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    A Case for Developing 35mm Film That's Gone Unused for Years

    Written by

    Brian Anderson

    Features Editor

    Classic 35mm film and some of its longest-standing champions, namely Kodak, are in a bit of an identity crisis. Shit just isn't black and white, anymore. So for all you photography dweebs out there, in case you needed yet another reason to keep your last remaining strips of unused 35mm shelved for the next, oh I don't know, 20 years, here it is: Turns out that developing the stuff after simply letting it sit undisturbed for years on end can yield some interesting--dare I say challenging--results.

    To wit: Your now-developed unused film just may come out looking a bit like the Universe.

    There are any number of reasons--particle cascades? fungi? static electricity? seeing Lichtenberg figures where we shouldn't?--behind this trippy, entropic bit of long art, which I found detailed by some dude on /r/mildlyinteresting claiming he'd developed film for a guy whose 35mm film had been stowed away in storage "for years." "The film was ruined," the post reads, "but this was the result of printing them. Reminds me of the universe."

    Whatever the case, what matters is that these are remarkably gorgeous and, if I may, do indeed bear a certain likeness to the Universe--that, or what I can only imagine will be the artwork on the next My Bloody Valentine record, even though Kevin Shields is a certified dick and likely won't ever, ever, ever, ever release the thing. 

    Anyway, here's one:

    And here's another:

    I seem to recall a few canisters of 35mm gathering dust at my folks' place back in Chicago. I may just let 'em keep aging like some sort of fine cosmic wine, and only start thinking about developing by 2030, at the earliest. Or, better yet: I could just swallow them


    Reach Brian at brian@motherboard.tv. @thebanderson