Kodachrome returns, thanks to Netflix.

Dwayne’s Photo, Kansas

Kodachrome is back. The once-popular colour reversal film returns to the small screen in the form of a classic American road-trip.

Shot entirely on Kodak 35mm film, the Netflix-distrubted movie is loosely based on the 2010 New York Times Article “For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas“.

In true indie style the film follows a dying father (Ed Harris) and his son (Jason Sudeikis), accompanied by a nurse (Elizabeth Olsen), on a road trip from New York to Kansas. What’s waiting in Kansas? The last remaining Kodachrome lab, Dwayne’s Photo.

Dwayne’s Photo produced the last Kodachrome film roll.
Dwayne’s Photo processed the last roll of Kodachrome in December 2010 – Credit: www.nytimes.com

Being an expert-only job that required a complex method to develop, Kodachrome film was discontinued in 2010. This was due to plunging sales and the up-rising of modern camera technology.

Like the movie, Dwayne’s Photo was indeed the last lab to develop Kodachrome. The small family-run business eventually stopped the process of the film in 2012, developing the last roll of Kodachrome film to photographer Steve McCurry. McCurry is best known for the photo “Afghan Girl”, which featured on the front cover of National Geographic in 1985.

Shot on Kodachrome film, Steve McCurry's "Afghan Girl' featured on the front page of Nation Geographic in 1985
Shot on Kodachrome film, Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl’ featured on the front page of Nation Geographic in 1985

With the return of Ektachrome, Kodak’s other colour reversal film, in 2017 are we soon about to see a return of another fan-favoutire? Sadly, according to Dennis Olbrich (President, Personalized Imaging at Kodak Alaris) that may not be the case:

“I would love for it to be Kodachrome, obviously. It’s such an iconic film – that rich saturation, the graininess that people love. But it’s a very difficult proposition to get that whole infrastructure back in place.”

Kodachrome joins other great photography-themed shows on Netflix, including the awe-inspiring Tales By Light.

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