I've had the pleasure of introducing three people to one of my all-time favorite museums in the last two months.
In late September, my friend Amanda and I went to see a movie commemorating the life of Jim Henson. We got there early and were sitting in perhaps the third row from the front, on the aisle. Gradually, the auditorium filled up, and it was at or near capacity when we looked up front and saw that an introductory speaker had taken a position behind the lectern. Just before the speaker was about to begin, the usher came up to the woman in front of us and asked her discreetly whether the aisle seat was taken. The woman said Yes, my husband is sitting there, and to avoid any argument about whether or not he would arrive, she pointed up at the lectern. The guy saw what was happening, and good naturedly confirmed that he would very much like to regain his seat as soon as he was done introducing the film. The introduction itself was down-to-earth and just the right length; the guy had been working for Jim Henson Productions at the time the movie tribute was made, and gave us a sense of what it was like following Jim Henson's death (great sadness, lots of uncertainty about the future). He also briefly described the talk show interview clips that preceded the film, none of which I'd seen before.
A very attractive Triunuial Magic Lantern, dating from 1877, graces the museum lobby at this time:
|A rare three-lens lantern|
We spent a lot of time on the interactive exhibits (my dad recorded the Marilyn Monroe lines in Some Like It Hot, just as I had done when I was there with Amanda, and emailed himself a copy of his hand-made hand animation).
We also watched a whole series of Looney Toons shorts, including "Duck Amuck" (a wonderfully playful animation which I'd never seen before), before going through the Chuck Jones retrospective. That was a great way to prepare for the exhibit.
The selections in the "Duck Amuck and other cartoons" screening were all from the 1950s. I'd only seen one of them before in its entirety ("What's Opera, Doc?"), and short clips of two of the others:
Rabbit Seasoning (1952) Feed the Kitty (1952) Bully For Bugs (1953) Duck Amuck (1953) Hare-Way to the Stars (1958) Zoom and Bored (1957) One Froggy Evening (1955) What’s Opera, Doc? (1957)We also attended one of the serial cliffhanger episodes of Zorro, which was plenty to get a sense of the thing. My parents were really taken with the theater's elaborate, tongue-in-cheek Epyptian-themed decorations.
Afterward, we enjoyed a lovely dinner at El Parador (conveniently near the ferry).