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If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam and gone anywhere near the river Ij that separates the Noord part of Amsterdam from the rest of the city in the last 4 years, you’ll have seen the EYE Film Museum. It’s a particularly imposing, white angular structure that was supposed to seem as if ‘in motion’ right next to an I Amsterdam sign and immediately catches the eye (lol, I’m funny) as you look across the river.
It is what the BFI Southbank building is to the UK, and what the IFI building is to Ireland. It’s a national film institute that seeks to preserve and exhibit cinema and film that emphasises specifically on Netherlands film history. I was there recently for the IDFA Film Festival Amsterdam and it’s so much more than just a cinema.
EYE Film Museum
Cinemas and Events
The EYE Film Museum has three cinemas: one huge, two others slightly smaller. The Institute is run like a regular cinema but also screens special one-offs and is heavily involved in film events, such as the IDFA Amsterdam Film Festival like I went to this November. The films I watched as part of IDFA were €7.50, but I’m not sure how much the regular films are.
There is a small, permanent exhibition that is housed in the basement of the EYE Film museum, and costs €11 which includes the temporary exhibition, too. The exhibition is a small flashback into the history of the film camera with some really great, interesting exhibits. It’s interactive and child friendly, with Zoetropes around the building and exhibition that were free for anyone to use. But it also wasn’t ‘too’ child friendly that I didn’t get a kick out of it.
Personally, I was most excited by the different mm of camera film! I mean, just look how big 70mm film is compared to the others! That’s what The Hateful Eight (2015) was shot in, though is rarely used today. 35mm was more the norm back in the day where every film was shot on… well, film.
Special Temporary Exhibition
The special exhibition changes every so often. Currently, the special exhibition is called ‘Celluloid’ and represents several artists’ working on the physical form of celluloid, the use of celluloid in modern film making, anything really. In fact, it was more of an art exhibition and housed installations around the celluloid medium and ‘experiments’ if you will. However, when my parents went to Amsterdam a couple of years ago, the exhibition was on Federico Fellini, so it’s just the luck of the draw. The exhibition was fascinating to me, but I don’t think it would be everyone’s cup of tea.
Extras – Restaurant, Shop, Education, oh my!
As well as the cinemas and exhibitions, the EYE Film museum has a restaurant and bar, as well as a card only film shop. Considering everything available, I imagine a lot of film fans living in Amsterdam could spend a whole day here. Not to mention it’s an absolute must-visit for film lovers.
Have you ever been to the EYE film museum in Amsterdam? Or would you consider visiting on a trip there? Let me know in the comments below!