The Other Evening

I am often asked ‘what do you do in a village like this’? so I want to share little cameos of various happenings that I think may be of interest. Let’s take Tuesday evening. Just down the mountain there lives an elderly gentleman who was one of the original TV cameramen when Monaco TV first started. He is of course retired now, but his passion is the restoration of old films, and when I say old, I mean just that. He searches out these archive films and when he finds a copy he patiently sets about the painstaking methods of bringing them back to be shown again. When he has finished he holds a seance in his garden to which people are invited to come and watch his latest work. His evenings are called ‘le cinema sous les etoiles’ (Cinema under the stars) I love the whole concept so with delight went to watch a 1926 film called Metropolis. A copy of which was recently found in Buenos Aires but so badly damaged that only the sub titles in German were able to be restored,. to get over this problem an orchestra plays throughout and this works very well.
For 1926 the black and white cinema photography is quite brilliant, the imagination of a complete city built by a highly intelligent man who powers it all by human workers. The moral of the story is ‘between mind and hand there needs to be a heart’  lessons still applicable to today perhaps?
It is a long film but carries one along well, and the splicing and integration of the music, well I cannot even begin to surmise how many hours were spent in bringing this film back. My admiration is boundless and I look forward to the next evening when  a 1941 film titled Au Grand Magasin will be shown. Not forgetting the champagne and food served afterwards by his gentle and patient wife during which the merits of the film are discussed by all that attended.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *