Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Johan van der Keuken and James Blue

Johan van der Keuken's 1960 short "city symphony" film, Paris at Dawn (Paris à l'aube), was co-directed by James Blue. A lovely series of composed shots, set to a jazz score, presents an idealized Paris. Birds, smoke, water, cars, and buildings, seen through the eyes of a professional photographer (as van den Keuken was) hold a certain mood, reminiscent of Eugene Atget's photographs of Paris streets. Paris at Dawn's only "story" concerns the figure of a fedora-and-trenchcoated walker who occasionally strides across the frame from left to right. He turns to face the camera at the end of the film (above).
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.