Monday, June 20, 2011

Name dropping: Russell Crowe, Pierre Cardin, Albert Camus, Marquis de Sade, Peter Mayle

20.06.11 Name dropping: Russell Crowe, Pierre Cardin, Albert Camus, Marquis de Sade, Peter Mayle, Ridley Scott, Lacoste, Jesus Rafael Soto.
De Sade bust and ruins of his chateau. More photos here 

Lourmarin and Lacoste,  two villages in the Luberon area of Provence, link the names on my title list. Visited both today, and Bonnieux in between, but none of the “stars”, past or present, was there to greet me personally.
An hour’s drive took me from the Alpilles to the Luberon where the first stop was Lourmarin, the village made famous by the books (also follow ups via TV and film) of Peter Mayle. But there were some serious writers here long before the popular Englishman and they included 1957 Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus.

Camus was killed a car accident soon after the award and is buried here. Football followers may have seen this quote of his: "After many years during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport and learned it in the RUA."  Camus had played in goal for the Racing Universitaire Algerios (RUA) junior team.
We took a stroll through the village, which still has quite a few estate agents, and also visited the château.
Another of Mayle’s books was made into the film was A Good Year (2006), directed by Scott and starring Crowe. An enjoyable enough tale, set in a local vineyard and surrounds. And indeed, some of the scenes, including the cafe ones, were filmed in Lacoste

Must admit, I didn’t search out the cafe, indeed hardly saw one at all, as I made my way up the rough cobbles and then an even rougher path to the Chateau de Sade, now owned and being restored by Cardin!
De Sade  is best known for his erotic works, depicting bizarre violent fantasies. He lived in the 18th century castle overlooking the village. The castle was partially destroyed in an uprising in 1779 and was later looted and plundered by locals. Cardin has partially restored it and holds cultural events there.
There is a big show coming up next month but I enjoyed a foretaste with a ramble through the thin blue tubes of the “penetrable” structure by major Venezuelan kinetic artist Jesus Rafael Soto. Quite a bonus, I must admit.
And another bonus were the fine views from the top, 360 degrees, including a clear view of Mont Ventoux (teasing me again). Tough walk down to the parking space at the start of the town but enjoyed a lovely drive back through the hills, the vineyards and the olive fields. Looking forward to dinner in Fontvieille this evening. Gotto go get ready.