My time at the Institute has come to a close in what has been an interesting few weeks. After returning from Telluride Film Festival’s Student Symposium, I jumped right back into working with the Institute’s visual media technologies, emboldened by the archival prowess of Serge Bromberg and the festival’s commitment to film preservation.
It was with this in mind that I was especially drawn back to the Institute’s small, but serendipitously eclectic collection of old 16mm and 8mm films. A film of particular interest, Oswald the Rabbit in “Love Sick,” proved to be the same character I saw presented in a rare shorts program led by Bromberg at Telluride. As it turns out, Oswald the Rabbit was a character originally penned by Walt Disney before going on to develop the iconic Mickey Mouse. Research into each of the films teased out one aspect of our cultural history after another, spanning several continents, formats, and genres.
For me, it is not enough to merely watch a film; I need to look beyond the mysticism of the cinematic image, exploring its cultural and historical provenance and the impetus for its creation. The ICI encourages that kind of exploration, within and without its walls. The ICI, it seems to me, is more of a mindset than anything else, and if its one where intellectual and creative exploration is supported, it is a mindset I am pleased to have helped foster.
That’s all, folks.