torsdag, januari 21, 2010

First day at the driving school



How come I haven't had a driving license and why do I need it now?
The answer to the first question is that when living in Sweden and notably Stockholm, I never had any use of a car, as I used the public transports like subway, buses, tramways and so forth.
As I've lived most of my life in Stockholm, I have never had to think about getting a driving license and this is of course something very positive from an environmental perspective and also from a health perspective.
I used to bike a lot and this in the center of Stockholm too.

In La Châtre, the need for a driving license is much more urgent as the public transports are insufficient.
Of course there are buses but they are not close to where I live and they depart and arrive very irregularly.
With these buses one can go to Châteauroux where there are trains departing to Paris and other parts of France. Châteauroux is however 36 or more kilometers from La Châtre which means it takes quite some time getting there.
If one work in another town in Le Centre, it might be necessary to change to another bus again and so forth.
Most offers concerning jobs have been situated at least 20-25 kilometers from La Châtre and therefore I feel obliged to have a driving license.

I don't have a car but I have the possibility lending one if needed.
I will however try to use the bike during the spring, summer and autumn.

My teacher has estimated that I need around 25-30 lessons. We'll see if this is correct or if I need more or - hopefully - less.



(Photo Koenigsegg copied from: http://www.villiard.com/images/voitures/10-automobiles/Koenigsegg-CCX.jpg)
(Photo ancient bicycle copied from: http://www.hotels-paris-rive-gauche.com/blog/images/Amars/004-VELO.jpg)

onsdag, januari 20, 2010

Le Code de la Route

Today I passed my theoretical test preparing for my driving license.
I'm very satisfied as French is not my mother tongue and all the terminology and expressions are totally different from the Swedish equivalents - of course!
The above question did not constitute a part of the test however!

Tomorrow I will start my driving lessons.
Look out citizens of La Châtre!!

onsdag, januari 13, 2010

Haiti


After the devastating earthquake one fear that more than 100 000 people might have died in Haiti!

France decided to send help at once and the planes with equipment and personnel left the French soil today!
France is often the first country in Europe to take action when things like this happens.
It was the same thing with the great Tsunami in Asia a couple of years ago.

Sweden doesn't seem to have the same routine and organisation.
First of all it seems as if Swedish politicians have to discuss what to do and when this discussion has ended, it's to late!

USA is also sending help and many other countries are active in supporting Haiti both financially and with rescue personnel.
This is a catastrophy in every sense, not least since Haiti already before this happened was one of the poorest countries in the region.

måndag, januari 11, 2010

Svenska filminstitutet/Swedish Film Institute - an undemocratic organization

The Swedish Film institute (SFI) is a foundation working with promotion of Swedish film in Sweden and abroad. They are also responsible for the Cinemateque in Stockholm.
On their information site we can read:

The Swedish Film Institute Foundation works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives
.

One of many problems with this organization is the fact that it's a foundation.
Why is this a problem?
As a foundation and according to Swedish legislation, the SFI is not obliged to follow the freedom of information legislation in its entirety.
Decisions concerning e.g. employment, can not be appealed to higher authorities if you find these very same decisions incorrect and unjust (something I've experienced through my wife).
SFI is not obliged to state the reasons for a specific decision, as is otherwise the case in other organisational structures.
Not even the government - from where some of their fundings derive - is able to intervene.

As far as I have seen SFI employ people from an ethnically homogeneous perspective, following a very traditional strategy, namely prefering people who speak the native language without accent, eating the same food, having the same references and thinking in the same way.
SFI obviously prefer employing well known people or those who already work within the organisation (SFI), being of Scandinavian origin of course.
When investigating the organisational structure, I could only find one non-Scandinavian in a higher position, namely the first Chief Executive Harry Schein (1963-78)!
They also seem incapable of understanding foreign university degrees, something very obvious when my wife applied for a job at SFI. This experience is shared by many foreign academics.

The so called Film commisioners are responsible for the selection of films who ultimately will get economic support from SFI. The final decision is taken by the board but they seldom oppose the suggestions from the Film commisioners.
The problem in this case is that there are very few Film commisioners, five as a whole: one film commisioner for each group (short film, documentaries, children's films) except feature films having two film commisioners in charge
This is of course very troublesome for film makers as it limits the multitude of ideas and make this organisational structure very monolithic.

When looking at the Cinematheque in Stockholm, some people still working there were employed twenty-five years ago, in many cases without any relevant formal education in the field!
This is of course devastating for the development of the Cinematheque in Stockholm, visible not least in the declining interest among Cinemateque-members.
Most 'cinephiles' I've met who on a regular basis have been visiting the Cinematheque the last two-three decades, complain about the low quality and lack of imagination when it comes to the programming.
Now it seems as if SFI is more inclined to create a sort of 'event' profile, concerning the Cinematheque, including bars and beers and other superficial means to draw attention to their work.
They have obviously forgotten what a Cinematheque actually is and why it initially came about.
If this is the case and the goal is to change the content radically, why not call the Cinematheque something else, like the Film Event Club?!

SFI is in bad need of competent people but the competent and visionary people work elsewhere (as directors or abroad), not within the SFI!


(Photo Svenska Filminstitutet, Gärdet copied from: http://www.voodoofilm.org/images/artiklar/dromfabriken2003/filmhuset.jpg)

söndag, januari 10, 2010

1810-2010 Frédéric Chopin

This year we are celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Frédéric Chopin!

I say 'we' as I'm now living in France and he is regarded as a French even if he was born in Poland (1810) and came to live in France in 1830. On the other hand he spent his first twenty years in Poland and Austria and the last nineteen in France, whereby it's quite relevant to call him a naturalized Frenchman.

In the parts where I live - that is to say Région Centre, Berry and notably La Châtre - Chopin is present almost everywhere. This not only connected to the home of the great author George Sand in Nohant but also in names of roads, shops, restaurants etc. alluding to his name.

The bicentennial is observed in other parts of the world too and for more information you can take a look at this site: Chopin 2010.

Chopin Concerto Nr. 2 Op 21 Arthur Rubinstein:


In Nohant however - the home of George Sand (one of them and the most important) - there have been a Chopin music festival every year since 1997, called Rencontres Internationales Frédéric Chopin.
2010 is - of course - by no mean an exception and it will surely become an extraordinary festival this very special year!
The festival takes place between 4th and 14th of June and the organizers are Association Musique au Pays de George Sand.
Chopin came to Nohant in 1839 and he there composed two-third of his œuvres and - as many would say - not least some of his very best!
George Sand was - besides a fantastic author, writer of plays and literature critic and so on - a maecenas without whome a lot of writers and musicians, notably Chopin, wouldn't have survived.
Between the 9th and 12th of July there will be a seminar arranged in Nohant and at the same time a ceremony inaugurating a memorial sign, a concert hall and a special site in Nohant bearing the name of Chopin.
For a comprehensive information concerning the events in France, take a look at Chopin2010. Manifestations en France dans le cadre de l'Année Chopin 2010 a l'occasion du bicentenaire de la naissance de Frédéric Chopin.

If you love music and the music of Frédéric Chopin you will find a lot to look at and listen to in France and not least Berry and Nohant!



(Photo Chopin copied from: http://www.classiquenews.com/images/articles/8oLjvcpw_M_Frederic_chopin.jpg)
(Photo copyright: http://s1.e-monsite.com/2009/06/29/02/62585098-maison-george-de-georges-sand-jpg.jpg)

fredag, januari 08, 2010

The Whistleblower - Peter Rost

Adding to my article about the influenza (grippe A) I received information concerning the book by Peter Rost (by Peter Rost himself) and the name in English is:

The Whistleblower.


(Picture cover 'The Whistleblower' copied from: http://www.pharma-fact.org/images/books/rost.gif)

Grippe A H1 N1 - the flu!

In France we've had a recurrent discussion, namely concerning the influenza A virus subtype H1 N1 or Grippe A as the French say.

This is of course a subject discussed everywhere in the world and in the more wealthy nations in the West, people has for long questioned the necessity of the vaccin.
This not least as the quantities purchased by e.g. the French government, now seems to be exaggerated. One have ordered 50 million doses but the minister of health, Roselyne Bachelot, declares that the government has negotiated with the medical industry and that nothing is fully payed or delivered in entirety yet.
In France not even 5 million inhabitants of a population of 65 million are vaccinated towards the H1N1 compared to Sweden where 60% of the population is vaccinated.
The government of Sweden has also declared that their goal is to vaccinate 80% of the population.
This though the number of new cases of influenza in Sweden is decreasing, as in France and many other countries.

Does this mean that the Swedes are wiser or more easily controlled and governed?
The answer to this does of course depend on the severity of the influenza and if the information and results of the research on the influenza is true or not and how different people validate the information.
Looking at this from an overall perspective it seems today as the severity of this pandemi was heavily exaggerated by scientists, medical personnel and politicians.
This doesn't necessarily mean that people deliberately were given false information, it might just be that one miscalculated the impact of this flu.
Of course some countries in the world has been heavily struck but in these cases it's often a combination of other negative factors, already at hand in those specific countries.
This could be factors like malnourishment or even starvation, other serious diseases ravaging the country or a malfunctioning health care system.

In countries like Sweden or France or any other Western economically well developed country (in spite of the so called crisis we are much better of in Europe or the USA than in many other parts of the world), there have been cases where doctors claim that young or/and healthy persons have died from the influenza. This might be true but first of all we don't know all the circumstances around these cases and to know this it would be necessary to make a genetic test as there could be genetical factors of which we don't know, causing these deaths.

The overall majority of deaths caused by the influenza, has struck people with some kind of risk factor, at least according to most reports I've overheard, presented in tv, radio, newspapers and different internet sites dedicated to research around the influenza.
We have to remember that behind all this we have extremely powerful pharamaceutical companies, with influential lobbying groups trying to convince politicians about the necessity of a vaccin!
The pharmaceutical industry is a very 'dirty' industry as history has shown us and I would like to recommend a book (unfortunately still only published in Swedish I think) called 'Sick Money' ('Sjuka pengar') written by Peter Rost (Peter Rost's blog)

Peter Rost held a couple of very important positions within the pharmaceutical industry.
He was Chief Executive for the Nordic countries when working at Wyeth and he later became Executive Vise President at Pfizer (of which Wyeth today is a part).
Rost describes the pharmaceutical companies as being extremely unscrupulous to say the least, not backing from any methods to gain advantages and profit on the pharmaceutical market.
He describes them as using the same methods as the mob (mafia).

Globally the pharmaceutical industry earns 500 billion US$ per year!
Of course they could kill when this kind of money is lurking around the corner!
Having said this I also want to say that we always have to remember that these companies, doctors, politicians or decision-makers, do not generally and altogether strive to reach the best result for their fellow citizens.
They all have their own agenda, as do we all.
This is of course not a new insight but I think it's important to repeat this and always keep this in mind.

Therefore we can't be sure that governments act in the interest of the people - and this is of course always true no matter what issue - whereby these parameters have to be taken into consideration, when deciding whether or not one should inoculate against the flu.
Other debaters even go so far as to say that all this is a bluff!


(Picture virus copied from: http://vulgariz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/virus_grippe.jpg)
(Photo Roselyne Bachelot copied from: http://www.monpanierdeletchis.fr/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/roselyne_bachelot_reference.jpg)
(Photo Peter Rost copied from: http://i.bnet.com/blogs/rost-drug-reimportation-canada.jpg)

måndag, januari 04, 2010

Evgeny Kissin,Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sibelius



This evening I listened to a concert from the Verbier Music Festival (2007?):
Jean Sibelius symphony n:o 5 with Evgeny Kissin at the piano and Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the youth orchestra.

This is to some extent a very Beethoven-inspired symphony with great bravura and extraordinary fascinating parts of power combined with other more romantic, sensitive passages.
Kissin is a wonderful pianist combining these both above mentioned qualities when playing this piece of music and I think he performed it extraordinarly well.
He has become a bright and shining star on the 'pianistic heaven' the last fifteen-twenty years though he is still rather young (born in 1971)!

Esa-Pekka Salonen is a conductor who has gained a well deserved reputation within many different repertory fields and for the Swedish audience he is of course well known as having been the chief orchestra leader/director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (1985-95).
He is, in Sweden, more regarded as a Swedish rather than as the Finnish conductor he actually is. The Swedes have adopted him.

He conducted the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, consisted of young musicians, in a piece of music he must know very well and they sounded very good with a surprisingly mature sound.

The final from Sibelius symphony no 5 with Esa-Pekka Salonen
(not from this concert)


Evgeny Kissin at Verbier Music Festival playing Prokofiev 'Romeo and Juliet'


Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet - Evgeny Kissin -... par medicitv



(Photo Evgeny Kissin copied from: http://operachic.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/04/21/kissin.jpg)
(Photo Esa-Pekka Salonen copied from: http://www.tokafi.com/static/2008/02/esa-pekka-salonen-goes-multimedia-philharmonia-Esa_Pekka_Salonen_Philharmonia.jpg)

söndag, januari 03, 2010

India


I read an article in L'Express the other day. It was an interview with Ratan Tata the chairman of the Tata Group, India's largest conglomerate, doing business within a great number of domains (Iron industry, telecom, nuclear power, tea, hotels, cars and more).

He states that Asia will "dominate the century", not least economically but perhaps also culturally and intellectually.
This might not come as a surprise though. With China and India developing economically in an incredible pace, Japan still being an economical super power and the other "Asian tigers" not at all being dead and burried, this is quite likely.
Mister Tata also claims that India hasn't suffer from the economical crisis as the rest of the world. It was something "imposed" on India from abroad and when the political leaders noticed this they invested heavily in infrastructure and this made the effects less severe for India.
The decreasing export and demands never really threatened the Indian economy according to Ratan Tata, even though export fell with 33 %! The less serious effects of this was due to the Indian domestic market with some 500 million consumers (and a population well over one billion).
The financial sector didn't experience the same negative development either, as was the case in many other countries in the world.

He doesn't think of India as a super power yet but a country becoming more and more influential, both economically and politically.

Tata talks about the transformation of India from a agricultural country to an industrial nation and how this will cause social-economical problems when people are migrating to the cities.
Today only 15% are agriculturists compared with 50% some years ago (I don't know how long ago though).
India will also play a more active role politically with a seat in the General Council and also becoming a more influential player within the IMF as being the second largest country in the world.

Ratan Tata has also developed the cheapest car in the world, the Nano. This will of course increase the amount of Indians becoming car owners.
He also wants to lance the Nano in Europe at the prize of 6000 €.
As being a car fantast he earlier bought Jaguar and Land Rover although the long negotiations made the prize higher than anticipated.

Commenting on this I would like to say that as with China, India will probably develop rapidly from an economical standpoint but as being a democracy the government can't dictate the terms in the same way as in China.
This is of course something positively seen from the perspective of the Indian people but will perhaps delay the economical development compared to China.
Personally I prefer a situation where the people have the possibility to object to certain tendencies in society than a state that threatens its people to comply, even if this slow down the social-economical progress.
Someone would perhaps argue that this is said from a Western perspective by someone who's not starving or living under miserable conditions, like many Indians, and this is of course true.

China did also start developing the infrastructure earlier than India by building a highway between Beijing and Shanghai e.g. This has lead to that the infrastructure in China generally is better than that in India.
The infrastructural work has though - as Ratan Tata indicates - developed the last few years.
On the other hand I believe (as I've written before) that Indian university students or researchers/scientists tend to leave the country to a greater extent than the Chinese.
The Indians also tend to stay abroad if they get a chance. This because they are better payed and appreciated for their skill and competence.
The loyalty towards the state is more elaborate in China I believe.

As with China the rapid economical development in India will lead to a number of global problems, not least environmental, this, among other thins, through the above fact that the Tata Group has developed the cheapest car in the world.
The car was for a long time (and still is) in the West regarded as a symbol of freedom before one realized that the freedom for one person to drive his or her car to the extent one wishes, limits the freedom of others to breathe fresh air and having a good environment to live in.
For Indians and Chinese people, not least the poorer strata, the car will be seen in the same way as in West, namely as a symbol of freedom and independence and the environmental aspects will hardly be of any interest to the common Indian or Chinese man or woman.

That India and China is becoming more and more influential is a positive development, not least as a counter part to USA but it should however permit us to ask ourself certain vital questions related to this development, both concerning politics, environment and other related issues.
The Earth belongs to all of us whereby everything happening on this very globe concerns all people living on it, not only those in a certain country or a certain region as is often stated.
The "mind your own business" attitude is obsolete.

It's also a fact that both India and China are nuclear powers and if both the major countries in the world (USA, Russia, India, China) and others, are nuclear powers, we risk another 'cold war', a development some debaters actually welcome! They believe this will stabilize the power relations in the world!
However, personally I think this would be a very dangerous situation. The more nuclear arms in more hands, the greater risk for a 'mishap' or a consiously planned use of these weapons.
As long as the struggle between countries primarily is economical, this can - hopefully - be dealt with but if more and more countries become nuclear powers, this could and will lead to severe consequences for our planet.

There are many questions to be asked and even more answers to await. We will see what the future has in store for the planet.

House of Frankenstein


Yes Boris Karloff is acting in this movie but his not doing the monster of Frankenstein, the role is instead given to a strange actor, that is to say Glenn Strange.
In this film Doctor Gustav Niemann, together with the 'hunchback' Daniel, his 'assistant', escape from a prison where they are held.
Niemann promises Daniel that he shall help him move his brain to another body, that is more physically fit than his own. This after having done experiments on animals and their brains, 'knowing' that this is possible.
Never trust a doctor!

On the way they encounter a travelling carnival who is in possession of a skeleton of Count Dracula, who can be revived by removing the wooden staken from his chest. They kill the owner and Niemann and Daniel remove the stake and now they hope that Dracula will help them but he has decided to fool them, and so he does. Never trust a vampire!
When continuing their travel they meet with a 'gypsy' caravan and Daniel falls in love with a young woman in this group. Unfortunately the feelings are not reciprocal, even though she accepts him as a friend.
When arriving to the castle of dr Niemann, where he intends to continue with his experiment, they come across the monster of Frankenstein and the Wolf Man, both frozen in ice but revived by dr Niemann.
The Wolf Man becomes the tormented Larry Talbot and the gypsy woman - with whom Daniel fell in love - falls in love with Talbot and so the story continues.

This is a very amusing film of course and one can't say that it becomes neither thrilling nor particularly breathtaking, something the trailer tries to make us think - of course.
It's as if it's made with the ambition to gather a couple of the famous 'monsters' and actors (Karloff and Lon Chaney) and in doing so it becomes somewhat of a 'cult movie', even though this term is to often used.

Director: Erle C. Kenton.

China


I read in a newsletter from Kairos Future (19/11-09) about the rapid change of society in China from the late 70's til today.
This article talked about the de-collectivization of the agricultural sector, the opening of different world markets, foreign trade and the augmentation of migration and mobilitiy.

As some examples one can mention that;
- 25 million square meter of property were demolished in Shanghai during one decade and replaced with 4000 skyscrapers, twice the amount as New York! This according to this article.
- The Guangdong province was the reformed China's first area experimenting with market economy and there the population grew from 100 000 to 10 milions in only a few decades!
- According to this article the chinese live twice as long as fifty years ago.
- China and Europe had the same amount of inhabitants sixty years ago, today the Chinese are twice as many (I would say more than that).
- The number of people using the mobile phone in China is higher than the amount of inhabitants in Europe.
- In the year 2000 USA had seven times more internet users than China, today thare are more internet users in China than in USA.
- The same year - 2000 - the United States of America had more people with a university degree than China, today China has twice as many university graduates as USA.
- In 2009 China became the biggest car market in the world and China is predicted to become the largest economy in the world - measured after GNP - in 2020.

The article in Kairos Future, urged companies and financiers to take this into consideration when enlarging their businesses and trading with other countries.
Included in this was to learn about China as a country, its history, culture and language.

To me the most interesting aspects about this article is the fact that this transition has been possible because of - or thanks to - the dictatorship. Personally I prefer the term because of but market economists would probably say "thanks to" as they care less about human lives.
Why do I prefer "because of"?
For the simple reason that this huge transition has been made possible through the fact that people living in these areas - being transformed - sometimes very brutally have been removed from their homes and more or less transported to other parts of the country.
During the reign of Mao Zedong this policy was even more brutal and perverse, treating humans as his own playthings in order to augment his power.
Of course these kind of event has to a certain amount happened in democracies too when democracies haven't fully functioned as such more than on a official level (in Sweden and elsewhere).
In this case - as we are talking about a totalitarian regime - people don't have a choise, they are forced to leave if they want to avoid severe reprisals or being killed.

Some would say that a great number of people have prospered thanks to this development and this might be true but one have to ask oneself if the prosperity of a relatively few justifies the suffering of many?!
How can I say a "relatively few"?
I can't prove that there are a greater number of people who have suffered than have prospered in this process as I can't present any statistics (and as we know, with statistics you can prove almost everything, true ore false).
My general feeling - taking into consideration the reports from China - does however suppport a view of this kind.
We have to remember that China has the biggest population in the world and that it's more likely imagining that this process has favoured people living in the big cities rather than the peasants and rural population, constituting the majority of the Chinese population.
We also have to remember that only during the rule of Mao, 70 million people were killed!

The augmentation of inhabitants in the Guangdong province is of course a process causing a great deal of trouble and problems, not only bringing more wealth or prosperity.
It causes problems for the environment but also social and cultural problems.
Again, these two latter problems can - unfortunately - always be dealt with by the military in a dictatorship like China!

Becoming or being the biggest car market in the world, raises questions concerning the consequences for the environment. In the world today there are (according to some figures) around 1 billion cars and in 2025 some scientists have estimated the number of cars in the world to 2,4 billions!
When talking about environmental aspects in relation to the economical development in China, the Chinese leaders always points at Europe and USA saying that we can't stop the process in China by referring to environmental aspects as the West never have taking into account these very same environmental aspects. Not until, lets say, the last three decades.
This is true but this can't stop us from discussing this issue.
However in order to do so countries in the West have to present significant progress in their environmental work and the Copenhagen conference did not succeed in this case!

After Mao Zedong a more 'market liberale' development began and this is of course to some degree very positive if it could lead to better living conditions for those Chinese living in poverty.
A market economy is however not a solely blessing system even though the world is full of 'market economy-fundamentalists' crying out their 'gospel' to the world.
The market economy is an anti-intellecutal system and if the prosperity is going to be combined with a sustainable living, intellectuals, not politicians or business men (-women) have to lead the way in the future.
This means that we have to start looking at as many aspects of development as possible not only the rude parameter called 'economic growth'.
This is important for us in the West as well as for the Chinese, Indians or any other people in the world experiencing the 'blessings and curses' of economic growth.
This is of course not a new insight but unfortunately our political leaders lack the courage to lead this work ahead.
Still the multinational companies dictate the terms and political leaders are willing to follow as they see many short term profits both economically and politically.
This is the case with the Chinese leaders as well as the leaders of the so called 'free world'.

When it comes to education and university studies I think (again without being able to prove this) that Chinese university students and researchers/scientists are more willing to stay in China or - if they have the possibility to go abroad - to return to China after a séjour in another country.
I also believe that this is something that differs China from India, as 'brain-drain' is a great problem in India. Indians going abroad for studies or work tend to stay as they are better payed in Western countries than in their native country India.
In Sweden we have had a great number of very competent Indian engineers and this goes for many European countries and the USA.
China is a country under strong development but as with the industrial and post-industrial era in the West, this will lead to great environmental, social and economical problems, besides the positive effects.

lördag, januari 02, 2010

Happy New 2010!

L'emmerdeur


This film is a remake of an earlier 'L'emmerdeur' (1973), directed by Edouard Molinaro with Lino Ventura and Jacques Brel as the main characters.

This version (L'emmerdeur, IMdB) is made by Francis Veber in 2008.
In the leading roles we see Richard Berry and Patrick Timsit.
The story is amusing and it circles around two characters, one hitman (Richard Berry) and one suicidal man (Patrick Timsit) (and yes suicidal behaviour can be amusing) who both check in to the same hotel, however for different reasons.
As they live 'next door' to each other they become entangled in to their different life stories, something that changes them booth.
The hitman is constantly interrupted by the suicidal man who wants to talk or if not talking making suicidal attempts that fail, involving the hit man against his will.
The suicidal man becomes aware of the 'mission' his 'neighbour' has rented the room to execute(!) and this makes him try to interfer and stop him, partly making him forgetting his misery and thereby having a 'mission' of his own.

There are a lot of funny sequences even though there are no surprises in the plot.
Some having seen the older version, says they like that one better.
As I've only seen this one, I have nothing to say about that more than it might be due to the fact that when years go by one sometimes tend to idealize other versions as those actors, in retrospective, are very known to us today and somewhat 'mythical'.

fredag, januari 01, 2010

Le silence est d'or


Chevalier - Le silence est d'or par RioBravo


This above film is made by René Clair and today I don't think there are so many ordinary cinema-goers in Europe or elsewhere - besides cinephiles and cineasts - who know or remember this film maker and his works.
This is a pitty as he has made a lot of interesting films starting 1924 with his first œuvre, Entr'acte to his last film Les fêtes galantes made in 1965.
During my film studies we saw Paris qui dort (Paris asleep) a film about a scientist who invents a specific ray that make Paris and all its inhabitants freeze in their movements when activating the beam.
This was a film that experimented with the cameras ability to create slow and very quick movements, creating a game with room and space.

This film - Le silence est d'or - almost becomes a 'ménages à trois'.
Emile, a french film producer is left in the house of a friend together with the daughter of this very same friend, Lucette.
He falls in love with her and tries to stop her from meeting other men as the old egoistic creature he is.
When a younger friend of Emile returns from military service things get more complicated.
The younger friend complains over his misfortune when it comes to women and in order to help him, Emile advices him to start doing business with women. So he does and who does he meet then.....? Lucette of course.
He falls in love with her and she with him.
In the role as Emile we see Maurice Chevalier.

It's quite an enchanting piece of work, though foreseeable and not at all Clairs most interesting film, though it was awarded some prizes at different film festivals.

Below 'Paris qui dort'


Paris qui dort par XLanig





(Picture poster copied from: http://www.cinema-francais.fr/images/affiches/affiches_c/affiches_clair_rene/le_silence_est_d_or01.jpg)
(Photo René Claire copied from: http://www.filmreference.com/images/sjff_02_img0614.jpg)