Filmisdeadlonglivefilmflynnsmilingotherbest_small

FILM IS DEAD. LONG LIVE FILM!, is Peter Flynn's loving tribute to the film collectors who with singular dedication, even obsession, saved so many films from oblivion by scrounging, dumpster diving, and occasionally bending the law. As I said when I started my interview with him via Zoom on May 30, 2024, it was about time that the film collectors who saved those countless films from being lost that they finally received the recognition, and celebration, that they deserved.

And his film was worth the wait.

The eccentrics and obsessives who populate the film loved movies so much that the physical film stock of everything from rarities to mainstream flicks took over their lives and, in many cases, their living spaces. They were also sometimes the only thing standing between studios who failed to see the value of their early film libraries and television stations with limited space who chose to trash their stock rather than save important pieces of cultural history.

I started my conversation with my own experience of this passionate breed at CINECON, the festival of silent and early film dedicated, where archivists from the UCLA film archive had turned to the collectors for help.

We went on to talk about the importance of film as cultural documentation, why film collecting is the particular province of male baby boomers, the warmth of imperfection, and why home movies are meaningful for everyone.