This Tuesday, the students from my History of Film class from Fordham University, Lincoln Center visited the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. I haven’t been there since the museum underwent a major renovation about two years ago. I was concerned that many of the best parts of the museum were gone, but that concern was for naught. They were all there. Since I have an obsession with old electronics, especially those preserved and presented at museums, I had a blast shooting photos of all these objects.
The tour also complemented a great deal of material that we covered throughout the semester, especially in the beginning. We saw the usual pre-cinema toys and devices, such as the magic lantern, the thaumatrope, and the zoetrope. There were of course more contemporary objects that we cover in recent classes, such as a Vitaphone disk and projector, Technicolor camera.
I’d judge the class trip as a success. A couple of students seemed enthusiastic about seeing in person a lot of the objets that I’ve described in painstaking detail. One student in particular wrote an email to thank me for arranging the trip. And one student, who I judged to be a regular at the museum, was very enthusiastic about the screenings there.