Tag Archives: Imaging Paris

Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin: Two Film Clips

Henry Miller & Anaïs Nin on Death and Dreams | Anaïs Nin reflections Continue reading

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Remembering a Free Man in Paris on Father’s Day

A street artist in Montmartre made this sketch of my father, Bob Willis, in 2005. It’s based on a photo taken after the war which is tagged “Paris 1945.” I carried that photo in my pocket until I found a suitable artist. The challenge now in Montmartre is choosing just one while evading a flock of noisy and aggressive competitors. In commissioning this drawing I was completing a circle for me and my dad. He had carried a wedding photo of my mother throughout the war, and in Montmartre he found a street artist who turned the image into an oil painting. The price Bob negotiated was two cartons of cigarettes and a chocolate bar. Continue reading

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Remembering a Free Man in Paris

A street artist in Montmartre made this sketch of my father, Bob Willis, in 2005. It’s based on a photo taken after the war which is tagged “Paris 1945.” I carried that photo in my pocket until I found a suitable artist. The challenge now in Montmartre is choosing just one while evading a flock of noisy and aggressive competitors. In commissioning this drawing I was completing a circle for me and my dad. He had carried a wedding photo of my mother throughout the war, and in Montmartre he found a street artist who turned the image into an oil painting. The price Bob negotiated was two cartons of cigarettes and a chocolate bar. Continue reading

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Flaneur’s Gallery: Music in the Tuileries

Édouard Manet. Music in the Tuileries. Oil on canvas, 1862. National Gallery, London [Source: Wikipedia] I believe the fashionable Flaneur in top hat at the left edge of Manet’s painting is the poet Charles Baudelaire. Continue reading

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Political Theater on Fashionista Street: No One Posed Such Questions To Abigail Adams & Pat Nixon

No one ever said of Mrs. Nixon what wags are asking about Mrs. Sarkozy after a revealing display of fashionista power (left) at the Elysee Palace. The occasion was a state dinner for Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. The vehicle was a form-fitting Roland Mouret dress that begged the question, “Should Carla Bruni have worn a bra?” Continue reading

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A Courtesan’s Advice For Carla Bruni: “Don’t Eat That Bling!”

Comparing the extravagance of Carla Bruni and Marie-Antoinette reminded me of another sordid tale of conspicuous consumption from The Daily Mail, which got its facts from that august nexus of science and celebrity gossip, the British Medical Journal. A study published last December in the BMJ found toxic concentrations of gold and mercury in the remains of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of the 16th-century French king, Henry II . Diane likely succumbed to the French nobility’s predilection for drinking elixir of gold (think of it as a bling smoothie) in hopes of preserving eternal youth. Continue reading

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Was Man Ray’s “Emak-Bakia” the “Avatar” of the 1920s?

When Man Ray’s short film “Emak-Bakia” debuted in Paris in 1926, critical opinion was mixed. One angry viewer shouted that it gave him a headache and hurt his eyes, to which another retorted, “Shut up!” A brawl ensued, which spread through the audience and spilled into the street. Then the police arrived to quell the riot. Continue reading

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The King Is Dead. Long Live The Herons!

The statistics are staggering for the wine auction at La Tour d’Argent, the venerable Left Bank restaurant with a 27-room wine cellar [left; photo by David Queen/Wikipedia]. The auction fetched more than a million euros, according to AFP. A bottle … Continue reading

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Revisionist Remix for ‘A Moveable Feast’

Hemingway with his first wife, Hadley Richardson, left, and his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. [Source: Hemingway Collection/JFK Library/AP/NYT] Ernest Hemingway said some mean things about Gertrude Stein and Zelda Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast.  He never forgave Zelda for suggesting … Continue reading

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Paris, je t’aime – Bastille

After I posed the rhetorical question yesterday about video tributes to world-class neighborhoods, Alex sent me Paris, je t’aime-Bastille. Point well-taken, and many thanks! According to Wikipedia: Bastille (XIIe arrondissement) — by Spanish writer-director Isabel Coixet. Prepared to leave his … Continue reading

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