Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tea's critical past on film

I've recently discovered a wonderful website: Critical Past. It's a big cyber-pile of historic stock footage, easily searchable. You can spend hours on this (I have) looking up things about where you live, topic of personal interest (music! tea!), general history. The videos range from clips less than a minute with no sound to full-length pieces in glorious technicolor — but, alas, they are not embeddable. Here, though, are some favorite tea-related links ...

1942 Japanese tea ceremony at home
The only thing that gives away this brief look into a Japanese home during wartime is the hilariously condescending narrator ("one cup of lukewarm tea coming up!"). Two scenes of tea ceremonies led by a dolled-up woman.

Das Fuhrer sits down for tea
Speaking of WWII, here's a 20-second clip of Adolf Hitler himself, in color (I don't think I'd ever seen him in color before!) at the Teehaus (Tea House) on the Mooslahnerkopf, in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany, dated 1938. Dig the aide who shoves in Adolf's chair — wearing full Nazi regalia! Both interesting and creepy to watch.

These are the men in charge of your tea
In 1938, anyway. A short reel showing the United States Board of Tea Examiners tasting various teas in New York.

Monkey tea, monkey brew
What more can I add to describe this 1930 short than is in its title: "Tuxedoed Chimpanzee named Oscar dines at a table, prepares and drinks tea, and smokes a cigar like man, in Lucerne Switzerland"?

The amazing 163-year-old man!
So claims this Russian in this 1967 newsreel, showing the man an dhis 80-year-old third wife having tea. The fella, according to the narrator, "believes the surrounding mountains are so high the angel of death cannot reach him."

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