Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chartres on film

Late last year I nearly froze my tender parts off standing on the turret of a ruined Tudor mansion in Sussex taking about Chartres cathedral. (Tudor? Well, fortunately it was shrouded in icy fog.) I was being filmed for programme being made for the National Geographic channel on the building of the cathedral, the subject of my forthcoming book Universe of Stone (published next May by Random House and Harper Collins, since you ask).

I’ve just been sent a DVD of the result, which you can watch here. It is not terrible. That doesn’t sound much of a recommendation, but frankly it has become hard to expect very much of history programmes now. There is, of course, a lot of footage of people running around dressed a peasants or bishops, looking respectively angry or devout. For what was presumably a very modest budget, some of the footage looks rather impressive: in particular, nice graphics of the building (which I’d love to get my hands on for the book, instead of slaving away pencil in hand). But I’d have liked rather more of the real cathedral, without all the soft focus and computer enhancement – it doesn’t need tarting up like that.

Needless to say, every last bit of drama is wrung from the story, often at the cost of stepping way beyond what we can confidently say. I found myself several times saying “Are you sure?”, or “How do you know that?” We get the standard line on issues such as the Cult of the Carts and the donation of the Windows of the Trades, which have now been more or less debunked. We get the usual mystical speculation about the labyrinth (walk it if you like, but don’t assume that medieval pilgrims did the same). Some things, such as the novelty of the flying buttresses and of the bleu de Chartres in the windows, are just plain wrong, in an attempt to make Chartres seem more innovative than it was. I sensed some influence of John James’ dodgy ‘contractors of Chartres’ idea. So I’m afraid this is very much a ‘guide book’ picture of what went on, which treats the history in a rather cavalier fashion. But there are some nice remarks by the contributors (I liked the sceptical angle on the miraculous survival of the Sacred Tunic), and I suppose all one can really hope for is that a programme like this makes you consider going to Chartres, which you certainly should.

As for the British guy who tells us solemnly that we know nothing about the master builder of Chartres except that “he must have been very experienced” – well, duh. It must have been the cold squeezing the blood from my brain.


JimmyGiro said...

In the vid, Prof Whats-his-face states the simplicities inherent in the architecture derived by the circle square and equal-lateral triangle... then the commentator draws us the triangles via bisecting the square at the corners !?

Maybe they should have hired a Nobel laureate.

P.S. Congratulation on keeping all your hair pretty boy ;)

uhfdf said...

歐美a免費線上看,熊貓貼圖區,ec成人,聊天室080,aaa片免費看短片,dodo豆豆聊天室,一對一電話視訊聊天,自拍圖片集,走光露點,123456免費電影,本土自拍,美女裸體寫真,影片轉檔程式,成人視訊聊天,貼圖俱樂部,辣妹自拍影片,自拍電影免費下載,電話辣妹視訊,情色自拍貼圖,卡通做愛影片下載,日本辣妹自拍全裸,美女裸體模特兒,showlive影音聊天網,日本美女寫真,色情網,台灣自拍貼圖,情色貼圖貼片,百分百成人圖片 ,情色網站,a片網站,ukiss聊天室,卡通成人網,3級女星寫真,080 苗栗人聊天室,成人情色小說,免費成人片觀賞,

傑克論壇,維納斯成人用品,免費漫畫,內衣廣告美女,免費成人影城,a漫,國中女孩寫真自拍照片,ut男同志聊天室,女優,網友自拍,aa片免費看影片,玩美女人短片試看片,草莓論壇,kiss911貼圖片區,免費電影,免費成人,歐美 性感 美女 桌布,視訊交友高雄網,工藤靜香寫真集,金瓶梅免費影片,成人圖片 ,女明星裸體寫真,台灣處女貼圖貼片區,成人小遊戲,布蘭妮貼圖片區,美女視訊聊天,免費情色卡通短片,免費av18禁影片,小高聊天室,小老鼠論壇,免費a長片線上看,真愛love777聊天室,聊天ukiss,情色自拍貼圖,寵物女孩自拍網,免費a片下載,日本情色寫真,美女內衣秀,色情網,

liwo said...


女優王國,免費無碼a片,0800a片區,免費線上遊戲,無名正妹牆,成人圖片,寫真美女,av1688影音娛樂網,dodo豆豆聊天室,網拍模特兒,成人文學,免費試看a片,a片免費看,成人情色小說,美腿絲襪,影片下載,美女a片,人體寫真模特兒,熊貓成人貼,kiss情色,美女遊戲區,104 貼圖區,線上看,aaa片免費看影片,天堂情色,躺伯虎聊天室,洪爺情色網,kiss情色網,貼影區,雄貓貼圖,080苗栗人聊天室,都都成人站,尋夢園聊天室,a片線上觀看,無碼影片,情慾自拍,免費成人片,影音城論壇,情色成人,最新免費線上遊戲,a383影音城,美腿,色情寫真,xxx383成人視訊,視訊交友90739,av女優影片,