Culture is one of the great gifts of humanity … Literature, cinema, theater and photography are there to teach and entertain. Those two pillars, teaching and entertainment, is what the documentary ‘The Polaroid Story’ proposes to us, which we can see on the Filmin platform. to the delight of all of us who love and remember our old square snapshots.
Polaroid’s existence is due to the vision of the inventor’s daughter. He wanted to see the photos immediately after taking them in 1943. And Edwin H. Land began to think about the request until he introduced the camera that allowed to see the photos in 60 seconds in 1947. The world of the image changed forever.
This documentary joins others that we can find about the history of Polaroid, a photography brand, which had its golden age until an invention appeared that did the same but much faster, the digital sensor.
The documentary is directed by Peter Volkart, a documentary maker with award-winning work at various fantastic film festivals. The documentary has an extremely striking amount of material and the figure of Florian Kaps, the director of the company The Impossible Project, who has caused so much talk, is once again striking.
‘The history of Polaroid’, the rise and fall of a way of understanding photography
Peter Volkart’s documentary tells, with the help and abuse of infographics, the story of Polaroid through the life of its inventor, Edwin H. Land. From the first jaw-dropping demo to the appearance of the fabulous SX-70, the camera that changed everything again in the Polaroid universe.
Throughout the 77 minutes of the documentary Several artists appear who at some point have used the Polaroid to create their works. We see several ads of the time that attract a lot of attention. One of the most interesting moments is discovering how they recommended selling the cameras to American customers and the importance of not releasing the photograph they took without having the security of the sale.
They explain the origin of the name of the company that has to do with Edwin H. Land’s first invention, the polarizer. When he was a student, he left the university frustrated by what they taught him there. He locked himself in the New York library and invented tinted windows. Thanks to him today we have the fortune of watching movies in 3D, to take the most striking example.
Polaroid’s big problem was of course the advent of digital photography. You have nothing to do against it. It’s more immediate, sure … but what we discover throughout the documentary is that the Polaroid process is more natural. One of the photographers defends that it captures exactly the same light that the scene absorbs. And I think he is not very misguided.
Everything ends until the figure of Florian Kaps, the director of the company The impossible project, appears. As a result of the success of the Lomographic movement, it occurred to them to bet on the resurrection of the concept.
It is still a good idea. He got all the abandoned machinery for a ridiculous price but he didn’t get the chemical formula. For this reason, the results of the film The Impossible Project were an absolute failure. They were also aware of the poor quality of the products, but still doubled it to try to repeat the Lomo formula.
A pity that a story like Polaroid ended up like this, in such a way. And they leave a curious fact for reflection … The success of these cameras was due to the possibility of photographing yourself naked without anyone else seeing it. They are right?
So if you want to see it you can go to Filmin or look for it on any other platform for which we remember the good old days. It is not a great documentary but at least we will enjoy learning what we like the most.