“The cinema itself will be a unique venue in France and Europe, designed to keep the experience of film projection alive for decades to come, by means of an eclectic mix of historical archive works shown in their original film print formats, as well as contemporary films made on film,” notes Rey.

“If there is a film print available for a particular work, Navire Argo will be a place where you can be sure it will be shown on film, along the lines of the Charter of Cinematographic Projection in the 21st Century (www.filmprojection21.org). To help feed the programming, Navire Argo will archive a film collection on-site that will be preserved with proper long-term temperature and humidity conditions. This collection is currently being built from contributions from other film archives, filmmakers, distributors and film collectors.

Navire Argo will also be available for a range of other activities, ranging from workshops and professional training sessions, art installations and exhibitions, live performances, and an annual festival, all supporting cultural outreach.

Indeed, the historic significance of filmmaking in France is not to be underestimated in all that Navire Argo embodies. The birth of cinema is widely credited to two inventive Frenchmen, Auguste and Louis Lumière. In 1895 they patented the Cinématographe, a device that recorded moving images on film and also allowed them to be projected on to a screen. The Lumière brothers also caused a sensation with their first film, the 46-second La Sortie de L’Usine Lumière à Lyon.

From these roots, and over the course of more than 125 years, French cinema has attained huge success and cultural significance on the national and international stage, with pioneers such as Gaumont, Pathé, French New Wave and auteur directors all at the vanguard of filmmaking, not forgetting the Éclair name in this mix.

“Filmmaking is woven into the fabric of French culture,” says Rey. “It is very important to a lot of people in France, and elsewhere around the world, that Navire Argo will be a welcoming place for visual artists, filmmakers and cinephiles to experiment, create, project and share skills and knowledge about analogue filmmaking techniques, with help from people who really know and care about the process. In this way we will all help to preserve precious photochemical capability and knowledge, and who knows what incredible new talents and artistic endeavours will emerge as result of their exposure to the magic of film?

“This project is well on track,” concludes Rey, ”and we would be grateful for any pledges of support for this living conservatory of cinematographic creation, training and culture.”

  For more information about Navire Argo visit www.navireargo.org

Read the full article here