Here’s a look at the EIKI 16mm projector we just set up –it replaces one that is in need of repair. The large square in front of it is our viewing box, a sort of mini movie screen. When a film is running, the picture appears on the outward facing side.
There are hundreds of laser discs at Krasker. For those of you who might not know, laser discs were a precursor to DVDs; approximately the size of an LP record, laser discs look similar to DVDs, only bigger. Wait. What? What’s an LP? Oh good grief, how about you just Google that! For today’s lesson all you need to know is that the darn thing’s big. Whilst prized by hardcore cineastes, the laser disc didn’t catch on and soon the more portable DVD usurped its position as the next best thing. We still use laser discs at Krasker for one simple reason: we have to. Yes there are certain films (or certain editions of certain films) that just are not available any other way. Unfortunately laser discs do degrade over time leaving some titles at risk for extinction, all the more reason to support film preservation initiatives. Plus often DVD releases (see comments below) are very flash-the-pan and not always easy to obtain for educational purposes.
The uncut, 235-minute version of Abel Gance's 1927 epic Napoleon: we only can get on laser disc!
Current BU faculty, staff and students can learn more about laser discs by visiting our center at Mugar Library, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215. Check out our website for additional info.
When Krasker moved to Mugar Library we took THOUSANDS of 16mm films with us! For many years Krasker ran a rental service, supplying schools across the United States with educational films. While many of the reels have grown brittle and red-tinted with age, current BU students, staff and faculty can view most of our 16mm collection at our facility. (Note: 16mm titles are for research purposes only and are not available for classroom delivery.)
An artistic snap of our 16mm films, shortly after arriving at Mugar.