Nostalgia Was Better In Those Days
Thanks Terenzio for reminding me about the ‘How To Be A Retronaut’ site, which has, among other wonders, amazing old colour footage of prewar London, plus some sinister ads and oddities.
I don’t spend too much time wallowing in the past, but a great thing you can do on a rainy afternoon is head down to the BFI Mediatheque on the South Bank and access their rare footage (it takes no time to find and load). They have an astonishing collection of material you won’t find anywhere else. Although there are many old British films which are worthing watching now simply for their background scenes.
This made me think of ‘Genevieve’, the fondly remembered rom-com about the London To Brighton Rally, which still sets off from Hyde Park every early November. Anyone who saw the film recalls the beautiful Kay Kendall suddenly revealing her skills at playing the trumpet, but there’s this moment near the end which shows London streets. The whole film can be watched on YouTube (although the trumpet solo is split). The film was written by William Rose, who together with his wife Tania, wrote ‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’.
I’m particularly charmed by the fact that John Gregson almost loses the race through sheer politeness, it being inconceivable that he might drive off in the middle of a conversation. You might wish to compare this film with ‘Fish Tank’, the Bafta award-winning 2010 film which consists of teenaged girls screaming ‘f**k off, you c**t’ for 90 minutes between applications of makeup.