INSTANT DREAMS

An Extraordinary Polariod Trip
Midwest Premier: October 19, 2018

PURCHASE TICKETS

Film ticket includes Polaroid Portrait | Doors and cash bar at 6PM

Join us for an evening of film and Polaroid portraits! You are invited to share our love for analog photography and instant film
before the screening of Instant Dreams. Grab a drink and step into our studio to have your portrait taken with the classic 1972 Polaroid SX70 and new film from Polaroid Originals.

Instant Dreams is a feature documentary by Willem Baptist (Wild boar, I’m Never Afraid!) about the fascination and love for Polaroids. When Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008, the last still working factory was bought by a small group of enthusiasts. Among them is the retired scientist Stephen Herchen who previously collaborated with the inventor of Polaroid and is still trying to unravel the secret of the lost chemical formula.

In this overwhelming cinematic journey, Baptist introduces us to a number of quirky individuals who are connected to Polaroid in a special way: the German artist Stefanie Schneider, who does a photo shoot in the California desert with her last existing original Polaroid stock; New York Magazine editor Christopher Bonanos, who wrote a book about Polaroid’s history and tries to capture the relationship with his son with his instant camera; and a Japanese girl who first discovered the magic of Polaroid in Tokyo. Everyone tries to keep the instant dream alive in his or his or her own way.

Directors Statement

A lively memory. I still remember that day when I first shoved a film cassette in my first Polaroid camera. Because the batteries wherein the cassette the old camera unexpectedly came to life. Viewing the world through its square little viewfinder, the realization that I could capture that world with one push of the button was exciting. The moment the picture developed in front of my eyes; magical. I remember staring at that black little canvas and seeing a daydream appear. I didn’t capture reality but my feelings of reality; like a daydream. During my research in preparation for this film, I quickly learned that I wasn’t the only one having this romantic experience.

What is it that makes Polaroid photo’s so special? First, there is the remarkable process. Then there is the image with its unpredictable colors, unusual frame, the unusual atmosphere of the image. A captured reality that seems more real than real life, more special and immediately becomes a treasured moment and memory. That there’s only one copy of it enhances the feeling of authenticity. A Polaroid photo is infused with an air of artistry and mystery.

Artists loved it. From Warhole’s famous selfies to Ansel Adams breathtaking nature vista’s. Generations of families captured their most cherished moments with it. Almost everyone has at least one of them in their family album. ‘Nothing captures the moment like a Polaroid-picture.’, was the bumper-sticker slogan for it. The invention of Polaroid instant film changed the world of photography. Just like the mobile phone changed the way we communicate today, so did instant film change the way we take and share pictures. It was a revolutionary invention in a time where it would take many days for your pictures to return by post mail to have them developed.

In it’s glory days they sold billions of them. Like with Apple you didn’t just buy a product, you bought an experience. It’s iconic appearance and otherworldly colors had a major impact on pop culture. Reference the term ‘Shake it like a Polaroid-picture’ and most likely you, your parents, neighbors, kids and dog too, will still know what is referenced.

Remarkable, as in 2008 the last film cassettes were sold. The Polaroid Corporation couldn’t keep up with the digital age and went bankrupt. The chemical formula was lost. Despite its downfall, the death of its enigmatic visionary founder, the desire to keep it alive is stronger than ever. Meanwhile fanatics, living on scarce out of date stock, wait for the day it will live again.


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