My third annual trip to the golden isle of Porquerolles in southern France along the Cote d’Azur.
I call it Godard’s Island because I found it via one of my favorite films – Pierrot Le Fou. I was tromping around southern France with my sister and trying to find the physical location of an image in my head…. silvery succulent-covered cliffs dropping into rocky Mediterranean beaches where you could go naked and salt would dry your hair into crusty clumps. Specific as it was, it came from the film and the scenes in which Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo escape south together from Paris. On the run, deeply in trouble and wildly in love (albeit a melancholy love), they find themselves all alone on a little island save for a parrot and fox.
This year I returned with my childhood best friend Chloe and wrote a few excerpts while snapping away on some disposable cameras. I’m awaiting my new Olympus in the mail but the disposables surprised me with how well they turned out…
Naked on our own beach on the far side of the island.
Up on the hill, emerging from the trees like a rising sun is the burned orange outline of an old colonial style hotel, all shuttered windows, verandas and climbing violet bougainvillea. I only know that flower because I prowled there last year, pretending to look at the grounds as a wedding venue.
I also happen to know there’s a hidden swimming pool back there in the jungle somewhere if you follow the narrow trail with the largest jurassic plants.
From our languid perspective on the beach, the blues are more vibrant and dimensional than I have ever known – it’s the real reason I keep coming back here.
Facing out of our cove into the Mediterranean, the rocks are guarded by an old fort – a small sunburnt vessel against the rocks and open sky.
Dried paint brush-like husks are cast upon the beach in a crunchy blanket above the waters edge. Spray beckons from the rock outcropping. A day on this island feels like a tiny lifetime – a hummingbird span of heart beats too fast for our measured time.
The desert plants and foliage riding recklessly down into the electric blues seem to magnify the ocean while softening the hillsides into shimmering gold-greens.
On the beach silver rocks shimmer like wet fish fins in a wash of sunlight among the white cubed ones, themselves Picasso-like in structure, miniature in size and endless in quantity.
Chloe is a goddess among tiny ruins.
Part II coming soon..
Also, I recently learned to make prints of my film photos. If you’d like one from above you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org for details. x