If you love movies, I have a museum for you. I had initially put off seeing the Deutsches Filmmuseum because I had the preconceived notion that I should be a film buff to appreciate it, but I was so wrong. This museum is actually a behind the scenes look at how movies are made, and explains the technological advances that culminated in the invention of film, from wooden peep show boxes to photograhy.
The museum is very modern, has interactive stations throughout to help explain the concepts, and there’s English translations on almost all of the signage. Don’t have all day? Even better, because you can easily make it through the entire permanent collection in a morning.
Filmic Vision | 1st Floor
The first floor was historically-focused on the 16th-19th centuries, and explained various inventions and precursory technology that made the invention of film possible. The Deutsches Filmmuseum really excels at explaining how the antiquated apparatuses worked, and contextualized why it inspired further curiosity and invention. You're able to experience firsthand many of the historic gadgets on display. For example the museum sets up the (pictured below) peep show exhibit so you can understand how it works by viewing the layout of the interior of the box, as well as look through the viewing hole as intended.
The floor ends triumphantly with introducing projection technology in a complete theater room showing black and white silent film.
Filmic Narrative | 2nd Floor
Up the stairs, the exhibits move into present day breaking down the elements of a movie; acting, sound, images, and editing.
The interactive station fun continues with a gigantic green screen that you can experience, and a mood lighting lab where you can recreate historic lighting setups from classic scenes using yourself as the subject.
Sprinkled throughout this floor are movie props, scripts, and storyboards from iconic movies that will give you goosebumps. The collection even has a Darth Vader helmet used in the original Star Wars trilogy!
In the editing exhibit I was amazed to see a half painting, where the top was a hilly landscape painting, and the bottom half was just black...because that’s where they edited in real film footage of a boat on the water!
For a finale, four projection screens were assembled forming a U-shape with four different movies playing at the same time that all had similar visual elements together, like all chasing scenes, all walking scenes, all green monsters, but only one movie soundtrack playing.
Be sure to check out the current temporary exhibit. When I visited they had a Shaun the Sheep exhibit that included the real claymation sculptures and sets.
Planning your Trip to the Deutsches Filmmuseum
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Wednesday the museum stays open for 2 additional hours, closing at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at 6 Euros with some discounts available. Click here for more information.
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