[The 90’s raw: classical guitar player, what the French think of America]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. The first segment is footage of a Chilean musician, who plays classical guitar in a small room in Paris. He talks about his Spartan lifestyle and his desire to become a professional musician. He then takes his guitar and goes to perform for change in the Metro. The second half of the tape covers the opinions of two French people on the United States.

00:00Copy video clip URL The camera pans down the facade of a hotel in Paris twice.

00:24Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to a tight shot of a guitar being played, and then zooms out so that the musician is visible as well. He plays classical guitar. They are inside and the musician is seated in front of a window. He does not look at the camera, but is concentrated on his finger-work. The camera cuts and the musician is still playing, but now it is apparent he is on a bed, and that the room is very small, with a sink on the right wall. The camera moves around the room, looking at the sink. Later, the camera takes footage from outside the door to his room, looking in.

06:04Copy video clip URL The camera cuts, and the musician is sitting, and the interviewer asks him to talk about himself. He says his name is Victor Archila (?), and he says he is Chilean, and he has come to Paris to work and perhaps to record. He says he has been traveling for three years. She asks him if he has ever been to the US, and he says he admires many musicians from America, but he has never been there.

09:02Copy video clip URL He talks about his lifestyle, and how he needs very little money to live. He says he only needs 150 to 200 francs per day to live, and wakes up very early to play in the Metro. He thinks this style of life might be impossible in Chile, whereas Paris is more “cultural.”

12:23Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to the hotel office, and a man on the phone speaks French. Then the camera watches as the musician exits the hotel and walks toward down the street to the Metro. Good shots of Parisian streets, and of the subway.

16:37Copy video clip URL The musician takes out his guitar, tunes it, and sits on his amplifier to play. Victor plays classical guitar for the remainder of this part of tape, and one man stops to talk to him in Spanish. People stop to watch him play, applaud him, give him change, or take photos. He smokes a cigarette and plays for another musician, allowing him to try to play his guitar, while he himself tries the other musician’s electric guitar.

41:31Copy video clip URL The camera cuts to a French man who is currently living in New York describing his opinions on the United States. He first went to America in 1967: “I’ve always been fascinated by the United States, the sense of freedom, and energy.” He has been living in New York for 11 years. “I am quite touched by the kindness of the Americans.” He is an architect and a painter.

43:30Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks about the differences between the French and the Americans, and he says “I’ve always been tired of French people’s sense of pride and sense of a certain social prejudice. What attracts me to the United States is this openness… they don’t have a fixed sense of values. It is still true that everybody does have a chance in the states.”

44:33Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks about American politics, and says he has anxiety about the situation in the Persian gulf. The interviewer presses for a more general opinion of American political attitudes, but he is not “involved” in politics: “Being a creative person, I am more interested in new things.” She then questions him about fashion, and he says he is interested in French fashion, and says Americans have too many casual clothes. She then asks about food, and he thinks the food in New York has gotten much better since he was first there. “Every culture has its own autonomy, or its own central values,” he says, and he resists the idea of the world becoming more homogeneous.

49:20Copy video clip URL As for social differences, he compares the class systems. He says Americans are divided by income, while in France education determines class, as does bourgeois society. He talks about women and their openness, but how they move quickly in and out of relationships. He and the interviewer discuss the media and openness on the streets, comparing permissiveness in America and France. She asks about the French perception of American tourists, and he says the attitude of the tourists has changed greatly.

54:34Copy video clip URL The camera cuts, and he talks about a sense of history in France. “It is very important for me to have contact with a long past,” he says, mentioning touching Roman stones in the south of France. This is something that he cannot do in America. He then talks about architecture in the United States.

58:37Copy video clip URL A French woman, Sylvie, discusses her opinions on the United States. The word “America” makes her think of “cheese pies,” which is not explained. She thinks that the French are too cerebral and “they think too much” and are therefore ineffective, while the Americans are able to take action. She cites technology, NASA and business as examples of Americans making things happen. She also says that French think too much of diplomas and are judged based on paper records.

01:00:46Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks her about the American dream. She describes the Americans that she knows, and that she is biased about America based on these people, but that she has realized that many people in the US are narrow-minded.

01:02:06Copy video clip URL The camera cuts. They discuss attitudes toward life in France and the US. Sylvie talks about materialism in America. “Sometimes they realize their dream, but they can’t lead a daily life.” She thinks France is influenced by America. The interviewer asks about aesthetics, and Sylvie talks about roundness. She says cities like New York and Los Angeles are “full of contradictions.”

01:07:55Copy video clip URL “I like the way you make the old things and the new things coexist.” She talks about architecture as an example. The interviewer asks about the relationships between men and women. Sylvie says at first everything seems open, but in fact Americans have a sort of “code” and are more conventional.

01:09:24Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks Sylvie’s opinion on American politics, and she says that “All the world’s a stage,” and politicians are puppets and not very credible. She says she is cynical about the war, and that politicians promise too much.

01:12:32Copy video clip URL The camera cuts, and Sylvie continues to talk about the ineffectiveness of politicians. When asked about the French politicians, Sylvie says they are the same. She says that they have a lot of ideas, but that politicians are working for their own interests. “The principle difference between Americans and French,” is that French are all about ideas, and Americans are about realizing these ideas. The interviewer asks about McDonald’s. Sylvie says it’s a good idea but the food is not good in France.

01:19:03Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks if Sylvie would like to live in America, and she says yes, but she would like to live in an older town, maybe Brooklyn. She tells an anecdote about visiting the West Coast, and says she is a consultant.

01:21:22Copy video clip URL The tape cuts, and she says Americans she has talked to are always interested in food and in women. She discusses how Americans can be expert in one area, but they don’t have good general knowledge. The interviewer asks about the education system, but Sylvie does not know much about it.

01:24:11Copy video clip URL The tape cuts, and Sylvie talks about her confusion about the fact that the United States is composed of people from all over the world, yet racism is so prevalent. She says she lived in China for two years, and when she returned she found the French to be intolerant of other ideas. She says that French people are more racist than Americans, because they are also intolerant of ideas.

01:28:14Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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