“Cocteau at the Eiffel Tower”

“Sunday vacuity; human beastliness, ready-made expressions, disassociation of ideas from flesh and bone, ferocity of childhood, the miraculous poetry of everyday life.” Jean Cocteau

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower. 

Elementarypenguinsinging Hari Krishna. 

Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe. 

 

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (5 July 1889 – 11 October 1963) was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929), and the films Blood of a Poet (1930), Les Parents terribles (1948), Beauty and the Beast (1946) and Orpheus (1949). His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Yul Brynner, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, María Félix, Édith Piaf and Raymond Radiguet.

 “A film is a petrified fountain of thought”. Jean Cocteau

The Eiffel Tower  

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest human-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second. The third level observatory’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground

“Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort”. Jean Cocteau

“Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious”. Jean Cocteau



Les mariés de la tour Eiffel (The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower) is a ballet to a libretto by Jean Cocteau, choreography by Jean Börlin, set by Irène Lagut, costumes by Jean Hugo, and music by five members of Les Six – Georges Auric, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc and Germaine Tailleferre. The score calls for two narrators. The ballet was first performed in Paris in 1921.

The new couple have a wedding breakfast on Bastille Day (July 14) at a table on one of the platforms of the famous tower. A guest makes a pompous speech. When a humpbacked photographer bids everyone to “watch the birdie,” it appears that a telegraph office suddenly springs into existence on the platform. A lion comes in and eats one of the guests for breakfast and a strange figure called “a child of the future” appears and kills everybody. Nevertheless, the ballet concludes with the end of the wedding

Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel”, maquette du décor d’Irène Lagutt

The design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel, after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair which would celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.

Initially Eiffel himself showed little enthusiasm, but he did sanction further study of the project, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company’s architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other embellishments. This enhanced version gained Eiffel’s support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name.

Art is not a pastime but a priesthood”. Jean Cocteau

On 30 March 1885 Eiffel presented a paper on the project to the Société des Ingiénieurs Civils; after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying that the tower would symbolise:

 “Not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.”

 Against the Tower 

 A “Committee of Three Hundred” (one member for each metre of the tower’s height) was formed, led by the prominent architect Charles Garnier and including some of the most important figures of the French arts establishment, including Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Gounod and Jules Massenet: a petition was sent to Charles Alphand, the Minister of Works and Commissioner for the Exposition, and was published by Le Temps.

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erectionof this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower…To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty yearswe shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal”

Gustave Eiffel responded to these criticisms by comparing his tower to the Egyptian Pyramids: “My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way ? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris ?”

 

A view to Kill

Scream at her, and I yell and scream at her 

And I scream, ice cream, I scream 

I scream “Merry Eiffel Tower High”

 

“All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it”. Jean Cocteau

“We can working out”

“Selfies not allowed”

 

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One thought on ““Cocteau at the Eiffel Tower”

  1. Pingback: today’s birthday: Jean Cocteau (1889) | euzicasa

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