Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Herve's last take.

La Bretagne/2020

The last time I saw Hervé was in the café where he was sitting on the other side of the chess board from me; I had just played a gambit in response to his knight to king bishop three. He took it seriously and pondered his reply, which was generous on his part as in truth I had no idea what I was doing. It was simply something I had seen in a book the night before and I wanted to surprise him. The game ended in laughter and a flurry of errors and our head to head statistics remained at two-a-piece. 

And there it will always remain. 

The first time I met Hervé, three years ago, was in the same café at the Midnight Cinema where he was one of our first and most regular guests. He was also one of its most enthusiastic ice cream eaters, something which had no link to the fact that he was also the only person to have a deckchair collapse below him during a screening of Casablanca. Being as he was well over eighty years old at the time everyone jumped up in alarm only to find him giggling helplessly on the floor; he laughed out loud last summer when the shark suddenly appeared during our open air screening of Jaws, a film not usually classified as comedy. 

He won’t be with us this summer, and our open air screening of a Jacques Tati masterpiece will be sadder for that. 

At the same time, it will seem appropriate; Hervé might feel at home in the black and white world of Monsieur Hulot and he could easily have inhabited the flickering images of a time long passed. When we showed Frank Capra’s ‘It happened one night’ on his birthday we realised that he was in fact older than the film so we dedicated the screening to him. This summer’s opening night will be in his honour. 

Last Monday the village said their goodbyes and then followed his casket from the church up to the hillside cemetery where he can watch down on us, if he wants to he will be probably be able to see the film that we will project on the side of the town hall. 

Our laughter and applause will be for him and his family.


Mary said...

So many good-byes. :-(


popps said...