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High-quality video is an invaluable way of transporting viewers to the past and helping to put the world in context. From the late 19th century to today, cameras have been there to capture some of history’s most important moments, from pivotal battles, to civil rights marches, and even moonwalks. However, as A History of the World According to Getty Images details, some of the most extraordinary footage ever shot is locked away behind paywalls by a few companies that charge exorbitant fees for access and usage – even in cases where the material has entered the public domain, or was never even owned by anyone at all. In his riveting video essay, the UK filmmaker Richard Misek sets out to release these images from ‘captivity’. Starting with a montage of dramatic historical footage followed by a roundup of the high price-tag they command, Misek then dives into a series of clips one at a time to detail their history, including how visual media companies have exploited them. Ultimately, he makes a compelling argument that this murky practice has major public interest implications that extend far beyond the high price-tag for filmmakers.
Director: Richard Misek
Producer: Thorvald Nilsen
Technology and the self
Greetings from Green Bank – the small town where modern technology is banned
Stories and literature
What makes John Keats’s ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ so enduringly powerful?
Dance and theatre
How a Noh mask-maker summons a lifelike face from a single block of wood
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
Love and friendship
When drawing your muse hundreds of times becomes an exercise in love
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues
In Rwanda, Sébastien finds traces of personal history in the wake of national tragedy