Numen of The Boughs (1973-74)
Can 48: Hand-scratched/painted original, silent, 35mm, 191ft., 1974.
Can 49: Colour print of #48, silent, 35mm, 191ft.
Can 50: 3x B&W F.G.D.P. reduction prints of #49, silent, 16mm, 74ft., 1974.
Summary of Film Elements and Condition
Can 48 Scratched/painted original film. It appears to be a series of experiments, some of which were later incorporated into Colour Poems. The initial stock used is black, processed leader and from 92ft., clear optical sound stock. On the black stock, drawings are scratched/etched into the emulsion while on the clear stock, dyes and black ink have been used. Colour has also been applied over some sections of scratching. Frame lines are also scratched/drawn except for the latter part of the roll where they are absent. There is fungus, some scratches, and emulsion cracking. The film also appears shrunk. Inside the can is an exposure chart for the three elements in can #50. Notably, it says ‘REDUCTION 3x 85′ 16MM B/W FGDP’.
Can 49 Print of #48 (probably Kodak stock 5381). Very little colour has been printed through from the original. Since it is a print, the tones are reversed and the film begins clear with black etching and finishes black with white drawings. The colour section at the end of the original remains, although it is not vivid. There is fungus and some emulsion cracking as well as light scratches.
Can 50 Three identical 16mm fine-grain black and white dupe-positive prints from #49. Fungus clearly present, some light scratching and slight shrinking. Can contains delivery notice from Kay’s Laboratories. Although the stock date is 1973, these prints were obviously made after #49 in 1974.
Notes For The Preservation of Numen of The Boughs
Much of the hand-drawn footage is with black ink and this should obviously be tested to determine what it is. Although the ink might be stable, colour has been applied over the drawings and there is an entire colour section towards the latter part of the roll. It is possible that these are ‘medical dyes’ as used in her earlier films. I would therefore recommend that the same tests be carried out on these elements and that cleaning with solvents be avoided. Parts of the film were meant for use in Colour Poems and they will provide an additional reference for how Numen might be printed. I do not know why there are three identical fine-grain dupe-positive reduction prints, although I suspect they relate to the use of the film in Colour Poems.