Film: 3228

Entertainment + Leisure | 1960 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

'Midsummer Music'
A colour and sound film showing events and crowd activity at the Eisteddfod Music and Dance festival, in Wales. The film also details the town of Eisteddfod in celebration, both immediately before and after, the festival.
Very pale blue or steel-coloured background upon which a crest is set. Contains Dragon and, in centre-front, a harp upon a scroll. Welsh language motto around rim of crest. Crest moves up and out of view as title credits 'roll'. First words say 'Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod'.
Fades into title caption then into 'direction' information. Rolls up introductory text stating features of festival. Includes that festival lasts for seven days, stages 'folk-music and dancing' and is held in July. Also that normal Llangollen population is 'only 3,000'. Countries listed for festival participation are France, Poland, Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia Norway and United States. Text concludes with 'Croeso-Welcome'. Throughout, soundtrack plays folk jig, possibly with clog dancing and ending with applause. Fades out.
Faded up view of open fields and hill-top in background. Three small houses in foreground. A sunny afternoon, blue sky, cloudy. Camera pans westwards to reveal more fields, green and gold, and trees in foreground. Continues left to show collection of assorted sized houses beneath large hill. Halts at town of Llangollen showing mass of stone houses, church, middle-left of screen, and bridge in middle-distance. Beyond are mountains. Throughout, soundtrack plays Welsh national anthem, sung by Male and Female-voice choir.
Shot showing town in closer detail, from above. Rooftops in foreground with bridge and imposing buildings in middle-distance. Valley and mountains loom in background. Thick trees to right of screen. Shot of more rooftops, smoke from chimneys. Large wooded hill behind. View is rooftop level. Shot, from hill looking over river and town's bridge with houses around. Church steeple in middle-foreground.
View from river looking up at houses. High hill with summit, visible in background. Foot of bridge on far-right. Shot of bridge side-on. Reveals to be an old stone bridge with spans and elegant arches (three visible). Person walks across. Large white, gothic building on right end of bridge. Hill, with two rows of houses, in background. Obscured slightly by trees. View, from end, looking down bridge. Shot is street level. Details slight hump to bridge. Posts with signs along either parapet. Man walks towards camera along left parapet. Beyond, bridge road leads into town centre. Houses on either side. Red brick house on right side very prominent.
Shot of church steeple in centre of screen. Lush valley behind. Screen bordered with trees.
First view of festival area. Large tent with little tents along side. Platform with ropes on far-left. Red and Blue buildings on right. Grassy area along front/bottom of screen. Man walks, back to camera, towards tent.
Shot of Welsh flag being raised. Flutters to westerly direction. National anthem ends.
Shot looking up, from street level, at sign reading, 'Welcome to Wales' on top of roof. Above this hangs Welsh flag stretched out.
View of high street. Crowds all around. Couple walk towards and past camera. Many more standing or walking around. Cars are moving up and down street while bunting and various national flags line road. More people walk past camera. Soundtrack plays intricate music from string instrument (possibly harp). View of people along road looking towards camera. Bunting all around. Fleet of cars and bikes move past. Road, from above, with people walking along it. Cars come facing camera, coach moves away from camera. Bunting and flags prominent down right side.
View looking down on railway station from end of platform. Station buildings on both sides. Water tower on right platform. Black steam engine pulls train into station as carriage doors open. Close-up of people leaving red and cream carriage, with suitcases and bags. Sign on platform reads 'Llangollen'.
Four girls pass camera right to left. Shot looking down path leading to bridge over railway. Crowded with people who walk below and away from camera. 'Down' signal stands beside bridge. Soundtrack plays accordion music. Camera upon bridge looks down road. People pass diagonally across screen from right to left. Leading are two women in regional or national dress.
Men carrying bags walk through patrolled gate past camera. Camera returns to previous position with more girls in national dress. Girl on right wearing ornate blue costume.
People gather in front of white building upon which is message 'Croeso'. Close-up of message. Back to previous position with cars going past. Sign close-up says 'Car Park 1/3'.
Road with cars and cyclists (one, a motorbike and sidecar) coming towards camera. Policeman stands at roadside on left hand side and walks back from shot. Red sign on far-side of road says 'weak-bridge-5 tons'.
Man in brown coat and flat cap sits in grassy area beside sign saying, 'Car Park, 1/3'. Gate down left side. Goods yard with railway trucks along top of screen. The man smiles and rubs hands.
Close-up of ginger cat looking at camera. In front is a 'No Parking' sign.
View looking down high street again. Shot of building with 'cafe' on the front. Flag with blue stripe on far right of screen. By entrance, girl is beside postcard stand. Close-up of girl putting postcards on stands. She looks to left and smiles. Entrance to street building with crowd of people in national dress, gathered in front. Women in patterned skirts, white tops and hats. Men in black and white. Shot returns to woman by postcard stand. Man, back to camera, gives her a postcard.
Girls in national dress of black tops and flowery dresses line up in High Street. In middle is policeman on white podium giving hand signals . Man in black and white costume stands in front with back to camera, directing the girls actions.
Photographer in national dress with red hat takes picture on river bridge. He looks just past camera towards left of screen. Similarly dressed man takes photograph, again on bridge. Line of men on bikes move past behind him going right to left.. Women in national dress walk along bridge with boy in all-white costume. Camera follows them, panning right. Close-up of two local men looking to right of screen and laughing. Four more local men stand and gently laugh. Behind, train station is visible. Soundtrack plays European music on flute or whistle.
Shot looking through doorway to courtyard. Two women in blue aprons and white headscarves stand to right of two men, all in black with black hats and wearing clogs. Men walk out of shot. View of their feet passing left to right of screen, then camera follows them, panning right.
Soundtrack plays bagpipe music as parade of men and women (in twos) moves from left to right of screen. Line of women in dress walk down road away from camera. Succeeded by other shots of people passing camera from various angles. Last shot takes in sign saying 'To the Eisteddfod Ground'.
Extensive view of whole festival area as camera continuously moves left along length of main tent, just above ground level. Shows people standing and sitting on grass, and around smaller tents. Trees in foreground.
Shots of people walking towards camera from different angles. Girl smiles broadly as she passes. Woman in national costume walks toward camera then (possibly same) woman walks away from camera. She exchanges greetings with middle-aged couple in open festival area. Six men, all in white and linked by sticks, dance clockwise.
Shot of wall with rooftops behind. Small boy appears from behind wall and climbs up. Stands on the wall, holding onto signpost. Looks towards left of screen. Slightly overhead view of part of festival area. Returns to boy, looking up into his smiling face. Shot of crowd milling around in open space. Back to boy, head-on, gazing just past camera. He jumps down.
Shot looking down quiet, tree-lined road. Same boy appears, jumps over pillar and runs toward camera. He climbs through a hedge and stops to stare. Shot looking up to group of swords raised. Pans down to reveal men performing sword dance.
Men and women, backs to camera, looking down at something. The boy runs into shot from right hand side. Moves along line trying to see action below. Other people pass across screen from right to left, including child who stares at camera. Soundtrack, simultaneously plays accordion, possibly 'Morris Dance' tune. Shot of another crowd, backs to camera. Boy repeats his actions. Camera moves left to follow him running away from scene.
View of tall trees with people in bottom-right corner of screen. Ladder with one step, in foreground, occupying top to bottom of screen. The boy (in blue trousers and brown sleeveless jumper) climbs onto it. He gazes to left of screen.
Five young people in foreign dress sit on ground around striped blanket; Two girls in middle of screen, one facing, other with back to camera. Next to them sit three boys. They are playing game, visibly passing objects around to strict rhythm. All are smiling.
Camera looking down on group of dancers. Woman is shaking tambourine with coloured ribbons. Man is beside her, dancing and clapping to music. Musicians in national costume play in semi-circle behind them. Close-up shot of musicians. Accordionist, guitarist, and whistle player. Smiling crowds behind them. Camera moves right to show dancers in close-up.
Shot of boy gazing down from tree. Shot looking down on three pairs of male and female dancers. Very colourful dresses and headscarves worn by women while men wear baggy shirt and trousers, black waistcoat and flowered hats. Groups of players in background. Camera moves left to reveal three more pairs. All converge and change sides. Women leave partners and dance together with skirts swirling in middle of ring formed by men. Close-up of audience applauding and laughing. Returns to boy on ladder, looking on.
Woman in beautiful patterned shirt and waistcoat signs, possibly, autograph for two boys with backs to camera. Close-up of staring boy. Rests his head against post and smiles. Woman in previous shot shown side-on to camera. She looks to right and laughs. Behind are people sitting on grass and in chairs. Man, close-up, takes photograph. Back again to staring boy beside post. Same woman, with man in smart costume, sign something for children. Boy again seen. Camera moves right, at ground level, among crowds beside tent, as man and woman in previous shot, walk together. Both smile. Boy on ladder met by policeman appearing from right of shot. He looks up and talks to boy. Boy climbs down and they walk off together. Boy walks among crowd, some laying down, some standing in groups. Two large tents in background.
Shot of very large open area teeming with people. Tents in background. Shot of two men in Morris costume talking to each other. Dancing goes on behind. Close-up of dancers to 'waltz' tune on soundtrack.
Boy runs through crowd, followed by camera panning fast right. Smiling dancers swirl round towards and past camera. Shot of swords in the air then various shots of dancers in 'ring' formations. Interspersed with shots of ladies skirts, twirling.
Man walks towards camera with banner reading 'Orfeo Laudate'. Dancers walk, tracked by camera moving backwards. The woman's face is the most prominent.
Boy again, running through crowds beside tent. Men in costume pass left to right of screen. Man in long coat and hat holding stick with flowers stays in shot, passed by man in red coat and wide brimmed hat with flowers. They join party of other men and women in costume. Shot of 'Orfeo Laudate' banner raised and carried past camera.
Boy, close-up, leans on gate or parapet and looks down. Camera looks down on men and women doing slow dance to stately music played on pipes. Shot of impressed onlookers. Close-up of ladies dancing in a circle, in anticlockwise motion. Onlookers seen from different angle.
Two men in very smart black and red costume stand head on. They raise arms to form arch and chant. Woman behind with head bowed and hands crossed. Pair of hands raised in 'prayer' visible in foreground. The two men bow. Onlookers applauding.
Performers walk in long line towards and past camera. Led by man carrying, possibly, flag of Scandinavia. Behind walk fiddlers then dancers in pairs. Shot of stone wall. Boy walks into shot from right hand side of camera. Stands in centre and watches, smiling. View from bottom of stone steps. Boy walks towards them from right of screen as parade reaches top of steps, while visitors walk behind. Woman in floral skirt comes down first. Boy puts out hand to help her down stairs. She smiles, swings left and out of shot. Rest of the parade follow. Shot of stone crossing over water from semi-distance. Parade passes left to right across it. Shot of more performers coming down stone steps then over the crossing.
Soundtrack switches to very slow waltz on accordion. Close-up of boy's face. Shot looking down on watery and grassy space lined with pathways. Performers and visitors walk together. Llangollen town, visible in far distance.
Close-up of boy again. He walks to left and from view. Shot of rural path leading uphill and into distance. Boy walks along it, away from camera. View held for several seconds.
View looking down on enclosed space lined with stone buildings. Long line of performers dance before small crowd of onlookers. Performers step sideways to left and camera pans left to follow them. They depart the area and proceed down hill with town in background. Camera halts and they leave shot. Simultaneous with musical 'duel' between fiddle and pipes on soundtrack. Fiddler and Piper duly follow dancers, passing right to left of screen.
Shot of Welsh national flag lowered, followed by other national flags. View from rooftop level of buses and cars moving left to right along town road. Number of hotels evident in background. Buses swing onto road, seen at road level. Children lean out and wave at camera.
Woman from cafe on left side of screen looks to right where train is moving out of station. View from further back shows her outside cafe entrance beside postcard stand. Walks to table bearing the stand and lifts it. She carries it into cafe and out of shot.
View looking down railway line from above as train, pulled by steam engine, moves under and away from camera. Steam vanishes on right side of screen to reveal an embankment in evening light. River visible on far right of screen. Simultaneously, soundtrack plays 'lament' on whistle.
Shot of road leading to festival grounds. Sign reads 'To the Eisteddfod Ground'. The hedge-bordered road points west. The lone boy walks into shot from right of screen and passes down road. View of gravelly or stony area with white fence in foreground. Blue container with door open, in background. Boy walks to fence and stares, with sad expression.
Impressive view of dismantled tent and surrounding area. Only frames standing. Hills and houses in background. Massed choir, as at start, can be heard again.
Close-up of the boy behind fence, slowly looking above. Shot looking up at tent (with canvas) coming down. Returns to boy, looking back down. Choir song recognisable as Welsh national anthem. Ground-level view of frames and tables lying around. Close-up of 'pulley' and large knot, swinging. Boy again, from semi-distance. View looking up at green van on left side of screen with ropes and tent frames behind. Wide view of area with men taking down tent frames and posts. Returns to boy who stands for several seconds then walks to left of screen and out of shot.
Camera follows boy walking from right of screen along red, dusty road. Green space behind upon which are tent poles and frames in a line. Row of white houses and caravan in far distance. Camera halts in middle of dusty road. Gate with poster on left side. Poster occupies whole screen as anthem resumes at much louder volume. Poster reveals 'crest' as at start of film. Diagonally across are the words: 'The next Llangollen International Eisteddfod will be held in July next year'.
Returns to view of road with poster on left. Boy now far down road and still walking. Fades out. Fades in credits, rolled up. Fades out. Fades in 'writer/director' credit as music ends.

Folk/dance groups involved, listed as: 'Bondelingdomslaget "Grvingen"-Bergen,
Norway', 'Cercle Brizeux-Lorient Brittany, France', 'Groupe Vichy et ses
sources, Allier, France', 'John Doonan Irish Folk Trio-Hebburn, County Durham,
England', 'Loftus and Derwent Valley Folk Dancers, Yorkshire, England',
'Lowicki Zespol Piesni I Tanca-Warsaw, Poland','Myllin Folk Dancers-Llanfyllin,
Wales', 'Valle Dei Templi-Agrigento, Sicily'.


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