Film: 9840

Places + Locations | 1970 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

A short film about the area of Grindelwald and Interlaken in the Swiss Alps. The film concentrates on the activities and attractions that are available to tourists in this area.

In the first shot a woman is just getting off of a train. She signals to a porter who makes his way to the train with his trolley while the woman gets back on the train to fetch her luggage. The screen fades to blue and then the credits roll. The first words to appear do so over an alpine backdrop, snow-capped mountains rise in the distance while a small village is visible below, the presence of cables and towers indicates that this shot was taken from a chair-lift. The words on the screen read: `…happy holidays. Grindelwald - First, Lake of Brienz-Interlaken.` A calm river with boats moored to the left bank, also to the left are the mountains which are barely visible behind the trees which line the bank. Meanwhile the credits are displaying the names of the cast. Two couples make their way up a staircase which leads to a large building bearing the word `Firstbahn`. The upper floors of the building are faced with wood on the outside but the bottom floor is uncovered, it is what I would describe as a typical example of alpine architecture. A different view is shown of this building, we are facing toward the sheer rock cliffs of one of the mountains, to the left is the Firstbahn and to the right a group of fir-trees. A group of people stand in front of a small hut which is partially obscured from view.
A woman sitting in a chair-lift passes by and the voiceover introduces her as Ursula, she has short, curly, dark brown hair and wears a yellow shirt and sunglasses which, along with the absence of any snow on the ground, would seem to suggest that it is currently summer time. We see Ursula pass by overhead as she continues her ride up the mountain. The snow capped mountains on the other side of the valley are shown and then a close up of Ursula - her face raised to the sun - who is enjoying the view. She looks down below the chair-lift and sees three cows grazing on the grassy slope. The ride in the chair-lift continues, the camera - which is obviously in the chair in front of Ursula's - shows a magnificent view of the mountain on the other side of the valley where one can see several areas packed with glacial snow and ice.
We find ourselves somewhere near the top of the mountain - the chair-lift ride is now over - grassy slopes undulate, dip and rise all around. Just below the level of the camera are two low level buildings, probably bars or cafeterias. A cow or two also share the slopes with the people. The terrace, where we find ourselves next, is crowded with people sitting at tables enjoying their refreshments or simply admiring the view. Ursula is looking at a signpost which has various place names on it and the approximate amount of time that it takes to walk there. We then accompany Ursula on her walk through the mountains which involves several sweeping, panoramic shots of snowcapped peaks and lush green valleys. We see other walkers too, they pass a small stone hut which stands beside a lake. We then return to Ursula who has stumbled across some cows. A close up of one of the cows follows, there is a large bell around its neck. As Ursula approaches the lake she passes a man carrying a large alpine horn. Several more shots show the beautiful surroundings as Ursula continues her walk. Eventually she arrives at another signpost, she decides to carry on to Faulhorn. Before moving on we take a quick look back at the view: mountains rising up behind the lake. Ursula then continues to walk up a steep incline towards a mountain inn. A shot of the mountains at sunset follows. The sky is overcast but some rays of sun breakthrough, a lake is partially visible in one of the valleys.
Dawn. The sun rises over the black silhouette of the mountains, the sky is cloudless. We move to shots of chamois grazing on the steep grassy slopes. Several people stand upon a mountain peak, a flag flies beside them, it is still dawn and the sky is still a little dark. More shots of the chamois bounding down the slopes towards the valleys below follow. We return to a shot of the sun rising ever higher above the mountains. Ursula makes her way towards a table on the terrace outside the inn. She sits down and the camera pans around some of the other customers, one of them wears a traditional costume and has an accordion on his lap. He starts to play the his instrument (though we can not hear it) and Ursula, recognising the tune, turns around to look. The man waves and laughs as does Ursula. The man is Rudi her skiing teacher from last year. We then move to another woman on the terrace, she wears a red-check dress and dark sunglasses and appears to be reading what maybe a guide book. This woman is introduced to us as Margaret. Ursula gets up from her seat and goes to talk to Margaret who is obviously an old friend. They stay at the table talking.
We move to a small stream that runs past lush green banks. As the camera pans left we see a pair of feet and a bag. The feet are seen in close up, a fishing-line runs between two of the toes. The camera pulls back to show a man asleep on the grass with his hat covering part of his face. We return to the stream and then cut back to the man's foot, the fishing-line begins to move. The man wakes with a start and grabs the line but he then releases it when he realises that the fish has escaped, he lays back down on the grass. We move to a street with large buildings decorated with flower-boxes. The man who was fishing walks down the street towards the camera. He stops and looks at a large, white building that sits right at the foot of the mountain. Next we see this gentleman reading a book and smoking a cigarette while he relaxes on a sunbed, a waiter brings him a drink. We then see this man taking a walk around the foothills of the mountains. He makes his way to an enormous gorge where there is a glacier. We see a shot of the man standing between the two massive walls of the gorge. Next we see Rolf (for this is his name) entering an ice cave, the walls are smooth with a deep blue colouration. Rolf puts on his glasses. Several more shots of this mass of glacial ice follow showing both the interior and the exterior.
We return to the terrace where Ursula and Margaret continue to talk. Margaret shows Ursula a map and the two women show each other the routes that they have followed so far. They rise and leave the table. We join the two ladies as they take a seat on a bench beside several other people. They are somewhere near the top of the mountain and admire the views while they continue to chat.
Once again we find ourselves in a street in a village at the foot of the mountain, but this time we are in the opposite valley. A man wearing a short-sleeved shirt and sunglasses crosses the street and walks up to a shop window which he peers through. We then see him sitting at a table on the veranda at a restaurant, menu in hand. A close up of some battered fish follows. The man (Peter) orders his food and rubs his hands together as the waitress leaves. Next we see him enjoying his fish and a glass of white wine. We then see the waters of the lake and then Peter who stands on the deck of a passenger ship. He admires the views of the shore as he passes by. He then takes a train along a tiny mountain railway. The camera looks back to the lake as the train makes its way uphill. We move to a swimming pool where lots of people are relaxing and enjoying themselves. A waterfall can be seen making its way down the wooded mountainside, it is broken into steps and does not fall in one continuous chute. A shot follows of the water plunging into the lake. A more panoramic shot of the lake follows, the mountains rise in the background and a small island can be seen in the middle of the water. Meanwhile, Peter is back on a boat, several others are enjoying the trip too, some are having a meal and others are simply admiring the view. We see a man at work steering the boat, the captain stands beside him. More shots of the travellers on the boat follow. We see a small motor boat pass by pulling a water-skier behind it. Several shots of lake-side villages and quiet banks of reeds are shown, we see people walking beside the lake and rowing across it.
The boat has arrived at Interlaken and the passengers begin to disembark, Peter is among them. He walks over to a horse-drawn carriage where Ursula, Margaret and Rolf are waiting for him. They greet each other warmly and get into the carriage. The driver cracks his whip and the horse moves on. Many shots follow showing the carriages progress through the streets of Interlaken. There are a great many people and cars, our friends pass by street-side cafes and restaurants, hotels, shops and parks. They stop at the casino where an orchestra (made up mostly of violins) is playing to a crowd who sit at tables outside on the terrace. An elaborate flower-bed is shown where the flowers not only spell out the name of the casino, but also form a clock which - thanks to the addition of two mechanical arms - is fully functional.
A snow covered mountain peak is seen in the distance from behind the craggy silhouette of another mountain, it is dusk. Several illuminated and neon signs flash across the screen, they are signs mainly for bars or hotels. Our four friends are seated around a table talking to and smiling at one another. A waiter comes and takes their order.
The End.


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