Kodachrome – The Movie

Kodachrome Homage

I would guess this was the universally favorite film of every color photographer from 1935 until it’s demise in 2010. With fantasy rumors swirling around the internet of the imminent return of Kodachrome, this timely movie got every analogue film photographer weak in the knees. Or, as they would so rightly reflect in the American south,…”I do believe I have the vapors, kind sir.” Well, if it’s on the internet, it must be true. However, although I haven’t seen it, I have surmised it has very little to do with the actual film, and more to do with the end of an era.


© Slim Aarons


I always think the Slim Aarons of the world did us a disservice by flaunting their luscious palettes that I nostalgically call “my Kodachrome dreams”. Almost rubbing our faces in it. The movie may be great, and I really like the acting prowess of an Ed Harris. But if you want an actual movie about legendary photographers and photography, then you should probably get a copy of Sebastiao Salgado’s “Looking Back at You” or Helmut Newton’s “Frames from the Edge“. Although, Leicaphiles will love the Leica M4-P Ed Harris sports in the movie.


© Chalmers Butterfield 1949 – Look at the colors and look at the age!


Kodachrome Dreams

All that said,….I’ll see it anyway. After all,…I already have Netflix. And dreams die hard. Even Paul Simon, with his ‘Kodachrome’ song,  couldn’t stop the death of a legendary film and the onslaught of a culture of  ‘selfies’. So what chance do I have?


Vintage Kodachrome Ads


A Synopsis

Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis) is only in his thirties, but technology is already wreaking havoc on his life. An A&R man for a boutique record label, Matt’s feeling increasingly irrelevant as the music business grows more shallow and myopic. The digital age also feels like the end of an era for Matt’s father, Ben (Ed Harris), a famous photographer who shoots exclusively on celluloid.

Following a grim diagnosis for Ben and after years of estrangement, Matt is approached by his father’s assistant to accompany them on a personalized pilgrimage. Ben wants to take one last trip to Parsons, Kansas, so he can develop some rolls of film before the world’s only remaining Kodachrome lab closes its doors. Matt reluctantly agrees, but harbors no illusions that he and the old man will ever resolve their grievances.





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