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'Kodak, Don't Take My Kodachrome'Paul Simon sang about it. Film students shot on it. Now, advocates are signing up to save Kodachrome, or at least its Super 8 motion-picture version, a 1965 technology that the Eastman Kodak Company would very much like to do without. Earlier this month, Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., delivered a shock to experimental, underground and just plain old-fashioned filmmakers when - one day after a May 8 celebration called Global Super 8 Day - it announced plans to discontinue its low-speed, fine-grained Kodachrome Super 8 film in favor of a new Ektachrome Super 8 product. For those caught up on the digital revolution, the announcement was easily missed. But to film geeks around the world, Kodak might as well have declared the death of color. "Kodachrome is larger than life," said Andrew Lampert, a filmmaker and film archivist at the Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan. "Its colors are brighter than your imagination's. And what's amazing is, the film simply does not fade. It's irreplaceable." Message boards hummed. An online petition materialized. Then, at the Cannes Film Festival, a Kodak executive, Robert Mayson, agreed to a meeting with Pip Chodorov, a principal member of Paris's thriving Super 8 filmmaking scene - the city is home to several Super 8 film festivals - and the administrator of frameworks.com, one of a number of online message boards dedicated to experimental film. Mr. Chodorov, who also owns a video distribution company specializing in experimental and independent film, said the company blinked, at least a little. By his account, Mr. Mayson agreed that Kodak might produce more Super 8 Kodachrome, if the format's enthusiasts can find a way to process it. At present, the film is largely processed on a money-losing basis at the Kodak laboratory in Switzerland - where Super 8 Kodachrome processing is scheduled to cease in December 2007. Mr. Chodorov, in an telephone interview from Paris on Friday, said he now plans to petition the French government for a grant to help with processing. He said he thought Mr. Mayson was "getting a lot of hate mail right now," adding, "I see it as my job to help find a solution, not send hate mail." Kodachrome Super 8 became a favorite thanks to the film's complex emulsion, the gelatinous solution that helps capture an image. It requires an elaborate developing process but produces striking, unique colors and unparalleled archival virtues, making it a favorite with Super 8 artists. Kodachrome was the film of choice for avant-garde filmmakers like Kenneth Anger and Jonas Mekas, who were renowned in the film world though largely unknown outside it. A much larger population has most likely seen the film's fine-grain quality and lurid pigments in the form of old home movies. Indeed, the most famous image caught on Kodachrome film was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, caught by Abraham Zapruder, a Dallas dressmaker who happened to be wielding an 8-millimeter camera that day. In the last 20 years, video has all but eclipsed Super 8's practical use for amateur filmmakers and doting parents, who can now record images on a high-definition digital video camera, feed the footage directly onto a computer, edit it and e-mail it to a prospective producer or the grandparents in Michigan. Super 8 cameras and projectors are now the stuff of specialty shops, eBay and flea markets, and Kodak alone continues to produce Super 8 film. The company continues to produce Kodachrome in 16 millimeter and 35 millimeter formats, but it is discontinuing the Super 8 version largely because a steadily declining market has made processing unprofitable.