“Boulevard du Temple”, taken by Louis Daguerre in 1838 in Paris, was the first photograph of a person. The image shows a street, but because of the over ten minute exposure time the moving traffic does not appear. The exceptions are the man and shoe-shine boy at the bottom left, and (possibly) two people sitting at a table nearby who stood still long enough to have their images captured.
“We stayed some four hours in the salon Bertrand. Way longer than we promised the people working at Paris’ City Hall ; we had promised we would leave at 7.30, but it was 8 and we still hadn’t recorded Futura, which we really wanted to film. We were all exhausted, but the band was dead tired. They were less rigorous, drifting, especially John, struggling with his drumkit despite the fatigue. Playing Futura, that night, was like fighting the beast. Their beast. “
“For days we were searching for hangars, warehouses and big empty loft spaces. We got the opposite along with the immoderate enthusiasm of Agnes, who works with the city’s cinematography association and wanted to see “what it would be like, a Blogothèque concert at the city hall”. It was incongruous, it was bloody exciting. We were going to shoot Battles in a rococo style lounge in The Hotel de Ville, the magnificent city hall and mayor’s office in the centre of Paris.
We decided to go all out and take as much equipment possible, dragging huge boxes, running dozens of cables across the ancient and noisy wooden floor. Constructing a wall of amps under a fresco of glorious and triumphant agriculture, preparing a wall of sound that would, we were later told, make the several floors above us shake.
We couldn’t say what was further from their comfort zone – the angular futurism of Battles, or the heavily detailed painted walls of the ‘Bertrand Salon’….
We were in an environment as different as the group themselves – their mathematical music, cut to the extreme, long sections with boxes within boxes – we couldn’t possibly film on just one camera. Nat found himself directing five cameras, trying to not miss even a microsecond of what was happening. The result is like nothing we’ve ever created before. Blogothèque, Battles, Bertrand : three B’s who have together embarked on a twisted mission.”
Werner Herzog, ‘Of Walking in Ice’: From Munich to Paris, 23 November - 14 December 1974
In the winter of 1974, filmmaker Werner Herzog made a three week solo journey from Munich to Paris on foot. He believed it was the only way his close friend, film historian Lotte Eisner, would survive a horrible sickness that had overtaken her. During this monumental odyssey through a seemingly endless blizzard, Herzog documented everything he saw and felt with intense sincerity.