One of my favourite scenes from the vast world of film is the one in the Shining where Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) discovers that all her husband Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) had been writing on the typewriter for so long (when he was supposed to be working on his book) was “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, again and again and again. There’s something utterly chilling about this, as the tension in the film has been building steadily, and the discovery reveals another seemingly solid foundation crumbling away…
The Eye film museum in Amsterdam is fantastic. For a start, it is in a wonderful building (see right -click for larger view) that you get to by taking one of the small ferry boats across from the Central Station, a fun journey. Right now they are having an exhibition featuring the work of Stanley Kubrick, one of my favorite filmmakers. I find that his film resonate with me very strongly indeed, and there are few directors I can think of for whom so many of their films feature heavily on the list of deeply affecting scenes for me. I sometimes just get in the mood for one of his films, and find that I’m almost physically hungry -salivating at the thought, even- for some of the visuals alone, never mind the great performances he gets from his actors, the timing and pacing, and so forth. I’m thinking of films like The Killing, Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, and 2001. All simply masterpieces. So imagine my delight to find that the museum has devoted a large space to each of the films! Each space is a room with a generously large screen filling one wall showing scenes from the film, and the rest of the room has props, scripts, storyboards, photos, letters and communications, posters, set design art, smaller screens with interviews playing, etc. Then you wander on to the next room devoted to the next film, and so on and so forth. You can spend hours in there enjoying the exhibit!
In addition to the typewriter with the famous pages (I don’t know if it is the original one – it does not matter so much to me if it is), which was a delight, there were so many other objects to look at, including a model of the module that they constructed life size to film the interior of the main part of the spacecraft Discovery in 1968′s 2001. (Years ago I’d wondered a lot about how they filmed him running vertically in a closed loop… I remember thinking about tricks you might use to make this work, when I was young, because surely (I thought) you’d not actually build the whole thing. So, it turns out that indeed they just built the whole thing and rotated it. A wonderfully simple and direct solution!