Where to meet­mon­roe and the apes

The London Film Mu­seum is launch­ing its sec­ond venue with a dis­play of iconic stills

The Jewish Chronicle - - Features -

THERE CAN­NOT be many 85-year-old Bafta win­ners who spend their time hang­ing pic­tures on walls in ren­o­vated base­ments. But such is Les­lie Hard­cas­tle’s ded­i­ca­tion to a ground-break­ing new film project that the for­mer con­troller of the Mu­seum of Mov­ing Im­age can be found un­der­ground in a Covent Gar­den build­ing over­see­ing the in­stal­la­tion of his­toric images.

The iconic but lat­terly derelict Flower Cel­lars mar­ket site has been trans­formed by Jonathan Sands, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the London Film Muse- um, and a small team of ded­i­cated work­ers that in­cludes Hard­cas­tle.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of his work with in­dus­try veteran Rick Se­nat to trans­form the main LFM site in the for­mer Coun­try Hall build­ing on the cap­i­tal’s South Bank, Sands has now re­peated the trick.

The new venue glis­tens with con­tem­po­rary touches and the prom­ise of ex­clu­sive, spe­cial­ist ex­hibits. Its main in­au­gu­ral dis­play will fea­ture al­most 150 ex­am­ples of the most recog­nised film images in the world, taken by pho­tog­ra­phers from the renowned Mag­num Pho­tos agency.

Never ex­hib­ited be­fore in Bri­tain, the col­lec­tion in­cludes images of Char­lie Chap­lin di­rect­ing Lime­light, and stills from films in­clud­ing Rebel With­out A Cause, The Seven Year Itch and Or­son Welles’s The Trial.

Among the most strik­ing images is one taken by Jewish pho­tog­ra­pher Eve Arnold of Marilyn Mon­roe prac­tis­ing her lines in the Ne­vada desert ahead of a scene with Clark Gable in The Misfits. Arnold’s orig­i­nal Rollei­flex cam­era will also go on show along­side scripts, cos­tumes and props from dozens of movies.

Hard­cas­tle, who de­scribes the team work­ing on the project as “like a com­mando group”, stresses that the Covent Gar­den branch of the LFM is not re­ally a mu­seum. “Vis­i­tors will be part of a con­ver­sa­tion here rather than just hear­ing a lot of noises. It is not a mu­seum in a true sense. Mu­se­ums do not change, but we can adapt ev­ery­thing.

“What Jonathan has done proves what can hap­pen with en­thu­si­asm and tal­ent.”

Among the ob­sta­cles to over­come in the ren­o­va­tion of the site were the re­quire­ment for spe­cial­ist air-con­di­tion­ing and tem­per­a­ture con­trols to pro­tect the ex­hibits, and the ob­vi­ous need for se­cu­rity pro­vi­sions. Such has been the scale of the re­build­ing that flat screens will be erected to show vis­i­tors just how much work has gone into the project.

Rev­o­lu­tion­ary tech­no­log­i­cal meth­ods will also be em­ployed. Film fans will be handed ipads with spe­cial­ly­de­vel­oped apps as they en­ter. At each im­age they can scan codes to view in-depth in­for­ma­tion on the films, ac­tors and di­rec-

The con­tem­po­rary de­sign of the cel­lar means Sands and his team can adapt the space to the ex­act re­quire­ments of any fu­ture ex­hi­bi­tion. As well as the main dis­play space, there are side-rooms for smaller ex­hibits, halls suit­able for host­ing launches or

Ondis­play:evearnold’sim­a­ge­of­mar­i­lyn­mon­roeon­the­setof Them­is­fits in1960. Be­low: Charl­ton­heston( left) dur­ing

PHOTO: DEN­NIS STOCK/MAG­NUM

Sands: hop­ing for 100,000 vis­i­tors

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