Archive for the ‘London scene’ Category

The London SceneBeginning in 1924, cinematographer Claude Friese-Greene borrowed a flash convertible and traveled across the UK with his new color film camera, filming the sights.

He ended his 840-mile road trip in London, the subject of Virginia Woolf’s six essays included in The London Scene, originally published in Good Housekeeping magazine beginning in December 1931 and published as a collection in 1981.

In the capitol city, Claude Friese-Greene filmed some stunning images using a unique experimental color process developed with his father. His plan was to produce a series of 26 ten-minute British travelogues, to be shown before the feature film at cinemas. After just a few screenings at trade fairs, though, Friese-Greene abandoned the project.

After his death in 1943, his footage for The Open Road, shot between 1924 and 1926, was donated to the National Film and Television Archive. It was later revived and restored by the BFI. The BBC then used it to produce a three-part documentary with the BFI titled The Lost World of Friese-GreeneNews of Friese-Greene’s beautiful footage went viral early last year.

Now videographer Simon Smith has attempted to capture all of Friese-Green’s London shots by standing in his footsteps and using modern equipment. His personal study reveals how little London has changed. Special thanks to @sideshow_val for sending Blogging Woolf the tip about the 2013 version of the London footage.

And here is a 19-second clip of Friese-Greene’s footage filmed in Woolf’s beloved St. Ives, Cornwall.

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london sceneOriginally published bi-monthly in Good Housekeeping between December 1931 and December 1932, the six essays in The London Scene provide Virginia Woolf’s musings on the street hauntings of which she was most found.

Now Daunt Books is republishing the essays with an introduction by Hermione Lee and original black and white illustrations. The 96-page hardback is available for £10.99.

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Virginia Woolf’s essay “Street Haunting” has inspired a free 30-minute interactive walking theatrical iPlay that leads participants on a tour of downtown Huntington, W. Virginia.

Written by Matthew Earnest, a New York-based playwright, Street Haunting is presented by Marshall Theatre Alliances.

The performance has been pre-recorded by Marshall University students. To experience it, the audience will walk through the streets of downtown Huntington while listening to specific sections of the play, based on their current location.

Seven downtown locations are on the tour, each chosen to evoke an appropriate atmosphere for the scene. The sights and sounds of each city location become part of the theater experience.

To listen to the performance, playgoers need a cell phone. They can call 304-710-3256 to access the audio. Those with smart phones can get better quality audio by visiting this url: http://myoncell.mobi/13047103256.  Using earbuds is recommended to help eliminate ambient noise.

Locations included in Street Hauntings include:

  1. The Lobby of the Pullman Plaza Hotel
  2. Walking south on 10th Street, then continue walking west on 4th Avenue.
  3. The Village Collection
  4. Pullman Square
  5. Empire Books
  6. Mug & Pia
  7. Return to the Pullman Plaza Hotel

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Visit the BFI’s YouTube Channel to see color and black and white film footage from the time of Virginia Woolf.

The London footage for years ranging from 1896 to 1926 is available at this link: “The Big Smoke: London on Film.”

You can view 16 street scenes that include:

  • Blackfriars Bridge (1896)
  • Trafalgar Square
  • The Thames
  • London Bridge
  • Kensington Gardens
  • Hyde Park
  • St. James Palace

The video here shows “Old London Street Scenes” from 1903.

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cafe_royal_entranceA 140-year-old Piccadilly cafe that was once the haunt of Virginia Woolf and other notable individuals is selling off its collection of trinkets and furniture to make way for a new hotel, according to The New Scotsman.
Established in 1865, the Café Royal hosted Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and others. It was also frequented by Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor and Muhammad Ali in more recent times.
A hotel will be built at the Regent Street location by Israeli developer the de Alrov Group.

The sale of items will take place Jan. 20, at Bonhams in Knightsbridge.

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