This London video is Grade A travel/history/urban geek porn.
Simon Smith got his hands on cinematographer Claude Friese-Greene’s restored color film footage from his UK tour in the 1920s, notably swinging past London’s top sites, and set to work reshooting identical scenes in 2013 using “modern equivalents of his camera and lenses.”
Smith’s attention to detail is kind of amazing, including mirroring all the tracking and zoom shots. Smith comments on his London video: “This has been a personal study, that has revealed how little London has changed.”
I don’t know if I agree with this statement, what the 2013 side of the video panning past jarring (though not necessarily unpleasant) changes to the cityscape like the London Eye and “The Gherkin.” However, significant parts of London have clearly been judiciously preserved and/or pedestrianized for the better.
There’s so much to love about this London video, but perhaps the best part are the reactions Friese-Greene’s camera gets from onlookers. It’s the historic equivalent of the Google Street View car. It’s all subjective of course, but using “Canon in D Major” as the background music is just a little too over-the-top for me. Or perhaps “under-the-top” is a better description. Couldn’t he afford the license for something by Adele?
Never mind that personal quibble, I’ve watched this London Video more than 10 times and it never gets old. Enjoy!