Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off to Paris. Main event is a visit to the Cinémathèque française and a meeting with its director of the collection, Laurent Mannoni. Mannoni is a prolific writer and although he now sees one of his earliest efforts, the book , The Great Art of Light and Shadow as “containing some mistakes”, it is an excellent book for anyone interested in the history of pre-cinema.

Mannoni surprises me after a lovely lunch by inviting me back to see his office. His office is a series of desks in the midst of the storerooms that contain much of the Cinematheque’s collection that is not currently exhibited. He asks whether I would like to look around. Would I? Yes, but I have no time, other meetings. Still, he is kind enough to say we can organize a longer visit some other time. I rearrange some things for the following day and ask if I could spend a couple of hours taking a look.

And it is a great two hours I spend, looking at some of the remarkable material they have. Mannoni seems surprised by how excited I am, saying all this material is contained in their catalogue. It is, but it is different to see an image of the material and to hold the material. Yet again l am reminded of the limitations of my website. It is one reason I keep adding animation. If you can’t touch the material at least you can experience the power of the animation moment.

One day of wandering around the Marais, the Luxembourg Gardens and visiting dealers and book stores. Not much to find but I did pick up one nice little print.

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