- What is cinema but shadows and illusions? Entering a small room with low ceilings, visitors gasp in awe as walls of mirrors transform the room into a seemingly endless hall. Film fans then wind their way along a narrow path, past huge screens with images of stars from the silent era into the universe of German film. Berlin's brightest star is undoubtedly Marlene Dietrich and the show seems to revolves around her, with countless scenes from the classic Blue Angel and from her days as a Hollywood diva. What then follows is darkness. The Third Reich's contribution to film is artistically presented in a series of austere metal drawers which line the walls. Post-war cinema is unjustly neglected and confined to just one small room with a handfull of stars. Recently opened in the spanking new Sony Centre, the Berlin Film Museum recounts the history of German film using the help of hundreds of enormous screens and projections. Objects vanish in the flood of images and sound, and explanations are sparse. At the very least, it whets your appetite to go to the cinema again. And what luck! A high-speed lift will take you straight to the Arsenal Cinema in the basement of the building.
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