Friday, July 28, 2006

perdre la tête

Losing your Head

It was yesterday in 1793 that Maximilien de Robespierre, became the head of the Committee of Public Safety, which led to the Reign of Terror in France. Robespierre headed the committee that was to behead more than 2000 people by guillotine. One year later- he would lose his own head as well.

It was on this day, a month ago in Nice that I saw the exhibition Perdre la tête currently at the Théâtre de la Photograhie et de l'Image (til 27 août). Get to know the streets and people of Paris: large format black and white prints of lost heads (or rather obscured - much better than being guillotined) contrasted by a series of revealing portraits (many are headshots) from Parisian photographer François-Marie Banier.

As there is no more losing heads by guillotine today- it won't be rolling heads but craziness or absentmindedness to deal with when a Frenchman declares "je perds la tête". But if the Frenchman says "tu me fais perdre la tête" with a look of mischevious madness in his eyes... well maybe you'd better head for the hills unless of course you are also éperdument amoureuse!

perdre la tête lose your head, to be forgetful
je perds la tête literally "I am losing the head" - I am going crazy; forgetting things
tu me fais perdre la tête "you make me lose the head" - meaning he has a crush on you
éperdument amoureuse a girl head over heels in love
éperdument amoureux a boy head over heels in love

La photo - Catherine Deneuve à Cannes, en Juin 2006

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