I formerly suffered an unhealthy obsession (if I’m honest it’s still around, but it’s certainly depleted) with the conceptual implications of lost films. As a self-termed “archaeologist” of obscure media, discovering the possible existence of an artifact (mostly, for me, films/books/zines, photographs of art-events, etc), researching everything about it, and then possibly unearthing details to add to a collective knowledge base on said artifact is, well to be blunt, a really fucking awesome feeling.
A couple of days ago at Big Other, Amber Sparks posed the question “What lost film would you love to see?” The question found me immediately excited, because it was something that had managed to escape my head-space for a while. There’s any number of reasons why a film might be lost; if it was shot in the early days of cinema, the chemicals used to process the film itself could have deteriorated the celluloid, leaving nothing. It’s possible that the film was never completed, but screened to producers in an incomplete state, leaving a mark on an individual. The only copy of a film (smaller budget films) could have burnt in a fire, destroyed in some sort of natural disaster, or literally just misplaced.
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