City of Dreams…

https://www.filmmuseum.at/jart/prj3/filmmuseum/images/cache/4490462eb8a30b857680c5faaa184514/0xFA21A790B2258C9CC60EE7C96A217E36.jpegVarious friends of mine have been using their ‘social media’ accounts to circulate a rather wonderful piece of old footage that was filmed from a Viennese tram as it drove through that great imperial city more than 110 years ago. I’m always delighted to see such glimpses of long-vanished lives and the worlds that disappeared with them, so let me share the film here — in a form, and a context, that is slightly different from anything you’ll have found anywhere else.

For reasons that will become clear, it’ll take a few paragraphs to get to the clip itself; I think it will be worth the wait, so please don’t jump ahead…

Now, the date given for the film is 1906; and since the item appears to come from ‘Film Archiv Austria’ — which is a pretty serious outfit! — I’ve no reason at all to doubt its accuracy. As a result, I find myself looking at the scene and its people partly in the light of my knowledge of that particular year’s place within Vienna’s musical and intellectual history — my favourite bits of it, anyway. Continue reading