Holmes 2009 – documenting the past?

It can’t really be called “period detail”. What impressed us about the new Sherlock Holmes movie [Link] was the way it handled the nineteenth century. It was the color space (very mannered, desaturated, toned) and the abraded, worn, littered look of the urban spaces. It just kind of felt like Victorian London.

Of course, Victorian London didn’t look like this, but maybe it should have?

Surprisingly perhaps, the official film stills don’t capture this look:


Victorian backstreets


Holmes needed a shave

But the posters for the movie are completely in such an aesthetic:


Maybe this is a kind of media quiddity? The habitus of a medium, as I have described it – [Link].

A good long while ago I commented on the family photos of a friend and the way they seemed to embody the look of changing pasts – [Link]. Not just the changing styles and quotidian “period” detail, but the way a camera, its lens and film, translate a moment, an event, a life, a world.

More notes – the color of nostalgia, the patina of preservation, the innocence of the rural, and rural nostalgia.

Landscapes of the 1980s and 1990s will be remembered in the saturated color space of Fuji Velvia – [Link] and [Link], even when the images were not produced using this film.

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