By Beatrice Cherry-Pellat
updated on 23 June 22 at 9:27
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“I’m a bit tired, I do things more slowly. Sending an email takes my time now”. At 94, Suzanne Lipinska still manages a good part of her Mill’s communication and wants to be kept informed of everything. Or almost. At his side, his grandson, Stanislas, gradually took over the reins of this place of artistic creation which saw the birth of the cinema of the New wave, which hosts actors, authors, musicians, intellectuals. “With the upcoming festivities, she’s a bit stressed at the moment,” he admits.
Francois Truffaut, Maurice Pons, Georges Perec
soul of Ande Mill, Suzanne Lipinska always enjoys remembering her encounters, the great events that marked her life, her imprint on the world of artists. Like that day when Manitas de Plata and its musicians did not want to return the colorful costumes which had been lent to them or even this visit of Daniele Mitterrand came to support a demonstration for the freedom of culture: “The mayoress of Louviers at the time had banned a carnival in which a scruffy roadmender and a marquise paraded on a float. The marquise looked a bit like her…”, she laughs again.
And of course there are his encounters with Francois Truffaut who shot part of Jules and Jim and 400 shotswith George Perec who, to Andé, wrote Disappearancewith Maurice Pons who lived for more than 50 years at the Moulin and who died there in 2016 (his ashes were spread at the foot of a tree on the property, on the banks of the Seine), with Alain Cavalier and Jean-Paul Rappeneau who turned The Battle on the Island with Romy Schneider and Jean-Louis Trintignant : “Alain Cavalier and Jean-Paul Rappeneau will be there on Tuesday June 28 for the screening of their film. It is the first time that they will meet here, together, since the shooting”, intervenes Stanislas Lipinski, between two telephone calls.
“It’s not easy growing up next to an oak tree”
“Today, I am the memory of the Moulin, I speak of the past. The future is him. I had two wishes: for someone in my family to take an interest in the Moulin and for the cultural, social and human adventure to continue. When Stanislas told me he wanted to take over, I was happy.”
In 2010, an endowment fund was created to guarantee the continuity of the cultural action of the place.
At 44, Stanislas Lipinski – the son of Suzanne’s son – was not however predestined to take over from his grandmother: “I lived in Paris, I had three companies, I went to Poland for a year. At the Moulin, I came to see Suzon, I had good childhood memories”. In 2016, during a visit to “Suzon”, Stanislas realized that “this is where[il] wanted to be”. He then left Paris, his companies, the business world, and moved to the Moulin d’Andé. Alongside his grandmother, he learns, makes his place, recognizes that “it’s not easy growing up next to an oak tree”, discovers the artistic world, but not only that. At the Moulin, you have to do everything: manage the ten employees, the work in progress, the maintenance of the green spaces, the buildings… Because in 60 years, the Moulin d’Andé (which dates from the 12th century) has prospered, the site is fully classified and regularly undergoes maintenance and renovation work.
A life in community
In 1957, Suzanne, after her divorce, put her suitcases down at the Moulin where she would raise her three children. The building she inherited from her father only had three bedrooms. It was the era of decolonization, the first congress of black artists and writers has just taken place Sorbonne. Suzanne and her artist and intellectual friends share the struggle of oppressed peoples. A commitment that is still close to his heart. At the Moulin, artistic activity begins to bubble. A first concert is given. A few artists close to Suzanne stayed at the Moulin: “It was quickly full! We moved into the attic, the shed and everyone participated in daily life, in the kitchen, in the dishes”.
A community life, green, quiet, in the spirit of the 60s when everything was still possible. Word of mouth works, the address of the Moulin d’Andé in its green setting spreads in the small artistic circle. The site is gradually becoming a place of residence for writers, screenwriters, directors, musicians…
Little by little, Suzanne began expansion work, renovating the building located at the height of the estate, turning it into a theater and a restaurant. Today, the Moulin has thirty-five rooms. “And to think that my father didn’t want the Moulin to be inhabited!” she smiles.
Developing literary residencies
In 1998, the CECI (Centre for Cinematographic Writing) was created. The center provides educational support, meetings and an exceptional setting for residents who can stay 30 to 60 days a year. In the years to come, Stanislas would like to develop literary residencies based on the CECI model.
Other projects are underway, such as the publication of the 1,000 pages of Maurice Pons’ guest book where, through five books, he recounts his years spent at the Moulin d’Andé. Photographs, press clippings, testimonials, little words… a wealth of information collected in a logbook:
“We are looking for financial aid to have this book published in a few copies. It could be consulted in libraries, in archives”.
“In the evening, everyone looks at their tablet”
Of these 60 years spent alongside artists and writers, Suzanne Lipinska acknowledges having appreciated the work of creation, but above all the exchanges, the meetings, the sharing: “In the evening, we met together with the residents to watch movies”. From the current era, she deplores individualism: “In the evening, everyone looks at their tablet”. Far from social networks and virtual exchanges, Suzanne Lipinska’s greatest wish is to preserve the human relationships that have made the essence of the Mill.
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