INSTANT DREAMS (director/writer: William Baptist; cinematographer: Gregor Meerman; editor: Albert Markus; music: Marc Lizier; Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Pieter Van Huystee; Synergetic Distribution; 2017-Netherlands-in English)

"I found it a pleasant enough watch."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An unfocused but still watchable painterly documentary on Polaroids shot by William Baptist ("Wild Boar"/"I'm Never Afraid!"). It's OK if you wish to go mostly with the nostalgia it offers about the Polaroid company co-founded in 1932 by American scientist Edwin Land and his Harvard physics instructor, George Wheelwright. The company was renamed the Polaroid Corporation in 1937.

1948 Dr Edwin Land created Polaroid film and that was the start of the instant camera placed on the market, where it remained a popular item. In 2001 Polaroid went bankrupt and in 2008 the digital cameras replaced it, as Polaroid ceased production. At this current time, some 18 years after Land's death, engineer Stephen Herchen leads a team of scientists trying to recreate it.

There's a mystery to this story, because Land was secretive about how he created the Polaroid film and all his secrets (notes and chemical formulas) went up in smoke when his house was destroyed in a fire and he never revealed his secrets to anyone else. No one who tried to duplicate his success could come up with such a high quality operation.

Fans of the
original Polaroid film are concerned that there will soon be no more film available and the Polaroid will only become a memory. The brilliance of the camera was that it allowed one to take a picture and wait 60 seconds or less for the photo to be developed within the camera itself.

Baptist's film highlights the use of the camera's brilliant color through a variety of arty and inventive shots used in the film by those who still use and worship the camera--mostly artists. The documentary makes it easy to see why there's still a clamor for Polaroids.

We live in an age of instant gratification and duly recognize Land as an inventor who was ahead of his time, who gave us that gratification before the recent tech revolution could.

I found it a pleasant enough watch and would recommend it even if I thought it could have offered more info about the camera.

REVIEWED ON 4/1/2019       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"