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Returning to my hotel wearing only one shoe
Jean-Claude Carrière Film-maker
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It was in March 1968, I think. It was my last evening in Mexico, people were relaxing, and friends my age or younger threw me a big Mexican party, completely crazy, in a house with all you can imagine in terms of alcohol, drugs, sex, anything you'd dream about, for an entire night. One of the girls stole one of my shoes and nailed it to the wall in her room, which meant I had to go back to the hotel with only one shoe, where the receptionist looked at me with slight suspicion. And I remember that wonderful sentence, as we were in a convertible, very Dolce Vita and there were five or six of us in that car, legs in the air, and there was a girl driving who said this amazing thing, 'Bueno, estamos jóvenes, tenemos une coche, creamos en dios, estamos felices', which means, 'It's great, we are young, we have a car, we believe in God, we are happy'. I have never forgotten those four phrases.

C’était au mois de mars 1968 je pense. C’était ma dernière soirée à Mexico, les mœurs commençaient déjà à se relâcher et des jeunes amis, de mon âge et plus jeunes, m’ont offert une grande fête mexicaine, complètement folle dans une maison avec tout ce qu’on peut imaginer d’alcools, de drogues, de sexe, tout ce qu’on peut rêver, une nuit entière. Même une des filles m’a volé une de mes chaussures et elle l’a cloué avec un marteau et un grand clou au mur de sa chambre ce qui fait que je suis rentré à l’hôtel avec une seule chaussure sous le regard un peu soupçonneux du concierge. Et je me rappelle d’une phrase formidable, on était dans une voiture décapotable très Dolce Vita, on était cinq ou six dedans, les jambes en l’air et il y a une fille qui conduisait et qui a dit cette phrase formidable: «Bueno, estamos jóvenes, tenemos une coche, creamos en dios, estamos felices», c'est-à-dire : «Bien, nous sommes jeunes, nous avons une voiture, nous croyons en dieu, nous sommes heureux!». Ces quatre bouts de phrase, je ne les ai jamais oubliés.

French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière began his association with films aged 24 when he was selected by Jacques Tati to write for him. This early experience led to further contact with other film-makers, including Luis Buñuel with whom Carrière collaborated for many years. He has written screenplays for films including 'Belle de Jour', 'The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeoisie', 'Tin Drum' and 'Danton'.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Mexico, March 1968

Duration: 1 minute, 23 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2010

Date story went live: 10 May 2011