This film is part of Free
My Oriental Friends, From Penang to Peking
This unique and beautiful tour of Southeast Asia and China is a treasure trove of picturesque views of Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
Amateur film 1923 16 mins Silent
An oddity - this unique and beautiful tour of Southeast Asia and China wasn't actually made for the cinema. Its picturesque views of Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing were collected by director Selwyn Driver, a musical comedian by trade, for his "lecture-entertainments": illustrated talks that were "delightfully artistic, musical, poetical, human, humorous, and yet definitely cultural."
The film would have been projected as background for Driver's own repertoire of jokes, "shrewd observations", sketches, and piano interventions - and delivered, apparently, with "verve and raciness" on Britain's university and private school lecture circuit. Not that you'd have guessed it - these sombre images have an austere fascination with poverty and Oriental 'otherness' that is typical of the most serious 1920s travelogues.
Beijing - Northern Capital
Non-Fiction 1910 8 mins Silent Location: Beijing
Extraordinary and exquisite views of life and landscape in Beijing during the late Qing dynasty.
Travelogue 1910 6 mins Location: Qinglongqiao
The austere beauty of the Great Wall of China's rugged mountain passes, in a travelogue tracing a caravan of camels' journey to Beijing.
Beijing - Coal Hill Street Scenes and the Forbidden City Beijing - Coal Hill Street Scenes and the Forbidden City
Amateur film 1938 15 mins Silent Location: Beijing
This delightful colour film features Beijing's Forbidden City, the Summer and Winter palaces as well as parks, processions, a drama school and a Chinese picnic.
Amateur film 1929 2 mins Silent Location: Beijing
Beijing's Forbidden City is the star attraction in this film from the late 1920s, featuring historic buildings, the Lion's Gate and an early panorama across the city.
Amateur film 1929 3 mins Silent Location: Beijing
Dancing bears and camels feature in views of Beijing's Summer Palace in the late 1920s filmed by an expat couple who are later seen enjoying a traditional Chinese meal.
Amateur film 1939 11 mins Silent Location: Taimiao (Imperial Ancestral Temple)
These wanderings of an amateur filmmaker take in city streets, markets and Chinese acrobats in lively 1930s Beijing.
Amateur film 1932 0 mins Silent Location: Hong Kong
Home-movie snapshots of life and work in Shantou in Guangdong Province, South China.
Amateur film 1937 32 mins Silent Location: Hong Kong
Vivid views of pre-war Hong Kong.
Amateur film 1929 4 mins Silent Location: Hong Kong
A fascinating film about expat life in Hong Kong; featuring amazing views of open countryside, a steeplechase and frolics on the beach at Repulse Bay.
Documentary 1940 24 mins Silent Location: Hong Kong
This intimate study of Hong Kong explores the life and landscape of the former British colony in exquisite detail.
Amateur film 1938 17 mins Silent Location: Hong Kong
The daily grind for Hong Kong dockers and farmers, captured by an amateur filmmaker.
Amateur film 1937 5 mins Silent Location: Hong Kong
Get close to the action with this high-octane footage of a traditional Chinese water sport.
Documentary 2020 11 mins
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Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 4 mins
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