Categories
This Christmas Is 100 Years Old

Christmas Day Sports at Rhyl (1920)

Here’s two minutes of a Christmas Day hockey match, from exactly 100 years ago, in Wales.

I like the hats, and the general easy cheerfulness of everyone involved, and the air guitar using hockey sticks, and everyone smoking, even while playing sports, which has always been one of my favourite things

And the idea that human contact was once allowed is surprisingly moving these days after all.

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Notes

1. I watched this on the BFI Player

2. (Note how there’s NO SNOW)

3. Or even seemingly any winter coats.

4. Also this is the second 100 year old film from Rhyl I’ve watched this year (see also the terrifying Mr. And Mrs. Jones Visit To Bracing Sunny Rhyl, North Wales, somewhere down that page.)

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Film Information

Title: Christmas Day Sports at Rhyl, 1920
Year: 1920
Runtime: 2 minutes
Watch: BFI Player

Categories
This Christmas Is 100 Years Old

Bataille De Neige (1897) / Boys Playing In Snow (1900)

Let’s watch some 19th century snowball fights for Christmas (as I continue to collude with the erroneous narrative that snow somehow has anything to do with Christmas at all).

The first is Bataille De Neige, directed by Louis Lumiere, and shot in 1897 in France. The second is Boys Playing In Snow, directed by I don’t actually know, and filmed in 1900 in Britain somewhere.

Now, I don’t know if France is a more genteel country than here, but the playful snowball fight in Bataille De Neige seems to lack the absolute vindictive spite of a good old fashioned British snowball fight, as captured perfectly/horrifyingly in Boys Playing In Snow, where one person is mercilessly targeted until they are dead.

And now I’ve remembered how glad I am that I’m not a child anymore, and also that it never ever snows.

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Notes

1. I watched Bataille De Neige on youtube (many other versions, including pointlessly colourised ones, are available).

2. And I watched Boys Playing In The Snow on the BFI Player.

3. Merry Christmas, I suppose.

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Film Information

Title: Bataille De Neige
Director: Louis Lumiere
Runtime: 1 minute
Year: 1897
Watch: youtube

Title: Boys Playing In Snow
Runtime: 1 minute
Year: 1900
Watch: BFI Player

Categories
This Christmas Is 100 Years Old

Santa Claus (1898)

Santa Claus is a minute long film from 1898 showing Santa Claus himself clambering down a chimney and delivering presents to a couple of very excited children.

I like how sweet and strangely magical this is.

Merry Christmas, etc!

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Notes

1. I watched this on youtube originally, but the version on the BFI website looks nicer.

2. According to lots of places, this is the oldest Christmas film in existence.

3. And according to the BFI page about it, this is also the earlier film that shows two things happening in different places at the same time.

4. I have no idea if either of those facts are true.

5. This film is 121 years old!

6. And now I can’t tell if that’s actually a fake snow effect they’re using, or if it’s all just the result of 121 years of dirt and degradation on the celluloid itself.

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Film Information

Title: Santa Claus
Director: GA Smith
Year: 1898
Duration: 1 minute