Spike Lee and Pedro Almodóvar Tapped to Curate Exhibits for Academy Museum

Oscar-winning "Joker" composer Hildur Guðnadóttir will also collaborate on new exhibitions for the museum, set to open December 14.
Pedro Almodovar attends the premiere of "Pain and Glory" at Alice Tully Hall during the 57th New York Film Festival, in New York2019 NYFF - "Pain and Glory" Premiere, New York, USA - 28 Sep 2019
Pedro Almodovar
Brent N Clarke/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

With the Academy Museum finally, finally set to open to the public on December 14, eight years since the project was first announced, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has lined up a new group of world-class talent to contribute to the museum’s programming. Spike Lee and Pedro Almodóvar are among recently announced filmmakers who will curate exhibits for the Academy Museum, with more directors to come, AMPAS said on Saturday. Specific details on the exhibits have yet to be announced.

“Joker” composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, the first woman ever to win the Best Original Score Academy Award, will also collaborate on new exhibits. So will veteran sound-effects whiz Ben Burtt, an editor and Oscar winner on the original “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

“We will open the Academy Museum with exhibitions and programs that will illuminate the complex and fascinating world of cinema — its art, technology, artists, history, and social impact — through a variety of diverse and engaging voices,” Academy Museum director Bill Kramer said in a statement. “We will tell complete stories of moviemaking — celebratory, educational, and sometimes critical and uncomfortable. Global in outlook and grounded in the unparalleled collections and expertise of the Academy, these first exhibitions will establish this museum as incomparable in the world of cinema.”

Kramer also acknowledged that the Academy is moving full speed ahead, despite the current challenges of the pandemic, in hopes of a light at the end of the tunnel. “We are keenly aware that we’re working towards the opening of the Academy Museum during a time of great challenge. Over the past century, motion pictures have reflected and impacted major historical issues and events. The stories we tell in the Academy Museum are part of those bigger stories, and we are committed to highlighting the social impact of motion pictures. We look forward to brighter days for everyone, everywhere,” he said.

With six stories and 50,000 square feet of gallery space, the Academy Museum at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles already has several planned exhibitions, including a focus on films from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. With the help of Leonardo DiCaprio, the museum was able to obtain a pair of the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” which will be on display.

Read IndieWire’s report on the latest developments at the Academy Museum from Anne Thompson here.

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