Wednesday, June 28, 2017

1897. Cinema anno due [6]: Étienne-Jules Marey: Place de la Concorde / 1897. Year Two of Cinematography [6]: Étienne-Jules Marey: Place de la Concorde

Étienne-Jules Marey: Place de la Concorde (1888-1904). From: Národni technické muzeum (NTM). Please click to enlarge the magnificent image, shot on a chrono-photographic camera originally on 88 mm.

1897. Cinema anno due [6]: Étienne-Jules Marey: Place de la Concorde

1897. Year Two of Cinematography [6]: Étienne-Jules Marey: Place de la Concorde

Introducono Ladislav Dezdek, Vidu Gunaratna, Jaromir Sofr e Marek Jicha.
Grand piano: Gabriel Thibaudeau
From: Národni technické muzeum (NTM).
No intertitles.
DCP.  Director: Étienne-Jules Marey. Year: 1888-1904. Country: Francia. 45 seconds.
Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna.
Sala Mastroianni, 28 June 2017

Il Cinema Ritrovato: "A picture of Parisien fin-de-siécle street traffic shot by Étienne-Jules Marey between 1888-1904 with his chrono-photographic camera on 88 mm wide x 19m long film strip. It is one of the first cinematographic recordings of Paris. It’s a busy street scene at the Place de la Concorde, shot sometime in March or April in sunny weather around noon. The shot is 45 seconds, scanned at 12 frames per second, totaling 544 frames of 31x88mm. Originally, this film was not intended for projection, but made for Marey’s motion analysis research. After digitization of Marey’s film in 2017, some 120 years later, it is possible to screen this for the first time. The original film’s negative film, shot on black-and-white flammable raw nitrocellulose material produced by either the Eastman Company or Lumière Laboratories in Lyon (there is no record where Marey got the film), has been preserved in the depository of the National Technical Museum in Prague."

"NTM film digitized the piece in cooperation with the research project NAKI – National Cultural Identity at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague at a resolution of 13K. The image was digitally restored in 2017 but was not retouched. The whole original negative and two shorter film prints were well preserved. The restoration of Marey’s chrono-photography was complicated not in length, but in its highly dense photographic qualities. It looks like Marey had problems with the development at the time, which is understandable, given the length of the footage and the time period it was shot in. The first half of the roll is well-developed, but the second half already exhibits considerable density fluctuations and decay. Changes in density occurs between the individual frames and also within each individual picture frame. This practically prevents digital retouching, which is why the Prague expert group decided against rétouche of Marey’s picture. The photographic appearance of the image was restored by digital color grading based on analysis and comparison with the DFRP (digital facsimile of reference print) taken from the shorter of the two Marey’s positives prints – negative frame No. 155. Besides correcting density changes, the grading also corrected the brownish marks, which were probably caused by photo-chemical (not mold) defects."

AA: I missed this reportedly fabulous 45 second film but copy the data here to keep a complete record of the Anno Due screenings.

No comments: