Visit to the George Eastman House

Inside Criterion / Tech Corner — Dec 16, 2009

Last Friday, Fumiko, Issa, and I went up to Rochester, New York, to the Eastman House. We have been talking to them about accessing their archive on a more regular basis, starting with the three von Sternberg films that are coming up. It’s really an interesting place, and we got to see some pretty cool things that we thought we’d share with you . . . —Lee Kline

The vaults are pretty endless, but incredibly well organized. Fumiko stands next to one of the hundreds of very long rows of 35 mm prints that the archive contains.

Pathé originally tried to change the 35 mm format to 28 mm. You can see the difference here because the leader is 35 mm.

Paper film was used in the early 1900s, mostly for people to copyright their work with the Library of Congress. The film was contact printed from original negatives, and in some cases, this is the only record left of the movie.

8 mm and 16 mm film canisters

70 mm

The original score to von Sternberg’s Underworld, with notes handwritten by the filmmakers

Von Sternberg and Eisenstein

The Eastman House is an exhaustive archive of film packs, cameras, and photographic equipment. Here are just a couple of fun ones.

And lastly, House T-shirts were on sale at the theater.