Ninety years and two and a half weeks ago, on November 25 1928, a party was given in Paris. It was a strange and lovely event, with tango dancing, a fashion show, a period costume competition, a lovely female vocalist and a movie camera. The last was there to document this bit of long-forgotten Parisian partying via the Fox Movietone Sound-On-Film system, a then-new way of, er, documenting things. This amazing five minute reel was posted by one of my favorite Youtube artists, the indispensible 'Guy Jones' (his real name? A nom de plume, he said Frenchly?) who somehow has access to these wonderful Fox reels and who cleans up the picture and the sound. I've posted quite a few of them (mostly of New York City in the late 20s/early 30s) and they're marvelous time capsules, haunting in their implacable observation of now dead worlds. In the weirdly chilling words of one of the commenters on Youtube: 'Its like watching ghosts.'
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 2:01 PM