Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A trip to Père-Lachaise

Anyone heading to Paris for a vacation should consider paying a visit to Père-Lachaise cemetery. One of the most famous cemeteries in the world, the sprawling but peaceful Père-Lachaise is a wonderful break from the endless hustle and bustle of the city, and is home to some well-known residents, most famously Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust, Édith Piaf and Oscar Wilde. Oliver Stone filmed one of the final scenes of The Doors in Père-Lachaise, but Jim Morrison's grave today is a far more subdued scene than that depicted in the film. Over the years, the grave has been vandalised numerous times and bust of Morrison (seen in the screenshot below) was stolen in 1988.

Jim Morrison's grave in Oliver Stone's film The Doors

The Lizard King's final resting place, October 2010

Another resident of Père-Lachaise I wanted to visit was Georges Méliès, the great French film maker who around the turn of the 20th century, pioneered special effects with dissolves, time-lapse photography, split screen, multiple exposures and so on. All film makers past and present owe Georges Méliès a huge debt, and arguably all Fantastic Cinema can be traced back to Méliès' early film experiments like A Trip To The Moon. Next to the bust of Méliès in the picture below, someone had left a handwritten message of gratitude, and rather amusingly someone left a business card for a video copying service !

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