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Instant Dreams

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Netherlands · 2017
1h 31m
Director Willem Baptist
Starring Stephen Herchen, Stefanie Schneider, Christopher Bonanos, Caitlin Fowler
Genre Documentary

When Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008, the last working factory was bought by a group of scientists attempting to unravel the secret of the lost chemical formula. This documentary explores the genius of Polaroid’s inventor, Edwin Land, and the lives of three Polaroid enthusiasts, trying to keep the instant dream alive.

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What are critics saying?


Film Threat by Bobby LePire

Instant Dreams makes a strong case for the necessity of instant photography. Its three main subjects are compelling and well spoken. The film’s powerful, hypnotic images, and the mesmerizing score only add to the dream-like atmosphere being conveyed.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

While the film offers an appealingly nostalgic trance-out, it’s often short on detail, especially in terms of Stephen Herchen’s struggle to create the instant film technology, which director Willem Baptist reduces to exchanges of jargon in atmospheric laboratories.


Los Angeles Times by Michael Rechtshaffen

As long as he maintains his focus on the notoriously private Land and the painstaking efforts of Impossible Project’s chief technology officer and Polaroid vet Stephen Herchen to recapture lightning in an SX-70, Baptist delivers something reasonably compelling. Unfortunately the bulk of the overly artsy production is preoccupied with the exploits of others.

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