Tag Archives: nitrate damage

Lina Cavalieri in Sposa nella morte! | The Shadow of Her Past (IT 1915)

Known as “the most beautiful woman in the world”, opera singer Lina Cavalieri starred opposite Caruso, was fêted by D’Annunzio, and was painted by Boldini. She began her career singing in the café-chantants of Rome, Naples, and Paris; rising to … Continue reading

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Romance of celluloid: celebrating nitrate film

Nitrate film: shimmering, unstable, explosive. Very shortly, the second annual Nitrate Picture Show will kick off at George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York. Billing itself as “the world’s first festival of film conservation”, this festival includes screenings of vintage … Continue reading

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1918: Fragments of Menichelli. On the trail of “Gemma di Sant’Eremo” and “La passeggiera”

Recently, I was reading Italo Calvino’s wonderful book If on a winter’s night a traveller (1979), and the following line stuck in my mind: The dimension of time has been shattered, we cannot love or think except in fragments of … Continue reading

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The film star performing the film star: Asta Nielsen in Die Filmprimadonna (DE 1913)

“Lower the flags in her honour; she is incomparable and without peer.” So wrote early film theorist Béla Balázs of Asta Nielsen in his 1924 book Der Sichtbare Mensch (The Visible Man). It is well-known that Nielsen was one of the first international … Continue reading

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An interview with Bin Li, nitrate film specialist

Since July 2014, Bin Li has been working for Haghefilm Digitaal in Amsterdam, one of the most esteemed film preservation/restoration laboratories in the world. A graduate of the MA Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image course at the Universiteit … Continue reading

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Tórtola Valencia in Pasionaria | Passionflower (ES 1915)

   From the Spain of a century ago comes the extraordinary film Pasionaria. The film is a star vehicle for Carmen Tórtola Valencia, better known simply as Tórtola Valencia, a famous Spanish dancer of the era who specialized in exotic dances. Here she … Continue reading

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100 years ago: Figures de Cire | The Man with Wax Faces (FR 1913)

An early work by renowned director Maurice Tourneur, Figures de Cire is a horror film that presages German Expressionism in its use of light and shadow. It’s a prototypical haunted-house film: out carousing with his friends, Pierre boasts that he is totally without fear (“la peur … Continue reading

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