A Glimpse of London from 1927 in Colour

#History

Mon, Jan 13th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The death and taxes website brings to attention this video by the British Film Istitute. This moving postcard from yesteryear, which received "computer enhancement to reduce the flickering effect of the original Biocolour," shows an unsurprisingly busy London packed with vehicles and people, in beautiful colour.

Though we usually think of French names like Lumiere and Melies when we think of early film pioneers, Friese-Greene’s technique captures London in striking detail, as if putting the whole city in a time capsule. The people, most now long since gone, pass before us like ghosts. What’s striking is, apart from the noticeably formal clothing and a few old cars, how familiar and unchanged everything seems. Trafalgar Square, which the film’s title card describes as “another monument to a hero of the past,” looks the same now, as does London Bridge and the London Tower.

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