Friday, 9 March 2012

Tacita Dean's Turbine hall film

The Turbine hall at the Tate Modern has recently been hope home to Tacita Dean's homage to film, as she see's it as a soon to be extinct medium. Her film shows the possibilities of editing 35 film, and the true craftsmanship that painstakingly goes into the eventual reel of film. Working alone and compiling shots together by hand, using traditional techniques to mask in overlays.

Dean is in no way against digital film but doesn't want to see it eclipse a much loved possibility of film-making. Currently analogue film's use is arising again through young artists. Is it not possible for these two platforms to co-exist, where practitioners at least have the choice to choose between them. The Soho Film Lab was the last UK practice to still print 16mm until its new owners Deluxe, terminated immediately its production in mid-February. This was apparently done as it was no longer being used by the cinema industry, but it through them that the industry is able to print 16mm film, by stopping it they are giving the industry little other choice than that of digital.

It is down to the lack of trained professionals who can handle analogue film that is resulting in it's steady 'phasing out.' As shown with Dean's Turbine piece, who came across a potentially serious issue in the cutting of the film, where white flashes would be seen between each frame projection of the film only a short while before installation at the Tate Modern. A professional negative cutter from the UK, Steve Farman, had to recut Dean's film and then drive over night from the Amsterdam studio back to the UK to pass the film onto the Tate Modern's curator. This highlights the current loss is technically trained professionals, as if they continue to decrease (Steve Farman being the last negative cutter in the UK) then future for analogue film truly is looking bleak.

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