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Upcoming Film Exhibits and Screenings at the Museum of the Moving Image

It’s hard to imagine life without movies, but the medium is only 130 years old. The Museum of the Moving Image is a temple to filmmaking in Astoria, Queens, and deserves a visit if you’re a film buff—or just really like the Muppets (see below). Learn about the history of filmmaking and the methods behind the magic through a series of film clips, artifacts, and interactive experiences like a voice-dubbing booth. The museum also shows movies in the fabulous Bartos Screening Room throughout the week, from documentaries to Disney cartoons. Below are film series and exhibitions ongoing and upcoming at the museum. And… action!

Film Exhibits and Screenings at MoMI NYC: Film Series

School of Rock

Jack Black stars in the funny and uplifting School of Rock, showing at MoMI Sept. 29-30, as part of their Family Matinees program.

The museum screens films throughout the week for film buffs, families, and burgeoning movie-lovers. Ongoing film series include Family Matinees, most Saturdays and Sundays at 11am. Upcoming films include Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, and School of Rock. Kung-fu movies have their place of honor in the Fist and Sword film series, ongoing at the museum. The 2017 Chinese film Paradox will show September 7, while this year’s Upgrade will show October 5. Changing the Picture celebrates filmmakers of color and will include a showing of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture on September 28, with author Racquel J. Gates in attendance for a talk and book signing. Check the website for even more movies and special events. Tickets for non-members are $15 unless otherwise noted. Ongoing.

Film Exhibits and Screenings at MoMI NYC: Behind the Screen

Behind the Screen makes up the main body of the museum. It’s over 100 years of film history, told through artifacts, interactive experience, art, and, of course, film footage. Early innovations in the medium are evident in The Great Train Robbery (1903), The Jazz Singer (1927), and Nanook of the North (1922). Real cameras are on display as well, tracking technological innovations in filmmaking from the late nineteenth century until the present. You can make a rotoscoped picture book of yourself, stop-motion animation, and dub lines like an actor over pre-recorded footage. Take a gander at a vintage Star Wars lunch box while you’re at it! Ongoing.

Film Exhibits and Screenings at MoMI NYC: The Jim Henson Exhibition

Jim Henson Kermit the Frog

The lovers, the dreamers, and you can all enjoy The Jim Henson Exhibition, which features Kermit, Big Bird, and Elmo, in addition to your other favorite Muppets and Sesame Street characters. Henson not only created these iconic puppet characters, but Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. A man of boundless creativity, Henson began his career as a teenager with a short television program called Sam and Friends, clips of which are shown at the museum. You too can make a puppeteering film at this exhibit and relish Henson’s legacy with kids and adults alike. Ongoing.

Film Exhibits and Screenings at MoMI NYC: The GIF Elevator

It’s exactly as it sounds. This exhibition is shown in the MoMI elevator and features looped GIFs, playing on the walls and ceiling as you move between floors. The GIF, a relatively new moving image, captures humor, disaster, wonder, and, most importantly, repetition, in a shareable format. The museum has commissioned six artists to design four GIFs each for this exhibit. Each artist’s GIFs will show for two months in the elevator, using three walls and the ceiling as screens. Featured artists are Mr. Div (Matthew DiVito), Dain Fagerholm, Render Fruit (Clara Luzian), Lorna Mills, Paul Robertson, and Rafia Santana. Ongoing.

Film Exhibits and Screenings at MoMI NYC: Cinema Play House

This series of photographs will be shown in the museum’s Amphitheater Gallery. Nandita Raman has created a series to document the dilapidated single-screen movie theaters throughout India. Raman brings a sorrowed dignity to these once lively spaces of community engagement and boisterous film-going, with black and white photos that mourn the independent spirit of the bygone theaters and bemoan the impersonal multiplexes that took their place. September 15, 2018 to January 27, 2019.

Film Exhibits and Screenings at MoMI NYC: Playing Through 60 Years of Sports Video Games

Whole Different Ballgame

We watch sports on television constantly, but we’re increasingly playing sports in video games too, guiding our player-avatar toward a winning touchdown and hearing the crowd roar in response. It’s a Whole Different Ball Game: Playing Through 60 Years of Sports Video Games explores the relationships between real and virtual sports experiences. The tour kicks off with Tennis for Two, the first video game and a simple simulation of a tennis game. The exhibit will study developments in CGI that led to the realistic figures, sounds, and controls in today’s popular sporting video games, which are now sports in their own right. September 14, 2018 to March 10, 2019.

The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Avenue. Call 718-777-6888 or visit for tickets and more information.

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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