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  1. #1
    Light Guru's Avatar
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    Why Is There 35mm Film Burning In the Olympic Torch?


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    Odd...it certainly looks like processed B&W film. But nitrate film would be highly inflammable (not the relatively gentle flame) and modern film doesn't really burn well enough to sustain much of a continuous and steady flame.

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    It doesn't appear to be in the torch, if you look at the picture it's in the vessel containing the fire than the torch is being lit from. Perhaps it's a negative of something being burnt as an offering?

    About what I expect from gizmodo, who apparently aren't aware that nitrate film stock has been gone for half a century or so.

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    The torch she is placing in the silver reflector also has a loop of the "suspect film" on the end. When the flame first ignites you can almost make out what appears to be picture frames on the film just before it burns up. I'm gonna guess that the film is used just to guarantee the ignition the fuel in the torch wick.
    Last edited by DannL.; 10-21-2013 at 03:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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    Maybe they have some old nitrate base film. But that goes up pretty fast...

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    Noticed that the second runner with the torch for got the olive branch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannL. View Post
    The torch she is placing in the silver reflector also has a loop of the "suspect film" on the end. When the flame first ignites you can almost make out what appears to be picture frames on the film just before it burns up. I'm gonna guess that the film is used just to guarantee the ignition the fuel in the torch wick.
    On looking again at the video, I'm thinking it is a piece of nitrate film. The Olympic flame is lit by the focussed light (or, strictly speaking, heat) of the sun from the parabolic reflector and the vigorous ignition and speed of burning looks a lot like nitrate film. Would make sense for a quick and guaranteed flame?

  8. #8
    Double Negative's Avatar
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    It's film - which is highly flammable, especially in concentrated sunlight (which the parabolic mirror provides).

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    Bizarre. Nearly as bizarre as the gizmodo commenters.

    Certainly looks like film though, with B&W images on it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    Bizarre. Nearly as bizarre as the gizmodo commenters.

    Certainly looks like film though, with B&W images on it.
    The destruction of the otherwise permanent images signifies the end of the public Olympic games, they being replaced by a carefully scripted nationalist pageant, the rights to which are controlled in toto by the winning television network bidder. Or not. Now, sit back and enjoy "Why I gave my youth to synchronized swimming", Up close, and Personal, with your host and friend, Bob Costas...
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand

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