New Materials

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This documentary is structured like a fiction. The setting: the huge, clean empty factories of the new technologies. The main character: plastic. The story: the creation of a new substance and successful laboratory research recounted in the manner of a scientific thriller with its ups and downs, hopes, disappointments etc.

This is a simple film that makes learning pleasant and arid subjects interesting. Worthy of note are the animated passages, a fitting music (inventive without being invasive), and science fiction images that transform the laboratories into an alchemist’s office. Thirty years later, this is an archive film for engineers and the curious of mind.



Director : Henri Storck

Text : Charles Dorat

Directors of photography : Jean Rabier and Jean Penzer assisted by Jacques Moniquet

Editing : Ginette Boudet

Music : Benoît Quersin

Voice : Roland Ménard

Photography : Suzy Embo

Production : CEP

Director of production : Louis R. Boogaerts

Film commissioned for the centenary of the company Solvay and Co.


Versions : Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English.


35mm/colour (Eastmancolor)/17’/1964


This film is, in fact, the cinematographic contribution to the tribute paid these past few weeks to the founder of the soda industry Ernest Solvay… A few explanations simply summarise the brief chapters of an analysis, which for the uninitiated, takes on the flavour of an expedition into the unbelievable world of an alchemist. But the alchemist’s horned demons take on the shape of strange mazes of spiralling tubes, luminous globes, fiery furnaces in which strange-coloured liquids circulate, a feast for the eyes… Matières nouvelles is thus a testimony to the work of our scientists, a documentary on the application of research, and a brief poem devoted to the marvellous world of the science and industry of our times.

André Thirifays, Le Soir