Re: chicago film archive

From: Carolyn Faber (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jan 03 2007 - 10:29:09 PST


> For some reason hearing about grant money always makes me think of how
> it might otherwise have been used, or more exactly, about what factors
> go into choosing to preserve old films and which ones. I wouldn’t
> conclude it should be used any other way, but what exactly goes into
> this embalming process?

There are many factors that go into choosing which films to preserve
and every care-taker (institution, archive, media arts organization,
individual etc.) has to make those decisions with their mission and
priorities in mind among other things. But before delving further
into that I would first object to your characterization of film
preservation as an 'embalming process'. Would you explain why you
characterize it this way? FIlm preservation is not just about creating
pristine negs and such that sit on shelves - it must include access.
Sure, not all institutions, archives etc., actually practice that
principle but there's really no point in preserving anything without
the intent to present it to an audience. The life/death analogies too
often made with archives and preservation in general are not very
useful but, trying to stay close to your point, if you preserve a film
and introduce it to an audience that otherwise would not have been able
to see it - does that not breathe some 'life' into it?


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