Since 1946, Lucien Mouchet (b. 1923 in Paris) has been making small-scale reproductions of carrousels and fairground scenes that existed in the past or are still in operation today. A machinist by trade, Mouchet retired nearly two decades ago, but his obsession with precision and detail has continued. To date, he has created 48 carrousels; each is a functioning masterpiece that is constructed to be exactly 1/20 scale of the original. Mouchet works from photographs and measurements he has taken over the years of carrousels that have toured France and across Europe. Mouchet tediously prepares shop drawings and hand-tooled parts, analyzing the different modes of assembly and the varying principles of movement. He combines an expertise in engineering with whimsical recreations of the carnival atmosphere, replete with electrical motors, lights, signage, transport trucks and miniature people, made by him and hand-painted by his wife, Georgette. Mouchet’s achievement is unique, and Jean-Paul Favand, director of the Pavillons de Bercy, a private museum of fairground art in Paris, explains why.
Directed and Produced by Alan Govenar
Assistant Director Laurent Danchin
Cinematography by Didier Dorant
Edited by Hélène Possetto
French with English subtitles