Thursday, April 15, 2010
Le Plus Sexy de Paris
Ah yes, Le Plus Sexy.
It was a short reel of Super 8 film, our father's souvenir of Paris, purchased in 1961. It's in somewhat scratchy condition due to repeated viewing by his sons, and Dad's practice of cutting bits of it into otherwise perfectly respectable home movies to startle and amuse his audiences (and to check that they were awake).
I wondered, as I was lovingly restoring the fragments Dad had scattered among his reels (of sailing adventures, the great cathedrals of Europe, Scottish golf courses, colourful European peasantry and endless panning shots along craggy headlands under threatening skies) what has become of the shapely blonde?
I imagine Madame, now a respectable grandmère, the proprietor perhaps of a small café in a smart arrondissement in Paris, the source of her modest wealth carefully wrapped in plain brown paper, hidden from her family in a bottom drawer. But does she sometimes, after the grandchildren have departed, thread the scratchy old 8mm film into the Minette editing machine and study her performance with a critical eye?
Certainly that's how Simon and I studied it.
The title, Le Plus Sexy de Paris, comes from a poster advertising the Moulin Rouge, part of the famous wall of posters at Metung. Mum and Dad brought it back from Paris, along with the film. The soundtrack is, of course, Edith Piaf, but in my mind the real soundtrack is the steady cranking of the Minette, and heavy breathing.
I do not believe this purchase of my father's was authorised by Mum.