Watch: MoMA's Fascinating Look Back at the Very First 68mm Films

August 5, 2019
Source: YouTube

The IMAX of the 1890s Video

"We live in an environment where there are moving images constantly around us. But in 1897, this was startling and new and completely revolutionary. It was a different way of looking at the world." Whoaaa this is a mesmerizing featurette. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC recently released a 10-min video looking back at the very beginning of film history. While we're all already familiar with 35mm prints, their archivists found (and have been preserving) vintage 68mm film prints. Described as "the IMAX of the 1890s", these massive (and massively detailed) nitrate film prints contain a stunning look back at the past, at the turn of the century. Showing us an even clearer view of history than ever before. They also point out these 68mm prints ran at 30fps, making them look "startling good". I love the POV shot of the hanging train in Wuppertal (from "The Flying Train"). It is a must watch video for every & any cinephile out there. Enjoy.

Thanks to ILM's Hal Hickel for the tip on this video. Description from YouTube: "In 1939, MoMA acquired a treasure of thirty-six reels of 68mm nitrate prints and negatives made in cinema’s first years. Everything that survived of the Biograph film company lives on those reels, including a rare bit of moving image footage of Queen Victoria. For the latest edition of How to See, we visited MoMA's film archives [located] in Hamlin, Pennsylvania to learn more about the incredible quality and clarity of this newly discovered nineteenth-century movie, and the efforts [that MoMA's] archivists make to preserve such irreplaceable snapshots of history. Curator Dave Kehr joins the discussion to help us look at the early film with the same awe-inspired, expanded view of the world of its first audiences." For more info on the video, visit YouTube. For more info on the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center, visit moma.org. Now go watch some old films.

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