Print Story Why don't we eat him? He's made out of bacon and sausages.
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 10:16:33 AM EST) Reading, Watching, Paris (all tags)
Reading: "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls". Watching. Londoner in Paris: Day 2 AM.


What I'm Reading
Finished Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-drugs-and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Changed Hollywood by Peter Biskind. Gripping, gossipy, readable account of the 1970s in Hollywood, which Biskind like others sees as a kind of golden age of cinema, when the studios gave directors free rein, allowing them to make intelligent movies.

Biskind doesn't get too carried away by his enthusiasm, and doesn't try to excuse the worst excesses. Not sure how accurate some of it is though. In a number of places he follows shocking anecdotes with little disclaimers explaining that the person in question denies it completely. He's pretty good about attributing sources though, and isn't afraid to give completely different versions of events from different people.

A while back I mentioned "Blockbuster" by Tom Shone, which mentions Biskind several times and in some ways is portrayed as a rebuttal of it. I think the differences are mainly those of emphasis. Biskind only briefly mentions things like the Poseidon Adventure and the Towering Inferno; he doesn't see them as culturally important; whereas financially they were hugely important. I suppose in some ways you could argue that the Poseidon Adventure was one of the most influential films of the 1970s in terms of the ultra high concept, big budget, and emphasis on stars.

Well worth reading. If you do read it, note that there's a list of all the major characters at the back in case you lose track. Thorough index too.

What I'm Reading 2
Also read another comic: Batgirl: Year One. OK but not brilliant: retelling of the origin story of the least angsty member of the bat-family. Passes the time but a bit repetitive.

What I'm Watching
Much the same goes for "Madagascar", which I watched. Mildly entertaining and passes the time, but gives off a kind of air of cheapness: the animation is OK but a bit sketchy, gags are a bit thin, and there are lots of half-length songs but no original ones. Save it for when you need something to watch. The penguins are good though. #792630

Paris Notes: Day 2, Morning
Paris was colder and windier than I expected, though apparently it was pretty chilly in London too. Was comfortable with a light jacket and jumper, though the Parisians were wearing moderately heavy coats or jackets instead.

Started off at the Pompidou centre which was a disappointment: the fifth floor was closed off for some reason, and that has most of the early 20th century art I wanted to see. The late 20th century and contemporary art on the floor below wasn't that interesting: had seen some of it before. Doesn't open till 11AM, but looked around nearby. Decent view from the top.

The Museum of Judaism a couple of streets over was a bit of a waste too: it's not included in the Paris Museum pass so had to buy a ticket, and their scanty collection of menorahs, artifacts and tombstones didn't really seem worth it. Very tight security there, but the big museums also have metal detectors and bag searches: Museum security is a lot tighter there than London, where I often wander in and around toting a rucksack without being scanned or searched.

The Picasso museum more than made up for the others though. Fairly small museum, but arranged pretty chronologically and with a high density of artwork. So, fascinating to walk through and see his artwork evolve: you can almost watch the shapes ooze out of the fairly conventional early portraits and condense into the fractured later paintings. Well worth a look.

After that took the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe, but didn't go to the top or spend long there as it was raining. Took a brief walk along the Champs Elysee but ducked into the next Metro station when the rain restarted. Looks better from on high than from the ground.

After that went to Les Invalides, the big military hospital built by Napoleon, now turned into Le musée de l'Armée. The modern bit's closed off, but the medieval wing was open. This would be heaven for Rogerborg: room after room of armour and weapons covering centuries; ceremonial armour, war armour, horse armour; two-handed swords, rapiers, halberds; dozens of crossbows, harquebuses, muskets, pistols, daggers: brilliant stuff. Must have been about fifty different suits of armour alone.

After that popped round the back to see the tomb of the Corsican Monster himself. Impressive but a bit overblown: big golden dome on the top.

Nearby is another highlight that someone recommended to me: the Rodin museum. Set in a large garden with outdoor sculptures including the Thinker. The garden has a great tranquil atmosphere. Also has a nice outdoor café where I ate a delicious brie baguette, and they even humoured me by replying to my execrable French in French. Again plenty of art including some interesting reclining nudes.

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Why don't we eat him? He's made out of bacon and sausages. | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
Pompidou Centre by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 01:01:27 AM EST
I think it's really badly designed. The square outside is dark and soulless, and the building is looking very tatty (might have been done up by now). I think it's still undergoing extensive renovations that have gone on for years and cost a fortune. Shame for such an imaginative building.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

I had a friend who was staying opposite. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 03:33:49 AM EST
The square looked pretty lively when I spent a day with him. Obviously, he completely lucked out with the flat he had, but it's nice to have a balcony with a thriving square to look out at.

[ Parent ]
When I saw it by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 03:51:45 AM EST
It was dead, and I remember it being in shade which isn't great for a square. Dunno if it's still made exclusively of concrete slabs, I'd heard they were going to renovate it.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
It seemed pretty concrete, though clean by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 08:07:56 AM EST
Dunno: I kind of got a bad vibe off the Pompidou centre, seemed pretty soulless, but it might just have been that I was pissed off because of the problems.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Glad you liked Rodin by TurboThy (4.00 / 2) #2 Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 02:31:51 AM EST
Easily my favourite Parisian museum.
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Why don't we eat him? He's made out of bacon and sausages. | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)