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Liquidator

Short documentary, 2010, 8 min.

Haarlem, 1922. Film pioneer Willy Mullens films classic cityscapes that eventually end up in archives. Almost a century later, the footage of Haarlem has been damaged by decay and the film is taken in hand by experimental film maker Karel Doing. In an innovative way, Doing treats the dramatically discoloured, stained and blurred images with digital techniques like optical flow and morphing. Thus, the gaps in the historical film become at least as interesting as the old and precious images that have been preserved. The new images are evocative of the painting technique called marbling, or produce images that are reminiscent of an apparition. In colours that vary from greyish blue to orange and sepia. Michal Osowski interrelated the soundtrack with the changes in density of the image and Doing's applied imaging techniques: it squeaks and murmurs like a badly tuned radio, and reacts to the degree of deterioration by being, for example, jerky, louder or less prominent.

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