Wednesday, November 5, 2008
postcard from paris #1
(For better quality, go to you-tube and type in postcard from paris #1 and click on 'watch in high quality)
Q. What are postcards from paris?
A. Postcards from paris are just little videos taken with my small but wonderful nikon coolpix p4 camera (a still camera but with the ability to shoot video). They are not supposed to be great works of art or even beautifully shot films. They are just glimpses, little moments. Each film will be under 2 minutes and with very little or no editing. What you might call raw.
Postcard from paris #1 was shot at pere lachaise cemetery on a very cold wet dark day. Perfect !!!!!! Sometimes postcards from paris will just be a photo with my usual witty commentary (well, as witty as I can be that is)...
A brief history (or, all you will need to know, to impress people at a cocktail party)
The cemetery takes its name from Père François de la Chaise (1624-1709), confessor to Louis XIV, who lived in the Jesuit house rebuilt in 1682 on the site of the chapel. was bought by the city in 1804, laid out by Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart.
The cemetery was established by Napoleon I in 1804. Cemeteries had been banned inside Paris in 1786, after the closure of the Cimetière des Innocents on the fringe of Les Halles food market, on the grounds that it presented a health hazard. (This same health hazard also led to the creation of the famous Parisian catacombs in the south of the city.)
At the time of its opening, the cemetery was considered to be situated too far from the city and attracted few funerals. Consequently, the administrators devised a marketing strategy and with great fanfare organised the transfer of the remains of La Fontaine and Molière, in 1804. Then, in another great spectacle in 1817, the purported remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloïse were also transferred to the cemetery with their monument's canopy made from fragments of the abbey of Nogent-sur-Seine (by tradition, lovers or lovelorn singles leave letters at the crypt in tribute to the couple or in hope of finding true love)
This strategy achieved its desired effect when people began clamouring to be buried among the famous citizens. Records show that, within a few years, Père Lachaise went from containing a few dozen permanent residents to more than 33,000. Today there are over 300,000 bodies buried there, and many more in the columbarium, which holds the remains of those who had requested cremation.
A good website for all your up to the date graves...