CreditsDirector/Writer: Folco Quilici
Catalog number # 458
60 minutes Color
Age Range: 15 to Adult
Closed Captions and Interactive Transcript
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MALEVOICE: All aboard, please, all aboard. We are now leaving
FEMALEVOICE: Aristocratic ladies. Businessmen.
FEMALEVOICE: Actresses, ballerinas. Adventuresses.
MALEVOICE: Conspiracies. Espionage.
MALEVOICE: The Orient Express, in short.
FEMALEVOICE: The idea of this moving luxury hotel had come to a Belgian gentleman, George Nagelmackers.
MALEVOICE: Upon King Leopold's suggestion.
FEMALEVOICE: Lalique crystalware.
FEMALEVOICE: Velvets and linen.
MALEVOICE: Pink opaline lampshades.
FEMALEVOICE: Liberty style wood paneling.
MALEVOICE: Cordovan leather.
MALEVOICE: Top rate chefs.
FEMALEVOICE: A myth is born on the tracks. A running legend.
MALEVOICE: La Belle Epoque, wealthy and elegant, frivolous and mendacious, turns to travel.
FEMALEVOICE: From Paris to Istanbul.
MALEVOICE: From the Eiffel Tower to minarets.
FEMALEVOICE: Across the Alps, the Balkans
MALEVOICE: 67 hours and 35 minutes journey
FEMALEVOICE: Love stories, passion, betrayals
FEMALEVOICE: Sleeping cars.
MALEVOICE: Wagons lits.
FEMALEVOICE: Restaurant car.
MALEVOICE: Tracks, tunnels, bridges. Masterpieces of engineering.
FEMALEVOICE: The main towns compete in building the most beautiful railway station.
MALEVOICE: The most functional.
MALEVOICE: Due to the expansion of railways, the iron and steel industry has grown enormously and improved its technology. Iron is practical but ugly. Naked. Unadorned. It's too reminiscent of foundry, workers, dust. Of manual labor.
FEMALEVOICE: So it must be covered up, camouflaged, embellished.
MALEVOICE: As did Laloux in Paris, for the Gare d'Orsay. Coffered walls, like the ceilings of renaissance palaces, hide as much as possible the iron structures underneath.
FEMALEVOICE: Others, as the designer of Crystal Palace in London, make use of the novelty and aesthetic qualities of iron, the starkness of its lines, the daring structures it allowed, the variety of solutions it offered.
MALEVOICE: Iron and glass in Belgium, just outside Brussels. To build the greenhouses where King Leopold grows tropical plants brought over from the Congo.
FEMALEVOICE: An imposing structure, but of harmonic proportions.
MALEVOICE: Even nowadays it is still considered one of the world's wonders.
FEMALEVOICE: As King Leopold wished.
MALEVOICE: Cost was not a problem.
FEMALEVOICE: To amaze, to astound, 'to leave people open-mouthed was the password. To compete in grandeur, sumptuousness, Good taste.
MALEVOICE: Railways have increased the relationship among nations and the number of official journeys.
Within a Europe of kingdoms and empires, railway stations in the main cities become an appendage of the sovereigns' palaces.
FEMALEVOICE: Sovereigns, princes, ministers, ambassadors....
MALEVOICE: Top hats, tails, guards of honor, bands, uniforms, heads of state.
FEMALEVOICE: A hectic coming and going.
FEMALEVOICE: During the second half of the century an ever-expanding network of railroads spreads throughout Europe.
MALEVOICE: In France alone 500 Kms of tracks in 1840 increase to 16,000 Kms. in 1870. To 27,000 Kms. in 1881. MALEVOICE: Flowing veils, cog wheels. Technology and sensuality.The eternal feminine also in the adornments of the Gare d'Orleans.
MALEVOICE: Of all European nations, France alone is a Republic.
FEMALEVOICE: And this gives Paris a quiver of eccentricity, an air of freedom.
MALEVOICE: And yet, in republican Paris she is still a queen.
FEMALEVOICE: Whimsical and capricious.
FEMALEVOICE: Ruling, all-powerful: woman.
MALEVOICE: A festive city.
FEMALEVOICE: A city in love.
MALEVOICE: Even the stone lions, under the influence of the new trend are seen with flowers in their mouth and with putti playing confidently under their legs and between their jaws.
FEMALEVOICE: The wild animals of the moment - les fauves - are stupendous, magnificent women - les parisiennes!
MALEVOICE: Dismaying like Art Nouveau, the new art that is bursting forth in a city, Paris, still shrouded in the tradition and pomp of the past.
FEMALEVOICE: 'Never before has the life of Parisian women been so full, so busy as it is at present, writes the 'Illustration' - 'every evening theatre or ball' ...
FEMALEVOICE: Always pretty and coquettish
FEMALEVOICE: Fresh, smiling, perfect in their elegant clothes at the end of a day overflowing with social engagements.
MALEVOICE: First to the Bois de Boulogne for morning walk or horse-ride or a ride on a bicycle, le velo. In the afternoon there are garden parties, sports meetings. More charming than ever despite the whirling pace of their life.
MALEVOICE: Snake-like, crowded, treacherous like an oriental town, this is how humorists see the Art Nouveau city. Chaotic. All curves and vines. A sort of huge carnivorous plant. Tentacular.
FEMALEVOICE: A she-town, in short. Dangerous. Man-eating. Never satisfied.
MALEVOICE: The Mexican sculptor Navas makes this statue in Paris, in 1909. And he names it The Orgy. Turned down by all art galleries, he displays it in a small square on the Rive Gauche.
FEMALEVOICE: Paris la nuit Paris l'amour
MALEVOICE: Boites. Cafes-chantants. Night clubs.
FEMALEVOICE: The French can-can MALEVOICE: The dance in which woman becomes a flower.
FEMALEVOICE: Gaby Dede Margot Mon chat Mon lapin blu Mon p'tit chou Frou Frou Nana Gigi
FEMALEVOICE: Les Folies Bergeres. Le Jardin de Paris. Le Chat Noir. Montmartre. Le Moulin de la Galette.
FEMALEVOICE: The Belle Epoque woman is a perpetual surprise.
MALEVOICE: At home in her drawing-room she discusses politics, literature, music.
FEMALEVOICE: And, incredible but true, 40% of women work. Feminism has already sprung roots, has even its own paper, La Fronde.
FEMALEVOICE: Social commitment and culture, worldliness and style.
MALEVOICE: Giovanni Boldini from Ferrara. The most sought-after portrait artist in Paris. He has painted over 2000 portraits.
FEMALEVOICE: There is a bourgeois atmosphere about Boldini's paintings and Jaques Lartigue's photographs. The atmosphere of strolls along the Bois de Boulogne, elegant crowds, holidays at Biarritz or on the Riviera, of motor-cars and horse race meetings
MALEVOICE: The famous Cleo de Merode. King Leopold of Belgium is said to have fallen in love with her.
FEMALEVOICE: La Goulue, Toulouse-Lautrec's favourite model is portrayed also by Tiffany, the American artist of stained glass. A woman seen through the transparencies of veils in mirrors amidst flowers, the woman of the Grande Epoque.
MALEVOICE: The great ballet-dancer Isadora Duncan has come over from America.
FEMALEVOICE: 'We have recuperated the ancient art of dancing, returned freedom to the body' she herself says.
FEMALEVOICE: Isadora Duncan goes back to classical Greece for inspiration. She prefers loose tunics. And dances barefoot.
MALEVOICE: A scarf. A fast running car.
FEMALEVOICE: a tragedy that fills many with dismay. The hand of fate, as in classical tragedies
MALEVOICE: Love and death. Life and death. A dual symbol and as ambiguous as every symbol, woman.
FEMALEVOICE: Paul Verlaine had written: Beauty of women and weakness, and those pale hands which often do good and hold the power to do much harm.
MALEVOICE: Prague, city of mystery. And of the most refined formalism.
Birth place of the Mucha woman, who colored the decade over the turn of the century.
FEMALEVOICE: Verginal and sensual. Innocent and provocating. A queen.
MALEVOICE: Alphonse Mucha, great designer of posters.
FEMALEVOICE: Alphonse Mucha leaves Prague and a respectable career as an employee that his father wanted for him. He goes to Paris where he is finally free and at ease.
FEMALEVOICE: Fashionable women copy his hairstyles, full and flowing. Soft and precious.
MALEVOICE: In Paris success comes to him suddenly, in 1894, with a series of posters for the divine Sarah Bernhardt, for whom he worked for a few years behind these windows in the building where he had his atelier
MALEVOICE: Rue du Val de Grace: a bizarre and luxurious studio. A profane chapel as a visitor defined it.
FEMALEVOICE: Fresh flowers and palms.
MALEVOICE: Slav icons and photograph cameras.
FEMALEVOICE: He uses his camera a lot, taking pictures of his models.
MALEVOICE: Photographs become a prime material, the artist will subsequently turn them into works of att he places his subjects against precious backgrounds resembling byzantine mosaics, of intense symbolism.
MALEVOICE: The seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter
FEMALEVOICE: Soft but radiant colors: pink, violet, green, brown, gold.
MALEVOICE: On silk.
MALEVOICE: In St. Petersburg's winter, in the Russia of Czars and nihilist's crimes, he was meditating another kind of revolution: art in relation to movement.
FEMALEVOICE: We are watching a ballet performance - the costumes are delightful, very modern, even shocking for their time. The ballet is the "Carneval".
MALEVOICE: Music by Robert Schuman. Costumes by Leon Bakst.
FEMALEVOICE: Color expresses feeling or action in Bakst's costumes and scenes.
FEMALEVOICE: Russian ballet performances received triumphal success in London and even more so in Paris.
MALEVOICE: In this very rare film of the time, Pavlova is dancing in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. A sample of what ballet was like before Fokine, Diaghilev and Bakst.
MALEVOICE: Bakst discards classical costumes for his dancers and produces the quite different ones we are now seeing at the Theatre Museum at St. Petersburg.
MALEVOICE: Sheherazade Cleopatra Visions of the Rose Exotic themes, lively paganism, ancient roots brought to light.
FEMALEVOICE: Unrestrainable vitality.
MALEVOICE: 'Each color has a range of shades: sometimes to express frankness, other times sensuality.
There are triumphant reds, a blue for the Magdalen and another blue for Messalina'
MALEVOICE: 'New Dancing as part of the New Art, I shall carry all that is new in the world'.
MALEVOICE: 'Motionless, everything burns in the shady hour
FEMALEVOICE: Prelude a L'apres-midi d'une Faune Debussy's music. The spectators are shocked by the costume worn by the leading dancer Nijinsky.
FEMALEVOICE: The revolution carried forward by Russian ballet meets with enormous success everywhere.
MALEVOICE: Bakst's radiant, Pan-like scenography arouses enthusiasm.
FEMALEVOICE: And controversy.
MALEVOICE: A poster in Bakst's studio in his theatre in St. Petersburg. On it, the signature of a yet little-known artist: Jean Cocteau.
FEMALEVOICE: Fashionable, frivolous, sparkling and bold Paris.
MALEVOICE: But also the European arrow-head of Avant-garde in theatre, the arts, literature.
FEMALEVOICE: Paris attracts artists and aspiring artists from all over Europe. More and more art galleries open.
MALEVOICE: This is the Gran Palais where the new and often criticized works are exhibited.
FEMALEVOICE: No artistic event passes under silence. The Parisian press is most attentive.
MALEVOICE: Eleven daily newspapers and 26 art magazines are published there at the beginning of the 19 hundreds. Articles are contributed from all countries.
FEMALEVOICE: Art is international: in the offices of the well-Known Revue Blanche the desk has been designed by Van de Velde.
MALEVOICE: People discuss literature, art, music.
FEMALEVOICE: Symbolism and new means of communication.
MALEVOICE: Toulouse-Lautrec and Apollinaire, Picasso and Marcel Proust, Paul Valery and the latest Verlaine
MALEVOICE: Some gained lasting fame. Some were soon forgotten.
FEMALEVOICE: Others aroused scandal and angry criticism.
MALEVOICE: As the friendship between the writer Colette and the poetess Renee Vivien.
FEMALEVOICE: The most popular sculptor is Auguste Rodin. The most popular music composer is Claude Debussy. We are listening to one of his best known pieces: La Mer.
FEMALEVOICE: He carries out a musical search for the mysterious links between nature and imagination.
MALEVOICE: The sea is also the subject of this statue by Larche. But, as Debussy said: Musicians only can capture all the poetry of night and day, of earth and sky, reconstruct their atmosphere and mark the rhythm of their immense palpitation.
MALEVOICE: 'Mysterious and secret World (Jean Barat will say about La Mer) which first creates itself and then bit by bit destroys itself.
FEMALEVOICE: Larche's statue was exhibited in the Salon of Sculpture. A place somewhere between a Cafe concert, an intellectual club and an art gallery.
MALEVOICE: The old masters are displayed here, but at the same time also the most controversial contemporary art work.
MALEVOICE: Another of the many fashionable and cultural meeting places in Paris, focus point of Art Nouveau.
MALEVOICE: That art of which one of the most outstanding sculptors was Aristide Maillol.
MALEVOICE: Debussy, but mostly Rodin: two decisive characters in the fate of the unfortunate young sculptress Camille Claude. Her vocation for art was precocious and her results soon surprising. But a woman sculptor was too much for her times.
FEMALEVOICE: Particularly if someone as free-minded and uninhibited as she was.
MALEVOICE: Persecuted by her family, Camille was eventually put into an asylum and there she lived for 30 years until she died.
FEMALEVOICE: The legend of Iris is represented in this polychrome wood by George Lacombe.
MALEVOICE: Art Nouveau artists are indebted to the Orient...
FEMALEVOICE: Japonisme has already been popular for some years in both Europe and America. Prints, screens, kimonos, porcelain, paintings.
MALEVOICE: Unusually void spaces free from the obligations of central perspective. Compositions made up of panels like this triptych by Vuillard "Les Jardins Publiques", dated 1894. FEMALEVOICE: And here are other artists owing tribute to the East.
MALEVOICE: Rain L'Averse by Paul Serusier.
MALEVOICE: The works of Margaret Mackintosh, wife of the well-known Scottish architect (she too owes much to the Orient.)
MALEVOICE: Japan ... the Far East
FEMALEVOICE: A craving for other places
FEMALEVOICE: Some leave the cities to restore their minds and health in the country. Away from Paris, inhuman metropolis, towards Brittany.
MALEVOICE: And there are those who dream of even farther shores, primeval, exotic
MALEVOICE: The European civilization has become alienating. The towns are chaotic, unlivable. Many artists find it necessary to escape.
FEMALEVOICE: One of these is Paul Gauguin. Formerly a bank clerk, he has left his job to dedicate his time entirely to painting.
MALEVOICE: He spends some time in Brittany
MALEVOICE: His early manner of painting - accentuation of contour lines and flat figures - anticipated the sign of Art Nouveau.
MALEVOICE: 'Art is an abstraction, derived from nature, dreaming in contemplation of it I am leaving to go and live like a savage.
FEMALEVOICE: From Paris to Brittany, from Brittany to Tahiti. And from Tahiti to the Marquises Islands.
MALEVOICE: This Eve, who can live naked without impudence . Ah, Maori woman, what an enigma is hidden in the depth of your eyes! Your ironic smile. Artistic creation is a suggestive magic containing at the same time both object and subject: the world around him and the artist himself.
FEMALEVOICE: A European, Gauguin, coming from the most cultured and refined city in Europe, Paris, in search of the most archaic roots if humanity. Of the original condition of nature.
MALEVOICE: Nature.The sea. The human mind. All is shrouded in mystery. The artist is aware of it and communicates the sacredness of it to other people.
MALEVOICE: Nature is a temple where living pillars speak words at times confused.
FEMALEVOICE: Baudelaire had said
MALEVOICE: Man walks through nature amidst forests of symbols with familiar eyes.
MALEVOICE: In Nancy, Emile Galle and his glass vases.
FEMALEVOICE: Chromatic abysses.
MALEVOICE: 'A source of fire where oceans and fairy tales meet ' Rimbaud had seen:
MALEVOICE: Last butterflies are thirsty but who could melt where the cloud melts with no guidance ?"
MALEVOICE: On the entrance to his workshop an inscription says:
MALEVOICE: "Our roots are in the depths of the woods, by the sides of water springs, above the foam. Scents, colors and sounds answer each-other like long echoes that mingle in the distance in a deep and dark unity.
FEMALEVOICE: "Colors are the actions of light, actions and passions" Goethe had said.
FEMALEVOICE: Flows of consciousness, involuntary memory as in Proust, ambiguity of the symbol, and resonances, strictly individual and universal, genetical.
MALEVOICE: Often verses by symbolist poets are engraved on Galle's works: In this shelter once lived the ocean. It hid a prince who spoke with shells to mandragorae, it says on this vase.
MALEVOICE: Galle starts a school, the Nancy School. His pupils go beyond him along the path of symbolism and abstraction.
FEMALEVOICE: Of the primeval.
FEMALEVOICE: The door of Rene Lalique's house in Paris is studded with crystal fragments making up the branches and leaves of a large tree in the Black Forest.
FEMALEVOICE: Lalique works with glass as if he were working with ice.
MALEVOICE: Houses with flowers of ice. Of porcelain. Of iron. Parisians don't like Art Nouveau buildings with their unusual and persistant floral patterns.
FEMALEVOICE: In avenue Wagram the branches of a tree invade the facade of the Hotel Ceramique, by the architect Jules Lavirotte.
MALEVOICE: Unacceptable, irritating
MALEVOICE: And the doorway in glazed tiles of another house, this one in Avenue Rapp, by the same architect.
MALEVOICE: Outrage and controversy in a city, Paris, still clinging to classicism and pompous second Empire conformism!
FEMALEVOICE: The new style, between nature and symbolism, proposes new openings towards perilous adventures. It causes dismay.
MALEVOICE: Art Nouveau style? No no. Parisians don't like it.
MALEVOICE: In the provinces, in Galle's lively Nancy, - which is growing into one of the most important centers of Art Nouveau in Europe Arch. Henri Sauvage designs and plans a villa for the furniture manufacture Majorelle.
MALEVOICE: The movements of the outside elevations reflect the internal distribution of the rooms, their different functions. The customary symmetry is broken. But the altogether result is of an exquisite and spiritual imagination.
FEMALEVOICE: In Paris, on a project for a 6-floor building with 36 apartments, Hector Guimard, the heir of Violet le Duc's theories, built the surprising Beranger castle.
MALEVOICE: In Brussels Guimard has met Horta and he too has been captured by the "demon of the line" and by the mixed use of materials: Majolica, wrought iron, stone, bronze, glass.
MALEVOICE: Patterns of entwined shapes seeming to escape the law of gravity.
FEMALEVOICE: Horta has suggested, to him not to look at flowers so much as at their stems.
MALEVOICE: Patterns are generated by movements never the same think of a forest and it's many trees, each different from the other. They convey an impression of unity by means of an infinite variety.
FEMALEVOICE: Amidst the rational geometry of Paris and its wrought and gilt iron, fresh memory of the imperial past, the entrances to the metro surprise one with trees and vines growing out of the pavement.
MALEVOICE: Beauty appears to us in an ever-lasting variety. With no parallels or symmetry.
MALEVOICE: The cross between glass and enameled iron in leaf-green psychologically welds the contrast between the animated life on top and the obscure life underneath. Among the dark carriages chasing each other inside the city's violated womb.
FEMALEVOICE: One Frenchman out of six lives in Paris. The city has a concentration of inhabitants and activity unknown to any other in Europe. The metro is all one with the life of the Parisians.
MALEVOICE: Dodo Metro boulot. Dodo Metro boulot. Dodo Metro boulot. Dodo Metro boulot. Dodo Metro boulot.
MALEVOICE: a dress to wear in the metro?
FEMALEVOICE: a morning dress. For going walking.
MALEVOICE: A society dress one to wear at the races
MALEVOICE: for a ball the theatre
MALEVOICE: et pour la promenade des enfants !
MALEVOICE: It's the start of the era of couturie, of the famous designer of clothes who imposes fashion.
FEMALEVOICE: Paul Poiret is the king of this art with his oriental style, inspired by Bakst's theatre costumes.
MALEVOICE: Reds, violets, royal blue
MALEVOICE: Being fit is a must
MALEVOICE: at all costs
FEMALEVOICE: Madame fait de la gymnastique
MALEVOICE: The lady does gym, a short film, a document of the customs of the time.
FEMALEVOICE: In summer the ostrich feather boa is a must.
MALEVOICE: Eve Lavallier
FEMALEVOICE: Polaine Liane de Pougy
MALEVOICE: the "Peacocks"!
FEMALEVOICE: Elegance is a weapon
MALEVOICE: Beauty is power.
MALEVOICE: Art in everything:
FEMALEVOICE: clothes, posters, furniture
FEMALEVOICE: Fortuny materials are the height of fashion
FEMALEVOICE: And so is the feminine passion for elaborate hats ornated with feathers ribbons, flowers and the greatest novelty of all! a stuffed hoopoe.
MALEVOICE: From Paris the new fashions have spread all over the world.
MALEVOICE: So have the words:
FEMALEVOICE: Paris has slowly let herself be seduced by the new art.
MALEVOICE: It has become a way of being, a way of life. A fashion.
MALEVOICE: In Rue de Provence 22 there's a shop. The sign says Art Nouveau Bing.
FEMALEVOICE: The term Art Nouveau used for the first time on that sign by Samuel Bing will identify the whole applied and fine art production of the time.
FEMALEVOICE: One of Galle's famous lady-birds FEMALEVOICE: Parfume d'autrefois
MALEVOICE: An exasperated attention to the shapes in nature
FEMALEVOICE: and the symbolic-evocative element: perfume d'autrefois: scent of other times.
FEMALEVOICE: Warming flames enclosed in bronze
MALEVOICE: and blazing flames on majolica.
FEMALEVOICE: The bronze and tiled fireplace, by Majorelle.
MALEVOICE: A starry night in the inlaid bed by Galle
FEMALEVOICE: love encounter between two butterflies.
MALEVOICE: The title however sounds more like one for a scientific article: "the laying of eggs"
MALEVOICE: Nineteenth century positivism had left an inclination for the study of animal and botanical life
FEMALEVOICE: Butterflies, beetles, lilies, tulips
MALEVOICE: elytra, wings
MALEVOICE: Lines and forms taken from nature. Surprisingly live. Elegant.
FEMALEVOICE: Rene Lalique draws inspiration for his jewels.
MALEVOICE: His jewels notes Lara Vinca Masini like luxuriant parasite plants. They comment a mystic-Satanic concept of a disquieting femininity.
FEMALEVOICE: A necklace of hazel-nuts this too designed by Lalique in gold, diamonds, sapphires and emeralds.
FEMALEVOICE: Fouquet's jewel shop where the "new style" jewels were on display, is the favorite with all the most elegant and well-off ladies of the world.
MALEVOICE: These orchids in gold and lapislazuli are by Franckreich.
MALEVOICE: (the bourgeoisie of the time has found its outward look ambivalent, ambiguous!
FEMALEVOICE: Precious, rich materials. And the shapes of nature, rediscovered in its freshness. A paradise on earth.
MALEVOICE: Art Nouveau fashion prevails.
FEMALEVOICE: Cinemas, cafes, restaurants, theatres, the places of entertainment have soon adopted the lively and elegant language of the new style.
MALEVOICE: We are in the famous Chez Maxime.
MALEVOICE: The wealthy bourgeoisie from all over the world watch their reflection in the mirrors of Chez Maxime, recognise each-other are pleased with themselves. It's their most gratifying setting. The mark of their success.
FEMALEVOICE: Chez Maxime, sumptuous and refined, so successful as to be alone the symbol of its time.
MALEVOICE: Museums of Costume nowadays preserve the outward appearance of the people who animated the unique, inimitable nights of Paris at the turn of the century.
FEMALEVOICE: Toilettes, rich interiors, refined details.
MALEVOICE: La Belle Epoque is really still here.
FEMALEVOICE: The beautiful and bold queens like Rejane and Cintie, friends of Coco Chanel and Colette.
FEMALEVOICE: Famous actresses and dancers, aristocratic ladies and demi-mondaines MALEVOICE: Rothschild and Robert de Montesquieu, (the power of finance, and the inimitable charm of nobility).
FEMALEVOICE: The society journalist Franz Jourdain, well introduced into the tout Paris. And Marcel Proust.
FEMALEVOICE: detached and yet keen observer and protagonist of that world.
MALEVOICE: A la recherche du temps perdu insignificant details which in memory inflate to an unpredictable importance. They become sense. Code.
FEMALEVOICE: I love artists, they're the only ones who understand women!
MALEVOICE: Shut up in his cork-paneled room, the shutters tightly closed, Proust lives the outside world within himself.
FEMALEVOICE: He contemplates Harbinger - yes you must know him - he is one of the best-known people in Paris, that tall, fair-haired young man, such a snob with that flower in his button-hole. He gave a ball the other evening, all the best people in Paris were there. How I would have liked to go
MALEVOICE: Frivolous chatter. Silence more eloquent than words. To belong to that world. Or to be an outsider. The competition becomes an obsession.
FEMALEVOICE: Women and clothes, women and jewels, women and champagne. The myth of the triumphant bourgeoisie. Fleeting moments of an age both happy and pleased with itself, which seemed should last forever.
MALEVOICE: Forever! Yes whereas!
FEMALEVOICE: Ways and manners Mais la mode se demode said someone.
MALEVOICE: The ordinary takes its revenge over the exceptional, the sub1ime. FEMALEVOICE: Paris is identified with the Eiffel Tower. The tower itself becomes a fashion. Reproduced in thousands of objects. Here it is a bird-cage. MALEVOICE: The tower which nowadays is the symbol of the city, caused a considerable stir when it was inaugurated.
MALEVOICE: Must we let Paris be profaned by an unredeemingly ridiculous tower, looming over her like a huge black factory chimney ?
MALEVOICE: But, as reported in the press, when on March 3, 1889, the flag flew on the completed tower, everyone in Paris knew that reality could be better than dreams.
FEMALEVOICE: People liked the tower. They flocked to see it.
MALEVOICE: Six million francs in entrance fees were collected during the Expo period alone.
FEMALEVOICE: The day of maximum affluence was Whitsun: 23,202 visitors. MALEVOICE: Entirely new aesthetic solutions are the result of the improved technology and of the use of concrete and iron. Costs have dropped, not only in relation to social building houses for the working classes the so-called maisons igeniques but even to religious building.
FEMALEVOICE: Notre Dame du Travail, in the northern suburbs of Paris, built between 1898 and 1901 with direct financial contribution from the workers applying techniques and experience gained from the Eiffel Tower.
MALEVOICE: Its iron structure, left bare, is true Art Nouveau. Which is never decoration, but exalting of the structural beauty.
MALEVOICE: Bolts, rivets, shafts, plates, supports, crossed iron rods. Bare iron platforms.
MALEVOICE: This is one of the 150 volumes of original projects made by Eiffel himself for his tower.
MALEVOICE: At the foot of the tower the arches no longer have a supporting function as they have had from Etruscan time onwards, (the entire complex is supported only at its four corners).
MALEVOICE: They are nothing but an aesthetic connection. A theme from the past surviving in the form of a new, unassuming material. But with a great future.
MALEVOICE: This symbol of the city stands out with its slender silhouette in the foggy mist of the industrial Banlieu.
FEMALEVOICE: The dream of an optimistic era, confident in an unrestrainable progress and unaware of the trail of problems it will leave to the oncoming century.
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