Balloon Accident at St Cloud (1 mins)
Newsreels rarely caught accidents as they occurred, but in this case, the cameras were rolling at the Saint Cloud Aéro-Parc when a gigantic balloon was torn apart mid-flight by a gust of wind. Luckily its passenger, Madame Surcouf, was unharmed, and the resulting footage is spectacular: the balloons bob and sway precariously on their tethers before the airborne 'Rubis' deflates dramatically.
The Saint Cloud Aéro-Parc was home to the Aéro-Club de France, which pioneered competitive air-ballooning for sport and entertainment. The sport was enjoying its popularity peak at the time this film was shot (possibly during the club's annual Grand Prix). Madame Surcouf, the unharmed (and unseen) occupant of the doomed Rubis was married to a famous aeronautical engineer, and founded the first aeronautical club exclusively for ladies.
This is a silent film
More like this...
Director Ann Hui discusses her film - A Simple Life - with Tony Rayns, and looks back on her career.
Directed by Rodney Ascher
Rodney Ascher enigmatic essay film weaves together the contrasting theories of five different narrators who believe Stanley Kubrick deliberately buried hidden messages in his 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.
Directed by Bruno Forzani, Hélène Cattet, 2013
Another giallo-inspired exercise in operatic violence from Belgian duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, directors of the acclaimed Amer.
BFI curator Edward Anderson, director Xie Fei (Black Snow) and journalist Peng Wenlan explore the BFI's China on Film collection.
A sumptuous city wedding, captured on film by a retired British teacher and amateur filmmaker, during a trip to China.
You can’t see it from space after all, so you’ll get a better view in this amateur film from the 1930s, with Beijing’s Temple of Heaven thrown in too.
Indulge in a spot of time-travel with this 1930s sightseeing tour of ancient Chinese monuments.
The buzz of Chinese city street life is contrasted with an elaborate funeral procession and brief rural scenes in this absorbing amateur film.
Enjoy a preview of the exciting films we’ve got in store for you on the BFI Player.