1. Pagnol had a clever way infusing Provence culture, language and humour in every one of his stories. I enjoyed the video clip of Le Schpountz and the following clip from La Fille du Puisatier. I had no idea Fernandel could sing and Raimu speaks with a genuine Provencal accent. I look him up and discovered he was from Toulon–no wonder!

    1. From what little I know personally of the struggle to be an actor, it seems that they train early in song and dance to assist in finding opportunities to perform. But like you I was surprised when Fernandel breaks out in song (words by Pagnol?) I love the clip, and have watched it a dozen times since finding it recently. As to Raimu, I had no idea the accent came naturally to him. Thanks for your research on him.

  2. Jerry – you have named a few of my all-time favorite films here, and also given me a list of movies I have never seen, much less heard of. I agree with you that the big screen cannot be replaced in a home theatre – but big screen viewing has changed so much over the years. Now, it is so hard to enjoy a movie in peace and quiet, sans cell phone lights and beeps… The new fad of restaurant service during a film appalls me more than anything. I miss the days of reverence for what we see on the screen.

    Also, I recently watched a movie at the home of friends who had all the latest technology – including high definition (HD) viewing. I really didn’t like it, as it seemed to take away the magic of the movie. It looked like it was a harshly lit, badly filmed soap opera. I prefer the slightly dimmer, softer hued version of my antiquated DVD player.

    Thanks for a wonderful post!

    1. David,
      I am totally in sync with you about move toward pampered viewers in the cinema of today. It’s not for us. Presently we are seeing good films at a winter film festival in a neighboring town. Its in a wonderfully renovated 3,000 seat theatre built in the 1920’s. We sit in the balcony for each performance.
      One of our daughters gave us her HD tv as she went for something with even more capabilities (no clue what they are). I told my wife there was no way I was discarding our twelve year old tv, and moved it to the guest bedroom. Benedicte is not into old films, as I am, so that tv is for my own use. Eight of the last twelve dvd’s I have watched have been black and white, and three of those silent movies. I am a very happy camper.

      1. I am with you on the BW films, Jerry, although I haven’t seen a silent film in years. When I was at the Eastman School of Music, I performed in an orchestra that accompanied silent films. It was wonderful!

        1. That would have been great fun. I watched a Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. recently, to piano only accompaniment. But it worked. Was it a line from Norma Desmond on the silent era, about faces, not voices?
          There is orchestra put to good effect with one of my favorites – He, Who Gets Slapped (1924). Lon Chaney, Sr. and a young Norma Shearer. The entrance into the circus ring of the 60+ clowns is alone worth the price of the dvd.

  3. I attended that memorable party, as all the Clarks’ parties are memorable, and flipped crepes as I sipped wine that I am certain was surely blessed by Bacchus. I did my required homework for this themed event, Pagnol’s story about the heroine who plugged and unplugged the springs. I will tell you no more about Pagnol’s story for the real stories of love and life have come from the Clark’s delightful soirees filled with music, joy, laughter, merriment, good cheer and fine wine . . . sparkling and non.

    1. And you make the perfect guest, especially when you lend a hand in the kitchen.

  4. Bravo! Pagnol is classic. Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources, to be sure.

    But also: La Gloire de Mon Père et Le Château de Ma Mère sont également célèbres!

    Vive Pagnol: Bon Anniversaire!


    1. Merci Henri,
      We have yet to watch La Gloire de Mon Père and Le Château de Ma Mère, and will not wait until his birthday next year to do so. As our daughters would intone – Provence Rocks!

    2. Henri, Your comment prompted me to go to our DVD collection to confirm that we have those two films on DVD. i have not seen either one in many years so I got them out to watch soon…perhaps this evening!

  5. By the way, do you remember what wines you served that evening?

    1. You challenge me Karen. It started with a sparkler, as is our tradition, and the only other I can now recall was Domaine de Travellon 1985. The poster of Pagnol’s film Marius I bought and displayed for the occasion rests in the wine cellar. The illustrator/artist Albert Dubout is a favorite of mine.

  6. As you know, I love Pagnol as well although I am certainly not as familiar with his work as you are. We have watched Jean de la Florette and Manon many times and we also own the DVDs that Henri mentioned but have not seen them for many years. It is a dark rainy day in our neck of the woods–perhaps this evening will find us having dinner with Pagnol on the small screen!

    1. Are you open to Ben and I borrowing those two films for a showing here in Mystic?

        1. Come on down and lets make it into an evening with food and wine, from Provence, bien sur.

  7. I love an excuse to get all dressed up and experience your wine selection. Some of the wines I have had at your house have that feeling of true love. I remember that first taste and can’t stop smiling.

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