Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Drive in Technicolor

Funny how human perception and memory works. Our visual collective is preserved by various photos, film footages and they all determine how we perceive the past.

Almost every WWII movies have to  reflect an almost black and wthie colorscheme because that's how people remember it: the footages they saw on TV.

That is how I remember motorsports as well. I can see Jackie Stewart with long hair and a beard that looks like was left unfinished due to budget restrictions. And everything is brownish and has the whole celluloid film feel. The highest appreciation for anyone apperaing on screen is being filmed on celluloid and then projected to movie screens in front of live audience.

There were no live onboard cameras and presentation live was a bit clumsy. TV never appeared to surpass the quality and atmosphere of what you get a recorded, treated, cut, projected, commonly adsorbed experience.

I love this period of racing documentaries. The narrator gives us the ultimate insider guide noone else could do. Nowadays this is all gone due to the informative luxury of the Internet.

Those people still live but may remember in the same method as they are being presented in these footages since they have met them so many times since their recording.

The cars, the feel, the vibe lives on in films. You associate the colours, the texture, the lightning, the montage, everything to that period, it is almost unacceptable to present these otherwise.

This is the code, the dogma.

But this is just a semi-solution. 

The distorted reality becomes the collective reality.

Such as the case when talking about cars. Watching 30s Grand Prix or 80s Group B moments there is a certain vocabulary you have to address upon discussing.

You have to say 'these people were crazy to drive these and the audience was crazy to watch from that close'. Well, it depends.

Several drivers thought it wasn't anything too special to drive under such conditions. The standard was set: be the fastest, whatever it takes. Concerning the audience... well... I think those people form the past would call YOU crazy watching everything on TV. You may get a full HD/3D, Surround experience selecting cameras, but you are simply not there.

When being there, you may not see anything or just eventual flashes, but... gosh, you ARE there. The spirit is there, the atmosphere is there.

That's what they remember. What you are going to remember is the camera angles and the colorscheme being used on screen.

Every memory fades. But every piece of memory is being preserved somewhere. Some sort of machinery recorded the event. That is what every future generation will remember.

But let the witnesses be praised in the first place... for simply not being able to reproduce the feel... but for just seeing that smile on their faces.

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