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Glasgow’s Yesterdays

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 16, 2015

This compilation starts with the actuality equivalent of films d’art inertia. They put the camera on the sidewalk, point it pretty well, and then just sit there while people walk past and look. It’s not quite cinema, except that, since it’s real, it doesn’t have to be. Some poor kids from Springburn, as well as some of their parents, have a charity picnic. Look at those ladies run! Most of the film is devoted to some extraordinarily lengthy, surpassing beautiful tracking shots taken from some vehicle going down the Great Western Road. The archive points out the Edwardian finery, quite rightly. Personal note: that’s where we walked too, when we lived there years thence! The very same buildings, and all of these dead youthful joyous faces.

The world’s film archives are full of this kind of material. It is in great part what they’re funded for. It’s so important! And, escape/commerce fixated as we are, we hardly think about it at all. It’d be good to change that a bit.

Here’s what the Scottish Screen Archive has on this particular precious fragment: