The Flâneur, Psychogeography and Drift Photography

These articles may give some inspiration or context for your film in Nantes?

1st Person, Adventure, Flâneur, Exploring the city

Not to find one’s way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. It requires ignorance — nothing more. But to lose oneself in a city — as one loses oneself in a forest — that calls for a quite different schooling. Then, signboard and street names, passers-by, roofs, kiosks, or bars must speak to the wanderer like a cracking twig under his feet in the forest.Walter Benjamin, A Berlin Chronicle 1

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38,000 miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and a terabyte of footage = the trip of a lifetime. Start your own adventure at Watch these 3 travelers (Rick Mereki, Andrew Lees and Tim White) move, eat and learn their way around the world.

Benjamin the surrealist collects together the images of the city that the flâneur presents to him, to be left with a vast array of past objects, buildings and spaces that he then attempts to reassemble into illuminating order.Deborah Parsons, ‘Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City and Modernity’

Mike's Blog: The D.O.T.:

Baudelaire established a tradition that moved through the early modernists, to the Surrealists and on to the Situationists.  As part of the latter movement, Guy Debord developed the notions of the dérive and the ‘spectacle’.  A dérive (in English ‘drift’) is the means by which ‘psycho-geographies’ are achieved.  A drift is an unplanned walk, usually through a city or marginal area, and a psycho-geography involves the walker creating a mental map of the city which:

depends on the walker ‘seeing’ and being drawn into events, situations and images by an abandonment to wholly unanticipated attraction.

Chris Jenks (ed), ‘Visual Culture’ More

The video to the song - an edited version of Dziga Vertov's 1929 movie of the same name. Must be shared. Just to clarify, I did not make this. It was created for/by the Jason Swinscoe & Co. to my knowledge. Also: Buy their new album, "Ma Fleur." Amazing.

Flâneur with a Movie Camera

'In these early city symphonies and documentary films of the Soviet avant-garde, we find the city itself as stand-imotor modernity. The filmmakers turn their cameras to their contemporary moment like the Baudelarian flâneur as described by Walter Benjamin. The flâneur is a wanderer and observer. In the 19th century the flâneur strolled the streets of quintessential modernist cities like New York, Paris, and London, return home only to record the images of the day with pen and paper. In the 1920s and 30s, Dziga Vertov and others seem to emerge as a more instantaneous version of the flâneur. Rather than waiting to record the images in writing, the filmmakers are able to document their wanderings as they happen, evoking a sense of immediacy.

The flâneur does not wander in straight lines, nor in temporal sequence. In Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera,” the flâneur, the eponymous “Man,” is a collage/montagist, collecting and arranging is hosts and images without regard for narrative or temporal sequence. When the flâner turns the camera on the city, he finds complexity and unity. Fittingly, Strand and Sheeler’s film borrows from Whitman, the American flâneur, wandering the country and rejoicing in Democracy. Such democratic ideals emerge in Grierson’s documentary of a fishing trawler, as the filmmaker does not discriminate in subject matter but rather embraces the laborer as appropriate for artistic treatment as are kings'. Source

In 2008, I walked through China - 1 year, 4500km. I let my hair and my beard grow. This is the resulting video. Add me on FB: ▶ on TW: ▶ or drop by on my site: ▶ INFO: ▶ I never finished my original goal of walking to Germany.

Further Reading/ References

Charles Baudelaire, "The Painter of Modern Life", (New York: Da Capo Press, 1964). Orig. published in Le Figaro, in 1863.