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1936: Saint-Romain Fair

 
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Background History
The Saint-Romain fair possibly goes back to the time of William the Conqueror. The side show attractions only replaced the selling of merchandise from the 19th century on. In 1983 it moved to the left bank and its currently very thrilling rides are spread out over a distance of 1800m along the banks of the Seine. It is the second biggest fair in France after the Trône fair in Paris, and takes place every year from the end of October to ther end of November.
Film
The Saint-Romain Fair
Film Maker
Robert Viel
Year
1936
Format
9,5 mm, B&W, Silent
Location
Rouen
Theme
Festivities
Summary
The film maker Robert Viel shows us the Saint-Romain fair in two, very contrasted, sequences. In the morning everything is calm on the boulevard de l’Yser : the showmen emerge from their wooden caravans to feed their animals or check on the rides that are still closed to the public. We glimpse a row of bottles of wine that can be won by playing a lottery; next door a chestnut seller lights his oven. Workers descend the Beauvoisine ramp without taking too long about it. In the afternoon, everything has changed. A big crowd, well dressed, take over the many attractions which are lit up with electric light bulbs. The film maker lingers on various types of toy trains and round-abouts, one enabling people to board miniature boats and aeroplanes. At the circus theatre the Strassburger troupe performs with trained horses. We glimpse roaming vendors selling spinning toys and dolls, an «auto scooter», an enormous slide with an escalator and even a saucy attraction called “love revealed”. Everywhere we see naive paintings decorating the stands.
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