Restoring The Biograph 68mm films
September 7, 2020

Preserving Parijsche Mode No. 25 - an amazingly beautiful fashion compilation


When in july 2019 film buff, film technician, innovator and film lover and collector Ruud Molleman died, his film collection of around 300 cans of mainly nitrate films was donated to Eye Filmmuseum. The nitrate film reels were checked right away and a lot of treasures were found. One of them was a collection of 4 reels of wonderfully stencilled fashion compilation films from the 1910s and 1920ies with meticulous details and an amazingly vibrant but sometimes also sensitive restraint colour pallet.

The first of the four films “Parijsche Mode No. 25” was recently preserved at Haghefilm Digitaal. The nitrate filmrol was scanned on the wetgate Oxberry scanner and afterwards digitally graded.
 



 


The big advantage of going digital with the preservation of stencil films is that during grading all different stencil colours can be approached individually and the black/white base stays neutral. A purely photochemical preservation would always bring a certain colour hue to the neutral b/w parts and the colours can only be adjusted simultaneously with less brilliant and matching results.

Apart from the usual digital deliverables the film will also be written out onto colour internegative stock to have a full preservation package.




Going through the film frame by frame during grading revealed an interesting colour cross-fade. You can see that the coloured areas are just as gradually changing as the image content. A very well thought through stencil cross fade!

Eye Filmmuseum hopes to preserve also the remaining 3 stencilled fashion films of the collection of Ruud Molleman at Haghefilm Digitaal in the near future.


Annike Kross
Film restorer - EYE Filmmuseum