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The importance of digitizing and archiving old films with film curator Gustavo Beck

Gustavo Beck
Gustavo Beck

For film curator Gustavo Beck, the digitization and archiving of old films play a very important role in preserving and documenting film history around the world. Thinking about it, in this article we will understand a little more about the importance of these processes for cinema. Continue reading below to learn more about this topic. 

Digitization is the guarantee for the preservation of old films 

According to curator Gustavo Beck, the digitization of old films is an essential step to ensure the preservation of old films. This discussion was discussed at film festivals in Berlin, where experts discussed the future of old films, highlighting the importance of methods for archiving and preserving these works to be seen in the future. 

This discussion is very important, because the risk of precious films for the history of cinema and also of humanity itself disappears is very great. In this sense, as the curator Gustavo Beck comments, some old German films are already being restored and passed on to more modern digital media, among them are the classics Metropolis and The Office of Dr. Caligari. 

However, the task is arduous and difficult, requiring a lot of commitment and search for knowledge by technicians and experts in digitization of old films. This is because digitization is not a guarantee for the preservation of cultural heritage, since the data is readable only for a certain time, as the leading experts in digital media highlight. 

This whole process represents an immense difficulty, because as the software and hardware advance, technicians need to convert the films to the most current formats. However, for everyone in the film industry, digitization and archiving are the great solution for the future of old films. 

Films represent an important part about the past 

As Gustavo Beck, film curator, explains, the importance of preserving these films is a consensus throughout the film academy, since films constitute our cultural and audiovisual memory, often representing an important time frame of society. It is consensual that films give us information about the history, science and art of various times, being a source of studies for many researchers. 

However, the biggest problem for this to occur properly and efficiently is the financing, which in many countries does not happen or does not arrive sufficiently to cover the costs of digitizing and archiving these films. A great example of this is Brazil, where there is a great disregard for film culture and memory by many governments, as Gustavo Beck points out. 

Digitization and archiving of old films in Brazil 

The digitization and archiving of films in Brazil is a great challenge, as the film curator Gustavo Beck reinforces. Due to the problems already mentioned, the country has great difficulty in preserving the rich cinematic heritage. The preservation of our films is crucial to ensure that future generations have access to Brazil’s audiovisual history, knowing our culture and history. 

According to Gustavo Beck, many of our older films are in analog formats, such as film, and may deteriorate over time. In this sense, digitalization is the most efficient way to preserve these films, converting them to digital formats that have greater durability and are easier to handle, contributing greatly to the memory and history of our cinema. 

What is the role of cinematheques in the preservation of old films? 

For Gustavo Beck, it is impossible to talk about preserving old films, without thinking about the role of Brazilian cinematheques, which are essential spaces for promoting the cinematic memory of our people. However, the role of this institution is still little known to the vast majority of people and average cinema consumers. Therefore, we need awareness and film education. 

The cinematheques are responsible for collecting, preserving, restoring and studying historical and old films, contributing significantly to the conservation of the film heritage of our country, as elucidated by Gustavo Beck. That is, these institutions are the tip of the pyramid when we talk about the importance of the conservation, digitalization and archiving of old films in Brazil and in the world. 

Finally, we can observe that it is essential to find adequate means and funding to preserve and maintain our cinematographic heritage at the disposal of future generations, who will certainly need to know and understand the existing society before their own. In this sense, public policies and investments of private companies are essential for the conservation of cinematographic memory in Brazil.