the color of the past – technicolor and the physiognomy of nostalgia


The color of nostalgia?

I mentioned last week our visit to Stanford Theatre and the showing of “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (and incidentally this movie appeared in my book “Experiencing the Past”). The technicolor print was stunning.


Boonville September 2004

Of late, and in connection with my Metamedia Lab’s project to explore the metariality and instumentality of representation, we have been experimenting with Polaroid emulsions.

These deliver a quite extraordinary color balance, softness and surface texture. The grain of the image lends an ineffable look to the photograph, and one that is distinctively nostalgic. I took a load of pictures on a Holga and NPC 195 while up in northern California last weekend with friends at their vinyard near Boonville. We couldn’t get over how they took us and the house out of time.

This week I took my dad to see two Ealing comedies at the Stanford Theatre. Again quite an extraordinary media experience. We are simply not accustomed to seeing this kind of production on the big screen. And the technicolor of “The Ladykillers” was uncanny.


Boccherini at King’s Cross



There is a distinctive aesthetic at work here to do with framing, color balance, mis en scène. I must dig out my notes on the aesthetic of nostlagia and landscape …

These experiences drove our project to investigate the representation of place in Brith Gof and the Three Landscapes Project …

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