It’s all about the movies

@Tut’s_Fever_Movie_Palace

Tut’s Fever is a working movie theater and art installation created by Red Grooms and Lysiane Luong, an homage to the ornate, exotic picture palaces of the 1920s. Inspired by the tomb paintings they saw during a trip to Egypt, Grooms and Luong covered the walls, floor and seats of the theater with hand-painted, Egyptian-style depictions of Hollywood royalty. Silent screen star Theda Bara works the box office, Mae West stands behind the concessions stand, and Mickey Rooney is the usher. Rudolf Valentino, Elizabeth Taylor and many others grace the walls, and each slipcovered chair in the theater features an image of Rita Hayworth. Visitors can open a sarcophagus to find a sculpture of James Dean lying in his tomb, cigarette still dangling from his mouth.

And a model-size piece of the City’s history @the Roxy

Hand for Mystic puppet, 1982
Designed and built by The Jim Henson Company
The Dark Crystal


Classic movie serials are screened in Tut’s Fever every weekday at 1:00 p.m., and weekends at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:30 p.m.

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018

Memories

From life in the Buffer Zone

A Bufferin aspirin commercial narrated by Jim Henson. Two of his children, Cheryl and John, have cameo appearances.

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018

Cyclia || Cataclysm || Imagination Unlimited

Just imagine the dizzying awesomeness of a nightclub like Cyclia…!

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Footage for Cyclia, c. 1968 . Jim Henson . Henson and his colleagues shot thousands of feet of 16mm film for an unproduced one-hour film called Cataclysm, which was to be shown from multiple projectors around the interior of Cyclia to create an immersive environment. . Cyclia was a concept for a nightclub that Henson developed, where the walls, floors and ceiling would be broken into faceted, crystal-like shapes onto which films would be projected, a sea of images choreographed to the volume and type of music played. The project was eventually abandoned but not before Henson had the change to shoot thousands of feet of film. . From The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, which I caught in Queens back in 2018. The exhibition is traveling – current stop: Albuquerque Museum, until April 19, 2020. . . #fromthearchives #nyc #queens #astoria #museumofthemovingimage #experimentalfilm #jimhenson #cyclia #cataclysm #psychedelicart #experimentalart #futura #futuristic #visionaryart #visionary #mobilevideo #pixel2video #soundon🔊

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From the Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018

The Muppets (& Other Puppets)

@the_Museum_of_the_Moving_Image

From The Jim Henson Exhibition which features all our favourite puppets from The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, and a whole range of character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, and costumes from Jim Henson’s universe. It is now travelling, currently stopped at the Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM, until April 19, 2020. Check here for future venues.

”The Jim Henson Exhibition features a broad range of objects from throughout his remarkable career. It reveals how Henson and his team of builders, performers, and writers brought to life the enduringly popular worlds of The Muppet Show, the Muppet movies, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. It also includes material from Henson’s experimental film projects and his early work, presenting him as a restlessly creative performer, filmmaker, and technical innovator.”

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018

Tools of the Trade || Miniatures, Models & Costumes

No CGI – only superior craftsmanship. And utmost respect.

Moon and Discovery Spacecraft Miniatures, 2010 (1984)

The Discovery spacecraft model for 2010 had to be reconstructed by analyzing film clips from 2001: A Space Odyssey, since the original model used in that film had been destroyed. The shot of the Discovery spacecraft moving past the moon was achieved with an optical printer, which combined elements of previously photographed images on a single, new negative. Optical printers have since been made obsolete by the advent of computer generated images.


Miniature of the Tyrell Skyscraper, Blade Runner (1982)

Because of the high cost of building full-scale sets, filmmakers often create realistic environments by combining life-size models or miniatures with live-action photography.

This construction is only one part of a very large and complex miniature of the Tyrell Skyscraper. When combined with atmospheric lightning, aerial-view camera movements and fire and smoke effects, this model appears, on film, to be part of an authentic cityscape.


Regan McNeil Mechanical Puppet, The Exorcist (1973)

The single most shocking image in The Exorcist occurs when the head of Regan MacNeil, played by Linda Blair, rotates a full 350 degrees. To achieve this shot, special effects makeup artist Dick Smith built a life-size dummy of Blair, complete with a mechanically controlled rotating head, engineering by effects specialist Marcel Vercoutere. To create the figure, Smith made a mold of Blair’s body and filled the mold with foam latres. The head has radio-controlled eyes that could be made to move during shooting.

Smith and others made the puppet’s mouth appear to move by photographing Linda Blair and then superimposing the image of her moving mouth onto the image of the puppet. This superimposition was done using an optical printer. Today, this sort of shot is achieved more efficiently with computer graphics.


Razor Glove, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984-1991)
Costume designer, Dana Lyman
Mechanical effects designer, Jim Doyle, Theatrical Engines
Worn by Robert Englund

”Chest of Souls” Prosthesis
A Nigthmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Four separate makeup effects teams were hired for the fourth sequel of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Steve Johnson, of XFX, Inc., was responsible for the spectacular final sequence, in which Freddy Krueger is killed. Johnson used mechanical puppets attached to actor Robert Englund, as well as tween-foot-high groin-to-neck puppet of the character with fully articulated arms.

The ”Chest of Souls” was worn by Englund in long shots. The sweater was used on the oversize mechanical puppet. Inside the torso of the puppet were four assistants and actors, who thrust their arms out and shredded the sweater to created the effect of souls trhying to escape Krueger’s body. The torso was made out of enormous strips of specially ordered dental dam (the stretchy rubber that dentists use), with skin-textured foam latex set on top. The hole in the middle of the sweater was covered with the dental dam to simulate Freddy’s skin.


Left to right:

1/ Dress worn by Hedy Lamarr as Delilah in Samson & Delilah (1949)
2/ Reconstruction of Costume worn by Diane Keaton as Annie Hall (1977)
3/Costume worn by Sarah Jessica Parker as Donna in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)


Hat worn by Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing in Dallas (1978-1991)


Figures made by Tony Walton for costume maker Barbara Matera to use as a guide in fabricating his elaborate designs for The Wiz (1978)


Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018

Moving Image || Tools of the Trade – part II

Advanced technologies may have rendered them museum pieces, but these marvels of engineering were made to last.

RCA Colour Broadcast Camera, Model TK-41C, 1954

Fearless Camera Company Panoram Dolly, c. 1940, with Houston-Fearless Cradle Head, date unknown

This camera was the first commercially produced for colour television; it was the industry standard for fifteen years. A beam-splitting prism directed the red, green and blue elements of the picture to their own three-inch-diametre image orthicon camera tubes. At 310 pounds, the weight of the camera head and viewfinder severely limited the camera’s mobility.


International Projector Corporation 35mm Simplex E-7, 1938, with RCA Photophone Soundhead, MI-9054A and Hall and Connolly Lamp, dates unknown


Western Electric Vitaphone System 35mm Universal Base Projector, 1927, with Vitaphone Soundtrack Disc for The Desert Song (1929)

The projector exhibited here was originally used at the Aldine Theatre in Philadelphia, and is one of the only surviving Vitaphone projectors that is still operational. It has both a phonograph player for soundtrack discs and an optical sound head built into the projector. The projector is set up as if it were going to screen a film using a soundtrack disc. The record player and projector as powered by the same motor, which makes it possible for the sound and image to play in synchronicity.


Nicholas Power Company 35mm Cameragraph No. 6B, with Universal Model a Soundhead, c. 1928

When talkies arrived, optical soundheads were added to existing silent film projectors, such as the Nicholas Power Company’s No. 6B. Shown here is the Model A Universal soundhead, which made licensed use of technology patented by the Jenkins and De Forest television companies.


Duplex Motion Picture Industries 35mm Step Printer, c. 1920

Manufactured in Long Island City, this step printer was an industry standard for many years. Print density could be controlled automatically.


Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018

Design is Everything

It will always find its place in a museum collection, even if it wasn’t enough to help up the sales at the time.

Sony Miniature, Model 5-303W, with carrying case, 1962


Philco ”Safari” Model H-2010, 1959

This television set was the first to make use of the new transistor technology that had already revolutionized the portable radio. Powered by a 7.5-volt rechargeable battery with a four-hour operating capacity, it employed an optical projection system that magnified the small cathode ray tube image to create and eighty-square-inch virtual image.


Philco Predicta Model 4654 ”Barber Pole”, Television, 1959

In an effort to combat the industry-wide decline in television sales that began in the mid-1950s, Philco decided to exploit recent developments in picture tube and transistor technology. The Predicta line was the most revolutionary of several models introduced at the time. Designed by Catherine Winkler and Richard Whipple, the Predicta treated the screen surface as a ”semi-flat” element largely detached from the body of the set. Because the new tube was unreliable, sales were poor.

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018

Busted

Head Sculptures, Starman, 1984
Designer and maker, Dick Smith
Actor, Jeff Bridges

In an early sequence of Starman, an alien assumes a human form by growing from infancy to adulthood overnight. Designer Dick Smith fabricated more than one hundred full-size heads, each one conveying a minute step in the transition. The sculptures were photographed sequentially, occupying only a single frame of film. The result was a fluid, five-second transformation enlivened with eye blinks and a slight head turn. Today, an effect like this one would be created digitally.

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

May 13th, 2018