New anthology on preservation and restoration of films

Press release20.12.2002
'Preserve then Show' is
the title of an anthology spotlighting film preservation and restoration
and presenting the latest research in the field. Edited and published by
the Danish Film Institute (DFI), the anthology is based on papers
delivered at an international seminar at the DFI in November 2001 on the
occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the first film museum
in Denmark, now the DFI/ Archive & Cinematheque.
The seminar brought
together a group of international archivists, film historians and
scientific specialists who presented their views on film as an art form,
as well as a physical material which requires time, money and experience
to sustain and make accessible.
Two of the contributions
in the anthology take a philosophical stance, discussing the nature of the
single film in a given collection, considering film on the one hand as a
unique artefact, and on the other, considering it, in its materiality, to
contain invaluable information about the film's print history.
Several articles cover
aspects of the science of preservation: of the latest research into the
preservation of flammable nitrate film, over to condensation in film
containers, to assessments on the condition of film itself and its
environment. The systematic survey of the DFI film collections is also
The anthology also
includes articles on the major restorations, such as that of Fritz Lang's
"Metropolis". The result is the first overall view of the problems of
restoration and the work that will be required over the coming years.
Digital technology applied to restoration efforts is also
Another contribution
deals with the unique collection of documents in the Nordisk Film
Collection and the history of the restoration of the early Danish film
experiments through to films with sound, while another article deals with
Denmark's first film archive - Statens Arkiv for Historiske Film og
Stemmer [The State Archive of Historical Films and Voices] and introduces
a DVD, entitled "The First Film Archive", with footage from the collection
which includes some seventy films from 1899 to 1913, shot by Peter Elfelt,
the official court photographer, and Ole Olsen, the founder of Nordisk
Film, as well as footage deriving from 'Dagbladet Politiken' (a national
The authors are leading
researchers and film historians specializing in film preservation and
restoration. "Preserve Then Show" is edited by Dan Nissen, Lisbeth Richter
Larsen, Thomas Christensen, and Jesper Stub Johnsen, all members of staff
at the DFI Archive & Cinematheque.
For further
DFI Archive
& CinemathequeLisbeth Richter Larsen, tel +45 3374 3546,
DFI Press &
InformationVicki Synnott, tel +45 3374 3438,