Are small theaters punching a ticket to oblivion?
Radical changes in the traditional structure
of the lab processing
sides of the film industry have been filling the lives of small theater operators
with uncertainty and worry for the last few years. Will filmstock
be the next Kodachrome
? (And what will that mean for the future of film preservation
From the address by Jonas Mekas
- Lithuanian survivor of World War II, ebullient émigré to New York City, and groundbreaking maker of films and videos - in the last link. The sound of his voice adds a great deal to it, but some may appreciate a transcription of part of it:
"Cinema, filmstocks will disappear - fading out within five.. maybe a little bit longer. But whatever has been made on film should remain and be screened in certain, special places - institutions, museums - only
as film. Therefore, every country should build a lab.... Labs made, sponsored by their governements that should continue production of film stocks. All the necessary equipment to develop, to produce prints and projection methods and technology so that films can be projected as films
. I'm not [saying] that there should be labs and filmstocks produced for continuation of making films on film. I know that that is not going to happen. But whatever has been produced as film should be always projected, shown, and seen as film. Not as videos. It's completely different. There is a different energy - a different medium. That will have to happen, because what's recorded on film has been recorded during [the] last hundred and some - decades. It's part of our history, of our culture, of our memory. It just cannot be replaced. We have to experience it, see it, live with it.
I realize - [this] human obsession to keep everything into eternity. Everything has to survive, everything has to be seen 500 years from now, 1000 years from now. It is a beautiful obsession. And we know that everything falls to dust. Dust. What remains - the whole history of art - is just what is left after all the armies when through, all the disasters, all the dictators, all the fanatics. So whatever is left from past centuries, we treasure, we keep in the museums, and protect, we write dissertations about them. It's only fragments of what humans have left. The same will be with film, the same will be with cinema. Because it's so rare, what is still left. And so many films have disappeared. And it's so precious, what we still have, that we have to do everything to protect it as long as we can."