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Deserted squares, padlocked parks, empty avenues where lines of cars once idled bumper-to-bumper in traffic as motorbikes and scooters zoomed through the narrow gaps between. The Greek capital, Athens, like so many cities across the world, has seen its streets empty under a lockdown designed to stem the spread of the new coronavirus
Greece reported two new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to three, and said it would suspend all carnival celebrations in the country.
Take a tour of ancient Athens in the 1960s with this Pathé travelogue and see what John Milton referred to as ‘..the eye of Greece, mother of arts And eloquence.’
Various locations around Greece. Athens: L/S of a young woman, Gaye Ashwood, walking up the steps of the Acropolis. M/S of Gaye walking past columns, tilt up to the blue sky. C/U of a crumbling column, tilt up to reveal its length. Low angle M/S of some more columns, panning shot to show the Parthenon of Pericles. L/S, looking between two columns, of a ruined temple in the distance. Low angle M/S of the same temple – instead of columns, statues of women hold up the roof. Low angle M/S of one of statue columns. L/S, taken through the trees, of the Acropolis on top of a hill, panning shot across to contrast these ancient ruins with the modern city of Athens.
L/S of an aeroplane landing on a runway, panning shot of the plane as it taxis. Various M/Ss of the plane taxiing. M/S of passengers coming down the stairs of the plane. Low angle M/S of some ancient ruins in the city centre, tilt down to busy traffic driving past. L/S of traffic and modern buildings, looking through the columns of an ancient ruin. L/S of an apartment block, tilt down to a busy road. Various L/Ss of traffic, trams and pedestrians in Athens.
Low angle shot of a statue in front of a modern hotel. Low angle shot of a palm tree in front of the King George hotel. M/S of an old man in a park using a camera on a tripod, panning shot to the photo’s subject: a young boy on a bench. C/U of the photographer and his camera. M/S of a sign for a Taverna. L/S of the Taverna with tables outside, a man carrying a basket walks down some crumbling stairs next to the Taverna. M/S of two men sitting outside at a table. The man carrying the basket enters and offers them some grapes. C/U of one of the men eating a bunch of grapes. M/S of the grape seller holding a bunch. Low angle shot of two windows with traditionally designed bags and rugs hanging from the shutters, tilt down to a doorway with the words – ‘Art House Gallery’ painted above it. The shopkeeper comes out of the door with two female tourists. He points to some brass pots outside the shop. C/U of a clothe bag. C/U of some brass pots, tilt to a lower shelf with more pots on. M/S of the man showing a brass pot to one of the tourists.
Pireus/ Piraeus and Vouliagmini L/S, looking through pine trees, of the harbour at Piraeus. M/S of a boy walking along the harbour, panning shot across the water to show moored sailing boats. L/S of the harbour taken from the cliff tops. L/S from the top of a hill looking down to the rocky beach and blue sea at Vouliagmini. L/S of the crowded beach and hills behind Vouliagmini. M/S of sunbather lounging on the sand. L/S of the sea – several swimmers and a canoeist are in the foreground. M/S of young people in swim wear playing volley ball on a court near the beach, panning shot follows one rather ample girl in a bikini. M/S of muscle men working out on rings and bars on the beach. M/S of women sunbathing on deck chairs – “here, a million Aphrodites enchant …”. Top shot of two young women in swimsuits lying on sun loungers chatting. L/S of the Temple of Zeus – “never far away, the symbols of greatness”. Low angle panning shot of the temple’s columns. L/S, taken between two trees, of a row of ancient columns.
BRITISH PATHÉ’S STORY Before television, people came to movie theatres to watch the news. British Pathé was at the forefront of cinematic journalism, blending information with entertainment to popular effect. Over the course of a century, it documented everything from major armed conflicts and seismic political crises to the curious hobbies and eccentric lives of ordinary people. If it happened, British Pathé filmed it. Now considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world, British Pathé is a treasure trove of 85,000 films unrivalled in their historical and cultural significance. British Pathé also represents the Reuters historical collection, which includes more than 136,000 items from the news agencies Gaumont Graphic (1910-1932), Empire News Bulletin (1926-1930), British Paramount (1931-1957), and Gaumont British (1934-1959), as well as Visnews content from 1957 to the end of 1984. All footage can be viewed on the British Pathé website. https://www.britishpathe.com/