Amsterdam & Films. The ‘Colour Fantastic: Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema’ 29-31 March 2015 at EYE Pers.
Twenty years on from the ground-breaking Amsterdam workshop ‘Disorderly Order: Colours in Silent Film’, EYE Film Institute Netherlands will celebrate this milestone anniversary by organizing a conference to explore contemporary archival and academic debates around colour in the silent film era. The Colour Fantastic conference (29-31 March 2015) will provide a stimulating environment for specialists from across different disciplines. Themes to be explored include archival restoration issues, colour film technology, colour theory, experimental film and intermediality.
Colour Fantastic: Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema, 29-31 March 2015 in EYE, IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam, eyefilm.nl
The program contains more than 35 varied presentations by academics and film specialists from archives, museums and cultural institutions all around the world: from Australia and the United States, to Switzerland, Sweden and Italy. The conference will be held at EYE (Amsterdam) from 29 to 31 March 2015.
The keynote speakers will be Peter Delpeut, Tom Gunning (University of Chicago), and Vanessa Toulmin (National Fairground Archive/University of Sheffield).
Peter Delpeut is a Dutch filmmaker and writer. He is a former programmer and deputy-director of the Nederlands Filmmuseum(1988-95). He directed the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival workshop in 2003 and was Artist in Residence of the Dutch Film Academy(2004-05). His films include Lyrical Nitrate and Diva Dolorosa, which are mostly made of archival found footage.
Professor Tom Gunning is the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College of the University of Chicago. He has written extensively on early cinema and the culture of modernity from which cinema arose and is an original contributor to the ‘Disorderly Order: Colours in Silent Film’ Amsterdam workshop.
Professor Vanessa Toulmin is Director of the National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield and Chair in Early Film and Popular Entertainment. She is a leading authority on Victorian and Edwardian entertainment and film, and has completed extensive research on travelling show people.
In addition, the event will also include screenings of restored and/or rarely seen films including:
Maudite soit la guerre: (Alfred Machin, Belgium, 1914).
A new digital restoration of the pacifist film Maudite soit la guerre (1914) undertaken by EYE in 2014, in collaboration with the Cinémathèque royale de Belgique. This new version is mainly based on the coloured nitrate print held by EYE with a few additional black and white scenes that were discovered in Belgium and France.
Lyrical Nitrate: (Peter Delpeut, NL, 1990).
This found footage film is a tribute to the pre-1915 filmmaking and to the nitrate film stock. Delpeut compiled many scenes of dramatic nitrate decay, mainly from the Desmet Collection. EYE has recently restored and digitized the film, which is part of the collection. A DVD was released in December 2014 in conjunction with the Desmet Collection exhibition in EYE.
When the Earth Trembled: (USA, Barry O’Neill, 1913). Premiere Screening on March 28th.
This fiction film, based on the real life San Francisco earthquake of 1906, is part of the Desmet Collection. The new restoration combines the best available images from 3 different sources: the duplicate negatives of the Desmet print held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), an English version held by the British Film Institute (in both cases the nitrate print is destroyed due to decay) and a tinted nitrate print with Dutch intertitles that has recently arrived to EYE. The new restoration, partly sponsored by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, aimed to create the most complete version and to restore the original tints.
In conjunction with the conference, a new book on silent film colour, Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema by Tom Gunning, Giovanna Fossati, Joshua Yumibe and Jonathon Rosen, published by Amsterdam University Press, will be presented at EYE.
Conference participants are also invited on 28 March 2015 to EYE’s Collection Day, during which recent and ongoing international film preservation projects will be presented.
Registration costs (including EYE Collection Day, conference and meals): 250 euro (full rate), 200 euro (students rate).
‘The Color Fantastic: Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema’ conference is organised by EYE, the University of Amsterdam/ASCA, and the Leverhulme Trust research project ‘Colour in the 1920s: Cinema and Its Intermedial Contexts’ run by Sarah Street (University of Bristol) and Joshua Yumibe (University of St Andrews / Michigan State University).