Saturday, 28 May 2016

ACMI, Melbourne

Visit to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image
For the past two weeks I have been in Australia and mostly in Melbourne where I have been teaching a class in the use of our brilliant software WindPRO. Finally, having completed my duties, I have today been able to join my wife and son in some sightseeing and luckily they have saved the best for last: The Australian Centre for the Moving Image, ACMI.

ACMI is located in the very heart of Melbourne, right on Federation Square and about 200 m from our hotel so it was a no-brainer to include it in our itinerary. It seems to be fairly new with a number of galleries and screening rooms and frankly I think we saw only a fraction of it. Just two days ago they opened a Scorsese exhibition, which I understand is a travelling exhibition set up by the Berlin film museum, and that was a natural first stop.

This was a really nice exhibition with lots of props, pictures, stories and film clips and definitely worth the admission. Scorsese is a film nerd and that means that an exhibition about Scorsese will include a lot of references to older movies and I actually saw the original red shoes from the P&P movie “The Red Shoes” (1948).


Scorsese’s own movies are hit or miss with me and I am not one of his biggest fans therefore much of the exhibition is for me less exciting than for example the Kubrick exhibition I saw in Berlin some years back. “Taxi Driver” was pretty cool and “Hugo” was kind of sweet, but I am sure a true fan would have wet his pant over the exhibits.

True gold, however, I found in the permanent exhibition (which incidentally is free). This is not a large exhibition, but smart, exciting and completely engrossing. Divided into a historic overview of the development of moving image entertainment from lanterna magica to internet streaming, a thematic presentation of film effects and Australian contributions to film and TV (Cate Blanchett, Dame Edna etc.) it covers a surprisingly large array of subjects, yet is deep enough to become interesting. The trick I think is that it manages to get everything into context and, man, I could have spent all day there.

Among the highlight was an original 1939 RCA television, interactive examples of light and shadow effects as used in movies such as “Cat People” or “Night of the Hunter” and the car from the “Mad Max” movies.


And my son? He found a Minecraft exhibit where you could sit and play Minecraft on a number of Xbox consoles. That completely made his day.

Awesome museum.

Among other highlights of the trip is our excursion to the Grampians where we got in very close contact with the local fauna, such as the huge emu that wandered around our motel room one morning…


  1. Emu sighting!!! I would have been more excited about the museum myself. When we get to the 70's I'm looking forward to some great Australian cinema.

    1. The Emu was actually pretty awesome. This picture I took from behind the motel. Half an hour later this 1,5 m monster was walking on our front porch and my wife got some good pictures of it. Halls Gap was also full of wild kangaroos, which the local found trivial but got us quite excited.

  2. The ACMI sounds interesting. I remember when I was on holiday in the north of England I saw The Cars of the Stars Motor Museum, including Batmobiles, Herbie, Mr Bean's mini, Knight Rider etc. Good times. Unfortunately I read it closed 5 years ago.
    Didn't know there's a Kubrick exhibition tour. As a fan of his work, I hope it comes to Denmark eventually!

    1. The Kubrick exhibition I saw in 2005 in Berlin. A few year later I saw it again in New York. I have no idea if it is still travelling around, but it was pretty awesome.
      The car show sounds fun. If you are really into special cars you should go to Stuttgart and visit the Mercedes-Benz museum. Beside the two first cars ever made (a Benz and a Daimmler) they have all sort of special cars such as the Pope-mobile or the cars from Jurasic Park.

    2. If I'm near Stuttgart at some point, I'll definitely consider the Mercedes-Benz museum. Thanks for the info.

    3. No problem. I has been ten years since I have been there so much can have changed, but I remember it as awesome.