The Polaroid

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In October, Bonham’s put up an auction of Polaroid photographs by the director Andrei Tarkovsky. These square, framed images were intended by the Russian film director to be ephemeral – guidance for the shots needed for his 1983 film Nostalgia. Yet interest in them was huge. Indeed, despite the fact that Polaroids were designed to be disposable, they have become increasingly collectible. When this ground-breaking self-developing film was first released in 1947, it seemed magical. Few could resist the allure of watching an image form before their eyes. The Polaroid company filed for bankruptcy in 2008, but the format still has plenty of devotees, like Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Tommy Stadlen and Frederick Blackford, who have started an iPhone app called Polaroid Swing. “In its heyday, Polaroid was Andy Warhol, buzzing around Manhattan taking pictures,” says Blackford. “We felt if we could connect the design heritage and the brand with cutting-edge technology, and make Polaroid a forward-thinking innovation brand again, we could do something really special.”