Lost in Transit

  • Jan Uhde


A TORTUOUS PATH: FROM THE FILMMAKER TO THE VIEWER MOST discussions and writings on the subject of motion pictures, including those scrutinizing film's structural characteristics, aesthetic qualities, and effects on the audience, have traditionally referred to the film work in a relatively abstract sense, i.e. without considering the actual state of the film print as projected. Their authors tacitly imply the existence of the "perfect print" -- a complete and authorised version presented to the viewer in an immaculate state without distortions, as if just released from the studio's laboratory, released without delay and screened on an adequate projection equipment in an equally appropriate environment. Film is generally understood as a recorded medium which allows each print to be repeatedly screened, thus generating a series of identical performances; this inherent quality makes movies different, for example, from the stage play or a musical interpretation where every single performance is...