11 May 2013

1920s London in colour

Via the BFI, and latterly Kevin Spacey and Kermode & Mayo on Twitter, here's Claude Friese-Greene's superb footage of the bustling capital in full colour, using a process designed by Claude's father William Friese-Greene. There's much to admire, but my favourite is the scene at the crowded Petticoat Lane market, with the camera slowly pushing its way through the throng at crawling pace. The title 'London in 1927' may be slightly misleading though. The film seems not to have been shot all at once, because the reference to England defeating Australia at the Oval refers to a 289-run victory in August 1926. Presumably the footage is part of Friese-Greene's The Open Road, a 1924-26 travelogue of a journey from John o' Groats to Land's End. So, maybe not London in 1927 precisely, but certainly London looking fantastic in vibrant and extremely rare colour.

London in 1927 from Tim Sparke on Vimeo.
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