Film cement

You can still lay your hands on film cement — you know, the stuff that traditionally stuck bits of film together — but it is becoming a rare beast, like working telephone boxes or bank branches. The bottles are out there, but it may be a trek to find them. Hazmat considerations mean you can’t order by airmail, and some retail outlets insist you come in and pick the darned thing up yourself.

Until recently, I had a small collection of film-related materials gathering dust in one of the higher cupboards in the house. Needing to make some space, I hauled the items down to discover that, unknowingly, I had been keeping highly flammable materials up there.

No longer needing to edit film on a daily basis, the film cement was disposed of responsibly. I just had it. I don’t any more. My negative-cutting days, I can declare, are over.

Digital film editing may have none of the glamour nor any of the appeal to purists that film stock still does. But you’re a lot less likely to get light-headed and cause a conflagration while you’re stitching together your home movies, that’s for certain.


Flammable? Inflammable? In a quirk of the English language, both words mean “likely to burst into flames at the drop of a hat”

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