Images of China

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History Documentary with no narration published by Cinematheque Francaise in 1901 - No spoken language

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Image: Images-of-China-Cover.jpg

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"In Yunnan, at the end of the Qing dynasty, Auguste François, consul, photographer and amateur ethnographer documents, thanks to a camera provided by Léon Gaumont, scenes of daily life in the streets of Yunnanfu (now Kunming), but also more exceptional events: a parade, a pagoda feast, a funeral, a performance of the Chinese theater. The Cinémathèque Française and the CNC Heritage department present a montage of this ongoing preservation work. It was in the 1970s that Jean de Mallmann, a nephew of Mrs. François, took the initiative to save these precious documents. On the advice of Henri Langlois, he asked the Boyer laboratory to make several 16 and 35 mm backup copies from the nitrate copy. Thanks to the Association Auguste François which, since the 1990s, has aimed to make Auguste François known and to work for the preservation and dissemination of his work, and also to Béatrice de Pastre and the CNC. Auguste François was born in Lunéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, in 1857, and died in 1935 in Belligné in Loire-Atlantique. In 1885, after studying law and five years in the departmental administration, in the provinces and then in Paris, he became a diplomat. In far-flung posts in Tonkin, Paraguay and China, his delicate missions left him with a large degree of autonomy. Aware of seeing things that his colleagues ignored and which were at risk of disappearance, François produced reports combining detailed stories, photos, films, and collections of objects. The first sequences show him at his post as consul, in the diversity of his occupations: playing with his panther, rifle shooting, official outing in a palanquin, reception of the viceroy of Yunnan. In May 1905, the catalog of L. Gaumont & Cie offered some sixty views, without mentioning the name of the author, under the title Au pays des mandarins: "The veil raised behind which hides the real China. A glimpse of the still little-known customs of the Sons of Heaven." Henri Langlois projected in 1964 these Images of China mixed with the views of the operators of the Lumière brothers in montages he had designed for various festivals, such as Venice or Berlin."

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Duration: 52mn 6s
  • File size: 1.91 GB
  • Container: MKV
  • Width: 1920 pixels
  • Height: 1080 pixels
  • Display aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Overall bit rate: 5254 kbs
  • Frame rate: 24.000
  • Audio Codec: n/a
  • Credit goes to: anonymous

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