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Flückiger

Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Filmwissenschaft, Seminar für » Prof. Dr. Barbara Flückiger » Flückiger

Current research project

Title / Titel ERC Advanced Grant: FilmColors. Bridging the Gap Between Technology and Aesthetics
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Film is in essence colored light projected onto a screen. Its aesthetics is thus highly determined by the material properties of film and the optical configuration of the cinematic apparatus. To this day, however, there is no systematic study of the relationship between the technology and aesthetics of film colors, despite the fact that, following the digital turn in film production and distribution, the understanding of this relationship is more essential than ever before.

Over 200 film color processes were developed since the invention of film. They are presented on the Timeline of Historical Film Colors http://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/, which will be an integral part of the project. The groundbreaking nature of this project lies in a truly interdisciplinary research design with a novel methodology to explore the interaction of technological advances and limitations with film color aesthetics, identifying diachronic patterns of stylistic means. To this end it develops a tool through recent advancements in digital humanities for crowd-sourcing of color analyses of large groups of films.

In-depth studies of technical papers and scientific measurements of film colors will investigate the technical and material basis of films’ aesthetic appearance. These insights will be applied to the digitization and restoration of historical films to explore and disseminate the results. While every serious art restoration connects scientific analyses with art-historical and aesthetic investigations, a similar approach is rarely applied to film.

In summary, the present research proposal capitalizes on the principal investigator’s preceding studies to bridge the gap between technology and aesthetics. With the interdisciplinary methods applied, the results will trace previously hidden roots of aesthetic developments of film colors.
Publications / Publikationen

Print Publications

Flueckiger, Barbara (2017): A Digital Humanities Approach to Film Colors. In: The Moving Image, 17.2 (peer-reviewed, in press).

Lameris, Bregt (2017, co-editor with Joshua Yumibe, Victoria Jackson, Sarah Street, Giovanna Fossati, Elif Ronge): The Colour Fantastic. Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press (in press).

Lameris, Bregt (2017): La Ligue du Noir et Blanc. French Debates on Natural Colour Film and Art Cinema 1926-1927. In: The Colour Fantastic, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press (in press).

Lameris, Bregt (2017): The Search for the Lost Colours of Films Albatros. In: FIAF Journal of Film Preservation (peer-reviewed, in press).

Lameris, Bregt (2017): Book Review.The Arclight Guidebook to Media History and the Digital Humanities. In: The Moving Image, 17.2 (in press).

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Color and Subjectivity in Film. In: Maike Sarah Reinerth, Jan-Noël Thon (Hg.): Subjectivity across Media. Interdisciplinary and Transmedial Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 145–161 (peer-reviewed).

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Die verlorenen Farben des frühen Films. In: Filmbulletin, 3/2015, pp. 6–13.

Flueckiger, Barbara; Op den Kamp, Claudy; Pfluger, David (2016): A Material-Based Approach to the Digitization of Early Film Colors. In: Giovanna Fossati, Victoria Jackson, Bregt Lameris, Elif Rongen, Sarah Street, and Joshua Yumibe (eds.): The Colour Fantastic. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. (peer-reviewed, in press)

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Filmfarben. In: Hagener, Malte; Pantenburg, Volker (eds.): Handbuch Filmanalyse. Wiesbaden: Springer. (submitted)

Conference Papers

Flueckiger, Barbara (2017): NECS Conference Sensibility and the Senses. Media, Bodies, Practices in Paris: Measuring Aesthetics. Computer-assisted Color Analyses of Films (paper accepted)

Lameris, Bregt (2017): NECS Conference Sensibility and the Senses. Media, Bodies, Practices in Paris: The Senses of Film History. The Materiality of Filmcolors in the Age of Digital Reproduction.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2017): SCSMI Conference Helsinki: Film Colors, Textures, Lights. How Color Appearance Corresponds to Characters’ Inner States. (paper accepted)

Lameris, Bregt (2017): SCSMI Conference Helsinki: Colorful Depictions of Disgust in Cinematic Representations. (paper accepted)

Flueckiger, Barbara (2017): Udine International Film Studies Conference A History of Cinema Without Names in Gorizia, Italy: Investigating and Documenting Film Colors.

Lameris, Bregt (2017): Udine International Film Studies Conference A History of Cinema Without Names in Gorizia, Italy: Affective History, Digitisation and the Case of Color in Film.

Trumpy, Giorgio (2017): Presentation at the Second International Conference Colour in Film in London: Spectral Analysis of Historical Film Images.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2017): Presentation and screening at the Second International Conference Colour in Film in London: Restoring Historical Film Colors.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Panel at the Conference Zugang gestalten! In Berlin: Zwischen Essigsyndrom und digitalem Nirwana – Filmerbe heute, mit Dr. Michael Hollmann, Präsident des Bundesarchivs; Dr. Dorcas Müller, Leiterin des Labors für antiquierte Videosysteme des ZKM.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Presentation at the International Conference Color in Mind, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen: Filmfarben – ein interdisziplärer Ansatz.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Panel at the conference Vergangenheit braucht Zukunft! Strategien für einen nachhaltigen Umgang mit dem audiovisuellen Kulturerbe Deutschlands des Deutschen Kulturrats in Berlin: State of the Art des Aufbewahrens. Strategien und Technologien.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Presentation at the Reel Thing Conference in Bologna: Agfacolor Restorations: Immensee (1943) and Opfergang (1944), with Anke Wilkening, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation, and Matteo Lepore, ARRI Media AG.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Keynote at the Summer School Datafied Media History, University of Utrecht, Niederlande: A Digital Humanities Approach to Film Colors

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Masterclass at the Summer School Datafied Media History, University of Utrecht, Niederlande: Theory and Application of Digital Humanities Tools for Media Studies.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Presentation at the international ARRI Archive Workshop 2016, Munich: Digital Agfacolor restoration of Veit Harlan’s Immensee and Opfergang (1942-1944), with Anke Wilkening, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation, and Thilo Gottschling, ARRI Media AG.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Presentation at the conference AV Medien im Archiv: Komplexe Quellen, aufwendige Erschliessung, vielfältige Vermittlung in Zürich: Wie die Digitalisierung die Wahrnehmung von historischen Filmen verändert.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Keynote at the First International Conference Colour in Film in London: Bridging the Gap between Analogue Film History and Digital Technology.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Presentation and screening at the First International Conference Colour in Film in London: Film Color Restoration Case Studies.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2016): Presentation at the research group, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London: FilmColors. An Interdisciplinary Approach.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2015): Presentation at the conference of the initiative „Filmerbe in Gefahr“ Die Rettung des Filmerbes und die Fachwissenschaften in Frankfurt am Main: Verschwindet unserer Filmgeschichte?

Flueckiger, Barbara (2015): Presentation at the Konferenz Moving Image Analytics: Research Infrastructure for Film Heritage in Stockholm: A Digital Humanities Approach to Film Colors.

Flueckiger, Barbara (2015): Presentation at the Collegium der Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone: Films Were Always Colored (in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ruedel, HTW Berlin)

Completed Restoration Case Studies

Münchhausen (GER 1943, Josef von Báky) is one of the most important films in the then newly invented Agfacolor process, produced in the Third Reich to showcase the superiority of German technology in the framework of highly entertaining film classic. For this restoration the PI executed an overall analysis consisting of the documentation of several original Agfacolor prints, surviving black-and-white separation masters and camera negatives to devise the very complex overall workflow to reconstruct the heavily faded colors and to establish the color scheme for the color grading, while research scientist Dr. Giorgio Trumpy executed colorimetric measurements and material analyses. The newly restored version will premiere at the International Munich Film Festival in July 2017 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the German production company UFA.

Mother Nature Father Time (USA 1965) is a Scopitone Technicolor dye transfer print provided by the Lichtspiel Kinemathek in Berne. The research team executed the full workflow with their newly installed film scanner, software and hardware.

Web of Love (USA 1966) is a Scopitone Technicolor dye transfer print provided by the Lichtspiel Kinemathek in Berne. The research team also executed the full workflow with their newly installed film scanner, software and hardware.

Trouville, la reine des plages (FRA 1923) is a very rare stencil colored Pathé Baby 9.5 mm film provided by the Lichtspiel Kinemathek in Berne. The research team also executed the full digitization and restoration workflow with their newly installed film scanner, software and hardware.

Restoration Case Studies in Progress

Schweizer Bilderbogen (FRA 1912–1914) stencil colored nitrate film from the collection of the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin

Lea aus dem Süden (GDR 1963, Gottfried Kolditz) Agfacolor film from the holdings of the Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv in Berlin, copyrights DEFA foundation Berlin.

[Tänze] (1920s) tinted and toned nitrate compilation film, from the Collection of Deutsches Filmsititut DIF.

Cajus Julius / Cajus Julius Caesar (ITA 1914, Enrico Guazzoni) tinted and toned nitrate film from the holdings of the Norwegian Film Institute.

[Jakt i Afrika] (FRA 1910) Pathéchrome nitrate film from the holdings of the Norwegian Film Institute.

Marcantonio e Cleopatra (ITA 1913, Enrico Guazzoni) tinted nitrate film from the holdings of the Norwegian Film Institute.

Vingarna (SWE 1916, Mauritz Stiller) tinted and toned nitrate film from the holdings of the Norwegian Film Institute.

[Grimstad gartneris rabarbravin] (NOR 1935) toned film from the holdings of the Norwegian Film Institute.

[Kestrel og ugler] (no year) tinted and toned nitrate film from the holdings of the Norwegian Film Institute.

[Pathè forvandlingsakt] (FRA 1905-1909) Pathéchrome film from the holdings of the Norwegian Film Institute.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe Film, Aesthetics, Technology, Color, Restoration, Analysis, Digitization
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Barbara Flückiger (Project Leader) baflueckiger@gmail.com
Dr. Bregt Lameris bregtje.lameris@uzh.ch
Dr. Giorgio Trumpy giorgio.trumpy@fiwi.uzh.ch
Martin Weiss martin.weiss2@uzh.ch
MA Michelle Beutler michelle.beutler@uzh.ch
BA Olivia Stutz oliviakristina.stutz@uzh.ch
MA Joëlle Kost joelle.kost@uzh.ch
Dr. Evelyn Echle evelyn.echle@access.uzh.cevelyn.echle@access.uzh.cevelyn.echle@uzh.ch
Other links to external web pages Timeline of Historical Film Colors: http://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/
News and updates: http://filmcolors.org/
ERC Advanced Grants http://erc.europa.eu/advanced-grants
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
EU
Advanced Grant of the European Research Council
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Sep 2015 to Aug 2020