“To See in a New Way”

Cinema is a technology of capturing light and motion. The image it conveys is real: though not necessarily realistic, it is certainly not a virtual image, as is the digital or video image. The film image results when the emulsion captures light. Early scientists used cinema to see the invisible reality: fast motion cameras to study a flower blooming; slow motion cameras to see a bullet shatter glass. In these two films from the mid-1990s, the reality captured on the emulsion allows us to see what the naked eye cannot see. In Picture of Light, Toronto filmmaker Peter Mettler sets out to the far north to film the Aurora Borealis, using long time exposures frame by frame to capture the faint auras of protons we cannot see. In Terminus for You, Nicolas Rey shows us what happens to an image of everyday life when the film emulsion is distressed by hot chemicals: reality slip sliding away.