When visiting Frankfurt, we spent the afternoon at the Christmas Markets but had our fill and needed something to do for the rest of the day. My first place to look for nearby tourist locations is TripAdvisor (Note from Sharon: I told him to look at Visitacity but he doesn’t listen to me LOL!). While it may not be the best place to find hotels or restaurants, I find it useful to find things to do nearby.
I opened the app and skimmed through the suggestions. One location nearby piqued my interest, the Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum. From the description provided, it looked to be a museum about the history of movies from their beginnings until the present day.
Even better was the admission cost of 6,00 € for the permanent exhibition. This should be somewhere we could waste an hour or so. Boy, were we wrong. This place is so much better than the cost would indicate.
DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum
The ground floor of the museum houses the gift shop, cafe, and ticket desk. We purchased our tickets and were told we could visit the exhibits on the 1st and 2nd floors.
The first floor contained exhibits showing the precursors of motion pictures. Devices used to look at moving images from Kinetoscopes to Magic Lanterns were on display. The last part of the exhibition was a room showing a loop of silent movies. Some of the films shown are found in this video.
The films shown were primarily of German origin, which makes sense based on where we were. It was a reminder that during the dawn of motion pictures, innovation was happening everywhere. People were discovering this new medium in New York, London, Paris, and Berlin and they all had different ideas of what could be done with it.
After sitting through the entire loop (which took about 30 minutes), we headed to the next floor which was focused on movies of the present day.
The center of the room was a movie screen, but my eye was drawn to something to the side of the room.
What is one of the full-size Alien monsters doing here? As I was looking through the case, I almost lost it at what I saw.
That’s a mock-up of Darth Vader’s mask from The Empire Strikes Back. I was impressed (Note from Sharon: I yawned. Sorry not sorry. I am not a Star Wars fan). I spent the next thirty minutes looking around the room.
Nightmare Before Christmas models and original drawings from Peter Pan and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney fans would be in heaven.
There was also an editing booth where you needed to arrange scenes from Harry Potter and Raiders of the Lost Ark. You got to watch at the end to see how bad of a job you did. I was embarrassed by my attempts as I thought I knew these movies forward and backward.
I finally sat down on the benches to watch the film which was the centerpiece of the room. It was a display showing the importance of each part of filmmaking and how they all are essential to the final product. Whether you’re discussing editing, sound, dialogue, lighting or music, they’re all critical to the finished product.
Using all of the screens around the room to show the editing of a film like “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly” or sound (or the lack of it) in “Alien” was educational and entertaining at the same time. We both sat there and watched the whole loop, which took about 45 minutes. We both looked at each other and wondered how they acquired the rights to show all of these movies.
The museum also shows movies in its theater and that night I found it interesting that they were showing Judgment at Nuremberg. That’s one of the last movies I’d expect to see shown in Germany.
By this time it was getting late and we were getting hungry. We had spent over 3 hours in the museum, which is well worth the 6,00 € entry fee we paid.
When we saw this museum on TripAdvisor, we thought it would be a place inside where we could spend an hour or two. It blew us away with the items on display and with the movie montages. I wish more people get to see this when visiting Frankfurt, as it’s not the first thing that will be on your radar. If you have any interest in film, you’ll find this museum to be a great place to spend the afternoon.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary