LOS ANGELES – Tucked away within the Cinema Academy’s “Movie Stories” galleries are plenty of respite stations – little built-in rest areas where you can sit and let your movie-goers eyes and mind wander.
One of them, a circular room titled “Behold,” is essentially the museum’s version of a planetarium show, where you can wrap yourself in scenes from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Blade Runner.” , “A Trip to the Moon,” both versions of “Solaris” and other sci-fi touchstones, their otherworldly images unfolding on a curved three-panel screen.
Another place, in the deeply transporting Hayao Miyazaki Gallery, is a man-made mound where you can lie down and gaze at a patch of blue sky, much like the characters do in “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, “Castle in the Sky” and other Animated Wonders of Miyazaki. Lounging for a moment in the fake grass, I also remembered the young hero watching the clouds from Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” – a live action sequence, perhaps, but also the kind of free association. cinematographic that this museum exists to encourage.
After a dutiful afternoon devoted to Rosebud sleds and ruby slippers, you’ll likely appreciate these opportunities to stop, sit, and treat. I certainly did during the two quick and overwhelming tours I took of the Academy Museum in recent weeks, before it officially opened at the end of this month. There is a lot to see here, and even more to think about. There are old woodcuts, magic lanterns, and other pre-cinema innovations, as well as matte paintings and miniatures from a later era of hand-crafted pre-digital cinematic magic. There are “Black Panther” costumes and “Star Wars” droids and “Alien” Xenomorphs, as well as visual primers on the craft of top notch craftsmen such as editor Thelma Schoonmaker and cinematographer. Emmanuel Lubezki.