Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Young Tourists of Sacre Coeur

Today was the brightest, warmest day I've ever experienced in Paris (my prior visit having been in December 2002), so we trotted back up to Sacre Coeur to look out over the city. (Trotted, apart from the final 90+ stairs on the butte, where Bondi & I raced each other to the summit.)

The view of the city was not considerably improved by the sunshine, except perhaps by being able to pick out a little more detail, but the basilica itself has greater presence.

Even more brightly lit, and certainly more gaily coloured is Jacques Demy's Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, his 1967 follow-up to the much-loved Les Parapluies De Cherbourg (1964). Both combine Michel Legrand's music with some of Catherine Deneuve's earliest screen appearances. Anyway Les D de R, was chosen as this month's film for student viewing by my school. I think I might have been the only student prepared for the rainbow froth that was about to appear before them, but I wasn't really in the mood to sit through more than 1/2 an hour of it that afternoon.

One of my favourite LPs was a suite of music from Les Parapluies De Cherbourg, together with another for The Go Between - the latter arranged as theme and variations for orchestra & two pianos. To my knowledge, it's never surfaced on CD. There has been a fine 2CD set of the complete score to Parapluies (which was through-sung) with a bunch of extras such as Tony Bennett singing a few pieces, and Legrand's Big Band attacking I Will Wait For You with enormous verve.
The most memorable time in class today was a set of discussions about whether or not we believed in reincarnation, heaven & hell, angels, fairies, peace on earth, UFOs etc. One of the new students did some impersonations of ET's "ET phone home" plea in several languages while I struggled to say: "No I don't believe in reincarnation but I did in a previous life."

I walked Bondi through rue Montorgueil yesterday to do some shopping, and arrange a tattoo inking and I could hear someone exclaiming "soixante dix kilo!" again and again behind me...either someone who'd heard Bondi's weight or the news had spread. It made me think of Serge Gainsbourg's pop-hit Soixante Neuf Annee Erotique. He sang that with Jane Birkin, also his collaborateuse (?) on Je t'aime after Brigitte Bardot turned it down. Their original version may only have been surpassed by Julian Clary & Bob Downe's cover on the Australian Banana Lounge compilation, which also has a bizarre cover of Tubthumping by Pastel Vespa. Posted by Picasa

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