Vlad’s Vlog in Vou – Vlad’s Vlog à Vou

Vlad’s Vlog in Vou – Vlad’s Vlog à Vou (FR sous-titres)

Vlad and Marlowe go to the sleepy local village of Vou and look at the memorial there to the Demarcation Line. From 1940 to 1943, the line separated the Occupied Zone – Nazi-controlled France – from the Free Zone, run by Maréchal Pétain and the puppet Vichy régime. This was a dangerous place to be, with people-passers helping Jews, Resistance fighters and Allied combatants move surreptitiously between the two zones, risking their own lives every day, and risking denunciation by collaborators. Rejoicing that Nazi occupation is no more and that France is, was and shall evermore be France – Douce France! – Vlad and Marlowe then go for a ramble o’er hill and dale, to the accompaniment of a sublime paean by the poet-songwriter Léo Ferré, Je suis un chien (I am a dog). This is a sentiment that both Vlad and Marlowe strongly identify with, though Marlowe’s claim on the affirmation is admittedly a trifle stronger than his master’s…

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2 réponses à “Vlad’s Vlog in Vou – Vlad’s Vlog à Vou”

  1. Ferré a very good choice to go with your fine landscape painting and with the chien – an anarchist if not in behaviour then at heart, perhaps?
    As soundtrack, it is like a mass for the dead land (made me think of the forgetful snow and the dried tubers of The Waste Land) and for the ghosts of those who crossed the demarcation line and those who tried to stop them, of those who resisted and those who betrayed, not to mention the ghosts of the commercants who have abandoned their commerces. How dead everything often seems in the Touraine that you film! It’s winter, of course, but so seldom a soul is seen in the streets or along the roads apart, of course, from the stars of the show, Vlad and Marlowe, tourists on an uninhabited planet. Just the one vehicle moving in the landscape today; the high point, i thought; some small sign of human life, enfin!

    • Well Marlowe and I are sentient beings, so we count too! As for the Ferré, it could be that song and no other. Mixing memory and desire – Eliot stole that line from Swinburne. What you find « dead » I find enchanting – the almost complete absence of people here in Touraine. You can walk for hours and never encounter another soul. Incidentally, the car you spotted nearly ran Marlowe over, we just weren’t expecting it – or a road! Recently I went on a 3-hour walk where I never saw another person, another car or even an airplane. That is precisely what you can never get in the UK, to be alone with yourself and with nature. But it’s a bit like the Sahara – it seems empty, but behind a bush, behind a dune, there’s someone lurking. I often cross paths with farmers, or just people in front of their houses. And because of the low population density, people are eager to talk and exchange when an encounter does happen. Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street – for « mountains » read « nature ».

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