UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Digital Restoration and Colour Grading – Implications for Film Studies

15 November 2021, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project

A UCL SSEES Russian Cinema Research Group Seminar with Daniel Bird

This event is free.

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The digital revolution has created a range of new possibilities in the fields of film preservation, restoration and exhibition. These possibilities raise several ethical questions concerning the presentation of heritage films, particularly in terms of colour. Should directors and cinematographers necessarily approve the colour grading of digital restorations? If so, should they be permitted to revise colour grades? In cases where neither the director nor the cinematographer is alive, what measures can be taken to ensure fidelity to the original work? Just how reliable are reference copies? Is it even possible to be true to the original grade? Should we present heritage films using High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology? Using examples from recent restorations of films by Sergei Parajanov – Kyiv Frescoes (1966), Hakob Hovnatanyan (1967), Arabesques on the Theme of Pirosmani (1985) – this talk sets out to both expand upon and address such questions by contrasting the exhibition of films in the analogue and digital eras.