Sunday, 3 June 2012

COLOUR Coronation film 1953

More rare footage of the Queen's Coronation, 2nd June 1953  in Hong Kong. This time it's COLOUR.  See the procession assemble on the race course at Happy Valley, floats, stilt walkers, heavenly maidens and the giant dragon dance in colour (albeit faded after 60 years).  The film was made by the Hong Kong Amateur Cine Club, but the quality is way above any home movie. No expense was spared, and much preparation work was done to set up shots, arrange permissions etc. Extremely professional results. Perhaps not so surprisng given how well-connected the men who made this film were. It's interesting to compare this with the Cantonese movie with Coronation footage that I wrote about earlier. (see here). This time the film is anglocentric, reflecting the film makers' position in society. So you see the trappings of colonial power, which in the Chinese film is largely irrelevant (though they're having a wonderful time). Many, many thanks to Michael Rogge, who made dozens of films like this from 1949. Because he's Dutch, his perspective was unique. He saw Hong Kong without the filter of British rule. His films are a wonderful archive of Hong Kong as it was, filmed with respect and humanity. His films of the boat people are extremely valuable, since they all migrated on land, fifty years ago.

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