Méliès to Hopper: Parisian Cinema

November 24, 2008 by Derrick Faw · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Arts, Cinephile 

Yesterday Samantha and I visited La Cinémathèque Française to see the Dennis Hopper exhibition and to my surprise we were also able to visit the exhibition on Georges Méliès and the Musée du Cinéma. The Cinémathèque is located at 51, Rue de Bercy in the 12th Arrondissement. Paris surely has a rich culture based in cinema. It is an ideal place for cinemaphiles. Any given day you can go see classic films in various places in the city. I was first impressed a few years ago when we ducked off the Champs-Élysées into an underground cinema to watch James Stewart in Anthony Mann’s The Man from Laramie. I could of never imagined such a wealth of movies to go watch back in North Carolina. Since then we’ve seen many great films in Paris. One of the most noted treats was last year when the Cinémathèque showed Howard Hawks’ Sergeant York. They even show such rarities as Bob Dylan’s Renaldo And Clara. In Paris we also have the opportunity to attend master classes from noted Directors. For example, I had an excellent time hearing Michael Cimino discuss Heaven’s Gate before the movie aired. Though I throughly enjoyed watching Thunderbolt and Lightfoot on the big screen far more. For a listing of English speaking movies in the Paris area you can check out the AngloInfo website for the Ile de France region at http://paris.angloinfo.com/information/movies.asp

The Museum of Cinema at the  Cinémathèque was very interesting. There you have an opportunity to see the instruments that were first used in cinematography. There are many different types of costumes and props from the early years. I was dissappointed a bit that there was very little from later years on display. However one fascinating piece was the actual skull Alfred Hitchcock used for Norman Bate’s mother in Psycho. I found the real treat of the Cinémathèque on the 5th floor. It was the exhibition on George Méliès, the Magician of Cinema or the Cinemagician. Though most noted for La Voyage dans la lune or in English A Trip to Mars or A Trip to the Moon, Méliès can be credited for over a hundred other films.

Georges Méliès

He was a true genius and pioneer in the craft of making films. With his incredible sense of humor and curiosity, the imagination of audiences could explore regions never before envisioned. Being a true student of the technology of the time, he set a standard for special effects which holds up, even in today’s world of computer generated effects. He invented techniques such as the “stop trick” and was one of the first to use such features as dissolves, time lapse photography, multiple exposures, and color. On display was a model of his studio which was located in the suburbs of Paris. This fascinating building was constructed almost entirely of glass, with panels that could be opened on the roof to let in valuable sunlight. The building also included such things as trap floors to assist in the trick shots he preformed. Though his films may not hold up as great stories or have inspiring scripts in the terms of film language, they are no doubt some of the most important treasures for anyone interested in cinema and cinematography. I find myself great inspiration in his experiments of what can be done with a camera. As we begin to make our own films, I will try to keep in mind this kind of ingenuity and invention.

Finally we found ourselves at the Dennis Hopper Exhibition called Dennis Hopper & le Nouvel Hollywood. On display were many photographs, paintings, film clips, and various other curiosities, both from his own works to his private collection. Of all Hopper’s talents in the field of the arts I think I appreciate most how he composes himself verbally. At the beginning of the exhibition was a video of him reflecting on many of the important events that have shaped America politically and through the cinema in his lifetime. Included in the show were works by Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, Roy Lichenstein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat among others.

Dennis Hopper, John Ford, & John Huston

He established himself firmly in the old regime of Hollywood, working for great directors such as Nicholas Ray and George Stevens. Hopper is one of the founders and remains a benchmark of American counter culture. He stands in an unique position as being a witness and participant in the birth and death of the New Hollywood. From working with such figures as Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood to James Dean, to photographing Andy Warhol at the Factory and Martin Luther King in 1965. He even remains relevant today among his more modern acquaintances such as Quentin Tarantino and Sean Penn. In addition to a multitude of acting roles in film and television, he has written and directed several films. Most notably of course is Easy Rider, which will go down in history as one of the films that changed the course of popular culture. The exhibition, without much elaboration was simply great and I recommend it to anyone in the Paris area. It is on display until January 19th, 2009.

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Roll camera! Action!

November 23, 2008 by Samantha Halfon · Leave a Comment
Filed under: World Wide Angle 

I am a “cinephile”, or a film buff or whatever you want to call it and I have been so for ten years now. I started out by going to the movies several times a weeks, then visiting the cinematheque to discover the old masterpieces. Luckily, my interests in movies was soon followed by the arrival of the DVD. Thanks to this great media, I have had no shortage of great movies to watch – always in their original version. So. watching Mean Streets and Carlito’s Way at least once a week, I ended up speaking a decent english. Oh yea, by the way, I am french. One thing leading to another, I got engaged to an American from North Carolina. Anyway…

At the same time I started watching movies, I also started making them. Luckily again,  around that time, computers available to the public were just starting to be powerful enough to handle video acquisition and editing. Because I started using computers to make videos, I became more and more of a geek, spending more and more time on the Internet as the price of the connection lowered. And following that road, I became a computing engineer. Currently, I work as a software engineer for blueKiwi software. But I have not stopped watching movies and directing videos using the name World Wide Angle as an artist alias for whatever me or Derrick would work on. But now, the time has come for us to launch and take our filmmaking the next step. We are ready to handle other people’s projects from start to finish including the filming, the post-production and the distribution whether it’d be on a physical media or on the Cloud.

Along with World Wide Angle, the company, we are launching this blog where I will write about editing, about the Internet and probably also about some of the movies we watch. Our intentions with this blog are to share some of the tricks we discovered along the way and hopefully to get some answers and advice from “our readers”.

Introducing World Wide Angle sponsored by Oxycodone.

November 23, 2008 by Derrick Faw · Leave a Comment
Filed under: World Wide Angle 

Welcome to the official launch of our Blog and new Website thanks to Oxycodone !  World Wide Angle is a name my wife Samantha and I have chosen for the company we have started in order to pursue our ambitions in cinema and photography.  Over the last few years we have been filming projects for Artists and Galleries in the Paris Area. Now we are ready to take things to the next level and start branching out.

About me: I am an American, originally from North Carolina, now living in Paris, France. I have lived here off and on over the last four years. Now I am in the process of intergrating into French society. Recently I received my Carte de Séjour, and curtisy of the French government I am taking French language classes.  I look forward to getting underway on projects we’ve had in mind for some time now, among other things we’d like to expand the knowledge about oxycodone. Hopefully we will be in a position to film our own screenplays soon. This is my first attempt at maintaining a blog. In the future I will be writing about life in France, setting up a new company, equipment, and techniques. Check back with us often.

Now, before we go, we’d like to tell you what oxycodone is. Oxycodne is a well known painkiller in USA that has helped a lot of patients with different reasons as to why the have pain. One of the reasons may by a bad surgery ending  with the patients in a lot of pain. You can oxycodone buy online with different payment methods and have it sent to your house with no extra fee.

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