|Click the image for trailer...|
Roger Godino (his french is very easy to follow) carefully and clearly explains the challenges faced by the new project, from bringing about the 'fusion' of Bourg St Maurice and Hauteville-Gondon (one had the land, the other the financial clout) to the painful process of expropriation whereby 300 land owners were relieved of their chalets and montagnettes in return for tiny amounts of money.
Sadly Godino's principal co-pioneer Robert Blanc was killed in 1980, but the glowing personality of his brother Yvon and some charming film footage (see him ski in powder - brilliant) make his presence felt throughout the production.
|Robert Blanc 1933 - 1980|
|Bernard Taillfer building Arc 1800|
The fun and fizz of this film is infectious, and for one made me long to go back in time and to join the red-pullovered moniteurs as they leap (on skis) one after the other in the Cuopole swimming pool! The cameo appearance of Elizabeth Chenal at the start of the film, with the words 'Nature is beautiful!' as she emerges from her home, the only surviving 'original' chalet on the pistes, is a touching reminder of the roots of Les Arcs and Blanc's origins as a simple shepherd.
The disc contains many 'bonus' items, including a selection of hilarious 1970s publicity films for Les Arcs, and a set of interviews with other key players in birth of the resort. Fascinating stuff for anyone who can follow the french and wants to know more about the antecedent 'Courbaton 1750' ski area and how that might have developed instead of the Arcs.
Apart from some badly-written english subtitles (and a few fairly elementary translation mistakes) this is a first class publication; no Acardien or Arcadienne should miss it!
Available from many shops in Les Arcs and Bourg St Maurice,or from Amazon.