Connect Archives Initiation


The cinematographic works of everlasting value have been selected but, in general, European national film canons are doomed to revision. Rather conformist movies produced industrially within closed cultures that in their time might have had an impact often seem false and uninteresting by today. At the same time, a large part of cinematographic production — experiments, documentaries, applied genres that by today lost their functionality, etc. — is still waiting for a new discovery. With the dissolution of the hierarchy of film genres such works appear in a new light. Comparative international approaches disclose their new aspects as far as form and content is concerned. They get included in contemporary social and artistic contexts and become relevant in a new way. This process of re-selection can be facilitated by curatorial work and the workshop of Cinemathéque as well as digitalization providing an easier access. Via the new technologies, these „revitalized” works can be distributed digitally, and the same goes for amateur works or films made in obsolete projection formats. Digital technology is democratic and optimally leads to the elimination of the distinctions between official-professional and underground-amateur film making, creating a new conception of a unified cinematography. Successfully selected and presented films can become part of a new canon and gain a new commercial/distributional value.

The real challenge is a new process of creating a canon that is not set in stone. Instead of the emptied out national canons, we have now the chance to create new regional and international canons based on relevant contexts and comparative methods.

For that, we have to step out of the circles of national archives, drawing on the importance of smaller specific collections and cinemathéques, and stress on the cross-talk between them. In order to achieve that, we have to create joint platforms.

Instead of the copy-right owning, distributing archive, we have to create educational, library-like collections in a way that the new structures, provide they acquire the legal competences, can eventually be enabled to perform distribution, too.

Sebestyén Kodolányi

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