Such a heavenly way to die
October 19, 2011 2:02 PM   Subscribe

The book covers at Paris's famed Shakespeare and Company bookstore come to life in this stop-motion collaboration between director Spike Jonze and designer Olympia Le-Tan, Mourir Auprès De Toi (To Die By Your Side).

Very short "making of".
Via, with a link to a wonderful documentary about Shakespeare and Company.
posted by Horace Rumpole (15 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Man sucks to be Simon Cahn, huh?
posted by nathancaswell at 2:08 PM on October 19, 2011

Related previous MeFi FPP on the bookstore: Sylvia Beach.
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on October 19, 2011

Stay through the credits for additional hot NSFF (Not Safe For Felt) action.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:32 PM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Really cool, thanks for posting. I wonder who that guy is at the beginning, because he is definitely not the 97 year old George Whitman.
posted by Corduroy at 2:37 PM on October 19, 2011

why is it "aupres" and not "apres"
posted by thylacine at 3:02 PM on October 19, 2011

Because "apres" means "after".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:07 PM on October 19, 2011

Whereas auprès means "beside", or so I gather.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:09 PM on October 19, 2011

I wonder who that guy is at the beginning
He's Pierre Le-Tan, a French illustrator and Olympia Le-Tan's dad.
posted by elgilito at 3:22 PM on October 19, 2011

In 1961 I hitchhiked to Paris being of a romantic nature and worked Orwell-style as a dishwasher when not busking. A mate of mine who worked at said bookshop in return for tea and a place to unroll his sleeping bag invited me once to a gathering/party there. All I can remember of the do was meeting a young american there who, intriguingly, didn't know what a fortnight was.

At that time, George called his bookshop le Mistral.

When did it become Shakespeare and Company? That Silvia Beach surely
posted by jan murray at 3:36 PM on October 19, 2011

I need a woman like the heroine in that film. She was hot, brave and forgiving.
posted by Skygazer at 3:37 PM on October 19, 2011

Wikipedia says the name was changed in 1964 (and cites a Charles Glass book from 2009 as the source of the information) as a tribute to Sylvia Beach.

George was still serving tea in 2004, when I visited on a Sunday afternoon and was invited upstairs by a customer? staff? He served it in baby food jars. It came either hot and sweet or cold and sweet. I had no idea at the time of that initial visit that this was a tradition.

I spent a very happy afternoon chatting with expatriates, Parisians and other tourists. At four pm George came storming into the room, shut off the lights and proclaimed "Party over!" I climbed down four flights of stairs and found myself back out on the street in front of the store.

The strangest part of the experience was finding myself in an argument over my accent with one guest who was utterly convinced that I was lying about my American nationality. He insisted I was British.

posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:49 PM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

The strangest part of the experience was finding myself in an argument over my accent with one guest who was utterly convinced that I was lying about my American nationality. He insisted I was British.

This last bit doesn't surprise me and made me laugh to myself. I lived in the bookstore for a six month stint back in my mid-twenties. Strange accusations by eccentrics are a norm at the tea parties. The pancake parties were even more interesting, staff only mornings, think they were Saturdays, but I can't recall exactly. Worse pancakes ever and best company. George was always kicking us out. Once he evicted all of the 'tenants' who lived there. I think we spent a freezing night up on Montmartre and then came back anyway the next day and were once again accepted into his graces. Yes, he did cut his hair with a candle. It wasn't just for the documentary. My favorite memory though is when he had several of the guys cut an entire dining room set into 6 inch by 6 inch pieces and shove it into several Paris city waste cans. Tables, chairs, a sofa, shelves...I lied and told him I was a carpenter and a truck driver (which was sort of true, this was so I could live there, he liked a practical set of skills) so I was always getting assigned these type of tasks.
posted by manwoo at 6:39 PM on October 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

George! He's responsible for many of my best travel memories. I was so glad to hear he was reunited with his daughter.

I was there a few weeks in the early 2000's. Within 5 minutes of arriving George put me to work behind his till and went off and got lunch, I was in charge of the bookstore. That same day George had me rewiring a light switch and electrical plug the second he heard I was a physics major.

Everything was so fantastically filthy. George used week old pancake batter one weekend and pancakes were even worse than usual. People smuggled them downstairs to the trash every time he left the room they were so terrible.

In the 2000's he was an irascible and generous old man. Constantly yelling at everyone for their incompetence. I quickly learned not to be offended. He's a great, and greatly eccentric, man.
posted by pseudonick at 9:11 PM on October 19, 2011

Wow, is George still there? Because he was not in obvious attendance when my son* and I were at the shop last year. If he is, I now have a great excuse to get over to Paris ASAP.

*My then six year old declared Shakespeare & Co. the best book store ever. And ever. The kid's section is pretty awesome, and the way the staff treated him (like just another reader, rather than some cutesy sub-human) made him very happy.
posted by Megami at 12:02 AM on October 20, 2011

I get it. First she offers him head, then he loses his head, then both get eaten by Dick, then he puts it in her, then they bone. Very subtle.
posted by BurnChao at 12:46 AM on October 28, 2011

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