In 1915, just 100 years ago, Albert Einstein delivered to the world the equations of the theory of general relativity. His face has become an icon and cinema took over some of his ideas, crazy ideas or at least counter-intuitive, where space is curved in the vicinity of large masses and where time is... an illusion.
Who might have thought that the Nobel Prize awarded to the search for mutants neutrinos could be overshadowed by the trailers for the films The Martian or Star Wars? We realize that reality and fiction are beginning to overlap.
In 1945, just 70 years ago, a new collection was born by Gallimard, the Série Noire, with its famous yellow and black cover. Pictures, which we owe to cinema, intertwine with Chester Himes titles and to the adventures of le Gorille (the Gorilla). The characters often looked like Jean Gabin or Humphrey Bogart. Those who love Crooks in Clover (Les Tontons flingueurs), do they know what this film owes to Grisbi or not grisbi by Albert Simonin, and what Bullit owes to a novel by Robert L. Pike?
Moviegoers assure us that the copy, placed on B.B. pretty bare buttocks in Contempt (Le Mépris), is number 667, a novel by John Godey entitled in French Knock without entering (The Fifth House, 1960).
In 1955, just 60 years ago, a new trend appeared, named La Nouvelle Vague, French New Wave, by film critic Pierre Billard in magazine Cinéma 1958; it was a new way to produce and direct films by the use of "lightweight" cameras, getting rid of the sound truck for the portable Nagra III tape recorder with easy handheld boom and light windscreen, thus enabling location shooting.
Jean-Pierre Mocky, genuine itching powder for the drowsy system of French cinema, accused the filmmakers of the New Wave, who were foremost film critics, to have made films in order to bang actresses. I already banged them, he said, that was the difference between us. New Wave, seen in this light, opens new perspectives!
Also in 1955, we must not forget, in France, the first radio broadcast of Le Masque et la Plume (The Mask and Feather), which has lasted many years, devoted to the criticism of books, plays, and especially movies. Many listeners of that time found anxiolytic properties to Le Masque et la Plume, which distracted them from Sunday night depression, listening to the jousts between Jean-Louis Bory and Georges Charensol.
In this year-end period, where gastronomy is honored, who remembers Jean-Louis Bory, in 1973, renaming La Grande Bouffe by Marco Ferreri as Gone with the Farts and speaking in 1975 of the first film by Patrice Leconte Les WC étaient fermés de l'intérieur (Toilets were closed from inside) as Flush the Toilet!
An age which has no criticism, already wrote Oscar Wilde, is an age where art is motionless.
In 2015, six months ago, Michel Gibourdel died. He was a famous pastry chef from Trouville-sur-Mer who ritually listened to this radio show. He invented a cake which he called Le Masque et la Plume, consisting of almonds, macaroon paste, with a white chocolate cream flavored with anise; a sheer delight!
Fortunately for us, his son Laurent took over the reins of this patisserie. If you're in the area, do not hesitate a moment, stop and buy this creamy dessert that bears the name of this famous warlike radio show (warlike like sometimes year-end family dinners) and come and savor it in our premises. I'm sure you will be very well received by all DCA staff.
May this New Year 2016 bring you everything you want, wishing you to live it and savor it with relish.