During the Istanbul Film Festival last month, police used water cannon, tear gas and batons to disperse a crowd, Costa-Gavras among them, who were protesting against the imminent destruction of the Emek Theatre. Built in 1924 as the Melek Sineması in the former Club des Chasseurs de Constantinople, the cinema closed in 2010. It has been an object of contention ever since plans were announced that the state-owned building would be torn down and replaced with yet another shopping mall, as happened to the nearby Saray Sineması. The government and the construction firm they leased the building to, Kamer İnşaat, say that the Emek will be preserved and moved to the mall’s fourth floor. This seems unlikely, considering that it’s an 875-seat, single-screen theatre.
Since 2003, the Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna has included a section of 100-year-old films; last month, 89 movies from 1912 were projected, with scattered additions from just before and just after. No other initiative has so vigorously forced scholars and archivists to rethink cinema’s first years; words like ‘primitive’ or ‘static’ have had to be discarded in the face of the breadth and invention of the films shown in Bologna.
From Amsterdam Centraal it looks as if a flying saucer crash-landed on the other side of the IJ. But as the ferry leaves the railway station and crosses the water towards the EYE Film Museum, designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, the building seems to shift form, and there’s a pleasing, if baldly angular, aerodynamism to it that doesn’t lessen the retro-modernist aesthetic but makes the shape more interesting. However, like so many recent museum designs this one seems intent on rivalling, if not overshadowing, the works inside.