German philosopher and playwright Gotthold Lessing once wrote: "The desire for truth is more precious than the assurance of its possession
". During a lecture tour in the United States in January 1931, Einstein attended the Los Angeles premiere of Charlie Chaplin, City Lights
. They were both greeted by delirious cheers from a crowd of guests. Chaplin told Einstein: "The people applaud me because everybody understands me, and they applaud you because no one understands you.
Michel Hazanavicius, director of the film The Artist
, understands the usefulness of going back in time. His film is an authentic work which pays tribute to the golden age of Hollywood. In the US, it already wins a great success. Beautiful image, framing, light, editing, rhythm, all that the general public can not analyze, but feels, senses and assimilates. The film leaves critics speechless with admiration. Jean Dujardin appears here as the revival of Maurice Chevalier. Moreover, the language barrier being bypassed, The Artist
is a favorite for Best Picture Oscar.
In another area, Jean-Pierre Beauviala, creator of Aaton cameras, inventor of "cinema time", surprised the entire industry by designing a wonderful sound recorder, the Cantar. No wonder, looking at these old photos, that our young engineer with abundant hair (at the time), already had a passion for sound. You can admire the forerunner of DT 48 headphones, and the initial drafts of the future Decca tree: surround sound did not start yesterday!
Millions of people applauded the French comedy Intouchables
). Hopefully these spectators, reflecting on what they saw and heard, will now look differently at those who live in the shadows of our society. Let's hope that, out of the theatre, the audience will feel guilty for parking their car on a reserved place for the disabled!
Untouchable, that's what the "additional special tax for cinema" should be. This tax was created in 1948 by the French National Center of Cinematography (CNC), and now the French Ministry of Budget wants to grab part of it, to pour it into the coffers of the state. Since its inception, this tax is based on a simple principle: to charge all spectators, regardless of the film, for the sole benefit of French cinema. This principle has a virtuous effect, which economists call countercyclical: when French cinema goes well, the CNC is less involved; less good it goes, the more the CNC is able to help. This policy has secured the existence of a diversified and conquering French cinema, which attracts every year from 30 to 40% of the audience. Let us be vigilant!
May this New Year 2012 be for you and your family full of serenity and good health; especially may you continue to see wonderful films, because, in the words of the late Lucien Jerphagnon, no one has the right to piss off an audience that has done nothing to you.
Photos © Museum Waalsdorp