Film of the Day #4

London, 1906:

Short, but jarring nonetheless. And frustrating: how interesting had they eschewed the tourist trap and walked that camera through Whitechapel, or taken it to Crystal Palace to see Everton win the FA Cup.

In this clip, London comes across as finished, developed, not waiting to evolve into something else in the old whig historian manner. 1906 football would have had the same feel to it, as of something arrived and complete in of itself. But I’m afraid it’s doomed forever to be written up as the comic, jangle-piano prelude to the “real” game we know today. For all that it was more of a proper sport then than it is now.

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3 responses to “Film of the Day #4

  1. Won’t today’s “fully formed” game appear just as comic in 100 years?

    It’s part of the human condition I reckon, “what do you know about anything grandad”. Don’t nlock up the hall and all that.

  2. Won’t today’s “fully formed” game appear just as comic in 100 years?

    It’s part of the human condition I reckon, “what do you know about anything grandad”. Don’t block up the hall and all that.

  3. I think it may appear that way in 100 years. But probably not to the same extent. If we had a lot of good quality film of Victorian and Edwardian football, played at the right speed, we would never think of the game then as a precursor. We might be surprised by some things, but it’s possible that the football of 1906 would seem more modern to us than that of 1956, certainly in terms of tactics.

    Having said all that, I don’t think today’s game is any less of a ‘proper sport’. It’s just different – in some ways better, in some ways worse.