- Obsolescence and Film Restoration: The case of Colored Silent Films
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Elsewhere I have discussed the transitional nature of film and argued that the current shift from analog to digital technology is one of the many transitional phases that film has experienced in
its history as a technology, a popular form of entertainment and art. The obsolescence brought about by the shift to digital technologies certainly complicates our possibility of experiencing
original artifacts of the past. This is true also for other forms of art from the twentieth century that are linked to serial and industrial production, and is certainly true for film and for film after
restoration. If obsolescence affects film as an artifact, it does not necessarily affect the way we experience it after restoration. This line of reasoning can be exemplified by the specific case of color in silent cinema. This contribution discusses how new technologies offer alternative solutions for the restoration of obsolete coloring practices typical of silent cinema, and how, in some cases, they can even improve our viewing experience compared to traditional restoration techniques.
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