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Soviet colours

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This text offers a history of the colour technologies used in Soviet cinema. The first colour system, Kinemacolor, is explored in the context of the author’s restoration of the only surviving fragment of the 1912 film The Durbar at Delhi in the Russian State Archive RGAKFD. The use of a two-colour system for the first Soviet colour film in the 1930s is presented alongside examples of its application. In isolation from American developments, the Soviet film industry went on to develop a three-colour system, patented by Pavel Mershin, which was applied widely during the late 1930s, including for animated film made using Bipack film, which can no longer be projected from the original source. Using the original sources preserved at the Russian State Archive Gosfilmofond, these films have recently been restored by the author of this text, who continues to describe the problems encountered during the restoration process.

Keywords: Bipack; Kinemacolor; Pavel Mershin; additive/subtractive methods; three-colour system; two-colour system

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 7, 2012

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