8 September 2020

Aznavour, le Regard de Charles

"Aznavour, le Regard de Charles"

Watched "Aznavour, le regard de Charles", which D. had ordered in the framework of the DocAviv, Tel Aviv's springtime documentary film festival, delayed till now due to the pandemic, and still presented just online. I told her it might not hold my attention, but in the end she was the one to fall asleep in the middle.

Aznavour, it turns out, was quite an avid cameraman, constantly filming his travels and the women he loved. Eventually, he amassed a trove of Super-8 video films, which he rarely looked at, but kept stashed "in a secret room of his house." He tells the film maker that, unlike his songs, he has never revealed these to anyone, but perhaps she "will know what to do with them." To the archival film material of the resulting hour-long film, is added a voice-over narration taken from his writings and journals, and, of course, many of his songs.

The product is a very poetic odyssey, full of a particular kind of nostalgia. I don't know much about the man, but the film expresses his humanistic vision; a song critical of the war in Algeria "that was instantly banned"; a trip to Hong Kong, where he expected to revel in an Asian Manhattan, but ended up seeking and filming the poor people in the city's overpopulated back streets and waterways. Wherever in the world he travels, he seems to find intimations of himself. Perhaps he's the ultimate egotist. In the end he says that it is as if we are the ones looking over his shoulder through the camera, and perhaps it is so.

In 2017, just a few months before his death, he visited our village. Prof. Yair Auron had invited him to his Garden of Rescuers and wished to honour him for his family's assistance in rescuing Jews from the Gestapo in wartime Paris. I think he wasn't in such a good mood, because he had just come from a meeting with Ruby Rivlin, and the President had promised no concessions on recognition by Israel of the Armenian Holocaust as a genocide. Aznavour, in the voice of the film's narrator, mentions his visit to the village, saying "I spent a moment in a "kibbutz" where Palestinians and Jews lived together, and that is what I would like to see everyday."

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Resistance to WhatsApp

There's a lot of pressure being put on me to get on WhatsApp lately, because that's what everybody else is using. They will complain that it's so so difficult to send me pictures and videos. But I am not sure that I need to be responsible for their ignorance. I tell them that the use of WhatsApp is against my principles, and if they want to reach me, they should adapt, and not me. Of course, if I was being paid a full-time salary, I might have to agree, but, as things are, I'm pretty much working voluntarily much of the time, so I think they will need to accommodate to my particular way of working.

Pretty much everything about Facebook and its sub-companies stinks. Regarding Facebook, I do have an account, in order to post news for the Village. But my account has no friends, and nobody knows about it. I do not enjoy my interaction with Facebook at all. The user interface is horrible. Using Hubzilla is several times easier, and I don't think it is thanks to a staff of thousands of high salaried Hubzilla developers. I enjoy creating posts on Hubzilla. Creating a post on Facebook is a hit or miss affair. Will it accept my photos? Will it use my links properly?

It reminds me of my experience when I had to use Microsoft programs. Even when they worked well, I never really felt in control. Sometimes what I wanted to do required extra $$$ for features that weren't available on a regular plan. I think that's still true of much of the software available under Windows or Macs. Sometimes formats or entire applications were obsoleted. The last time I had to access some files in early versions of MS Word or Works document formats, the only way I found was to use LibreOffice because Microsoft had stopped supporting them.

Graphics work

Another busy day for me, translating and editing posts following those two arson attacks on the village. Then a bit of graphics work as we are organizing a "human chain" solidarity event for Friday. I found on Pixabay a couple of possibilities for representation of a human chain, but my first few attempts to use these in GIMP were failures.

This one was no good because it looks like the coronavirus

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This one was no good because I didn't notice it had a woman soldier in it. We don't need a soldier there.

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Samah didn't like the black:

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Getting closer - no coronavirus:

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After a couple more attempts, ended up with this, with the painting by Sliman Mansour more prominent.

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I have no memory at all for the effects I want to achieve in the GIMP, and it's only thanks to the excellent How-Tos plastered all over the web that I manage to do anything. But I do try to keep a record in my CherryTree notes of procedures that work.