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Moving Pictures Exhibition
The Millennium Galleries (Sheffield)
Member Name: missbrowneyedgirl
The Millennium Galleries (Sheffield)
Date: 16/04/02, updated on 16/04/02 (366 review reads)
Advantages: a wide variety of very interesting things, most of the galleries are FREE to enter, very quiet
Disadvantages: could have done more with it
He has lived in Sheffield for all of his life! But I can see what he means as that half of Arundel Gate has a very new and cosmopolitan feel to it. Anyway, to cut a long story as short as I can (which isn't very short as you probably know!), after being seduced by a poster depicting a Star Wars Stormtrooper, my friends and I decided to pay the Galleries a visit last Saturday.
The Galleries don't have exclusive parking facilities as such, but being in the town centre there are plenty nearby. Probably the most convenient and available is the NCP car park on the opposite side of Arundel Gate but beware, it is fairly expensive. The Galleries themselves reside in a very impressive looking glass building along a white pathway, scattered with trees and reminiscent of being in faraway lands. After being in awe for a while, and taking a few snaps with my L'espion, we ventured towards the circular sliding entrance.
As I mentioned, the main reason we were there was for the current feature exhibition: the British Film Institute presents moving pictures. This travelling exhibition is running at the Millennium Galleries until May 19th - more information can be found at http://www.bfi.org.uk/movingpictures.
The posters, which had tempted us, also depicted Zippy & George from rainbow and one of Dr Who's Daleks, and lo and behold this self-same Dalek silently greeted us immediately in the entrance of the building. I'd have like to get a little closer to him but th
e imposing presence of the nearby security guard kept my fingers in my pockets...;)
The whole building is very light, airy and quiet for a Saturday afternoon! The actual Galleries are all up the escalator opposite the entrance so up we went. Arriving on the next floor we found a selection of glass cabinets containing Harry Potter's school uniform, the original Stormtrooper costume and a dress from a film (so uninteresting I can't recall which).
Next you pay and enter the Special Exhibition Gallery, which is divided into small areas. Firstly the entrance area has original film posters including Jaws, The Full Monty, The Sound of Music, Billy Elliot and Vertigo to name but a few. These images are all quite familiar and not of any real interest to me although I was captivated for a while by the large screen showcasing snippets of films. This sparked of a bit of a competition between my friends of who could guess the film title first for each snippet, and the resulting amusement was worth the entrance fee alone!
The next section is time based whereby the display cabinet contents take you from early cinematography machines and peep show boxes right up to Russell crow's gladiator outfit. Text on the cabinets describes each period in film, with screens showing more snippets of the time on the front of each cabinet. One in particular has Marilyn Monroe's dress from Some Like It Hot which can be seen on the lady herself in you watch the snippets for long enough!
The next section is dedicated to the small screen and has three sofas, each with their own old TV set and glass display table from their time. The televisions themselves are showing program snippets and the tables hold some very interesting items. The best in my eyes was Zippy, although George was sadly absent, who struck me as very short and upset me when I noticed that his arm isn't even attached to the puppet body! They also have an early video recorder, whic
h is larger than most television sets, and Brian's Mr Bear from Big Brother!
Next comes the animation section and for me the most interesting piece in the exhibition - the original hand drawn storyboards from The Empire Strikes Back. The quality of the drawings are unbelievable and little touches like R2D2 being referred to as 'Artoo' make it really special. There are many other storyboards; the one from The Red Shoes is particularly outstanding, and also lots of cells from Disney classics and other animated films.
The exhibition is also interactive with the inclusion of a kids area where they can dress up as their favourite film characters or make their own animation, some of which are displayed in cases on the wall. There is also a man running a kind of TV game show in the back corner that you can choose to watch or participate in. The Millennium Galleries has family activity days occurring within this exhibition including Science Day and Sound Effects Workshops (contact them on 0114 275 2655 for more information or visit the website at http://www.sheffieldgalleries.org.uk or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally there is the inevitable shop which sells a variety of film and TV memorabilia including books, postcards and toys. Some of these are quite unusual such as toys of the Spoon family from Button Moon and numbered collector's pictures. I think they could have done more with this exhibition but I suppose it is difficult as it is touring. Do fill in one of the Customer Comment cards before you leave and hand it in, as this enters you into a draw to win a UCG Unlimited Cinema Pass for a year.
Within the building the other galleries free so we popped into the Metalwork Gallery which I personally found more interesting then the Moving Pictures exhibition! It had crowns, cutlery, hallmarks, a history of Sheffield's steel and all sorts of interesting examples of metalwork. There is also the Rus
kin Gallery and the Craft & Design Gallery displaying John Ruskin's art collection and The Chosen Letter - an exhibition of lettering - respectively.
There is also a shop upstairs, outside of the paying gallery, although I didn't really look to see what they sold. They do however have a giant interactive cutlery monster that does various things when you press the buttons on his stomach. I could imagine children finding him little frightening, as he is at least 10 feet tall and an incredible construction achievement!
Back downstairs the Galleries have the Café Azur, which is an expensive but fully licensed café bar. The view from here is lovely as it is right at the front of the building with it's floor to ceiling windows. Apparently they also cater for functions too! Overall I really enjoyed my visit to the Millennium Galleries and I will be returning to have a look at The Power of the Poster (22 June - 15 September 2002) from the Victoria and Albert Museum and 2D>3D: Contemporary Design For Performance (October/December 2002).
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