Wednesday, September 5, 2012

François Skyvington's moped road movie #2

Episode #2 of François Skyvington's road movie was presented yesterday afternoon on the Arte channel.

The opening theme was the magnificent Roman aqueduct known as the Pont du Gard, about 20 km to the west of Avignon.

After chatting with a local fellow who sketches the structure regularly (in the manner of Paul Cézanne painting and repainting the Mont Sainte-Victoire), François took to the air as a passenger in an ultralight aircraft, enabling him to obtain an extraordinary view of the aqueduct. This sequence finished with a trivial but amusing stunt: François on his moped, on an airfield, racing against the aircraft as it took off.

An interesting didactic sequence took us to the nearby stone quarry that has been in operation ever since the Romans cut out the stones for their fantastic aqueduct. In the vicinity, a sculptor works the same beige stone. Then we met up with a beautiful stone guest-house (an ancient sheepfold) where François bedded down for the night... hopefully in the company of the members of the film crew. A big Labrador enabled the owner of the guest-house to dig up truffles, while his wife prepared an evening dinner of beef and olives cooked in wine.

The next day, François took to the waters of the Gard in a canoe. Then he visited a secluded ancient hermitage that is being restored... and we were informed of the techniques for building stone walls without mortar, so that rainwater escapes without deteriorating the walls.

All in all, this was a fine Provençal touristic documentary. But François has the knack of transforming his excursions, through his friendly personality and easy style of contacts, into a series of happy events. And his happiness (perfectly genuine) rubs off onto viewers.

1 comment:

  1. I saw it just on arte, tres drole et interessante,
    ride on little mobylette, ride on Francois,
    i visit the pont du gard in my next holidays, whish i would be there for the firework,
    thanks a lot, merci for this little journeys,
    sie bereichern mein Leben und sind anregend, merci tres bien
    Silke de Cologne