The new film written and directed by novelist Marc Dugain after Balzac’s literary chef d’oeuvre “Eugénie Grandet”, which seemed like another cliché adaptation on the posters, is actually incredibly subtle and wonderful. All actors, Joséphine Japy, Olivier Gourmet, Valérie Bonneton and César Donboy are excellent in their sensitive acting and this story of a stingy winemaker near Saumur, who eventually lets his wife die rather than spend the money for a doctor, is extremely vivid and modern. He dies having never spent a dime and leaving millions to his daughter, who’s unique lover has forgotten her in his passion for slave trade. The lighting and the different sceneries are beautiful and so is François Marthouret who appears briefly as Felix Grandet’s brother. The decors, whether lavish in Paris or sinister in the country, are beautifully rendered and you spend a very enjoyable 105 mns.
The auction of the week is certainly the sale of Maison de Verre‘s furniture designed by Pierre Chareau. The owners Annie (Anna Bernheim) and Jean Dalsace had commissioned the glass structure and decors from him and for a long time, the house located at 91 rue Saint Guillaume near Sciences Po, was well known from many of my girlfriends because Dalsace was a gynecologist and he received his patients at home.
After they died it was sold to New York real estate entrepreneur and architecture lover Robert Rubin, who still owns it. He studied at Columbia school of architecture to complete his education! Today the Dalsace children are selling this unique collection of tapestries, paintings and furniture at Christie’s Paris. The auction will take place on Thursday, October 7 at 5 pm, Paris time.
And we sadly say farewell to Christo‘s last project, the wrapping of Arc de Triomphe. For just over two weeks, Paris vibrated around the coloring at sunset and the greys in rainy days of this fantastic work which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists to Paris, culminating with Fashion week journalists and buyers. The fabric is already being taken away and the metallic structure will soon go too. Everything has to be cleaned by November 11 th for the celebration of the Armistice. This major event of the rentrée was a happy moment for all of us.
At Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, John Coplans is celebrated by Jean François Chevrier and Elia Pijollet with a series of photographs which all belong to French collections. This British born painter who cofounded Artforum in New York in 1962, became a photographer at 60. He represents his naked body in black and white in small and, later, very large prints, often presented as triptychs and always without a head. He asked an assistant to shoot fragments of his “Body parts”. Theses photographs are often provocative (there are a few of his intimate parts) and always immediately identifiable. His body is already aged when he photographs it and his mind is “immersed in the past… lost in a reverie”. He makes few images, no more than 9 a year. His works were exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and at MoMA in 1988. He died in 2003 in New York. I was first introduced to his photographs by Sylviane de Decker in the 1990’s and remember the extraordinary shock they provoked at the time.
This Friday and all week-end, make sure to attend Les Journées des Plantes at Château de Chantilly which is the magical rendez vous of the autumn. You can access Chantilly by train in twenty minutes from Gare du Nord and take advantage of the plant fair to visit the drawing exhibition by Primatice. It is the time to buy rhododendrons and Japanese maples or pansies for your balcony this winter from a hundred exhibitors who come from Belgium and England and the whole of France. Remember the best planting season is November (from 10 am to 6 pm).
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