Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Uzi 16 millimetrrrrrrre…. help needed.

Posted by cathedralofshit on February 22, 2011


Dear Friends,

I’m forwarding a copy of a letter from Tacita Dean, who’s trying to
co-ordinate an effective response to the news that Deluxe are stopping
16mm printing at Soho images.

As she makes clear, we need an International response, with as many
film makers/producers, artists, galleries, Industry heads, curators…
as we can get. Please use your networks to spread the word, so we can
emphasise the importance of keeping the 16mm lab running, or,
alternatively, try and encourage the establishing of some alternative

If you wish to sign the letter or be involved please email me back (
directly, as we are helping to compile the list of supporters for the
letter. This is to avoid Tacita being overrun with mail. You will
then be updated on any further developments.

Many thanks and best wishes



Dear All,
As I imagine you all probably know by now, the take-over of Soho Images by
Deluxe has lead to the decision last week to stop 16mm print with immediate
effect. I was in the lab on Thursday & Friday last week with Len when he was
told he couldn’t take any more orders.
Anyway, I don’t think we should let this happen without making some noise.
I’ve been told there isn’t a hope in hell of shifting the decision locally
and that we have to go higher and to the US, so I’ve gone to extremes and
already made contact with Thelma Schoonmaker (ie hopefully Scorsese) and
written to Spielberg!!
But our real hope perhaps lies in taking the argument away from the cinema
industry. The owner of Deluxe is Ron Perelman, an unsavoury US businessmen
who has made his fortune buying up companies and stripping them of their
assets. He is also, or has been, a patron of the arts. Through the
Guggenheim, I’m hoping to get a letter to him with many co-signatories – so
far: MOMA, the Whitney, hopefully the Tate and as many artists, filmmakers,
institutions and galleries we can muster. This is where I need everyone’s
help. We need to get this list together as soon as we can, so please anyone
who can be informed and who is happy to sign or contribute, please for the
moment let me know (through yourselves so I don’t get inundated with
I am writing an article for The Guardian, and have also been in contact with
the NY Times. We have to take this argument over the pond.
The decision, of course, is cultural rather than financial. Len said they’re
backed up with work but to the cinema industry execs, 16mm printing is time
taken away from feature work and feature work is all that counts.
Failing to get them to reverse the decision, we must try and finds a means
to at least get more time. In the end, we will probably need to set up, what
is now being called “a boutique laboratory”, possibly with the BFI, and the
best hope is that Deluxe work with us in pursuit of this and not against us
(ie not trash the equipment).
Best wishes,

16 Responses to “Uzi 16 millimetrrrrrrre…. help needed.”

  1. a k dolven said

    As a culture issue now and for for the future,- I strongly support the interest to keep the possibility to print 16 mm film in U K at Deluxe.

  2. Jane Hamlyn said

    Does this mean she wont be making her boring films anymore?

  3. Jimmy Hillfiger said

    “Unsavory”? Oh wait, you mean busy jew rather than Wistful European Gentile? Bitch please…

  4. post it said

    This story was on the Guardian website and the view there amongst people (who seemed to know about such things) was that there are still a number of labs printing 16 mm in the UK

  5. post it said

    oh and that there is also a BFI related lab doing 16mm

  6. Fumer said

    Good ol’ Dave… Funny though, it was his screening of A Clockwork Orange that got the Scala Cinema closed down…

  7. post it said

    Ah didn’t realise that it was Me Leister’s screening that got what was the best rep cinema in London closed down – or rather it was some disgruntled ex-employee ratting that they were showing Clockwork Orange.

  8. spoonfed said

    Poor old Tacita she is so precious – just read the stuff on the self pitying stuff on the Guardian and what is all this about Mr Leister fielding the emails as she doesn’t want her inbox clogged up –

  9. spoonfed said

    Poor old Tacita she is so precious – just read the self pitying stuff on the Guardian and what is all this about Mr Leister fielding the emails as she doesn’t want her inbox clogged up –

  10. Jim Flu said

    My local cornershop no longer stocks beef flavoured monster munch, i was in there with Des when he got the call from his brother to tell him. This is where i need your help. I’ve gone to extreme measures and written to the queen and michael moore but we need to take this across the pond, can we get Spielberg onboard? c’mon people this is about culture not finance etc.

  11. Choreokino said

    Quite understand the requirement for a 16mm lab however it begs the question why is there such a shortage?
    Like all successful businessmen, Perelman is bound by the demands of his métier to go where the action is. There is clearly insufficient action left in the 16mm field which is hardly surprising given the inexorable rise of HD video, the DSLR revolution and the inroads that digital movie cameras are making into the heart of the Hollywood beast. 16mm stock is like the proverbial hens teeth, and has been getting rarer by the month thus it stood to reason that processing facilities would follow the trend. While one sympathiseswith artfilm makers who wish to keep obsolescence at bay, name calling merely looks petulant and precious at best and borders on the arrogant and patronising at worst. Perhaps it would be a good idea to take some time out from wandering the corridors of academe and establish whether or not there is any business in running a film lab? If, as it is within the gift of Mr Perelman to discover, there still exists a market for the commercial processing of what has apparently had its day, then its pound to a penny “someone” will probably open up for business and fill the gap. It might just be that the lab won’t be within walking distance. That’s life I am afraid.
    Miss Dean i fully support the cause, but i suggest being just be a tad more temperate with the

  12. Choreokino said


    last cursory check on 16mm processing facilities in this country so that La Dean doesn’t have to swan off to exotic climes to get her joints sorted was 25 and counting – but realise, as per my last, that the prospect of having to schlepp her cans further than her comfy sofa and expresso machinery on Frith Street at La Galleria to Soho Film labs (a monumental walk for the artistacally gifted and monumentally self-import) of oh er around 125 yards give or take – might impede the world changingly crucial making of yet another Tate Modern Bore-fest..ooh er missus……

  13. Stephen Spielberg said

    I love that “Butt Man” series she did though – count me in Tacita!

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