January 09, 2011

Bricoleurs de paradis/Handymen of paradise

flyer of the movie

A new French film shows some ten art environments in the northern and western areas of France.

Entitled Bricoleurs de paradis. Le Gazouillis des Èlèphants ¹ (2011, 52") the film has been made by French film maker Rémy Ricordeau and Bruno Montpied, who is an expert of and writer about art brut and French folk art environments. 

Bricoleurs is a nice French expression that denotes people who are active in making things in a do-it-yourself way, like those creators of art environments this blog is paying tribute to. 

The film indulges in the work of bricoleurs, like Arthur Vanabelle, Bodan Litnianski, Abbé Fouré
André Gourlet and André Hardy, creators who already have got more or less publicity. However, the film also shows creations of people about whom so far not so much has been written, like Alexis le Breton.

Aired on French TV (France 3, Normandie) on January 15, 2011, the film got a first public presentation on April 3, 2011 at the Halle Saint-Pierre in Paris.

At this occasion a new book about French art environments has been presented too: Bruno Montpied, Éloge des jardins anarchiques. More about this book in a separate post.

September 2021 the film was published on YouTube

Here is the film (53') as published on YouTube:

¹ éléphants qui gazouillent means elephants who are chirping.... poetic, eh? To my best knowledge this phrase was coined by Alexis le Breton.

first published January 9, 2011, last revised April 2022


  1. Henk, wow, you must be in HEAVEN with all that !

    Will look forward to finding the book and DVD, will try and catch it on TV too... thanks for the heads up here !

    Hope your holidays were wonderful and that 2011 is getting off to a good start. With all this in the works I suppose it is...

  2. Yes, I am in heaven! Although the style of my note may make the impression of being quite sophisticated, I am very enthousiast about film and book (which will be available fromm march on). On april 4t the author will sign the book in the Halle Saint-Pierre, près de Montmartre.

  3. Just wanted to let you know, I was able to see the film on TV this afternoon, it took me a little while to find the France 3 regional Normandy channel, so I missed the first few minutes, but saw, and recorded, nearly all of it. Very interesting ! And at the end they had one of the sites I remember you writing about, the airplanes on the roof and the artillery guns made out of strange objects, even a tank in the courtyard of the farm... I enjoyed the film very much. Many thanks again for all that you do here !

  4. I did'nt know that it is possible to watch the normandy 3 channel around Paris, so this message comes as a nice surprise. I am glad you liked it. The Vanabelle site with the guns and airplanes is one of the first sites I came to know about, many years ago, and at that time there hardly were reports about it. Nowadays these sites are much better documented, although they still are relatively unknown. Enough to do for passionates like me. Have a nice sunday.