I was in Paris a week ago, and unfortunately did not have time to visit their great film museum. However, I did have some time in Frankfurt and dropped by the German Film Museum. While unfortunately it didn’t stress German films enough and was a bit small, the place was well worth seeing.
The entrance opens to the gift shop and the small cafe. The man working the counter at the cafe was very friendly and the beer selection was excellent…as was my soup. I particularly loved these chairs next to the cafe–you can feel free to sit in them.
The first floor (actually, to us Americans, we call it the second floor) is about the history of inventions that led to what we call movies. Various devices such as stereoscopes, photography, Zoetropes and the early cameras of the Lumiere Brothers and pictures of Edison’s studio fill this very interesting portion. Kids, in particular, will enjoy this section.
The second floor is mostly movie memorabilia as well as a four-screen viewing area. As for the memorabilia, it was great but not really a lot to see. In particular, the great German films are not nearly as well represented as I’d hoped (apart from a script by one of Murnau’s American films, I didn’t see much)–and they should be more prominently represented. The viewing area is nice but the little one with one screen on the first floor I preferred–mostly because I adore the early silents. Below you see the multi-screen one on the 2nd and the single screen of a GREAT little silent (“The Japanese Acrobats”) from the 1st floor.
So, is this a place to rush to see? Probably not if you aren’t in the area. However, a trip to Frankfurt should include this–especially since it’s only a 15 minute walk from the rebuilt old town square (which includes the Cathedral, a modern art gallery, a cartoon museum and quite a few other minor sites).