Framing early cinema : the Davide Turconi nitrate frame collection at George Eastman House
thesisposted on 08.06.2021, 08:08 by Alicia Marie Fletcher
This thesis examines the history, use, and value of the Davide Turconi Nitrate Frame Collection of film fragments, housed at George Eastman House. An Italian film historian, Turconi (1911-2005) compiled the collection in the 1960s. Over the past decade, GEH and its partner institutions digitized the collection's 23,5000 fragments, which mostly date from the 1900s and 1910s. The thesis's case study analyzes two films represented by fragments in the collection: Les Tulipes (Pathé, 1907) and Maid of Niagara (American Kenema-Pathé, 1910). This case study employs a small section of the collection to speak to its importance as a whole and is particularly focused on the collection's early applied colour effects. It compares the fragments to multiple preserved versions of the films, arguing that the Turconi Collection, as well as other frame collections housed at various institutions, are primary documents, unlike most modern restorations of early silent films.