‘Kodachrome,’ the new quarterly magazine from Eastman Kodak, arrived today. It’s an interesting thing. Devoted to “Art * Film * Analog Culture” it’s full of interviews, articles, a photoset, and a bit of advertising for Eastman Kodak products. It’s an interesting thing. Have a look:
It’s an interesting bit of nostalgia, sort of, especially since Eastman Kodak now produces motion picture stock exclusively. Also interesting are the ads for Kodak products: the Super 8 camera, not so much, but the Ektra smartphone is a bit strange for a journal devoted to “Art * Film * Analog Culture.” Also strange is the photoset, since Eastman Kodak stopped manufacturing photo films some time ago (Kodak branded photo film is made by Kodak Alaris), but looking again, not so strange, since the photos were all taken by agroup of “influencers, creators and imagemakers… through the eyes of their Ektra smartphone.” So that’s essentially 10 pages of ads for the Ektra, a smartphone that’s only available in Europe.
I hate to be negative, but this smacks of corporate profiteering. Sure, Eastman Kodak are committed to motion picture film, and that’s great. Kudos. But the vast majority of its current portfolio is digital, with a side of brand management.
Sure, there’s more to it than advertisement, and there’s some good stuff in there, for sure. But for eclectic collections of interviews and essays on all sorts of art-related topics, The Great Discontent is probably the place to go right now, and it does it with no ads, and more content, for $5 more, but, then, they don’t need to flog their brand.
It’s a nice enough concept for a magazine, if you ignore the corporate backing, but the advertising and repeated evocation of Eastman Kodak products removes any doubt of its raison d’être. It’s well printed, on thick, lightly textured paper, and has the feel of a decent journal. Too bad that it’s really a hunk of advertising that Eastman Kodak charges $20 for.
Anyway, it’s here, and was available for back order (at time of writing and sold out as of October 2019). I’m sorry to have such a negative review: I had some high hopes for this, but don’t think I’ll be picking up the next issues.
Overall, I give it 2.3 stars.