Peking or Beijing in the people’s republic of China, 1974 — Film 31663



The time: 1974. The place: Peking or Beijing in the People’s Republic of China. The Mexican president Luis Echeverria arrives for an official visit and a banquet is thrown in his honour.

* flags, banners, and box hedges. A large group of people stand in a huge tarmac’d area
* the camera goes closer-up to show schoolchildren who caper about waving pom-poms as others march past them. Their clothes and the paper streamers they wave are colourful, as is their clothing.
* Two members of the film crew (presumably). One, and it is difficult to tell whether this person is a man or a woman, wears a yellow shirt with rolled-up sleeves and big hair; the other is larger, definitely male, with grey hair and sunglasses. He is holding his hands to his face.
* The camera pans around to show young girls jumping and waving bunches of paper flowers; one waves a Mexican flag.
* other girls, in a ‘uniform’ of a decorated skirt, a pink cardigan and a white shirt, wave streamers and Chinese flags etc. The camera zooms in on one very pretty young girl who is enthusiastically dancing and prancing. There are similar shots of other girls.
* the grey haired crew member seen earlier holds his hands up to indicate size.
* children holding pink paper wreaths dance in a ring; the camera pans around to show young schoolgirls in a uniform of blue dungarees, white shirts, and red neckerchiefs. They hold balloons, pink paper rings and streamers, and their dancing is carefully synchronised. The camera focuses on various girls.
* beside a large concrete flat area stand a group of spectators all colourfully dressed. They hold paper flowers and Mexican flags in their hands. A camera crane is seen over their heads.
* the president’s aeroplane taxis past in the background. In front are a group of schoolgirls in bright pink dungarees and white shirts with pink ribbons in their plaited hair. A large banner, on posts in the background, reads: ‘Calurosa Rienvenida Al Presidente Echeverria!’. There are also some banners in Chinese. The camera now follows the ‘plane as it taxis past more standing girls (now some in pink trousers with turquoise cardigans and pink ribbons in their hair. The camera zooms over the heads of some of the spectators to show the delegation walking down the moveable steps of the ‘plane (which is painted with the Mexican flag).
* more shots of children dancing – the real thing now, as opposed to the previous rehearsal
* Chinese men, in uniform (either of the army or the communist party) mill around on the runway

* in a well-lit, wooden floored dining room, round tables have been elaborately laid with white linen tablecloths, glasses and cutlery etc. Communist Party members sit at the tables. The camera pans down to show a large Chinese and a Mexican flag hung over a stage on one side of the room. The flags are then shown in close-up
* the androgynous crew member is now wearing a brown suit, a red kipper tie and a white shirt. He holds his hands apart as if estimating size, then claps them. He is also wearing a black box hung on a string around his neck.
* the camera pans across to show a conductor standing on a dais directing an orchestra
* everyone is now seated; waiters move among the tables
* a Chinese official and the Mexican President Luis Echeverria sit side by side at one of these tables (a particularly large one with a huge floral table centrepiece
* the same crew member claps their hands again, and speaks into a small white object on a cord slung over their shoulder. The camera zooms across to Echeverria who smiles and nods. The Chinese official examines his menu. Their wives (?) sit beside each other on the right.
* the lights dim and the meal begins.
* people clink glasses
* the crew member claps their hands
* Two Chinese officials stand on the stage; the one seen earlier is reading a speech somewhat wearily form some crumpled sheets of paper.
* shots of the audience listening and reading (presumably transcripts of the speech). The wives (?) clap stiffly. There are shots of minutiae on the table.
* people stand and toast, then retake their seats.


Post time: Aug-11-2017
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