— But you will be ready to say, what was your hope in doing this? — What did you look forward to? — To any thing, every thing — to time, chance, circumstances, slow effects, sudden bursts, perserverance and weariness ... Every possibility of good was before me, and the first of blessings secured ... — from Emma, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

August 3, 2010

Paris in July: Paris Was a Woman


I borrowed this film (made in 2000 by writer and director Greta Schiller) from the library at the last minute for Paris in July, and then I didn't have a chance to watch it. I almost returned it to the library today without opening the box. I'm so glad I didn't!




{27 Rue de Fleurus}

It's essentially a documentary about the community of women artists and writers that developed on the Left Bank in Paris in the early 19th century {updated:  Of course, I meant 1900s.}. It focuses on Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, booksellets and publishers Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach, and Janet Flanner (The New Yorker's Genet) -- all of whom I studied in college, read more about on my own, and walked around Paris in search of.  I also learned a little more about other figures, including Natalie Barney and Djuna Barnes.


{Sylvia Beach and James Joyce in front of Shakespeare and Company}



{Me in front of Shakespeare and Company}

The wonderful thing about this film is that it is full of archival photos and films, audio recordings, and snippets of interviews with or about these women. Imagine spending an hour watching home movies of Gertrude and Alice, watching interviews with and talks by Sylvia Beach and Janet Flanner, and hearing their voices.

The recent publication of a new book of Sylvia Beach's letters has made me want to read about her again. This film was a wonderful find, and I'm already looking forward to borrowing and watching it a second time.

3 comments:

Nicola said...

Hi, have you read Djuna Barnes? I believe Nightwood has been re-issued and I'm quite keen to read it. Lovely Paris pics!

Audrey said...

Hi, Nicola...
No, I haven't. I had heard her name but didn't know very much about her till I saw this film. Nightwood is discussed, though!

Tamara said...

I'm going to put this on my TBW list - sounds great. I love the idea of learning more about these women and their craft. Of course, I'd also enjoy looking at the footage of Paris. Thanks for the review.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers E.H. Young E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson