Abandoned Places – Les Lieux Abandonnés

Abandoned Places – Les Lieux Abandonnés  (FR sous-titres)

Vlad et Marlowe se promènent autour de Paulmy, en Touraine du Sud, en appréciant l’espace vital de la campagne française ! A la fin, ils passent par le Dolmen de la Pierre Chaude, une sépulture néolithique. La musique est Printemps de Debussy. Cette vidéo est en anglais, sous-titrée en français. Si elle vous plaît, vous pouvez vous abonner à Vlad’s Vlog en cliquant sur le bouton rouge sous le vidéo, le bouton SUBSCRIBE.

Le week-end dernier, Vlad’s Vlog a gagné le Prix du Film Expérimental au Festival de Film de Beaugency.

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The car’s at the garage, so Vlad and Marlowe use some old-fashioned teleportation sorcery to beam down in Paulmy, one of the prettiest villages in Touraine. Vlad brings up the subject of “espace vital” – a corollary of progressive rural depopulation – and also the melancholy grace of abandoned places and things, of which this outing has its fair share. It’s a lovely spring day and at the end of their walk they drop in on Le Dolmen de la Pierre Chaude – a neolithic sepulchre not far away, just beyond the striking medieval Château du Châtelier. And this just a couple of days before the newspaper announces the discovery of a huge neolithic settlement of nearly ten hectares in Reignac-sur-Indre. The particularly beautiful music we hear is Debussy’s Printemps. Debussy claimed that the orchestral score of this 1887 composition had been lost in a fire, so for a long time it remained a score for two pianos and choir. It’s now thought the orchestral score never in fact existed. In 1912 it was orchestrated by Henri Busser but without a choir. This spurred the American conductor Emil de Cou to re-orchestrate it and reintroduce the choir that had originally been planned for, but without words. This is the entrancing version that wafts through the springtide air, accompanying Vlad and Marlowe along their vagabond ways.

Last weekend, Vlad’s Vlog won the prize for Experimental Film at the Beaugency Film Festival.

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Le Secret Sensationnel de Trump ! Nouvelle version, en français…

Voici une vidéo que j’ai fait entièrement en français sur une balade que j’ai fait il y a 3 mois avec mon chien Marlowe à Chambourg sur Indre. Dans la vidéo, je lis une traduction d’un poème de Lord Byron qui s’appelle “Epitaphe pour un chien” – pour moi, c’est le texte le plus touchant qui existe sur la relation entre les hommes et les chiens… La vidéo s’appelle “Le Secret Sensationnel de Trump !” pour les raisons qui vont devenir claires en la regardant. Je suis membre du club Photo de Loches en Touraine, où j’ai présenté cette vidéo, ce qui explique le logo du club au départ… j’hésite entre faire mes vidéos de promenades canines en Touraine en anglais (sous-titrées en français), en français avec mon accent à couper au couteau (et sous-titrées en anglais) ou bien un mélange des deux … merci d’avance pour vos conseils !

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Desperados

Desperados  (subtitled/sous-titré)

Marlowe and Vlad go to Saint Quentin sur Indrois, a village that’s somewhat… oh my goodness, any new synonyms for “sleepy”? The genteel neglect of the place is, however, set off by the breathtaking gorgeousness of the surrounding countryside. Vlad takes us on a magical mystery tour, leading us down to a secret underground place – hidden from view in a thicket in the middle of a field – that is most out of the ordinary, to say the least, though he nearly breaks his neck in the process. Lastly, the now-regular feature “Inventory of Shame”, in which the rubbish encountered on the way is itemised, exposes a hidden and almost obsessive-compulsive facet to the furtive tastes of the otherwise goodly citizens of Saint Quentin. All is revealed in this probing “True Detective” edition of Vlad’s Vlog!

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Byways of Bournan

Byways of Bournan – Balade à Bournan  (FR sous-titres)

Vlad and Marlowe go for a walk in the rolling countryside around the village of Bournan, following the meandering course of the Ligoire river. They cross paths with The Water Rat Exterminator, his shotgun slung over his shoulder – a sort of rural James Bond, with a year-round Licence to Kill Water Rats from the local commune backed up by encouragements from his rodent-averse son, a local farmer. Clearly neither father nor son are even considering membership of the Wind in the Willows Fan Club! The lowering skies and landscapes glimmer with glebes of colza. It all calls for a moody air, so Vlad chooses Alfred Schnittke’s ethereal Choir Concerto 1, O Master of All Living Things – and that includes water rats! – to accord with their pensive perambulations.

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Marlowe in Motion

Marlowe in Motion – Marlowe en Mouvement  (FR sous-titres)

Vlad and Marlowe walk out into the countryside around the sleepy medieval town of Cormery. Because he always seems to need a “topic”, Vlad talks about “Marlowe in Motion”, the locomotion of the canine species. This leads him onto the subject of Edweard Muybridge, the Victorian photographer who used early stop-motion animation to observe how animals and humans move. Muybridge proved through photography that horses and dogs “fly” momentarily – when running fast, all four feet periodically leave the ground – something no-one could be certain of before. But curiously, as Vlad explains, photography also seems to have proved Muybridge dramatically wrong on another point that was much closer to home. Their constituitional ends in Cormery with views of this attractive, ancient town. Throughout, Marlowe remains blithely oblivious of his master’s intellectual digressions and, nose to the ground, nonchalantly continues his own olfactory digressions unimpeded…

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Marlowe’s Tongue

Marlowe’s Tongue – La Langue de Marlowe  (FR sous-titres)

A rainy Easter Sunday. Vlad and Marlowe go for a walk near Dolus-le-Sec in southern Touraine. Following posts about Marlowe’s nose and Marlowe’s ears, Vlad now turns his attention to Marlowe’s tongue and mysterious matters such as dog licking, grooming and panting. In the course of the walk, they hear the first cuckoo of spring – which, by an uncanny coincidence, is the very title of the accompanying music by Frederick Delius. Thus life imitates art…

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Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace – Ne Laisser Aucune Trace  (FR sous-titres)

Vlad and Marlowe walk out from the village of Cussay. This video has something for everyone – including quotations from Keith Richards and D. H. Lawrence and a fascinating itemised list of the trash Vlad chances upon along the way – a brand new feature on Vlad’s Vlog! While all around, the peeps of famished birds and whiffs of death-dealing glyphosates are most indubitably in the air… Ah, the ravishments of early spring! In the words of Stanley Unwin, “Oh follock! Deep joy!”

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Marlowe’s Ears

Marlowe’s Ears – Les Oreilles de Marlowe  (FR sous-titres)

The last Vlad’s Vlog video was about Marlowe’s nose – his sense of smell – and this one is about his sense of hearing, which is no less acute. The starting-point for our walk is near Dolus le Sec in Southern Touraine. A new feature of Vlad’s Vlog videos is that a map of the route is included at the end. Once again in this video, we realise how far superior our dogs are to us in sensory terms. One wonders why they even want to be with us humdrum limited beings! Are we just human can-openers? But no! The dog-human relationship is as old as the hills and one of the great symbiotic stories of all time. The fact is, we love each other. But when Marlowe and I hear about how badly dogs are treated in China or elsewhere, even right here on our doorstep – and we know of a terrible example – we get angry, our shackles rise and our hearts break. How long will it take man to realise that he shares this planet with sentient beings who are every bit as intelligent, if not more so, than he is, and that co-habitation rather than rivalry is the answer to it all?

For us dog-lovers, the words of Léo Ferré resound – “Je suis un chien”! Je suis un chien… Science and empathy and imagination help us see into the lives of those beings who surround us and learn about the extraordinary ways in which they perceive the world, which are sometimes so different from ours. Whatever we think of them, we will never know what they truly think of us.

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Marlowe’s Nose

Marlowe’s Nose – Le Nez de Marlowe  (FR sous-titres)

You’ve seen Claire’s Knee, My Left Foot, The Eyes of Laura Mars and Goldfinger… Now, coming to a screen near you – Marlowe’s Nose! This video is quite simply a hymn of praise to Marlowe’s splendid proboscis, aka his nose.

Vlad gives the lowdown on just how superior Marlowe’s adorable snout is to his own and tries to peer into the olfactory wonderland that Marlowe inhabits – a parallel universe of perfumes and pongs alongside our deodorised human sphere. Discover what his nose knows that our noses don’t know and will doubtless never know!

Vlad’s physiological research is definitely on the nose. Never again will you look down your nose at a dog. Without seeking to get up your nose, rub your nose in it or put your nose out of joint, Vlad proves once and for all that we can’t see beyond the ends of our noses. It’s definitely the dogs that come out smelling of roses!

Don’t miss the unique patented Vlad’s Vlog fusion of science and grace, helped along by sublime compositions from the soaring imagination of Russian creative genius Alfred Schnittke, and the ubiquitous presence of Marlowe – Monarch of Mutts, Pooch Padrone, His All-Sniffing Charismatic Doggyness – Vlad’s faithful friend and exemplary scion of our doggy-dog society.

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Meals and Wheels – La Claise and Claudette

Meals and Wheels – La Claise and Claudette  (FR sous-titres)

Following a test of mental arithmetic for you – the viewer – Vlad and the Memsahib head for Preuilly-sur-Claise and the La Claise restaurant, run by a Michelin-star chef, the former right-hand man of Alain Ducasse who gives surprisingly good value for money. In Preuilly, they visit Susan and Simon Walter, an Australian couple who run a blog about the region, another blog about the wildlife of Touraine and a great company that helps overseas visitors discover the region in the retro comfort of “Claudette”, a vintage Citroën front-wheel drive car from 1953. After tea and a chat, Simon and Susan kindly take them for a “time travel” spin in the old lady! Sadly, Marlowe had to stay at home to chew the cud and hold the fort, but such is a dog’s life..

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© 2018 Adrian Mathews