Legend has it that during the filming of the film Angela by Marcel Pagnol, the song of the cicadas covered Fernandel’s voice. Today they have the free “song” around the old farm which served as the backdrop for the film, lost in a valley 20 km from Marseille.
The building was bought from a peasant by Marcel Pagnol in 1934 specifically for the film, but over the years, the building is now nothing but ruins. In 2015, its owner, Nicolas Pagnol, grandson of the Provençal writer, agreed to rent it free of charge for ten years to the Art and Culture association of Aubagne in order to restore it. Until July 31, a crowdfunding campaign is launched, Restaurons la ferme d ‘Angela by Marcel Pagnol.
The association is supported by the Marcel-Pagnol Endowment Fund, the city of Aubagne and the department, but it relies on the support of individuals to undertake this atypical project estimated at around 100,000 euros. The sum covers all the stages, from the reconstruction of the stone walls, to the construction of the framework, including the laying of aged tiles. More than 2,200 euros were collected out of the 5,000 euros hoped for.
An open-air Marcel Pagnol museum
Beyond the restoration of the farm, the project will make it possible to organize on-site theatrical hikes and ephemeral exhibitions to develop local cultural tourism. Film concerts and open-air screenings, at the foot of this rustic setting, should also introduce the public to the remastered version ofAngela, at the initiative of Nicolas Pagnol.
Because many curious people cross each year the hole of the farm ofAngela through which passed Marcel Pagnol’s camera, always ready to use trickery to shoot in natural settings. And the bathtub which was used to store the water during the storm scene is still leaning against the stones. As a reminder, Angela is the film adaptation of the novel A from Baumugnes by Jean Giono.
Around this project, Nicolas Pagnol hopes to bring out “An open-air museum with the renovation of the village of Aubignane and the Maistre Cornille sur Tête Ronde mill”, he says on Facebook.
Angela is far from being the only film set paying homage to the landscapes of Marcel Pagnol’s childhood. The Well Digger’s Daughter was also shot in 1940 in the scrubland with its famous Raimu well and a few minutes walk away, we find the Ugolin house, emblematic setting of Manon des sources. The Provencal museum will therefore be rich and musical, the cicadas having a front row seat.