Kerry Brougher, who will be the first director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, says the museum is going to present the history and an appreciation of motion pictures from the start to the present, and help create the future of cinema. (New York Times)
LOS ANGELES In the dim light of a gutted department store, through the dust of nearby construction, Kerry Brougher
sees a flickering movie future filled with hundreds of different cinemas.
For tiny screens.
Theaters yet to be conceived.
problem now is to fit an art form that is already bursting through old walls into a new film museum that is being developed on the grounds of the old May Co. department store on Wilshire Boulevard here.
Beginning on July 1, Brougher
until recently the interim director of the Hirshhorn Museum
and Sculpture Garden in Washington will take charge of a still aborning Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
in Los Angeles, as its first director.
Organizers are planning a 2017 opening, which gives Brougher
new colleagues about three years to figure out precisely what an ambitious museum of the movies should do.
It is not a theme park, said Brougher
, a scholarly type who spoke last week in the clutter here in the Museum Row district, next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
There will be R-rated exhibitions, too, but Brougher
had not quite figured out how to caution the public when the harsher elements are on display.
But the dome overhead, Brougher
said, is an invitation to project the influence of film, and to create works that he
envisions being sponsored by the museum.
I would imagine we wouldnt do many feature films, Brougher
said, referring to his
plan to create films to be shown in the museums three theaters.
talked of installation-based projects that would help expand the definition of movies.
In the museums core, Brougher
said, there will be two tracks.
One, which will have at least some artifacts from the Academys already large collection (one of the pairs of Dorothys ruby slippers included), should be mostly permanent and will trace the industrys history.
said, the visitor should feel as if being drawn into a film once walking through the museum door.
The second track will be about the art of what Brougher likes to call cinema. (He has a masters degree in film history from the University of California, Los Angeles.) Built around more temporary exhibits which could conceivably feature screenings, posters, photographs, props from a set, letters, or designs and personal artwork that part brings questions of its own.
said, less-than-perfect movies will find a place.
Studying film history told me, probably more than being an art curator, not to be too quick to judge the quality of something by whether it was an A, a B or a C movie, he explained.
A central question, Brougher
said, is how to take visitors out of the illusions of film and reveal the mechanics of how things are done, or whether to do it at all.
clearly leans more toward image than technology, saying, When they leave, people should understand, if nothing else, that film is an art form.
allows that technology, small screens and the possibility of creating optional micro-experiences might let some visitors learn all they would like about film makeup or matte paintings without burdening those who would rather not know.
is mindful of the extreme disruption that is pointed toward the mid-Wilshire district, where tunneling for a new subway line and stations, along with possible renovation to other nearby museums, is already tearing up streets and chasing tenants out of Museum Row.
The film museum, Brougher
acknowledged, will almost surely have to open in the middle of the coming havoc, which is expected to include heavy vibration from the underground drilling.
Maybe we should build the first show around Earthquake, he