Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Inglourious Basterds"...Glen Cinema Disaster [12/31/29]...nitrocellulose film stock

Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds [2009], Glen Cinema Disaster on December 31st, 1929 [Paisley, Scotland], nitrocellulose film stock...what's the connection?

What is the connection?--Christian Friedrich Schönbein and the discovery of nitrocellulose.

Christian Friedrich Schönbein
October 18th, 1799 to August 29th, 1868

His discovery of the powerful explosive called cellulose nitrate, or gun cotton, was the result of a laboratory accident. One day in 1845 he spilled sulfuric and nitric acids and soaked it with a cotton apron. After the apron dried, it burst into flame - he had created nitrated cellulose. He found that cellulose nitrate could be molded and had some elastic properties. It eventually was used for smokeless gun powder and motion picture and still film base.

A tragedy in a theater in Paisley, Scotland on December 31st, 1929 that killed 69 children was blamed on nitrate film and in the fictional Tarantino film the destructive powers of nitrate film employed was exploited.

Christian Friedrich Schönbein [Wikipedia]

Nitrocellulose film stock was also used in still film photography as by Anne Brigman.

The Bubble
From series "Book 2, Anne Brigman"
Gelatin on nitrocellulose 4 X 5 sheet film
George Eastman House

Anne Brigman [Wikipedia]

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