N/C 12+ AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT
2020 | Dir Jens Meurer | 99min | Germany | Austria
This documentary, shot (naturally) on 35mm film and ironically available in digital format for streaming platforms, follows modern-day Don Quixote, Florian “Doc” Kaps, an eccentric, enigmatic Viennese biologist who risks his career and entire fortune to take on AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT to save the world’s last Polaroid factory in Vienna.
Along the way Doc meets other analogue superheroes: there’s Moleskine founder Maria Sebregondi, a direct-to-vinyl recording session
in Vienna with American Idol singer Hayley Reinhart, and a fateful trip to the Südbahnhotel, a 1902 Grand Hotel in the Alps, an all-analogue
wonder that has stood empty but fully functional for 43 years and that’s set for a revival… and there’s a surprise twist in the tale.
English/German with English subtitles.
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Film run extended to 23 May 2021.
In the summer of 2007 Apple introduced the iPhone which included the concept of having a phone with a built in camera. In the following year Polaroid, who had ruled the world of instant photography since 1923, was ready to give up and filed for bankruptcy while commencing winding down of all production. The last Polaroid factory to be prepared for closure was in Vienna which was also the home of Florian “Doc” Kaps who decided that the continuing destruction of all things “analogue” should stop and started to seek backing to buy the factory along with all the production machines and staff. This was the start of a very long battle to save many old analogue formats which, in the case of Polaroid, was not helped by the fact that the name could not be used by Doc’s factory along with the discovery that the chemical formula which made up the film itself had been irretrivably lost. Several years later and with a few successes under his belt as he travelled a very bumpy road, Doc’s wife was to refer to him as “The World’s Biggest Loser”.
“essential food for thought for anyone interested in culture and media and their development in the modern age.” – Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa.
“Florian Kaps – Vienna’s answer to Steve Jobs – enthuses over analogue hardware and makes a persuasive case for moving beyond an online existence” – Andrew Pulver in The Guardian.