Hollywood Costume @ ACMI

This is a review post.

 We had a lovely trip to the city today accompanied by extended family.  I had been given tickets to the Hollywood Costume exhibition some time ago, but with weekend sporting commitments, knew I would need to save them for the long weekend so nearly all of us could go.

The Hollywood Costume exhibition has come direct from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. It was five years in the making and features 100 costumes by over 50 designers. The costumes range from the Golden Age of cinema to some of the latest Hollywood releases.

You are not allowed to take photographs in the actual exhibition, so the ones you see below are courtesy of ACMI – photographer Mark Gambino.

The costumes are set up on mannequins with TV heads which have footage close ups of the actors faces.

The kids knew that costumes belonging to Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter were going to be on show and were keen to see these ones.  Actors from movies they hadn’t seen or didn’t know about didn’t really appeal to the younger ones, but I had a great time talking to the 14 year old about movies like Kill Bill, Fight Club, The Birds and the like.

Some of the costumes are amazing.  There was the famous dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.  It is the only one behind glass.  One of the ACMI volunteers explained they actually had to cut the mannequin to fit the dress on it.  (Something they did not have to do with one of her other dresses on display.)  This dress was sold at auction in 2011 for over $5 million!

The kids did flit quickly from area to area as much of the information about the costumes needs to be read.  The Motion Capture or “MoCap” suit though had a great short explanatory video to go along with it, which the kids and I both found fascinating.  It is the type of suit worn in animated films like Avatar (2009), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Shrek (2001) and  The Smurfs (2011) etc.  It is the MoCap suit which allows directors to captures subtle expressions in the face and fingers and gives these characters a human like quality.

We were in the exhibition for about 40 minutes and the kids were ready to leave by that time.  There was more left which I would like to have seen, but my approach with these type of activities with kids, is if I take them along to an exhibition, I need to do it more on their terms than mine.   So I accepted that 40 minutes was enough.

Hollywood Costume Details

Wednesday 24 April to Sunday 18 August 2013
Open daily 10am – 5pm (Thursdays until 9pm)
To book: phone (03) 8663 2583 or online www.acmi.net.au

Full $19.50
Concession (Seniors, Pensioners, students, V/Line card holders) $15.50
ACMI Member $13.50
Child (4-15yrs) $10
Family (2 adults 3 children) $50
ACMI Member Family (2 adults 3 children) $40
Unlimited entry*: Full $48 Concession $38 ACMI Member $32
School and group bookings also available

Need to know:

  • You can take prams and put them in the cloak room. You could take them in, but the space is limited.
  • We went on a Sunday morning and arrived at opening time, 10am. At this point there were no queues either at the ticketing desk or to enter the exhibition. An hour later and there were queues at both.
  • If you are a mad keen movie buff and want to explore the exhibition to its fullest, I recommend going sans kids!
  • If you are taking kids, make a time of it with play afterwards at Screen Worlds and Birrarung Marr –  see below for mor info.

Screen Worlds

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Screen Worlds is a free permanent exhibition also at ACMI and we spent over an hour exploring and playing and didn’t see all of what it had to offer.  Screen Worlds is great for families with kids who span a number of years like mine, as the activities and displays are varied enough to cater for different ages and interests.

Screen Worlds
Lots of interactivity for the kids. You can go behind a screen and be turned into a monster. The preschooler loved this!

You can be time sliced like in The Matrix. I think it was 36 cameras working together to create the effect. I can’t embed the video in the post, but you can click here to see the seven year old and his cousin have some fun with this.

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I am not sure who was more fascinated by the zoetrope and strobe lighting – me or the kids!

There is a photo booth where you can have a play and then pay for a flip book to be made from it. Unfortunately the printer wasn’t working so we couldn’t get ours made up.

Birrarung Marr

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It was then off to Birrarung Marr to play and have some lunch.

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We had a fab day with family and Melbourne turned on some beautiful winter sunshine – such a great way to spend a Sunday!

Have you been into Fed Square lately?

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If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you made a small donation to my 21 Challenge. Donations can be made directly here. All funds raised go to Open Family Australia who provide a range of Outreach services to young people experiencing high complex needs. Their focus is on homeless and at risk youth.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to my fundraising for The 21 Challenge – I have met my target of $1000 already.  Thank you!