RADIO/ TV - MULTIMEDIA
1971 : Presented "Post-Scriptum", Literary show by Michel Polac, each Thursday evening direct, from February 23 till March 30.
With Journalist Michel Cournot (on the left), Scientists Michel Foucault and François Jacob (center), Journalist Jean-Louis Bory, Writers Jacques Sternberg, Michel Tournier and Alfred Grosser (on the right).
1972 : Hired, then, by Pierre Schaeffer of the French Broadcasting Corporation’s Research Division, to work there as a producer and journalist, with the Australian computer scientist William Skyvington. At the time, it was an enclave of freedom, creativity and exchange, a “cocoon” for artists.
my young movie editor and again Schaeffer (middle), and one of my TV crews( on the right)
June 1973: Author-Director for Life and Death of a Magazine, for Channel 3’s Programme of J-F Chauvel, Steve Walsh and Eugene Mannoni, « 52 min. »)
In September 1972, the American magazine Life disappeared, after the already vanished Colliers, Saturday Evening Post and Look. It was the first sign of the dilution of international reporters and a certain way of covering stories from all over the world, at the individual and most romantic level. One of the TV magazines (Télé 7 Jours), reporting on the movie, asked the right question : « What will be the future of the written press, giving us the instruments of thought, as opposed to the bursts of news, as offered by radio and TV ?” It was precisely what Pierre Schaeffer, in his discussions with Marshall Mc Luhan, used to call “the pollution of information”.
In that movie, I did the interviews with Ralph Davidson, editor-in-chief of Time Magazine, with legendary photographers such as Alfred Eisenstaedt, David Douglas Duncan (who was kind enough to act as a translator, my English having been a little rough at that time), Bernard Quint, Milton Glaser of New York Magazine, with Roger Mauge Director of Paris-Match, Françoise Giroud (L’Express), Claude Imbert (Le Point), André Rivaud (Le Canard Enchaîné), and even our minister and famous writer André Malraux, just in front of the Palais des Invalides, with the complicity of the photographer Jacky Garofalo (Paris-Match).
“It would have been interesting to stay longer with Françoise Giroud very photogenic and André Malraux, getting going, at full speed, on considerations on the fabulous Soviet discoveries in the field of telepathy. The link with the subject is quite vague, but it doesn’t matter. That’s really a good way to be a journalist.” Claude Sarraute, Le Monde, June 16, 1973.
Born in England in 1915, Alan Watts went to the States in 1939 : there, he spent three years, studying at the Theological Seminary of Illinois. Then, he became Priest of the Episcopal Church, but followed at the same time the teaching of a Zen Master. Not very conformist, indeed, refusing any kind of label, he became a friend of English anti-psychiatrist Ronald Laing, American architect Buckminster Fuller, Canadian sociologist Marshall McLuhan. He even published articles on Cooking and Money in Playboy. In his work, he used to oppose what he called the “Cosmic laugh” to modern anxiety. He died on the 17th of November 1973 at Sausolito, after having published many books, among them The Zen Buddhism, and Love and Knowledge. Friend of Norman O’Brown and of the first “preachers” of the Flower Children’s Revolution, wanting always to build bridges between the Orient and the Western World, he moved progressively away from the “campus revolution” and the overall use of drugs, that seemed to him, in the end, totally manipulated by political or economical lobbies.
« Just before he died, we see Alan Watts, Buddhist and Christian philosopher, praying, screaming, laughing, drinking tea, shooting with a bow, and … philosophizing. A brilliant lesson in wisdom.” Elle.
« Unknown in France, he recently became the mentor of many young Americans. Paradoxically enough, Buddhism made him rediscover the Gospel, at the point that he became a Priest. But, then, again because of Buddhism, he gave up his Church and had distanced himself from any kind or form of religion. Indeed, he believes that Churches freeze what is originally an experience. And, above all all, precisely that kind of initial experience had always interested him: « he », « me », “who is me ?” For him the answers of Oriental traditions are often much more satisfying than all the Western philosophies. So, he had decided to reveal to Americans and Europeans what they are sorely lacking : recognition of a Unity between the spirit and the body, between Man and the world around, with, as a result, a brand new perception of the “Me”.. […] But there was one thing that he never trusted the conversion of Westerners to a way of thinking and living related to totally foreign cultural traditions. He had always chosen to define himself as a Westerner, and that’s the way he was always trying to grasp the Oriental experience. His deep originality comes precisely from that point : he is probably the only one to have proposed a spirit, a mentality, able to give birth to another way of behaving the synthesis of the best of the production of two very different civilizations. […] He reminds us that the old Zen Masters have always emphasized individual freedom, as the best method for awakening.
He had tried drugs. And concluded : “Drugs cannot give wisdom, as the microscope cannot give knowledge”. But, above all, his researches in the field of psychotherapy have been of great interest. He had confronted psycho-analysis with Oriental methods of awakening. He tried, that way, to correct the weaknesses of the Freudian theory, specially concerning the separation between spirit and body. So, he would have a great influence on a young English psychiatrist, Ronald Laing, promoter of anti-psychiatry (Family Life, the film of Ken Loach, expresses perfectly his ideas). […] Dressed in a large Japanese kimono, Watts answers the questions of Elizabeth Antébi, bursting out laughing quite often, joyful and thundering.
Big Master of the game, thinking that we are acting in life as in a scene, he plays his own role with his interlocutor, pretending to be serious, pulling her leg, and, suddenly, with a great disarming smile, bringing back things to the required relativity. […] Also, we see him shooting with a bow in the hills, following that way one of the oldest traditions of the Zen : “It’s precisely at the time when the bowman forget the target, that he reaches it ... A wonderful film that inspires you to go further in the discovery of one of the mentors of American youth. » Alain Rémond, Télérama.
« With simple words, he tells his own spiritual adventure, expresses ideas on sex, the Western world, drugs, music and death. He quotes pell-mell Aristotle and Master Eckart, Saint Thomas of Aquinus and Henri Bergson, he sees in Shakespeare an unaware Buddhist, finds that Pascal is « too heavy », and compares our mental hospitals to the jails of the Inquisition. He admits his taste for wine and women, his horror of the martial cadences of Western music : ‘In the West’, he says, ‘even our love songs contains something military’. And, in order to prove it, he sings successively French and Chinese melodies. » Guillemette de Véricourt, L’Express, June 1974.
1974 : Author and Director of Escapees from the Future, (Evadés du Futur ), a TV movie on science-fiction (2 x 52'), with Isaac Asimov, Norman Spinrad, Philip K. Dick, Ted Sturgeon, John Brunner, Robert Silverberg. To read the Script
Participates in a TV programme on the singer Sylvie Vartan.To read the Script
“From the 1st of December1974 till the end of February, the World Congregation of the Company of Jesus takes place in Rome. There, are exposed the roots of the today’s conflict between the Jesuits and the Vatican.” France-Soir.
« Elizabeth Antébi has succeeded, in just twenty minutes, to give us a real touch of Jesuit spirituality, and to make us understand what the Company is actually looking for. She knew how to escape the trap of any ideological debate, to make us meet with priests and nuns, who try to live their ideal, in the city.» J. Bs., Le Figaro.
« To be a Jesuit in the today’s world. In less than twenty-five minutes, Elizabeth Antébi had tried to define the scope of the problem. She has offered us a bright and lively report. The interview of a Jesuit father, connected with the more private feelings expressed by others, a lot of images, from which emerges a commentary driving us in another direction : the technique is clever, with no dead time !» Alain Jacques, L’Humanité.
« A great report, far beyond information ». François Bernard, La Croix.
« They were climbers or mandarins, they have studied the topography of the moon, invented the magic lantern and introduced vanilla and the umbrella to Europe. They have given to the Church 27 Saints. They are the Jesuits. Less than 30 000 at the beginning of 1974, after a record rate of 36 038 in 1965, that elite corps, or Church special squad, is questioning itself actually on its role, its special links with the Pope, on its very identity. » Le Monde.
1976 : Prepared a movie on the Soviet Mental Hospitals for dissidents (Channel 3, production Chauvel) and, at the same time, another one on the Baader Band in Germany (the Red Brigades) for Channel 2 (production Charles Baudinat).
Sitting just in front of the jail of Stuttgart-Stammheim, the night before the trial of the Baader-Meinhof Band, with three policemen, colleagues of one of the victims of the Terrorists. The shooting will be stopped by an order from Mr. Marcel Jullian, Director of Channel 2, after a lunch taken with French Minister of Interior Michel Poniatowski.
Each of the two reports was interrupted “for reasons of the State”. Indignant, wanting to bring an action against TV for censorship (I was naïve enough to believe in a free information, under President Giscard d’Estaing !), I have nevermore since been able to work for TV. The wok on Mental Hospitals in the Soviet Union for dissidents was published by Julliard, in 1977, under the title of Right of Asylums in the Soviet Union, with a preface of the famous play-writer Eugene Ionesco.
In London, with Victor Fainberg and Marina, before to be called back in Paris… forever.
For the “French Broadcasting Corporation’s Research Division”, I achieved reports on the first black Mayor of Los Angeles, Bill Bradley, and on Paolo Soleri, architect of a utopian city in Arizona …
1977-1978 : Reporter in France for Iranian TV (producer Djavad Alamir).
1998 : 45 minutes Interview in the programme by Josy Eisenberg on "Autant en Emporte le Levant" (“Gone with the Levant »), inspired by L’homme du sérail (NiL Editions, 1996) (The Jewish Pasha, Crawford Publishing Cy, Adelaide, Australia).
2003 : 20 minutes Interview in "Les deux Barons" (« Two Barons : Rothschild and Hirsch ») by Josy Eisenberg, on Edmond de Rothschild. L’homme qui racheta la Terre Sainte. (The Man who redemed the Holy Land) (Editions Le Rocher , 2003).