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Film historian and collector Ati Mul (1947 - 2022)

Film historian and collector Ati Mul (1947) died on 22 March 2022. Together with her partner, Tjitte de Vries (who died in 2015), she managed the Melbourne-Cooper Fund that is lodged with Eye. In 2009, they collectively wrote the biography of the English pioneer of stop-motion animation Arthur Melbourne-Cooper They Thought It Was a Marvel. Arthur Melbourne-Cooper (1874-1961). Pioneer of Puppet Animation (published by Amsterdam University Press).

By Mariska Graveland28 March 2022

portrait Ati Mul
Ati Mul

It was in Ati Mul and Tjitte de Vries’ nature to be cinephiles and collectors. Part of their enormous private collection was transferred to Vrienden van het Filmarchief in 1991 and ultimately ended up being stewarded by the University of Groningen and Eye. The inventory included 83 35mm films, 449 16mm films, 293 documentaries, 216 negatives, 2,000 posters, 136 cameras and 103 projectors. They also bequeathed photographs and posters to the Geoffrey Donaldson Instituut.

Mul and De Vries had already jointly published Joop Geesink, poppenfilmproducent (1984) in Animatie magazine. A valuable article because it was, to a large extent, based on interviews with the studio’s former employees. De Vries and Mul’s most important, internationally leading publications are on the subject of British photographer and film pioneer Arthur Melbourne-Cooper, who is primarily known for his application of stop-motion techniques. They published Arthur Melbourne-Cooper, Film Pioneer Wronged by History (1994), A Documentation of Sources (2004) and the book They Thought It Was a Marvel, Arthur Melbourne-Cooper (1874-1961), Pioneer of Puppet Animation (2009). Right up until her death, Mul continued to work on a new publication about Melbourne-Cooper and maintain the information and equipment stored at her home.

Ati Mul was 74 at the time of her passing and her passion for cinema, enormous drive and humour will be sorely missed by her friends at Eye.

portrait Ati Mul
Ati Mul

Eye will continue to put its heart and soul into preserving Ati Mul and Tjitte de Vries’ exceptional collections, keeping their intellectual legacy alive through the Arthur Melbourne-Cooper Fund, which is lodged with Eye. This fund finances publications and stimulates research into the English film pioneer and his cinematic-historical context.