PARIS (STOCK FOOTAGE) JOURNAL PT.1
A full day in Paris and tonight, after a lustrous (luscious? lushy?) dinner, I come home to my hotel room and start searching YT for the Paris stock footage. There is so much that I'll just throw up a sampler every day or so as a tribute to the city that is quickly becoming my second favorite (NYC first, natch).
Now dig this: though labeled "Paris in the 20's", I think this footage is more like at the dawn of the twenties--even, say the late teens. A few repeat watchings of it reveal soldiers still in uniform (which makes it like 1918 or shortly thereafter), horses and carriages in abundance on the streets and men wearing...are you ready? BOATERS. Yes, back when straw hats weren't period costume gear, people actually wore them to look hip and up to date. And here those people are, long dead, lives and trials and tribulations all flushed away by the toilet of time...and yet, thanks to the miracle of film (largely, like aviation, a French invention that the French somehow didn't get the full credit for) preserved here for us.
After just a day and half here I'm amazed: like New York, nothing really looks different when you check out the old movie footage--except the lousy clothing we wear now and the stupid cars that have replaced the lovely old ones. And as always with old stock footage, two-thirds of the fun is the ghostly nature of the captured events, sans sound, sans "meaningful" context...which only makes it more profound and meaningful of course Enjoy...
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 1:16 PM