Fallout

Nov. 25th, 2012 08:45 am
onyxlynx: BxW F. Lang & T. von Harbou each reading. (Fritz Lang Thea von Harbou)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
Film prints, digital cinema, and preservation.
But studios and archives are also reluctant to loan films because projecting them eventually destroys them. Each pass through a projector, no matter how well maintained, leads to scratching and fading. When I tried to screen 35mm materials at the Library of Congress, Mike Mashon, head of the moving image section at the Library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, told me that, "Every 35mm print now has to be considered an archival print." In other words, they can't run through a machine.
"El lenguaje del cine" is going to have some stretches of hieroglyphics, cuneiform, and Linear B at this rate.
laughingrat: Buster in a diving suit, from "The Navigator" (Goin to the Moon--Keaton)
[personal profile] laughingrat
I was really happy to see info in the new Criterion newsletter about this! Apparently they've restored the 1925 version, rather than the 1942 re-release that had an added narration track with several scenes cut. For a lot of folks, the narration track is like nails on a blackboard, and it definitely reduces the ambiguity that makes silent comedy so interesting and funny. This blurb talks a little about the restoration and has info about a NYC screening during the New York Film Festival.
laughingrat: They took the ferry (Death)
[personal profile] laughingrat
Emerging fungal threat to historical film archives:
Cinematographic film has a layer of gelatin on its surface. This emulsion layer is where the image is formed but also provides ideal food for fungi like Aspergillus and Penicillium.

If the fungus forms a layer of mould on a film it produces enzymes which allow it to use the film as food and to grow.

So the damage it can cause is irreversible as the mould "eats" the image stored on the film's surface.

...

"It's getting worse. It's a kind of newish thing. I've been here (NWFA) for 23 years. This has really only taken up over the last eight to ten years. What might have been perfect six years ago has now been affected by mould."
Especially poignant to me, as someone invested in early movies. It seems like every year brings new discoveries of things once considered completely lost; it's hard to hear that some things might be lost again if proper steps aren't taken.
laughingrat: An animated gif of a gray and white kitten making flaily gestures. (SURPRISE)
[personal profile] laughingrat
For real this time.

Lost Charlie Chaplin film discovered in Michigan antique sale:
The 16mm print was found by historian and collector Paul Gierucki at an antiques show in Michigan. Thinking it was just another old Keystone comedy, he didn't look at it for a while. He finally got around to it in early March and quickly realized what he had.

"Is this who I think it is?" he asked fellow collector Richard Roberts, sending along a frame grab. "Probably," said Roberts, "but we need to see him move."

Once you've seen him move, there's no question who the actor is.

Mabel's Strange Predicament, the first film in which Chaplin appeared in his famous makeup, started shooting January 6th, 1914 - a day after production began on A Thief Catcher.

"It's either his second moustache picture or his first," says Richard Roberts. "It cements the concept that he had the character before he came to Keystone and didn't slap it together on the way to the shooting stage one day. Even when he's doing a minor part he's doing that character. It's a new brick in the Chaplin biography. And this opens up the door to other unknown Chaplin appearances at Keystone."
I'd always heard that one called Kid Auto Races at Venice was the absolute first Tramp movie, but apparently it's maybe #3, from what we now have still extant. The time difference between when these all started filming is literally a matter of a few days, though. They filmed quick back then.

Anyway, amazing news!

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