Saturday, June 23, 2007

rewriting pierre menard

Miladus Edensis over at Ad Usum Delphinorum posted a link to an exhibit at the Bibliothèque nationale de France on French photographer Eugène Atget [1857–1927]. I was unacquainted with him, and I immediately fell in love with his photographs. At the bottom of the Wikipedia article, linked to above, was another link to an article by a contemporary photographer, Christopher Rauschenberg, who had rephotographed some of Atget’s Parisian locations.

I was immediately reminded of both Chris Marker’s film, Sans Soleil, and the Vertigo, Then and Now website, both of which mulled over the current state of some of Vertigo’s locations. The former had been on my mind since being reminded of it recently having read a lovely blog entry on Marker by Michael Blowhard over on The Two Blowhards site. The latter since having picked up a copy of the dead tree version at a local used bookstore which in turn lead to the website. Wikipedia has a nice list of the Bay Area locations used in Vertigo.

This sort of thing doesn’t always work. I’m thinking of Gus Van Sant’s limp remake of Psycho in 1998. Jim MacBride’s Breathless (1983) was only slightly better, but, to be honest, I don’t remember it as well as the Psycho remake. I’m not sure if Rauschenberg was familiar with the Atget Rephotographic Project at the University of South Florida started in 1987, but a moment or two on Flickr shows me that others have redone Atget.

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Blogger rchrd said...

My friend,Leonard Pitt, has published a book, Walks Through Lost Paris (
that includes 19th C photos of streets in Paris, by Atget and others, along with his own images of those same spots today. It's a very impressive display of the gradual destruction of Paris as Atget saw it.

June 23, 2007 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger John B. said...

Two things:
First of all, thank you for linking to my humble blog. I'm not quite sure how you found it, but I thank you for the honor--I've been enjoying reading around in yours.
Which leads me to the "second of all": thanks for the link to "Vertigo: Then and Now." I'm a bit of a Vertigo nut myself, and learning about this site was a pleasant surprise.

August 12, 2007 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger zmjezhd said...

You're welcome, John; glad to be of linking service. I found yours via Conrad Roth's Varieties of Unreligious Experience blog, which has been fueling my passion for irresistible blogging.

August 12, 2007 at 7:00 PM  

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