Music & Cinema

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–> click here music and cinema

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Yesterday, I went to the ”Cité de la musique” to visit an exhibition called ”Music and Cinema”, The Wedding of the Century”. Cinema was born in the 19th century and became, over the years, one of the most popular art forms in the world. During the same period, music developed and there was a crucial evolution in sound production and diffusion. The fact that both arts quickly transformed into a ”cultural business” explains that their relationship is an ancient, but also a complex one. The combination of music and cinema caused as many pleasures as disruptions, success and failures and without a doubt, as much passion as scornfulness.
The first French film music was written in 1912 by Camille Saint-Saëns for the movie ‘‘L’assassinat du duc de Guise”. Whereas cinema certainly made use of music, music made use of cinema at the same time. It is often due to a movie that the public discovers many masterpieces. Take, for instance, the images of the ”2001, A Space Odyssey” overture (Stanley Kubrick) or of ”Manhatten” (Woody Allen).
Michel Le Grand once said: ”La bonne musique de film doit autant servir le film que la musique”, and his statement still rings true today.

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Hitchcock and Herrmann during the set of ”The Man who Knew Too Much”

The exhibition is not restricted to only music and cinema as separate entities. In fact, it shows us a lot about music in cinema. Musical dimensions actually intervene in every aspect of the realization of a movie. The initial script writing, the movie subject, as well as the post-production can be influenced and inspired by music.
The exhibition is greatly interactive, containing images, films, music, and even a mixing room. It is super fun to walk through. In my opinion, there isn’t a moment of dissatisfaction in the whole showing. In the end, I learned many different things about cinema even though I thought I already knew a lot. However, it appears I didn’t. The exhibition also reminds you of many movies that fell into oblivion. Exhibitions like this always remind me of certain good movies that I, personally, forgot about.

My advice: go and see the exhibit; it’s certainly worth it.

–> click here music and cinema

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Camille Claudel 1915

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Yesterday, I went to see a new movie called ”Camille Claudel 1915” directed by Bruno Dumont. However, this movie should not be confused with the one from 1988 starring Gérard Dépardieu and Isabelle Adjanie. In fact, it’s not even the same plot.

This movie tells the life of Camille Claudel, sister of the famous poet Paul Claudel, after she appeared to be mentally ill in 1915.

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From 1905 on, Camille destroyed many of her statues, vanished for long periods of time, and displayed signs of paranoia and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. She also accused Rodin of stealing her ideas and of leading a plot to kill her. On March 10, 1913, at the initiative of her brother, she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital of Ville-Évrard in Neuilly-sur-Marne. On September 7, 1914, Camille was transferred with a number of other women to the Montdevergues Asylum, at Montfavet, six kilometers away from Avignon. The admission form said that Camille voluntarily admitted herself to the asylum, although both a doctor and her brother signed the form. There are records that show that while she did have mental outbursts, she was clear-headed while working on her art. Doctors tried to convince the family that Camille could be released, but they still kept her there. For a while, the press accused her family of committing a sculptor of genius. Her mother forbade her to receive mail from anyone other than her brother.

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Now, the movie picks up at the point when Camille had already spent two years in this particular asylum. The movie is very powerful. It’s the kind of motion picture that kind of leaves you depressed afterwards. There are a few monologues but almost no dialogues. It shows how the only joy in Camille’s life remained the occasional visit of her brother Paul. Consequently, the plot revolves around Camille waiting for her brother Paul to visit her.

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Juliette Binoche plays the leading role. She prepared for her role by visiting sufferers of mental illnesses. Director Dumont located a therapist who specialized in art therapy and who allowed them to meet some of his patients. Some had a level of consciousness sufficient to give their approval. In other cases where patients suffered from severe forms of autism, the families gave the agreement. Juliette spent a lot of time with them to create links. The director decided to incorporate actual nurses in the film, because of the requirement of medical presence at the set. So the film also can also be seen as a documentary about the reality of mental illnesses.

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The movie reveals that madness is both terribly sad but also funny to an extent, tragic and comic. The movie reveals gradually Camille’s confined condition and as a viewer, I felt that you really feel the harsh conditions that she experienced in the asylum.

Jean-Luc Vincent : As Paul Claudel he has not an easy role.

Watch the trailer here

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24h in Cologne

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cologne

Yesterday I was once again in cologne (just for fun…). But this time I did a bit of sightseeing.  First, I went to the “Kölner Dom”,  the magnificent cathedral of Cologne. If you haven’t seen it yet, let me tell you, it looks quite impressive from outside. Inside, you still get the sense of its height, but you also recognize a lot of love for detail with the lovely chapel and some pretty windows. I didn’t stay very long though, because it was quite cold inside. I think that during summer,  it’s much nicer because you can climb to the top of the church where I guess, you can enjoy a beautiful view over Cologne.

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After that, I went to the Ludwig museum, which is a must for everyone who comes to Cologne. There was an exhibition that I really wanted to see. As I went inside, I immediately noticed the enormous space between the different rooms. It’s just how you imagine a modern art museum should be.

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Besides the permanent exhibition, I’d also planned to see the temporary exhibit about Man Ray and his relationship with Fritz Gruber. The permanent show demonstrates art works from Andy Warhol, Jasper JohnsRoy Lichtenstein and many more. Pop Art style at its best.

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An outstanding archive about the extraordinary friendship between L. Fritz Gruber and Man Ray gives you an incredible insight into lives of those two characters.  During the 50s, Gruber contacted the great photographer, filmmaker, painter, and sculptor Man Ray, with whom he and his wife would remain friends for many years after.

The highlight of the show is a set of fifty repro-contact prints with portraits of Lee Miller, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel and many other leading artists of the 20th century. Moreover, the museum owns many letters and photos of Man Ray’s Parisian atelier. Most of the things in this atelier (2 bis, rue Ferou Paris) were handmade by Man Ray himself.

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Finally, there was the collection of the works by Joseph Haubrich, a collection often considered as one of the best compilations of Expressionist Art. (Yes,  I visited everything because I had nothing else to do besides of drinking a “Kölsch” – the traditional beer from Cologne – , which I did afterwards). Haubrich was a prominent personality in Cologne. He was a lawyer, but also greatly sociable and generous. During WWI, Haubrich already began to gather sculptures, aquarelles and other paintings. During the Second World War, Haubrich then hid his collection from the Nazis. The collection is mainly a reflection of his joyful personality. The exhibition pays homage to a person to whom the admirers of art and the city of Cologne owe a lot.

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Personally, my favorite paintings were those from French painter Chagall. (The exhibition of Chagall is currently taking place in Paris at the ‘’Musée de Luxembourg’’. ( I’ll go there soon….)

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If you have the opportunity to go to cologne sometimes, don’t miss out the Ludwig Museum! As for the cathedral – well you cannot miss it anyways…

If you want to take a little break from sightseeing, go to the ”Cölner Hofbräu Früh” (best Kölsch in Cologne). In the evening, the Harry’s Lounge is a nice place to chill out

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Möbius – Dujardin et De France

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This multilingual (French, English, Russian) movie is too slow to maximize suspense and the plot seems overly complicated to me (no guideline at all).

I went with 2 friends and we were laughing almost during the entire film because of its ridiculous scenes. Personally, I find it difficult to accept Jean Dujardin as a serious performer anyhow. I think his acting always is a bit funny and reminds me of OSS 117 (which is one of my favorite movies) or Brice de Nice. For me, Dujardin will remain a comedian primarily.( A good one , of course)

The only thing I personally liked about this film was its attractive locations (Monaco, Cape d’Antibe, Moscow), luxury hotels, and restaurants, as well as the deluxe clubs with strip acts (the bars were called ”Destiny” and ”Apocalypse”, inspired by the 90s style). Indeed, one could think that the whole movie is from the 90es.

Although, I felt a little emotional during the movie, because of Dujardin, who is incredibly handsome and so grievous, his role is too sensitive. In a way, I find it impossible not to feel sympathy for him.

Cécile de France is quite exagerating in her role as Alice, a autonomous woman who strongly falls in love with Lioubov (Dujardin).

I suggest that if you want to see Dujardin (because you like him) go and see the film. On the other hand, if you want to see a good movie, this is probably not the one I’d suggest!

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Salon International de l’agriculture

My Sunday was full of surprises as i went to the Salon international de l’agriculture in Paris (Porte de Versailles)

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An adventure for everyone! The visit is very exhausting indeed, but worth it.

 http://en.salon-agriculture.com

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Under Influences – La Maison Rouge

Today I went to see a rather extraordinary exhibition.

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Under Influences” is a collection of artworks, documents, and films. The exhibition is hosted by ‘‘La Maison Rouge” until May. The vast collection, which includes works from 20th century artists as well as from contemporary artists, shows the influence of psychotropics (drugs) on the visual arts.  More than 250 works of art show how artists represent the effects of psychotropic substances.

There are 3 different sorts of drugs. Firstly, the drugs named ”dopants” or psychoanalytic, which stimulate the level of conscience without modifying the state of conscious, such as cocaine, amphetamine, crack, coffee. Secondly, the ”hedonist” drugs with a more painful sensation, like opium, morphine, heroin. Finally, there are ”hallucinogenic” drugs, which affect the state of conscience , such as LSD, acid, mushrooms, and cannabis. However, the effect depends on the personality and the physicality of the user.

The exhibition includes a large number of well-known, international artists such as Carsten Höller, Guy Limone, Alberto Martini, Stanislaw Witkiewicz, Henri Michaux, John Batanne, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Charles Beaudelaire (Les Paradis artificiels) and many more.

Some artists like David Kramer for instance even say : ”I must thank the drugs and alcohol for the best moments of my life”

It’s a nice exhibition with some good and bad stuff…

Don’t forget that the ”Rose Bakery Culture” is located inside the Maison Rouge until  the 19th of mai!

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La Maison Rouge/Rose Bakery Culture

Fondation Antoine de Galbert

10, boulevard de la bastille 

75012 Paris

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Heaven’s Gate – Michael Cimino

Turn on the music before reading:

click on the words and pictures for further information!

https://maxicult.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/heavens-gate-soundtrack-sweet-breeze.mp3

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Last Thursday I lived an extraordinary experience. You want to know why? I went to see the classic movie ‘’Heaven’s Gate’’ readapted. However, this is not exactly the reason why my evening will remain unforgettable. It was the presence of the famous director Michael Cimino that made my dreams come true.

Let me tell you a little story about this famous guy and about ‘’Heaven’s Gate’’.

After Cimino’s debut with “The Deer Hunter’’, a well-known movie, appreciated by many cinema lovers (it also won 5 Academy Awards), Cimino went on to make another movie, which he believed could not be less good  than “The Deer Hunter’’. However, while shooting “Heaven’s Gate’’ the director encountered many problems. One of them was that the producers and the studio wanted to cut the movie because they considered it too lengthy. As a result, the screenplay lost its original brilliance and the film finally became a disaster. It earned less than $3 million domestically (from an estimated budget of $44 million). Cimino as well ass Kris Kristofferson’s (who played the leading character) careers experienced a setback. Some even considered the film to be one of the worst movies ever made.

30 years later in 2012, Cimino, now 74 years old, decided to re-edit his movie. In a 216 minutes director’s cut, the film was re-introduced at the Venice film festival, the New York Film Festival and at the Festival Lumiere in France. The critics’ reaction to the new edition was overall positive. Some even went so far as to speak of the movie that ruined Cimino’s career 30 years before as a masterpiece.  The 1980 cutting was characterized as “one of the greatest injustices of cinematic history”. I believe that, Cimino’s movie had always been a masterpiece. Unfortunately, nobody had recognized this.
The UGC-Distribution then decided to re-launch the movie in Paris. I immediately tried to get tickets and succeeded. As I entered the pictures I quickly realized that next to me were only cinephiles, which usually is a good sign. As soon as Cimino entered the room, everybody applauded and keenly listened to his short speech. He didn’t say anything particularly valuable and I believe he almost looked slightly intimidated. However, this old American didn’t fail to impress the entire audience (he looked like a real American).
The beginning of the film was exactly like I’ve imagined it would be. Nice Western music and beautiful landscapes. The cast is revealed bit by bit as the movie goes on. There is Kris Kristofferson in his very best age, Isabelle Huppert (with a sweet accent), a remarkably young Jeff Bridges and last but not least, Christopher Walken (already with no punctuation in his phrases).

Personally, I think this movie is magical. An old, well-interpreted narrative about immigration problems with no happy end (I love movies without happy endings, even though this has become fairly rare in today’s movie industry). 3 hours 30 minutes actually is a long time, but I was not bored for one minute of it.
Big Thanks to Megan! Who did everything to arrive on time! Love you

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Opéra Bastille – Die Walküre

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Yesterday I went to the opera house at Bastille. I have been to the Opéra Garnier before, that’s why I wanted to visit the more modern Bastille Opera. I supposed that the seats were probably  more comfortable at the modern Opera than at the beautiful Garnier Opera.

Pit choose the play, the Valkyrie (Die Walküre) written by the well-known german composer, Richard Wagner. It is the second of the four operas that form the cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). Conducted by the Swiss Philippe Jordan together with the famous Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris.

The whole specatcle lasted from 6 pm to 11pm, which is a long time for non-professional Opéra-visitors. Anyway, the show was incredible. The scenery was exceptional, the actors amazing and the ochcestra stunning. Finally, the story was captivating. The only thing I had to criticize was the volume of the music. Generally, the music could have been louder.

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The inside of the Opera is tremendous. The musicians sit in the orchestra pit below the front of an enormous stage. The architecture is very bizarre and modern as you can see on the pictures. People were all well dressed, very classy.

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I can only strongly recommend to go and visit both Operas when you are in Paris! It was an amazing experience. Though, one has to be in a good shape to get through 5 hours!

Great international cast:

Stuart Skelton: Siegmund
Günther Groissböck: Hunding
Egils Silins: Wotan
Martina Serafin: Sieglinde
Alwyn Mellor :Brünnhilde
Sophie Koch: Fricka

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Père LaChaise – Paris

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The biggest cemetery in Paris undoubtly is the Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise). That’s why I went there last Sunday. The location is in the 20th arrondissement. It is the most visited graveyard of the world. But what’s so unique about it? The reason why so many people are visiting the Père Lachaise is obviously because of ”Who” is burried there. In other words, Père Lachaise is the burial ground for celebrities. Also, it is the site of three World War 1 memorials.

In case you think of wanting to be burried at Père Lachaise one day, I can tell you that this will be difficult. To begin, one has to die in the French capital city or one has to live there. Even if, that is the case, there is a long waiting list due to the very limited space available. According to the official website of the city of Paris; to date, one million people have been buried at Père Lachaise.

To name a few: Honoré de Balzac – French novelist of the 19th century
Pierre Beaumarchais – French playwright
Auguste Blanqui – French statesman
Pierre Bourdieu – French sociologist
Frédéric Chopin – Polish composer
Colette – French litterateur
Jacques-Louis David – Napoleon’s court painter
Eugène Delacroix – French Romantic artist
Jim Morrison – American singer and songwriter with The Doors
Joachim Murat – French Napoleonic general and Marshal of France.
Alfred de Musset – French poet
Édith Piaf – French singer
Pavel Tchelitchew – Russian Artist and Painter
Oscar Wilde – Irish novelist

Go and take a look!

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The Sugar Man

He could have been better than Bob Dylan….

check out my post in the video

 

 

Official Site:  http://sugarman.org/index.html

Tour dates click here

Etoile Saint Germain des Pres 

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