We will be in Paris next week. I can hardly stand the long times between being there, the place where I feel the most “at home.” Well, at home, because it’s all so familiar and doesn’t change like everything here does. Through a viewfinder of any type, it still looks like the black and white images from the first Truffaut movies I saw 30 years ago.
Good article here from today’s NYT on Paris in the movies. I don’t have a 16mm, but may bring a big Nikon for once, now that I’m not carrying little kids in my arms half the day.
“We’ll always have Paris,” Rick says to Ilsa at the end of “Casablanca,” and for movie lovers this is certainly true. Even as genre preferences shift and digital technology messes with our cinematic sense of place, and even among viewers allergic to subtitles or indifferent to the antique glories of the Nouvelle Vague, Paris is durable, indispensable, infinitely photographable.
…Paris is special. Its uniquely dense weave of narrow streets and broad boulevards — concentric rings reflecting state-of-the-art mid-19th-century urban planning superimposed on a medieval core, with barely a right angle or parallel line in sight — discloses an apparently limitless reservoir of perspectives and moods. The sun setting over the Seine; the swirl of traffic around the Place de la Concorde; the workaday neighborhoods on the eastern fringe of the Right Bank; the storied cafes and restaurants clustered around the Boulevard St.-Germain. Love, sophistication, eroticism, danger, class struggle, violence, tenderness, political intrigue — any effect, theme or motif you can contemplate is likely to have a Paris address.