While being in Łódź, I took the opportunity to visit its film museum and its museum of modern art. The Muzeum Kinematografii lies opposite Poland’s famous national film school, where big names such as Jerzy Skolimowski, Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieślowski studied. Apart from showing a collection of Polish film posters (which make me realize I’ve seen only very few Polish films), however, the film museum does only very little with Poland’s rich film history. Instead, it tells (solely in Polish though) the traditional story of the pioneers of cinema (Porter, Griffith, Méliès, Williamson, etc.), mixed with a diversity of old editing tables and other film equipment.
The museum is housed in a neo-renaissance style residence of one of Łódź’s former textile industrialists, which means that you’re visiting two museums at the same time; after the film posters exhibition room, you enter a 19th century ball room, after which you enter a temporary exhibition on Paweł Pawlikowski’s wonderful film Ida. Although the exhibition merely shows film stills, posters (including the bilingual Belgian one) and some interviews (only in Polish, of course), it succeeds in bringing back the intense black-and-white atmosphere of the film.
On the next levels, the museum offers a rather old-fashioned introduction to the world of animation film, but also a fascinating original 19th century still-working Kaiserpanorama or fotoplastikon, a device with rotating stereoscopic images and a 3D effect.
The Muzeum Sztuki (n° 2, I didn’t visit n° 1) houses a rich collection of 20th and 21st century art, arranged in such a way that it forms a reflection upon the various identities of modernity. Thereby, it focuses on avant-garde and experimental approaches. A timely opportunity to catch up with great Polish artists such as Karol Hiller, Władysław Strzemiński and others!