PARIS, OF COURSE (First of a series on Paris, and other great cities)


Rue de l,arbre sec (Street of the Dry Tree), the site of the gallows in medieval Paris, and also the site of the once-glorious Art Nouveau department store, La Samaritaine, now shut down (just off the right foreground of the photo).

We’ve been very fortunate in having most generous and delightful friends and colleagues who work and live there.

To our great surprise, we’ve come across this turf so hallowed to us, in the recently released film, Holy Motors.

We’re delighted to find that the presentation of a scene at the derelict site of the former Samarataine dovetails with such exciting and touching cinematic energies. This wide-ranging exploration also touches with dazzling audacity upon renowned Pere Lachaise Cemetary and the sewers running beneath it.

There is much in Holy Motors about the rare and brilliant filmic efforts of David Lynch, in particular, his Mulholland Drive.

Both Lynch and the force behind Holy Motors—Leos Carax—have been consumed by the issues of the film, Beauty and the Beast, by Jean Cocteau.

When you enter the realms of Jean Cocteau, David Lynch and Leos Carax, you enter the realm of Surrealist art.

At one point of the harrowing, brave and wonderful film, Holy Motors, the protagonist’s chauffeur tells him, “Paris is very beautiful tonight…”

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