Le Bleu des Origines

Title: Le Bleu des Origines
Japanese Title: 起源の青色
Director, Cinematography, Editing, Producer: Philippe Garrel
First distributed in France: Hors-Champ, Seine Diffusion
Running Time: 45 minutes
Format: Silent black & white
Production Date: 1978-00-00—1979-00-00
Release Date: 1979-02-21 [FR]
Cast: Nico: A woman
Philippe Garrel: A man
Zouzou [Danièle Ciarlet]: Another woman
Unknown: Old woman teaching keyboards
Note: Nico lends her face and her long dark silhouette to Le Bleu des Origines, a survival, silent black & white film shot with a hand camera, a journey into Philippe Garrel's intimate family album featuring the two women who counted in his cinematographic life: Nico and Zouzou. One day in Spring 1978 Garrel visits Zouzou, rue Rambuteau, and tells her he wants to film her here there and then. The film features a few shots of Garrel filmed by Zouzou. The film was produced under the worst conditions as Nico explains: "I have to carry the equipment and everything. I'm worn out after two hours of shooting. It's so cold outside, especially on the roof of the Opéra. It's never been as difficult for me to shoot a movie." New phantom of the Opera in a black cape, Nico wanders over the rooftops of Paris.

Dressed in her long winter coat, long crocheted winter scarf (c.f. The Blue Angel sleeve photographs by Antoine Giacomoni) and motorcycle boots, Nico who lived Rue de Richelieu with Garrel at the time, walks around the center of Paris, Place des Victoires, Rue du Renard, Jardin du Palais-Royal, Place Colette, Arc-de-Triomphe du Carrousel, Les Halles building site. She writes, reads by candlelight, lights up matches, examines a jewel in her hand, skims through Zouzou's family album, plays keyboards coached by an old woman ...There are some inserts of Nico's life ... her German passport; Nico at Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco, 443 Broadway 1977-12-17; article in New Musical Express about Nico and heroin.

This particular Philippe Garrel film is seldom seen. When it was shown again at the Centre Georges Pompidou Cinéma 1, Paris, on 2004-01-23 17:30 and 2004-02-06 19:00 Cinéma 2, Garrel hadn't seen it since it was originally presented and rediscovered it on the editing board. Zouzou herself had never seen it and was eager to see it! A raft on the ocean still afloat ?

The film is shown again on 2004-06-04 21:00 and 2004-06-16 21:00 at the Cinémathèque, Salle Chaillot, 7 avenue Albert de Mun, Paris.

© 2005-2011
Serge Mironneau