Kodachrome… the film. Not the film, film, load in the back of your camera film, but the movie-film; yeah, kind of confusing I know. The one that I watched last night. Ostensibly Kodachrome is a movie about Kodachrome film. Before its demise the oldest surviving brand of colour film; but in reality it is a movie about relationships, about a father and a son, a road trip, and loss. Loss both of irretrievable family memories, and the loss of a brand of film synonymous with a large part of what we remember of the 20th Century.
I found there was a message of value in the movie; value as in to value those around you before they are gone forever, but also to value the things around us that may also be soon gone. I shoot film, but nowhere near as much as I should do; it is a commodity that is more than mere ones and zeros on a memory card, it is captured light on emulsion, as real as reality itself. It occurred to me while watching this film that even a thirty-year old unprocessed film canister still contains that reality, a true time capsule; can the same be said of digital when a memory card can simply be erased?
It is also a little strange I think that we tend to only truly value things when they are gone. I never shot Kodachrome, and yet I find myself feeling sad that it is gone, oddly pining for a non-existent entity that I never experienced. I find I pine it more than the Agfa film that is also now gone that I did shoot. But regardless of this I am also happy that a large production movie was made as recently as 2017 about analogue-photography, containing mainstream actors such as Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen; if this can happen then maybe there is hope that film will never die…
that we will always be able to capture our own realities.
The movie itself was also shot on film, a rarity today, not on Kodachrome of course as it no longer exists, but on film non-the-less. It took me a little while to notice it, but then I noticed the colours, the tones, the character that only film can bring; at times I found I was watching this more than I was watching the movie. I guess that is why there is still a love for film, its indescribable surreptitious qualities can often take us by the hand and lead us to somewhere else…… a place where life just looks better. (Kodachrome is available on NETFLIX)
Poster image-By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56957550