FilmBath Festival 2023 – Fantastic Machine

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27 October 2023 at 6:00 pm
27 October 2023 at 7:46 pm

In 1828, the first ever photograph was taken.

In 2023, there are 45 billion cameras in the world.

During those 200 years, technology has evolved; back then it took 10 hours to create a single image.Now we live in a world where everyone films everything and everyone (including themselves) almost all the time. Is that progress?

This award-winning documentary traces that history through footage that is at different times, hilarious, disturbing, shocking, and just plain weird. It includes the wonderful comment by King Edward VII (which is the title of the film), when he saw the footage of his coronation which Georges Melies had created in a studio with French actors. We see Leni Riefenstahl watching her film of Hitler, still thrilled by how clever she was – 60 years after the event. Then we cut to British filmmakers showing how important it was that they filmed the concentration camps after the war in such a way that Germans could not deny what happened.

The question this film raises is – ‘what have we done with this amazing technology, especially in the last half century, via television, YouTube, and the ever-expanding means of recording and manipulating images?’

It is a fascinating, provocative and essential viewing!

Disclaimer: This documentary contains disturbing scenes from concentration camps.