Title ID 8184Collection ID1093
TitleBalmy Land
Date[1925 - 1931?]
CollectionBognor Regis Film Society / Guermonprez
Genre/TypeAmateurCine/Video clubFictionSpecial Effects [was: Trick]
ThemeCine Club Film-making
KeywordsClothing Performing Arts Visual Arts Farming Games Domestic Gardens
LocalBognor Regis [?]
RegionalWest Sussex
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionBognor Regis Film Society
CameraHarry Guermonprez (?)
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration15min. 42sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This amateur silent film was produced by the Bognor Regis Film Society in the late 1920s [?]. Members of the society act out a series of random and eccentric scenes, using a number of special camera effects that add to the unconventional nature of the film.


Opening titles: “The Lordship Cinema Welcomes You All”, “The Lordship Cinema”, “Present” and “Balmy Land”. In the opening scene a woman is seen pouring herself a drink; outdoor garden furniture is arranged around an open-sided hut with canopy, close-up shots of a drinks table and card table with playing cards laid out on it. The woman who is now holding a small dog greets women as they arrive; they sit around the table and one ‘knocks back’ a few drinks. The women play cards together; one of the women smokes with a very long cigarette holder. They get up from the table, throwing the cards at each other as they do so. The woman continues to drink as her friends leave her sitting at the table [upside down shot].

In the next scene, a man is seen raking hay in a field [in slow motion]. Helped by other men, the hay is loaded onto a wagon. The man looking directly at the camera, smokes a cigarette and pulls comical faces, [special effects are used to distort the shot of the man]. In the next scene, a man and a woman are seen throwing a round disc-like object at each other; the man falls over dramatically. The man acts, as if performing magic tricks [accompanied by special effects], making objects and people appear as if from nowhere. The man then leans back in a chair; balancing on the back legs he falls backwards and gets up again, jumping in the air and performing cartwheels [slow motion].

The film returns to the scene with men forking hay in a field [fast motion]. A woman, standing in front of a white sheet, rotates in front of the camera, changing her outfit. Other people pose for the camera, some wearing masks and hats [the camera lens is opened and closed to creating short vignettes]. In the next scene, there are blurred shots of a woman and a man standing outside a house with two small dogs [special effects are used to distort their shape]. The film now returns to the opening scene, a man sits on a chair reading and is joined by a woman. A waitress prepares tea for them to drink [special effects distorting the angle of the shots].

The man gets up and kicks his chair over. In the next scene, a group of people are seen running towards the camera in a line [special effects distorting the angle of the shots]. Title: “Interval in which to assault the operator”, “Coming attractions The Fete Councils & Many Others”, “Goodnight”, “God save the King” & “Finis”.

In the next scene a person dressed as a Michelin Man figure sits on the roof of a Michelin van; they act as if being inflated, shaking and kicking. In a park, a group of people are seen standing talking to each other [special effects are used to distort their shape]. The group sit outside the hut seen earlier [slow and fast motion, distorted shots and angles]. The film ends with a series of short animations, including an amateur stop-frame Mickey Mouse animation.