Museu de Cinema de Melgaço – ticket: 1€
More than thirty years ago a French cinephile met a Portuguese couple and accepted their proposition to spend holidays in Melgaço. His name was Jean-Loup Passek, he was responsible for the International Festival of La Rochelle, a cinema counselor at the Georges Pompidou Centre, wrote a Cinema Dictionary (“Dictionnaire du Cinema” edited by Larousse) and coordinated the “Camera d’Or” award in the Cannes Festival. It seems he was so much charmed by the town that some say he mentioned the ideia of creating a museum dedicated to the 7th art in his first visit.
The Cinema Museum of Melgaço contains all the donated private collection of Jean-Loup Passek. I was told that the first room is permanent and the rest keeps rotating every week or two.
In the first room you’ll find XIX century objects, previous to the invention of the cinematograph by the Lumière brothers, like magic lanterns and others with strange names like “Zoetrope”, “Praxinoscope”, “Phenakistoscope” or “Phantascope”. Not only are these old inventions of technique and science but also the testimony of the search of new ways of entertainment and of manipulating perception by Mankind.
After the first room, when I visited the museum, the rest of the exposition was dedicated to the Italian director Federico Fellini (1920 – 1993), with film posters, photos and even a letter from the director to Jean-Loup Passek. As said before, this section changes periodically.
The museum also features a small “viewing room” with chairs facing a screen hanging in front of the exposed Castle wall. The screen displays short films of Charlie Chaplin and of Buster Keaton, among others.