Perfect timing! Weeks before my June jaunt to London, I learn that a major Pink Floyd exhibition is being staged at London’s Victoria and Albert, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. It’s the talk of the town: in London, here in Paris and elsewhere.
Experience a spectacular and unparalleled audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd’s unique and extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the band, from their debut in the 1960s through to the present day.
Remember their Dark Side of the Moon album? Memories of lying on my bed, Friday night stoned, a 1970s teenager listening to this album on my record player, over and over. I just read that Dark Side stayed on the U.S. billboard chart for a record 15 years!! After Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Saturday Night Fever, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, it remains the fourth best-selling album of all time.
And their 1977 Animals album with the iconic cover of a pig floating over Battersea Power Station? The haunting sound of those dogs barking on the Dogs track overlaid with that explosive guitar solar was, in 1970s parlance, funkadelic.
Below is the V&A website where you can buy your tickets online. Below that is, interestingly, an article in today’s Guardian newspaper on what has become of the Battersea Power Station (a 9 billion pound urban renewal project).
Surfing the net looking for a movie theater in which to watch Raoul Peck’s “Je ne suis pas votre nègre” (I Am Not Your Negro), released tomorrow in France, I stumbled across the refurbished LOUXOR.
Built in 1921, it was transformed into a nightclub in 1983 – first a Caribbean nightclub and then the largest gay club in the city – before closing permanently in 1988. For twenty-two years the place was abandoned and left for ruin. And then the City of Paris purchased it in 2003. It was entirely renovated and re-opened in 2013. Today it has three gorgeous screening rooms.
Anthony Rauchen photo, theater 1
Anthony Rauchen photo, theater 3
Anthony Rauchen photo, theater 2
I can’t wait to go to the LOUXOR to see this new film.
66.10 per cent of the French electorate kicked Marine Le Pen and her National Front party in the teeth and voted Macron. Bravo. This means that the French weren’t dumb enough to choose the Trump route, like too many Americans did.
Marine, daughter of neo-fascist, xenophobe thug, Jean Le Pen, and racist xenophone yourself … you had your pitiful 15 minutes of fame. Now, dégage et va te faire foutre !!! (beat it and fuck off). Coz we don’t like having you around.
As for Emmanuel Macron who created his political party, En Marche, from his own initials … you’re our Prez now.
Don’t let us down, Monsieur le Président.
A year ago, while surfing on You Tube, I stumbled across these home movies taken by Roddy McDowell. As a movie buff, I’m a fan of many of the stars shown here (look at Jane Fonda at 27, she was gawgeous!) There’s no sound and you realize you don’t need sound. There’s no glitz or artifice, and yet the natural glamour that exudes from these beautiful people is thrilling. Back in the 1960s, Malibu was not multi-million dollar homes and gated communities, but rather beach shacks, simplicity, and natural living. Imagine … no internet, no cell phones, no paparazzi, no Botox, no selfies.
As a teen I idolized Paul Newman. I’ve seen every single one of his films. Here he is looking like Adonis. And there’s the young Natalie Wood. These folks weren’t called movie stars for nothing!
The mighty Kirk, Lauren Bacall, etc.
It’s a chilly May night and I’m listening to the Macron-Le Pen political debate on TV while planning my trip to London in June. Le Pen is combative, Macron defensive. She has just accused him of laxism towards Islamic fundamentalism and claims he’s in the hands of the UOIF (Union des organisations islamiques de France). He’s calling her a liar. Their profound dislike for one another is palpable. The debate will go on for hours and afterwards there’ll be analysis and examination. On Sunday one of these two candidates will be the next President of France. (Macron!)
In London there’s an interesting-looking exhibition at Somerset House. It’s described as a Multi-sensory exhibition featuring ten extraordinary perfumes and their pioneering creators.
You’ll be taken on an olfactory journey through a series of rooms designed to reflect the inspirations of the scents, from a sandy desert to the Scottish Highlands, a Catholic confessional to a lover’s boudoir. Each room will include visual, auditory and tactile references to the identity and influences of the perfumer to guide you on your olfactory journey. The website link to this magnificent arts and cultural centre in the heart of London is below. Check it out to see the long list of exhibitions showing there.
And if that isn’t enough, inside Somerset House you’ll find one of the finest museums in the world called the Courtauld Gallery.
THE COURTAULD GALLERY IS ONE OF LONDON’S MUST-SEE ART MUSEUMS
The collection stretches from the early Renaissance into the 20th century. The Gallery holds an outstanding collection of fine works of sculpture and decorative arts, drawings and prints. Don’t forget that most museums and art centers in Great Britain have lovely tea shops, restaurants or cafés on the premises.
For students of all ages, there’s also the Courtauld Institute of Art which offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
Poverty. The Great Depression. Coca-Cola signs. Roadside buildings, street and subway scenes. Faces. 20th-century American landscape and culture.
Walker Evans (1903-1975) was an important twentieth-century American photographer. His photographs of the Depression years of the 1930s, his assignments for Fortune magazine in the 1940s and 1950s, and his “documentary style” influenced generations of photographers and artists. His attention to everyday details and the commonplace urban scene did much to define the visual image of 20th-century American culture. Some of his photographs have become iconic.
The exhibition at the Pompidou is the first major museum retrospective of Evans’s work in France. Unprecedented in its ambition, it retraces the whole of his career, from his earliest photographs in the 1920s to the Polaroids of the 1970s, through more than 300 vintage prints drawn from the most important American institutions (among them the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.) and also more than a dozen private collections. It also features a hundred or so other exhibits drawn from the post cards, enamel signs, print images and other graphic ephemera that Evans collected his whole life long.
26 April 2017 – 14 August 2017
Centre Pompidou, Paris
Standing in front of my television set and watching the 8 pm evening news as today’s election results were announced: Emmanuel Macron in the lead at 23.7% and Marine Le Pen at 21.7%, I shouted a loud and resounding whoop of joy. Impulsively, I then ran to the window, flung it wide open, and uttered a second whoop into the street (I’ve never done that before in my life.) Passers-by looked up in surprise. “Macron!!” I shouted gleefully, and two people gave a thumbs-up sign. So exultant I am that Macron is in the lead, I couldn’t help myself.
Centrist, pragmatic, pro-European Union, young (39 years old), economically liberal and pro-business, he is not a socialist but on the left on social issues. France desperately needs new blood. France desperately needs to rid herself of those stale, corrupt, arrogant, last-century, political dinosaurs of the past. Hopefully Macron will personify the new France of the 21st century.
Unless something goes terribly, horribly wrong in the run-off May election (and it won’t because I have faith), Macron will be the next president of France, and for this I am glad.
VIVE LA FRANCE !!