Each year, Gaumont presents a restoration project from its archives in France. This year, in anticipation of MoMA’s festival of film preservation opening later this week, Gaumont chairman Nicolas Seydoux introduces a program of early films originally presented in the pioneering Trichromie color process. Trichromie (also known as Chronochrome) was a color film process patented by Leon Gaumont in 1911 and presented publicly in 1912, and although it was used to shoot France’s victory parade in Paris in 1919, it had fallen out of use by the early 1920s. The Trichromie process involves photographing the same image on black-and-white film stock three times simultaneously through three color filters—green, blue, and red—and then projecting the images through a single projector with three lenses of those respective colors. Although the film is not colored, the viewer sees a colored image. With this selection of restored Trichromie films, Gaumont recreates the “natural” color sensation that thrilled audiences in the 1910s.
Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film.