Back to Paris

October 12, 2013

I was silent in the last couple of months. In fact, I was moving back to Paris after five years spent in Rome. I have several projects on the way : A short film on André Le Nôtre and the Parc de Sceaux that I shot a few weeks ago, another film on the Bosco della Ragnaia which I am finishing editing. And I walk in the streets of Vincennes where I live -nearby the Bois- and the small towns around, Fontenay sous Bois, Montreuil. After five years in Italy, I re-discover Paris and the suburb with the eyes of a tourist…

 

sceaux

 

 

ParisThe Parc de Sceaux

 

Paris-2In Fontenay sous Bois

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Auguri

January 9, 2013

Auguri !  I wish you a happy new year…

I was commissioned to make a second film on the Bosco della Ragnaia during wintertime so I went there last week  to shoot the first sequences. As I was filming very early morning, I took pictures of this series of thoughts engraved by Sheppard Craige in the garden. They might become my motto for the coming year.

 

BOSCO_GEN

 

BOSCO_GEN-2

 

BOSCO_GEN-3

The short documentary on the Bosco della Ragnaia I shot in May is online. The film was commissioned by Sheppard Craige, the artist making  this incredible garden, to keep the record of the place as it was in spring 2012. It was really nice to work with him as he gave me full freedom to shoot the documentary.  He didn’t want to be in the film, but I finally managed to convince him to record his voice and to appear very briefly in a sequence.

I have done radio documentaries for France-Culture and BBC Radio4 and this is my first try at doing a documentary film on a garden. It is not an easy thing as a garden is very quiet, doesn’t move much. It is all about contemplation and slow movement. I wanted the film to be also a portrait of an artist.

My friends Bernadette Dupont in Belgium and Laure in Paris, who are both producing movies, gave me useful advices during the editing and several friends photographers or working in the design field sent me also their views on the first versions I made. Thanks to everyone!

I know I will keep going on with the Bosco as Sheppard already asked me to shoot a second film, something very different,  next autumn and winter. I am also looking forward to shoot films on other gardens.

 

 

Piazza Vittorio, Rome

July 5, 2012

First shooting early this morning for a project on the garden of Piazza Vittorio in Rome with the neighborhood committee. The 19th century garden, located in a multi-ethnic area of the Esquilino, is a public park where local people spend a lot of time. From Tai-chi in the morning to cinema screening late in the evning, it is always busy.  There is also the magic door, built in the 17th by Marquis of Pietraforte on the site where, according to the legend, an alchemist found the secret for producing gold.

I will go back a few times in the next months to take pictures and shoot a short film about the place.

 

The Magic Door

I went to see the exhibition dedicated to the artists who lived in Villa Strohl-Fern at the end of the XIXth century and during the first part of the XXth century. If you have the chance to go to Rome, the exhibition lasts until June 17 in the beautiful casino dei Principi in Villa Torlonia.
As I spent many days photographing Villa Strohl-Fern last year for an exhibition, it was great to see paintings and sculptures by Francesco Trombadori, Carlo Socrate, Ercole Drei, Giuseppe Lallich and many others.  Some photos of the artists in the villa and even a film made by the Italian television during the war are also shown.
http://fr.museivillatorlonia.it/

 

It is quite rare that a garden becomes a top news story but this week, Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli was at the center of a controversy and reached the frontpages. Authorities decided to build a huge garbage dump nearby the garden, the famous emperor’s summer residence near Rome built between 117 and 138 AD, which is listed as a Unesco’s World Heritage site. The Italian culture minister Lorenzo Ornaghi had threatened to resign and finally the government decided yesterday evening to ditch the plans.

 

A banner near Hadrian’s villa protesting the plans of the waste dump