Since 1992, the Filmoteca de Catalunya has been undertaking research into and recovering the work of the great Aragonese filmmaker Segundo de Chomón, who worked in Barcelona in his early days. However, it was in Paris and Turin where Chomón found the technical resources that allowed him to develop and become a highly respected and sought-after professional for the great productions of the time. He worked on such great European silent films as Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914) and Napoleon (Abel Gance, 1927).
This collection, which aims both to facilitate access to and disseminate Chomón’s work, pays tribute to a great filmmaker who has hitherto been overlooked.
The Filmoteca was keen to get involved in raising international recognition of Segundo de Chomón in different ways:
Providing access to his films for different international retrospectives and exhibitions;
Publishing the Segundo de Chomón (1903-1912) DVD with the company Cameo, featuring the fantasy cinema that typified the films he made during his time between Barcelona and Paris.
In November 2017, the first international symposium on Segundo de Chomón was held in Paris: ‘The Thousand-and-One Faces of Segundo de Chomon: trick film artist, colourist, cameraman… and pioneer of the cinema’ organised by the University of Evry-Vald’Essonne (Centre Pierre Naville) and the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation.
The symposium served to revisit his work thanks to new and recent research that was made possible by improved access to the Pathé documentary collections, currently managed by the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation. As a complement to the conference, in November and December a full cycle of Segundo de Chomón’s work was screened in Paris, in which the Filmoteca de Catalunya participated with four films from its collection: three in 35 mm, two from his early period in Barcelona, ‘The Heroes of the Siege of Zaragoza’ (1903) and ‘The Heir of Can Pruna’ (1904), followed by ‘King of Dollars’, which was produced by Pathé in Paris in 1905. The fourth film, also from Pathé, ‘The Talisman, or Sheep’s Foot’ (1907), by Albert Capellani, with photography by Segundo de Chomón, was presented in two digitally restored versions at 2CR, which show the variations in the application of colour. This provided fantastic opportunity to study the colour workshops of this period.
In addition, Segundo de Chomón lent his name to one of the screening rooms at the Filmoteca.