The most famous works of film history are also well-represented in our collection: from Sunrise and La Règle du jeu to Le Mépris and Mulholland Drive. In cooperation with rights holders, film producers, distributors and private sponsors, new collections devoted to important areas of film history are continuously being added to the present holdings.
The Film Museum also holds several thousand reels of nitrate film, the high-quality but extremely fragile material of industrial film production until approximately 1950. The restoration and preservation of these films requires not only the utmost care, it is also extremely expensive. In this field, the support of private partners and the public sector as well as a special sponsorship project has proven to be indispensable.
The Film Museum's large collection of amateur films and other 'ephemeral' kinds of filmmaking is constantly being expanded with private deposits and donations.
Some of the Film Museums important restorations, such as Dziga Vertov's Entuziazm or Erich Von Stroheim's Blind Husbands, have been made available on DVD following their preservation on film. We do not understand the DVD as a "substitute carrier" of film, but as an educational medium that allows for various forms of contextualization, roughly comparable to the catalogue of an art exhibition.
Another of the Film Museum's responsibilities is the location, restoration and preservation of films which are threatened by immediate decay. In this context, we would like to request your active assistance: film requires highly specialized storage conditions in order to prevent its material decomposition; if you or your acquaintances still have old film material in private storage, please contact us to ensure a professional solution for lasting storage and preservation.
For post-graduate research projects and research by historians and artists, or for programme-oriented research initiatives, we offer the option of viewing films at the editing bench.
Paolo Caneppele, Head of Collections