L’arme à gauche / The Dictator’s Guns – Claude Sautet

The Dictator’s Guns is a 1965 French aventure movie directed by Claude Sautet. Jacques Cournot (Lino Ventura) is requested to assess the Dragoon, Mrs Osborne’s yacht, in the Caribbean. When the ship is stolen, Cournot is given the mission to find it. During the search, Cournot uses several maps. L’Arme à gauche est un film…

Casse-tête chinois / Chinese puzzle. Klapisch

Chinese puzzle, the latest film by Cédric Klapisch is certainly not the first film to put Google Maps on screen. We did not attempt a systematic inventory of the Google map service apparitions in movies, but in 2010 Where are the Morgans? already used a sort of fake of Google Maps. Chinese puzzle may be…

Let me guess. You’re the hot sauce ? Map, Power and Desire in Weeds

We have gems in our « Cabinet of curiosities » that deserve some comments. This cartographic scene from the season 4 of the politically incorrect series Weeds is one of them. This is a prelude to the love affair between the valiant mum, Nancy Botwin, trafficking cannabis to support her family and the powerful and dangerous Mexican…

Till Roeskens’ Videomappings / Les vidéocartographies de Till Roeskens

All works of the artist Till Roeskens proceed  at the beginning from geography. When he chooses to use maps or landscape views, this is less for their aesthetic quality as for their primary function: restoring the form and the arrangement of space. But Till Roeskens always place « at man’s reach », i.e. at the level of…

Immortel (ad Vitam) : les espaces d’une dictature à New-York en 2095/ New York dictatorship’s space in 2095

« Immortel (Ad Vitam) » is a French sci-fi movie directed in 2004 by Enki Bilal, designer of world famous comics. It is one of three films directed by Enki Bilal, all directly inspired by his works, the atmosphere that emerges and their imaginary geographies. The stories all take place in a more or less distant future,…

Gravity, film géospatial/Geospatial Movie

There is no representational spatial machinery in Gravity, the very impressive film by Alfonso Cuarón. No map, no device for locating characters, no screen for designatind targets. There is no computing tool in this sophisticated but somewhat abandoned technological world where manuals are in binders and where you crank up the retrorockets. In Gravity, you…

Exposition « Pasolini Roma » à la Cinémathèque française /Exhibition « Pasolini Roma » at the Cinémathèque française

From 16 October 2013 to 26 January 2014,  the exhibition « Pasolini Roma » holds at the Cinémathèque française  in Paris. This exhibition proposes six sections  corresponding to different periods of Pasolini’s life, especially in Roma, which was both the place where he lived from 1950 to his death in 1975, and the place where he made…

Exposition « Astérix à la BnF » /Exhibition « Astérix at the BnF »

From 16 October 2013 to 19 January 2014,  the exhibition « Astérix at the BnF » holds at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)  in Paris,. This exhibition proposes a wide number of original sketches, videos and many by-products of Asterix’s world. It gives an occasion to pinpoint the use of maps and spatial means in one…

Playtime de Tati. La rationalisation des espaces modernes/Playtime by Tati. The rationalisation of modern spaces

Jacques Tati directed Playtime in 1967. It his one of the 6 full-length movies of  Tati that are briefly presented on this site. Modern space has always been a question of Tati’s cinema. Playtime is one of his movie where he develops an actual spatial thought. Playtime est un film réalisé par Jacques Tati en…

Dirty Harry – Don Siegel

Dirty  Harry is a 1971 American crime film directed by Don Siegel. It’s the first in the Dirty Harry film series. San Franscico Police Department Inspector « Dirty » Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), opposes Scorpio, a serial killer (Andrew Robinson). We can find several spatial machineries in the movie : maps, plans, model. Moreover, we note many…

L’univers des villes pour Jacques Demy/ The World of Cities for Jacques Demy

The exhibition « Le monde enchanté de Jacques Demy«  which takes place from April 10 to August 8, 2013 at the Cinemathèque française in Paris, offers the opportunity to see closely the world of cities of this French filmmaker, who died in 1990. Jacques Demy, close to the « Nouvelle vague« , was a producer, but also a screenwriter,…

L’île d’Hashima est visible sur GoogleStreetView/ Hishima island is visible on GoogleStreetView

The Cubic site has relayed the announcement by Google that Hashima (or « Battleship ») Island is now visible on GoogleStreetView. The Hashima island is an old mine in the Japanese archipelago, located off Nagasaki, which was abandoned in 1974. Since that time no regular human activity takes place there. However the island has served as decor…

Earth attacks Mars ! La Terre à l’attaque de Mars !

The day of the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe, considered today as one of the biggest stars of American cinema, California received the first images of Mars. How could one fail to notice this dual event occurring on the same day, that the American entertainment world, and especially in California, wanted to produce as well…

L’abstraction géographique de Mondrian / Mondrian’s geographic abstraction

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), pioneer of abstract painting, is not in theory an artist inclined to evoke real places in his works. Since 1913 and the discovery of cubism in Paris, Mondrian has made it a goal to find out a visual language for reporting the abstract reality behind the natural one and looking for the…

Cartographier les Cités obscures (1): à la recherche de la frontière invisible / Mapping the Cities of the Fantastic (1): searching for the invisible frontier

La frontière invisible is an album of cartoonists François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. This album includes two volumes and is part of the series « Les Cités obscures« , literary The Dark Cities but translated to English The Cities of the Fantastic. The book portrays the lives of characters who perceive too late the real challenges and…

Point de repère, Musée Paul Dini, Villefranche-sur-Saône

The Paul Dini Museum of Villefranche-sur-Saône (Rhône, France) presents from 03/23/2013 to 09/15/ 2013 an exhibition entitled « Landmark. » Le Musée Paul Dini de Villefranche-sur-Saône (Rhône, France) propose du 23 mars au 15 septembre 2013 une exposition temporaire intitulée : « Point de repère ».Le musée présente ainsi cette exposition : « Depuis que l’Homme est sur Terre,…

La métamorphose des cloportes

La métamophoses des cloportes is a 1965 French crime movie directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre adapted from an Alphonse Boudard’s novel. Three gangsters, Edmond (Charles Aznavour), Arthur (Maurice Biraud) and Rouquemoute (Georges Géret)) plan to seize the content of a safe and ask for Alphonse’s help (Lino Ventura). Alphonse takes control of the operation … and …

Cartographers in a Middle-Age World City / Des cartographes dans une « Ville-Monde » médiévale

Les maîtres cartographes (Mapping Masters) is a series of 6 comic books published between 1992 and 2002, drawn by Paul Glaudel and written by Scotch Arleston. This author is well-known for his large collection of heroic fantasy comic books, including  the famous Lanfeust de Troy‘s series. Les maîtres cartographes est une série BD de 6…

Peut-être (Klapisch) : le présent c’est déjà le futur, ici c’est aussi ailleurs/ Present is already future, here is also elsewhere

Peut-être (1999)  is a film directed by Cédric Klapisch. This film takes place alternately in present time, the Eve of the Year 2000, and a future time, located in 2070. But the film exhibits also an apartment within an Haussmann type building in Paris, and outside of it, located in a wealthy neighborhood of Paris.…

En relief

Relief maps have a rather elegant rendering. Despite their decorative aspect, they are quite rare in fiction movies. This post attempts to begin an inventory of films with relief maps, beginning by 4 French movies. Les cartes en relief donnent un résultat assez élégant. Cependant il est plutôt rare d’en rencontrer dans les œuvres de…

Inception (Nolan) : quand les perceptions de l’espace sont modifiées/ When perceptions of space are modified

Inception is a film written, directed and produced in 2010 by Christopher Nolan. The film tells the story of an « extractor », the hero, who enters the dreams of others to obtain information. Recruited for the sake of his faculties in the field of industrial espionage, the hero has lost his family and had to flee.…

Edward Hopper / Gail Albert Halaban. Gloucester revisited

The big Grand Palais Hopper’s exhibition in Paris is closing tonight. It is an opportunity to publish a post somewhere between news, spatial machinery and materialization of fiction. The New-York Time magazine  published in July 2012 – and le Monde in September 2012- wrote about the work of the photographer Gail Albert Halaban. In this…

Maps of Hitler / Les cartes d’Hitler. Der Untergang/Downfall/La Chute

Der Untergang (Downfall) is a 2004 German film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel that focuses on the last days of the Third Reich and the fall of Berlin. The movie is set in and around Hitler’s Bunker in late April 1945. It is a realistic reconstruction, based on eyewitness accounts, survivor memoirs and verified sources. Bruno…