New York 2012 Film Photography

In an old chest, I found pictures taken in New York where I had invited my mother more than ten years ago. Back then, I used to do a lot of film photography and I used some of these for a small exhibition in a bar in Paris. (The pictures ended remaining there for several years.)

Here are some scans of negatives without any correction or filter. This is the strength of film and ektar film in particular: full and vibrant colors, a natural contrast that retains a strong dynamic. Nothing is ever completely burnt: even in skies and reflections, there is a bit of texture. Leica M6 with Summicron 35 and 50mm.

Seeing this, I feel like getting back to it.

New York - Maman traverse la 5ème avenue
Mom crossing 5th Avenue.
New York East side from Brooklyn Bridge
The East Side seen from the Brooklyn bridge.
New York unintentional mcdonald
Unintentionally, I made an ad for McDonald.
New York High Line
Small break on the famous High Line.
New York - jogging sur Peer 17
Running on Peer 17.
New York west side depuis Central Park
The West Side seen from the Reservoir in Central Park.

I used these photos to dress up the site until I find something better. Since I've found a trove, I might post some more soon.

Studio Test for "Film des Ponts"

Set-up day for a project that I produce and direct with ChezFilms for École des Ponts. Today, life-size test in the studio before shooting the interviews starting next week.

Film des ponts test interview studio
Chloë (gauche) sert de doublure lumière pendant que Paul (droite) fait son chef op.

This project started in November and will continue until summer. Updates soon.

Let's Start a Band!

My song of the moment.

I like it because it has no real chorus, the lyrics are nostalgic and it ends in a climax. It's not recent - 2007 - but I discovered it recently when it came after This is the life which I have always loved. Since then, I listen to it on repeat while on the beach at night.

Let's Start a Band, d'Amy Macdonald

The common theme of the two songs is... how can I put it? A mythology associated with music and adolescence. Groups, parties, clubs, festivals... When you're young, it's not just a trend or a stage in your life: this is the life. (Ah ah, I translated this from french and I swear I didn't realize I was coming back to the title of the song. Makes sense though.)

Morning Stats

Distance walked this morning: 8.9km

Number of children dropped off at daycare: 1

Desire to work: 0

Diary entries: 1231 words (7287 characters)

Money spent on coffee and drinks: €11.40

Number of very important meetings this afternoon: 2

Number of meetings postponed without date: 1

Number of meetings postponed by one hour: 1

Number of times I told myself that in life you really have to plan for nothing, I mean: yeah, you can plan, but the most important thing is to be able to dance with the chaos when nothing goes as planned: 2

Number of women crossed sobbing in front of the Bataclan: 1

Number of times reading the name of an actress I vaguely know on the poster of a hit play made me think about the importance of growing your network to be successful so much that I read the wikipedia article on graph theory to think more deeply about the connections that bind us and imagine how we could automate the process of finding the people who are right for us: 1

Number of times I felt like I was wasting my time and not doing what I should be doing: 4

Number of times I said to myself "it's OK, I do what I do, stop judging": 3

Number of times it helped: 2

Number of phone calls received while writing this post: 1

Number of meeting postponed without date which now have a date: 1

This morning on a scale from 1 to 10: 10, easily.

My New Graphic Designer is an A.I. (Join the Club)

Those who have the eye will have noticed that a large part of my posts here are illustrated by images produced by an artificial intelligence, in this case Midjourney.

For input, I compose a short sentence in English to describe what I want, often accompanied by the terms "vector illustration" for a drawing or "photo-realistic" for a photographic result. And the program outputs four breathtaking proposals that I can transform or expand. All for 8 euros per month.

For example, here are the four suggested results for "French Baker shooting films with a camera and a baguette":

Midjourney french baker making films
4 proposals by Midjourney for la Boulengerie

Which is not to say that graphic designers have become useless - not at all! They can still bring coffee or do the short ladder to help catch high objects.

Just kidding (embarrassed emoji).

If the images generated by A.I. are always of surprising quality, it is still very difficult to have real control over the result. The machine does what it wants. Not to mention the supernumerary members and other graphic aberrations that we do not fail to notice at second glance. Smart illustrators will therefore make these tools their allies by composing the right requests upstream and making the right corrections downstream in order to create richer works, faster. Or so we hope.

But yes: these jobs are evolving. Along many others. Ask GPT3.

Why Technology Puts Me in a Bad Mood

Yes, it's a cliché, but I've recently experienced it in a very personal way.

As of late, I realized that I was much more likely to get angry after long stretches of work on my computer. Because of the bugs? Not at all. Because after a prolonged interaction with a digital slave which reacts to all mouse clicks immediately, which executes my orders without a second thought, without judging, without getting tired, and which also shines by its speed, it's visual harmony and it's round-the-clock availability, I am much less likely to bear the slow pace, the incompetence and the bad faith of everyone else in the real world.

Think about it: when our ancestors were only concerned about the seasons and the land, nothing in their daily lives – nothing! – would respond to their commands in such an immediate way. Everything relied on human, animal or natural energy. Instantaneity didn't exist.

My theory is this: The day man invented the light switch, humanity lost a bit of its cool.

NB: I realize computers also upset my mother but for extactly the opposite reason: complete lack of control of what's going on on the screen. Everytime I see her interact with a computer, it reminds me of this meme:



using microsoft word

*moves an imagage 1mm to the left*

all text and image shift. four new pages appear. (...) in the distance, sirens.

What I had loved in the Addams Family (But Hated in Wednesday)

I stopped watching the first episode of Wednesday half way through. (I tried to go to the end, I promise, I even stopped then resumed it). But I want to take this opportunity to tell you what I really liked about Barry Sonnenfeld's The Addams Family.

First of all, sure: it's a difficult type of story to navigate. It's tricky for a screenwriter. When following a family where everything is upside down, where good is bad, where up is down, and where all the values ​​are reversed, it may be difficult for the viewer to identify with the characters. If they love sadness and failure so much, what is their motivation to overcome the obstacles put by the film on their path?

I thought Sonnenfeld's version had struck a good balance. But also: he managed to completely turn the tide.

Without losing the spirit of the original series, the film had brilliantly portrayed what many psychologists, sociologists and even Zen masters would describe as the perfect family.

Yes, I promise. If you don't believe me, I encourage you to review the film from this angle. I could not list all their virtues but here are a few of them from the top of my head:

It is a united family where several generations live under the same roof; the parents are in love and constantly profess their attachment in public; they are cultured, live among books and speak several languages; they follow their passion without judging others and without worrying about what people think of them; they openly discuss death and cultivate a true relationship with their ancestors to derive part of their identity; they love to laugh, party and they dance extremely well; the education of their children is built around play, dialogue and trust; despite their wealth, their culture is never based on money or possession; and despite everything that sets them appart, they are never afraid of strangers and are extremely inclusive, including with those who are not like them and judge them harshly.

And when their world crumbles around them, they stick together with dignity.

That was the strength and the irony of the film: the real model was the Addams family. Not the Perfect Family judging the rest of the world on their way to church. (But some of them find some redemption thanks to the Addams.)

I didn't expect the same in the Netflix version, of course. But I feel they missed the mark. They took what was secondary in the film to make it the heart of the series. And I don't feel that it works.

Of course, everyone will tell me that the best part is in the end of the first episode which I did not see. Or in the following episodes that I will not watch. But don't worry: I saw Wednesday's dance on the internet. So I didn't miss it all.