“You’re irrelevant,” shrugged my fellow visitor, not one to mince words.
Irrelevant, and no, I think, coincidentally so.
Being a sleuth by nature, on Wednesday afternoon I dug up some tax filings from the Academy Museum Foundation that were a bit out of date, but recently surfaced on the Candid nonprofit monitoring service. No major surprises emerged, except for one: There was an interesting change in the essential details of the film museum’s “mission” amid successive filings for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
In the first, dated March 10, 2022, the museum was dedicated only to “the art and science of motion pictures.” In a straightforward (if somewhat lewd) fashion, it will be devoted to “the history of the motion picture industry, educational exhibits and activities related to how motion pictures are made, exhibits of memorabilia, and other functions that visitors can experience.” will allow” production of films.
Yet two months later, on May 10, 2022 – and this was before Bill Kramer and Jacqueline Stewart assumed their current positions as heads of the Academy and Museum, respectively – the mission statement underwent a marked change.
Describing the museum for its fiscal year 2021 filing, the foundation now said its job was to advance “the understanding, celebration and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible” initiatives. The museum will work, it said, “in active partnership with motion picture artists and experts, scholars, staff and diverse communities to contextualise and challenge dominant narratives around cinema, inspiring discourse, connection, joy and discovery.” “
Contextualize and challenge dominant narratives,
It’s no wonder that some of us have spent a lifetime creating pieces of those narratives, either as creators or as producers. the new York Times, Los Angeles Times, wall street journal, trades must be feeling a little disoriented at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. that’s the idea. As we said, the story is being challenged.
And for those who program the museum, we are not entirely relevant.