Thursday, December 30, 2010

Made by God and Man

Godowsky and Mannes, that is.  A couple of musicians.  Who also happened to invent Kodachrome.

Which renders its last impossible color today in Kansas, at the last plant to develop those crazy saturated colors.

Sometimes I think it was the impossibility of the colors that both underscored and made palatable the shock that my grandparents' youth actually transpired in color.

I know that it was Kodachrome that made the Pepto-Bismol pink jello stuff featured in the Junket advertisement (full color!) in my mother's copy of Dr. Spock look so otherworldly good.  I could spend an hour imagining myself eating it...and did so, often.  What flavor COULD that pink be, after all?  Early musings, I suppose.

Not just the colors, but the blacks and the browns, which are of course a color, but...again, hyperreality.  So clearly not sepia tones.  A blackness that wasn't an absence, but something that could swallow you up.

I just found this out this morning.  Polaroid, I knew in advance.  I didn't care so much...Polaroid was my uncle's camera, for gadgeters.  With a most memorable smell when you wiped the squeegee across the prints that came out the first generation of those cameras/that film.  Polaroid was a good film to highlight the fleetingness of memory, always needing protection, always doomed to fade no matter what.

Kodachrome, though...Kodachrome made memory more than it could be.  Or so it seemed.  Now that I am older, I sometimes wonder if what Kodachrome did was capture a detail so full, I had trouble accepting how real it was.

Not realizing that even that intense amount of detail was not capable of rendering the full truth.

Life is beautiful.  Reproductions try.

They took my Kodachrome away.

It was a heckuva thing to find out on New Year's Eve eve.  But I do have some prints.  And my memories.

The Irish Times
The New York Times
a Kodachrome documentary is in the works, says the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 
other food on Kodachrome at CHOW, "The Last Kodachrome Christmas"


Musette said...

I, too, learned that On NYE eve...and it was a sad moment. Kodachrome was like Alien Color Technology!

And now I have the earworm.....and they are taking my Kodachrome away!

xo A

ScentScelf said...

Sorry for the earworm. Would you like a noseworm? Positive or obtrusive? Mmm, let's try positive.."it wafts of Mitsy."

Notice how I respect YOUR "positive." ;)

It is sad about Kodachrome. Was just in a big FB yammer about digital cameras, and I refrained from waxing on about film stock, etc. etc.

You know that theory that dreaming in B&W was just an experience held by a generation raised in the era of B&W pictures? What will the lack of Kodachrome do to the next generations dreams??

Musette said...

oooh! now there's something to ponder....

You are a Mean Person (giggle) I have the OTHER song earworming its way through my head....

xooxox Ms. In-between :-D

ScentScelf said...

Now I'm trying to figure out if I should leave you with "Mean Mister Heat Miser" or "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch." Nope, both are too seasonal; how about "Mean Mister Mustard"?

Hey...perfect...the Beatles --> Paul --> Linda Eastman --> Eastman Kodak --> Kodachrome.