UNESCO and the Preservation of Moving Images

By Klaue, Wolfgang | UNESCO Courier, August 1984 | Go to article overview

UNESCO and the Preservation of Moving Images


Klaue, Wolfgang, UNESCO Courier


WE live at a time when there is everywhere a growing awareness of the importance of history and of the need to preserve the cultural heritage of past centuries from destruction. Yet, paradoxically, we are allowing important products of our own audio-visual age--the cultural heritage of future generations--to be destroyed or irretrievably lost. More filmed material has been lost since the beginning of the present century than has been preserved.

What Bela Balacz, one of the most important theoreticians of the cinema, said over fifty years ago is, unfortunately, still valid today: "We have libraries and picture galleries, museums devoted to the history of art and of culture as a whole, special collections and archives for every imaginable subject from shoemaking and tailoring to brush-making, but none for the art of the film. The Louvre possesses a complete collection of regimental buttons, but epoch-making masterpieces of a new art form (which also captures and records real life better than any other) are nowhere to be seen. The creation of a museum of film art would appear to be an urgent task for the State".

In 1913, in his Das Kino und die Gebildeten (the Cinema and Educated People) Hermann Hafker developed a comprehensive concept of the tasks and functions of a film archive. But these proposals were far ahead of their time and evoked no reaction. A few film collections were established in the 1920s at a local level or in specialized form.

The nationalization of film production in the USSR created favourable conditions for the collection and preservation of films in State archives, but it was only at the end of the silent film era that an important international movement for the preservation of the moving image heritage came into being.

Film experts in a number of countries (Henri Langlois in France, Iris Barry in the USA, Bengt Idestam-Almquist in Sweden) undertook this mission with great enthusiasm. The first film archives were private foundations (Cinematheque Francaise, Paris) or part of larger museums (Museum of Modern Art Film Department, New York).

The pioneer work accomplished in those days to save part of the moving images heritage is still worthy of our admiration. But it was not enough to halt the massive destruction of films which, through indifference, ignorance or hostility to culture, went on just as before. The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), established in 1938, failed to develop international activity on any significant scale. It resumed its activities in the immediate post-war period, but these were confined mainly to the traditional film-making countries. In many instances archives did not receive sufficient material support and lacked a satisfactory legal status, and as a result there were further losses during this period.

The fact that, for a variety of reasons, the moving image heritage received little or no attention in the cultural policies of many States and even in the Unesco Programme prompted the Delegation of the German Democratic Republic to take an initiative at the 18th General Conference of Unesco which was to focus greater attention on this problem. The Delegation's proposal was supported by several States. Resolution 3422 of the 18th General Conference requested the Director-General of Unesco to examine the technical, legal and adminstrative aspects of safeguarding moving images, and to discuss the advisability of adopting an international recommendation or convention for the protection of moving images from destruction.

A preliminary meeting of experts was held in Berlin (capital of the German Democratic Republic) in 1975.

Of particular interest was the discussion of the question as to how, given the dominant role of the audio-visual media in social communication, the importance of the cinema and television as instruments of entertainment, education and culture, and as a form of documentary reflection of contemporary events and phenomena, this medium has been so undervalued as a heritage. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

UNESCO and the Preservation of Moving Images
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.