Thursday, December 29, 2016

L'Inconnue de Hong Kong - Dalida (1963) - Aerial View of Kowloon Part 1

There is a rather nice sequence at the start of this film when the protagonists are supposedly flying into Hong Kong which takes in a large swathe of Kowloon. I have around 9 grabs taken from it but wanted to split them up because there is a lot to look at.

The sequence starts over the old typhoon shelter and finishes looking to the hills to the north and I am sure anyone familiar with Kowloon in the 1960's (and later) will recognise some familiar landmarks. here are the first three pictures. I've arranged the pictures in reverse order below so that the continuity is easier to see between the buildings. I guess we are looking at the area where Yau Ma Tei meets Mongkok.

So what are we looking at? The lower picture shows the old typhoon shelter (now reclaimed) with two main roads visible at the waterfront. On the left is Soy Street and on the right (just off top centre) is the end of Dundas Street. Unsurprisingly, the whole (ex-) waterfront has been redeveloped extensively and in fact only until recently we still had some survivors. The large block between both roads has only just been knocked down. You can still see it on Streetview for the time being but the next time Google do an update it will be gone. The typhoon shelter at this section now houses some large developments including Charming Garden and Park Avenue.

In the middle picture there is some difficulty in making out detail amongst all the grey, but on the left of centre is a large white block that sticks out a bit. This building sits on Reclamation Street (on the other side of the building from where we are) and was brand spanking new in 1963 - hence it being nice and shiny. I was in Reclamation Street just the other week and noticed that this block (it encompasses #331 thru #355) has recently been taken over by the dreaded U.R.A (that's the Urban Renewal Authority that for so long has been very successful at under-compensating old flat owners for the destruction of their homes). So, it looks like the block will be demolished at some point in the near future. You may feel I bang on a bit about getting rid of old buildings, but just take a look at this place to see how old buildings can be made to look absolutely fantastic if people took the time and effort.

Anyway, in the top picture you can just make out the slopes of King's park at the top right and the hospital buildings of Kwong Wah Hospital along Waterloo Road at the bottom of the slope. The hospital has had another wing added to the main building since then but other than that remains fairly unchanged.

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