color is a time machine. With few exceptions, the colored landscape paintings and portraits by the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky from the years 1909 to 1912, for example, or the collection of Reinhard Schultz for the First world war, are shots from the first 100 years of photography in black-and-white. This is also true for moving images, for movies. One colors you subsequently change your effect fundamental. What had previously seemed foreign and remote, and suddenly gets a supposedly tactile proximity.

However, almost all Attempts, with the new possibilities of digital colorization of historical Black-and-White to remain material at the same time serious and to reach new audiences, have so far failed. The same applies to the last series of the long-term ZDF’s chief historian Guido Knopp “world on fire” about the First world war for the French production “The war” of 1939 to 1945, the delivery of the ARD. In both TV-more dividers, the coloring candy colors seemed-far-fetched, reminded more and more albums cigarette picture than the reality.

Now also uses the new Zealand film Director and Oscar winner Peter Jackson, known for the Fantasy trilogy “The Lord of the rings” and “The Hobbit”, as well as for his adaptation of “Tintin”, of the same artifice, to a few weeks before the 100. Anniversary of the end of the “Great throw” a new access to the often-seen old film material. And lo and behold: at Least the worst disadvantages of the method are to be avoided, with a correspondingly high effort.

600 hours of original material

the title of The film, “They Shall Not Grow Old evaluated” (translated: “they shall not grow old”), is to Drop a line from the famous war poem “For the” by Laurence Binyon, for the first time on 21. September 1914 appeared. There was a time when, although already six weeks of war in Europe in the medium, but the material battles of Ypres, Verdun, or the Somme or in the future earnings.

For his production, Jackson has depreciated approximately 600 hours of original material from the collections of the Imperial war Museum. The first of almost a quarter of the film is coloured only in part; it is only as the subject of the edited footage of the preparations for war to the actual Fight goes, the entire images in color.

compared To previous attempts of digital colouring Jackson manages this much better. This has various reasons: firstly, he uses the image processing methods developed for his Fantasy films. With these methods, the original has been restored in digital images, orthorectified and on the right pace.

Secondly, look at the Jackson’s Team very accurately the original colours, which you can verify the validity of a hundred years afterwards. For example, the received uniform parts, or the painting of the early tanks. Not you can paintings rely on the naturally-colored Battle-in-Oil or all nachkolorierten shots.

Finally, the new Zealand Director strictly avoids the over-staining, which is noticed especially in the case of the ZDF-production “world on fire” is disturbing. In fact, one could distinguish between colored real movie scenes from the period 1914 to 1918 and trailing shots.

Jackson highlights historic Material to a new level

That, however, the implementation in a virtual three-dimensionality is in suitably equipped cinemas, is a good idea, like you doubt. In the case of a Film like the animated adaptation of “Tintin” as it may seem good, in the case of original images, the method is rather inappropriate.

in addition, the basic problem remains for any subsequent coloring: Authentic such images are not – also, if you are ambitious and detail-obsessed as Peter Jackson. Here there is a trade-off between the gain in closeness to the audience and the loss of respectability.

How can you recognize a last artifice of the Director. On film, the show is sufficiently sharp for the mouths of speaking or singing soldiers, was Jackson of lip readers to tap into what the filmed men really say. This was then recorded by professional speakers. The rest of the text is taken from audio recordings of the BBC, on the occasion of the 50. Anniversary of the war beginning in 1964, hundreds of veterans after their memories had interviewed, and from written sources such as diaries or field post.

The right to be controversial colorization of historical Materials Peter Jackson in “They Shall Not Grow Old” to a new, not previously seen level. If you accept the inevitably associated with the loss of Authenticity is ready, then his most recent production is a compelling, haunting Film.

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Ann McDonald
Ann McDonald is a journalist who has worked for some of the reputed print and electronic media house in the country.

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