Saturday, February 25, 2006

I Can See My House From Here!

I know I promised photos from the Automobile Museum, but they don't allow you to snap them inside. I was only allowed to snap this photo outside. Inside this old "fascist" (as the Italians told me it was called) or Mussolini era builing are old, mostly Italian and new concept cars. This wasn't a great museum, really. It's more like a giant garage. The cars are on display for you to see but there is no interaction and the information on each is scarce. If you're a real car afficionado, this is probably more up your alley and you'd know more about them than I would.

This morning, I met up with Steve for "American Breakfast" and headed straight for the Mole Antonelliana to see the Museum of Cinema. Finally after several tries and then just putting it off we headed on the #72 bus to Downtown and walked about 5 minutes to the Mole.

We got there at about 10am and there was no line up for the ticket office. We asked about the cost and the woman in the booth looked at our accreditation and asked if we were journalists. "Yes, we are!" Steve said and she handed him some forms for us to fill out. I filled mine out as "CTV News , Canada" Steve did the same, and we were in without paying a eurocent.

Once inside, there is a glass elevator. Just like the one in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There were three other people in line. In thepast the line for this stretched out past the ticket office and out the door to the street. We seized this opportunity of no line and took the elevator to the top first.

Right-Click Here to download a short movie of the elevator ride up. There is a legend that if you are a student in Torino and you take the elevator to the top of the Mole Antonelliana, you will not finish or fail your studies. There is a similar superstition in the city of Bologne with the Torre degli Asinelli.

The elevator actually goes up through the museum taking you to the top of the dome where there is a lookout point. At one level of the museum they have two mini theatres set up with cushiony, recliner chairs showing two different films.

Once at the top, the inside of the dome changes colour and music plays. Then the elevator gets to the platform for the lookout. The doors open, you step outside and this is what you see...

Unfortunately, I couldn't take a 360° photo because the actual building would be in the way. And this is the view through the wire fence that keeps you from falling to a horrible, messy death.

After taking in this view for 15 minutes and taking a lot of photos, it was back down the elevator to explore the museum itself.

The first section of the museum shows you the early development of cinema. From simple shadow shows, with light behind the screen and using paper puppets to make a show, to the first stages of actual Edison perforated film, similar to what we use today.

The next level showed different aspects of film with little displays. Directors, sounds guys, and writers even. I really liked the old desk and typewriter in the screenwriters' display. Above it they had clips from a couple Woody Allen films.

On another part of this floor, they had some interactive displays demonstrating special effects. The most popular one was a chromakey (or green screen) effect that put you into a scene from ET or a racer scene from Star Wars.

Downstairs from this is the theatre level mentioned earlier. On the outer edges of these little theatres they have some fake film sets for you to photograph yourself in.

I have a lot of photos in this museum. They will get posted at a later date.

After the museum experience, we stopped in to have some real Italian espresso. Then I went back to the IBC. Steve braved the stores on Via Po.

Ciao fer now.


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