This is Film! Heritage in Practice
This second session of This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice explores a renewed desire for analogue media with Berlin-based filmmaker/producer Jens Meurer, who made “analogue lovers” the subject of his documentary An Impossible Project (2020).
Amidst a digital revolution, instant cameras and vinyl are making a huge comeback - especially among millennials. Furthermore, a growing number of experimental filmmakers (Ben Rivers, Rosa Barba and Tacita Dean) and Hollywood directors (Alfonso Cuarón, Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino) prefer to work with celluloid over digital film. We discuss this remarkable tendency with Berlin-based filmmaker/producer Jens Meurer, who made “analogue lovers” the subject of his new feature documentary An Impossible Project (2020).
In this lecture, Jens Meurer talks about what he considers the beauty of analogue media, the challenges and opportunities of filming on 35mm, the added value of the experience of materiality and the relationship between digital and analogue practices today.
Introduction by Giovanna Fossati (Chief Curator at Eye and Professor of Film Heritage at the University of Amsterdam). Q&A in collaboration with the Master students of the This is Film! class at the University of Amsterdam.
An Impossible Project
As part of this lecture, Eye presents An Impossible Project (2020) on the Eye Film Player. The documentary follows a “self-appointed patron saint of all things analogue,” the Austrian entrepreneur Dr. Florian ‘Doc’ Kaps during his endeavours to save the last Polaroid factory in the world (in Enschede). Doc is a firm believer that the more digital our world gets, the more analogue our dreams become.
Obviously, Jens Meurer did not shoot his documentary on a digital format, but on 35mm Kodak. He was supported in this costly undertaking by film manufacturer Kodak, ARRI (the supplier of motion picture film equipment that still fully supports 35mm technology), and also by Kickstarter backers. Remarkably enough, his filmography as a producer also lists the first born-digital film to enter the Cannes Film Festival competition, Russian Ark (2002, Sokurov).
Jens Meurer started his career as a documentary filmmaker, before becoming also a producer. In 1995 he received the European Academy Award for Documentary for his short film Viva Stalin. In 2017 he contributed to the interview web series 100 Years of ARRI, to celebrate the anniversary of ARRI. Meurer worked as a producer on award-winning productions as Russian Ark (2002, Sokurov), Black Book (2006, Verhoeven), The Last Station (2009, Hoffman), and the mini-series Carlos (2010, Assayas).
#2: the Polaroid Effect
This is Film! 2021
This is Film! Film Heritage in Practice is a public lecture series devoted to notable projects in the fields of film restoration and film heritage. Under the overarching theme of recycling, re-using and remixing archival film(fragments), the series will showcase a broad range of creatively reused archival footage in different settings, addressing its relevance for audiences today.
The video recordings of the lectures can be found at the bottom of this page.