Film ID:
YFA 5652

EMPEROR'S WAY

c.1957

Visitor Tabs

Description

Holiday travelogue of a journey to the Côte d’Azur and Alps region of southwest France, with enchanting views of mountains and lavender fields.

Title – Emperor’s Way

Title – Photographed, recorded and edited by J Eric Hall

The film opens with views over vast snow-capped mountains and down into valleys. In a sunny harbour, boats are moored, and people relax on a beach, with one young man asleep in a deckchair. One elderly man with a large wicker basket on his back walks up a hillside path. A sign reads “Route Napoleon authentique – Sources de la Siagne – Chapelle St Martin”. A young man and woman walk along a mountain trail, and the man observes the view as the clouds float past, blown along by the wind. They look down to the river in the valley.

The remains of a castle sit atop a hill. In a field, a man drives a horse-drawn harvester which cuts wheat, with a little girl riding on the back. Women collect and tie the harvest into sheaves. Signs for La Mure (68 kilometres) and Grenoble (104) are seen, along with views of a town, with its church spire, clock tower and fountain in a square. People in beachwear pass along a somewhat derelict back street, and a man with a bushy white beard wearing a beret stands at the foot of a hill with historic buildings atop it.

A woman picks sprigs of lavender from among tall grass, while nearby a man harvests the main crop using a scythe. Next to a small wooden chalet where lavender essence is produced, two men inspect a large silver vat, and one then fills a canteen with liquid from a tap at the bottom. A woman stands behind a display of lavender products, including bottles labelled ‘Eau de lavande’. The sign on the chalet reads ‘Funel, Le parfumeur de la Cote d’Azur – 1884’.

Back in the town, the woman and young man look at shop displays of hats and wine bottles, as well as a greengrocer’s produce. The man carries a large white baguette. A prominent rock face has a chapel atop it, and a wooden crucifix at the base.

Men fish in a fast-flowing river and the fresh fish are still flapping around as they haul their catch ashore in wicker baskets. Sailors in traditional white uniforms stand on the quay and boats leave the harbour. A white sandy beach bustles with people and is peppered with brightly coloured parasols.

The harbour arm and boats are seen again from a distance, along with large white hotels and buildings. Outside a classical building with columns and winged animals, guards in smart white uniforms march around their striped red and white guard boxes. Tourists take a closer look at a row of cannons. People sit around a statue of a man which has a crown relief at the base.

Title – The End