Sierra de Órganos National Park
Sierra de Órganos National Park is a national park in Mexico, located in the northwest corner of the municipality of Sombrerete in the state of Zacatecas, near the border with Durango. The park is known for its diverse aridland ecosystem and towering rock formations of the Sierra Madre Occidental, which are reminiscent of organ pipe cactuses or the pipes of the musical instrument, from which the park takes its name. In addition to conifer forests in the highlands and xerophilous scrub in the lowlands, Sierra de Órganos is a refuge for several species of animals endemic to the region and others in danger of extinction, it is a popular area for recreation, including hiking and cycling, for the scenic beauty of its landscapes. Sierra de Órganos National Park was created by federal decree on November 27, 2000, it is administered by Mexico's Secretariat of Natural Resources. The park covers a total area of 11.25 square kilometres on the northwestern edge of Zacatecas in the municipality of Sombrerete 21 kilometres northwest of the city of Sombrerete along Highway 45, which connects Zacatecas with the neighboring municipality of Vicente Guerrero in Durango.
The park is about 8 kilometres northeast of the town of Villa Insurgentes, 90 kilometres east of the city of Durango. A dirt road about 10 km in length provides access to the park from Highway 45. Sierra de Órganos is nestled within the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, in an area that corresponds to the physiographic province of the Mexican Plateau; the topography is uneven, with elevations ranging from 2,120 to 2,560 metres above sea level. This gives rise to dramatic ridges and steep peaks that form small plateaus with prominent, nearly vertical cliff faces. Small valleys surrounding the peaks afford scenic views of the rock formations from below; the climate of the region is semi-arid. Temperatures can vary from cool to cold at night; the park is a refuge for a great diversity of wildlife, including some plant and animal species which are locally endemic. Flora is characteristic of mixed pine-oak forests in the mountains, dominated by trees including the Pinus cembroides and encino, of scrubby, arid grasslands at lower elevations.
Other plants in the park include palms, huizache, nopal peach, nopal cork, manzanita, gatuña, sotol, guayabillo, capulín, tepozán, horse's brush, wild onion. Fauna is typical of the region as a whole. Species observed in the park include the hare, gray fox, cougar, collared peccary, badger, red lynx, white-tailed deer, mourning dove, white-winged dove, scaled quail, common calandria, peregrine falcon; the cacomixtle, a small procyonid mammal, the kit fox are endemic to and threatened in the area. The biodiversity of the park faces many threats from the outside world. Several growing human settlements are close to the park, many of which are dedicated to agriculture and livestock ranching and have caused serious deterioration of surrounding natural ecosystems in certain areas; the exploitation of local sand mines is an issue. Despite these threats, many of the region's original ecosystems remain intact. Sierra de Órganos is frequented by nature lovers as well as extreme sports enthusiasts, as the steep peaks and slopes lend themselves to rock climbing.
Hiking and cycling are popular in the park. While some areas are suitable for camping, most of the park lacks basic services and provisions such as drinking water. Access to the park requires paying a fee of 20 Mexican pesos per visitor; the park's scenic landscapes have been used as filming locations by American and Mexican directors for western films in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s. Some of those films are: The Tall Men These Thousand Hills La Cucaracha Geronimo Rage The War Wagon The Scalphunters Guns for San Sebastian The Undefeated Big Jake The Train Robbers Caveman Revenge The Cisco Kid Wagons East One Man's HeroMost recent films which used this national park as a filming location were Bandidas and Dragonball Evolution. Sombrerete List of national parks of Mexico Decree of the Sierra de Órganos National Park Description of the Sierra de Órganos Films with Sierra de Organos as a location
Action film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists are thrust into a series of challenges that include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit which concludes in victory for the hero. Advancements in CGI have made it cheaper and easier to create action sequences and other visual effects that required the efforts of professional stunt crews in the past. However, reactions to action films containing significant amounts of CGI have been mixed, as films that use computer animations to create unrealistic unbelievable events are met with criticism. While action has long been a recurring component in films, the "action film" genre began to develop in the 1970s along with the increase of stunts and special effects. Common action scenes in films are but not limited to, car chases and gunplay or shootouts; this genre is associated with the thriller and adventure genres, they may contain elements of spy fiction.
Some historians consider The Great Train Robbery to be the first action film. During the 1920s and 1930s, action-based films were "swashbuckling" adventure films in which actors, such as Douglas Fairbanks, wielded swords in period pieces or Westerns. Indian action films in this era were known as stunt films; the 1940s and 1950s saw "action" in a new form through cowboy movies. Alfred Hitchcock ushered in the spy-adventure genre while establishing the use of action-oriented "set pieces" like the famous crop-duster scene and the Mount Rushmore finale in North by Northwest; the film, along with a war-adventure called The Guns of Navarone, inspired producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to invest in their own spy-adventure, based on the novels of Ian Fleming; the long-running success of the James Bond films or series introduced a staple of the modern-day action film: the resourceful hero. Such larger-than-life characters were a veritable "one-man army"; such heroes are ready with one-liners and dry quips.
The Bond films used fast cutting, car chases, fist fights, a variety of weapons and gadgets, elaborate action sequences. Producer-Director John Sturges' 1963 film The Great Escape, featuring Allied prisoners of war attempting to escape a German POW camp during World War II, featuring future icons of the action genre including Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, is an example of an action film prototype. During the 1970s, gritty detective stories and urban crime dramas began to evolve and fuse themselves with the new "action" style, leading to a string of maverick police officer films, such as Bullitt, The French Connection and The Seven-Ups. Dirty Harry lifted its star, Clint Eastwood, out of his cowboy typecasting, framed him as the archetypal hero of the urban action film. In many countries, restrictions on language, adult content, violence had loosened up, these elements became more widespread. In the 1970s, martial-arts films from Hong Kong became popular with Western audiences and inspired big budget films such as Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.
Chuck Norris blended martial arts with'cops and robbers' in films such as Good Guys Wear Black and A Force of One. From Japan, Sonny Chiba starred in his first martial arts movie in 1973 called the Karate Kiba, his breakthrough international hit was The Street Fighter series, which established him as the reigning Japanese martial arts actor in international cinema. He played the role of Mas Oyama in Champion of Death, Karate Bearfighter, Karate for Life. Chiba's action films were not only bounded by martial arts, but action thriller and science fiction. In the 1980s, Hollywood produced many big budget action blockbusters with actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Dudikoff, Charles Bronson and Bruce Willis. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas paid their homage to the Bond-inspired style with Raiders of the Lost Ark. In 1982, veteran actor Nick Nolte and rising comedian Eddie Murphy broke box office records with the action-comedy 48 Hrs. credited as the first "buddy-cop" movie.
That same year, Sylvester Stallone starred in First Blood, the first installment in the Rambo film series which made the character John Rambo a pop culture icon. 1984 saw the beginning of the Terminator franchise starring Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This story provides one of the grittiest roles for a woman in action and Hamilton was required to put in extensive effort to develop a strong physique.1987's Lethal Weapon starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Darlene Love was another significant action film hit of the decade, another "buddy-cop" genre classic, launching a franchise that spawned 3 sequels. The 1988 film, Die Hard, was influential on the development of the action genre. In the film, Bruce Willis plays a New York police detective who inadvertently becomes embroiled in a terrorist take-over of a Los Angeles office building high-rise; the use of a maverick, resourceful lone hero has always been a common thread from James Bond to John Rambo, but John McClane in Die Hard is much more of an'everyday' person whom circumstance turns into a reluctant hero
Durango Free and Sovereign State of Durango, is a state in northwest Mexico. With a population of 1,632,934, Durango has Mexico's second-lowest population density, after Baja California Sur; the city of Victoria de Durango is the state's capital, named after the first president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria. With 123,451.2 km2 or 12.3 million ha, Durango accounts for about 6.3% of the entire territory of Mexico and is its fourth largest state. The state lies at the extreme northwest of the Central Mexican Plateau, where it meets the Sierra Madre Occidental, where the state's highest peaks are; the state has an average altitude of 1,775 meters above sea level, with a mean altitude of 1,750 in the Valleys region and 2,450 meters in the Sierra region. The city of Durango is on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental with an elevation of 1,857 meters above sea level; the state of Durango is landlocked, bordering the states of Chihuahua, Zacatecas and Sinaloa. It is divided into 39 municipalities, based off the 1917 Constitution with various divisions since then.
One of the main determining factors in the state's regional environments is the barrier that the Sierra Madre Occidental presents, determining altitudes and blocking moisture from the Pacific. The Quebradas region west of the mountain chain has a semi tropical humid climate; the rest of the state has a semi-arid climate with the exception of the highest altitudes. Temperatures are cold depending on altitude; the eastern part of the state is hottest and driest, with some temperate areas in the highest altitudes. Most of the state is covered in mountains and forested, with the Sierra Madre Occidental covering two-thirds of the state alone. However, like much of the rest of northern Mexico, Durango has worked to reforest many of the degraded forests in the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental. Much of this work is not related to forests used for wood production and focuses on the planting of native tree species. More work needs to be done as many areas still have tree densities that are too low on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental where tree poaching and clearing for agricultural activities is problematic.
Most of the state inclines from south to north, meaning most of the rivers empty into the Pacific. Most rivers lead into other Mexican states; those which do not flow into the Pacific lead into the lake area of La Comarca and one, the Florida, makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico. Ecologically the state is divided into four regions: La Quebrada, the Sierra, the Valleys and the Semi-desert; the Semi-desert is located in the northeast of the state and includes the municipalities of Hidalgo, Mapimí, San Pedro del Gallo, San Luis del Cordero, Lerdo, Gómez Palacio, Cuencamé, Santa Clara, General Simón Bolívar and San Juan de Guadalupe. Most of the terrain here is flat and its climate is dry. Temperatures are hot in the summer; these municipalities are classified as either part of the Chihuahua Desert or in the transition zone. The area is flat with some mountain ranges and a slight incline towards the interior of the country; the area was at one time under the sea, but today the vegetation consists of scrub, nopal cactus, maguey plants, barrel cactus and other arid zone plants.
It is defined by two rivers: the Aguanaval. The region has two reservoirs: the Lázaro Cárdenas and the Francisco Zarco, located between the Cuencamé and Lerdo municipalities. Animals that can be found here include coyotes, various snakes, chameleons and scorpions. Most of the economically important natural resources come from mining, including deposits of gold, silver and mercury. There are large deposits of marble; the La Laguna is short for La Comarca de la Laguna or La Comarca Lagunera, an arid and semi-arid region that covers a significant portion of northeastern Durango and southeastern Coahuila. The area was created by sediments from torrential river flows deposited over large valleys; these river flows created lagoons which served to recharge underground aquifers or remain as intermittent surface waters. The rivers supported habitat for native grasses and ditch reed which provided habitat for various water birds and fish; the area is home to Durango's only caverns, the Rosario Caves are located near Ciudad Lerdo, as well as the Mapimí Biosphere, noted for various plants and the desert tortoise.
It is a protected area centering on where the states of Chihuahua and Durango meet. The Valleys are located in the center of the state and include the municipalities of Nombre de Dios, Nuevo Ideal, Canatlán, Guadalupe Victoria, Pánuco de Coronado, Poanas, Súchil, Vicente Guerrero, San Bernardo, Indé, Coneto de Comonfort, El Oro, San Juan del Río and Peñón Blanco; the region consists principally in river llanuras located among small mountain ranges. The main peaks in this area include the San Jacinto in the Silla Mountains and Peñon Blanco, which many schoolchildren in the area take trips to. Other major geographical formations in the Valleys Region include cliffs called Las Catedrales, along with those called Malpaís and La Breña, which were formed by lava flows over 250,000 hectares; the area is home to the Cerro de Mercado, important for its large deposit of iron. The valleys proper are flat and apt for agriculture with irrigation from the Nazas and Tunal Rivers. Reservoirs for this purpos
Le Dernier Combat
Le Dernier Combat is a 1983 post-apocalyptic French film. It was the first feature-film to be directed by Luc Besson, features Jean Reno's first prominent role. Music for the film was composed by Éric Serra; the film was the first of many collaborations between Besson and Serra. A dark vision of post-apocalyptic survival, the film was shot in black and white and contains only two words of dialogue, it depicts a world. The film opens to a shot of an abandoned office, where the main character, only identified as'The Man' in the end credits, is having intercourse with a sex doll; the Man is seen attempting to salvage parts from abandoned vehicles, but returns to his dwelling empty handed, where he works on building a makeshift aircraft. The Man ventures outside the office building he lives in, surrounded by a desert wasteland. A group of men are shown surviving in the wasteland, they hold a man,'The Dwarf', force him to retrieve water for them. The Man, observing the survivors, makes his way to their camp, stabs their leader,'The Captain' and retrieves a car battery.
Survivors pursue The Man, though he is able to escape in his now completed aircraft.'The Brute' is seen approaching a hospital with a box containing canned food. The Brute rings a bell, and'The Doctor', instructs him to place the canned goods on the ground and back away from the door; the Doctor takes the goods and closes the door before The Brute can get inside. The Man's aircraft crash lands at night; the following morning he continues on foot. The Brute returns to the hospital with a new box of items, though this time he constructs a device that will keep the door open long enough for him to enter the building; the plan works, once back inside the building The Doctor pulls a lever which closes a secondary iron bar gate preventing The Brute from entering. The Man finds an abandoned bar, gets himself intoxicated and passes out; when he awakes, he ventures outside. While searching for a way to cook the fish, The Man encounters The Brute. A fight ensues; the Man, now badly injured, wanders around.
The Doctor treats The cooks him some fish. The Doctor inhales a form of gas that allows him to, with some difficulty, say a single word: Bonjour; the Man takes the gas and is able to reply with the same word. Both are ecstatic about being able to speak; the Man and the Doctor bond over table tennis and painting, before The Man ventures outside into a sandstorm to retrieve a painting he found in the bar. The Brute, living in the bar and notices the painting is missing; the Doctor blindfolds The Man. He leads The Man to a part of the hospital where a woman is kept, gives her the food; the Brute sets fire to the front door of the hospital, though The Doctor and The Man extinguish the flames. The Man and The Doctor go to bring food to the woman again, The Man gives her a wrapped gift, they catch The Brute attempting to saw through the iron bar gate, though are able to scare him off. The Doctor and The Man prepare food for the woman, yet this time The Doctor permits the man to not be blindfolded, encourages him to comb his hair.
Meanwhile, it is revealed. The Doctor is killed on the way to the woman; the Man, who does not know how to find the woman without The Doctor, attempts to locate her, though he is confronted by The Brute. A fight ensues, with The Man killing The Brute; the Man locates the woman's room, though is devastated when he discovers that The Brute had killed her. The Man repairs his aircraft, flies back to the original survivors he encountered, he frees The Dwarf. The Dwarf shows the Man; the Man greets her with a warm smile. Writing in the book The Films of Luc Besson, Susan Hayward, director of Film Studies at the University of Exeter, considered Le Dernier Combat and The Fifth Element to be Besson's two film's which focus on the theme of environmental damage, as waste and pollution are visible throughout both films. Capitalism was considered to be a theme. Besson described the film as an "imaginary excursion", stating he got the inspiration for the film from an abandoned cinema he saw in Paris. Thinking of all the other abandoned buildings there must be in Paris, Besson decided to create a world where all these places were together, combined this idea with a previous suggestion that he make a feature-length version of his 1981 debut short film, L'Avant Dernier.
Le Dernier Combat was filmed in Paris, with scenes depicted as begin in the desert filmed in Tunisia. Locations for filming in Paris included a former Électricité de France building, demolished the day after filming was completed, the derelict area where the Bibliothèque nationale de France was constructed; the film contains only two words of dialogue. The film attracted 236,189 viewers at the French box office. Time Out gave a favourable review, calling the film a "welcome addition to the post-holocaust barbarism boom." Steve Macfarlane from Not Coming to a Theater Near You gave a moderately positive review, stat
Luc Besson is a French film director and producer. He directed or produced the films Subway, The Big Blue, Nikita. Besson is associated with the Cinéma du look film movement, he has been nominated for a César Award for Best Director and Best Picture for his films Léon: The Professional and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. He won Best French Director for his sci-fi action film The Fifth Element, he wrote and directed the 2014 sci-fi thriller film Lucy and the 2017 space opera film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. In 1980, he founded his own production company, Les Films du Loup, Les Films du Dauphin, which were superseded in 2000 by his co-founding EuropaCorp film company with his longtime collaborator, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam; as writer, director, or producer, Besson has so far been involved in the creation of more than 50 films. Besson was born to parents who both worked as Club Med scuba-diving instructors. Influenced by this milieu, as a child Besson planned to become a marine biologist.
He spent much of his youth travelling with his parents to tourist resorts in Italy and Greece. The family returned to France when Besson was 10, his parents promptly divorced and each remarried. "Here there is two families, I am the only bad souvenir of something that doesn't work," he said in the International Herald Tribune. "And if I disappear everything is perfect. The rage to exist comes from here. I have to do something! Otherwise I am going to die." At the age of 17, Besson had a diving accident. He worked on the first drafts of Le Grand Bleu while still in his teens. Out of boredom, Besson started writing stories, including the background to what he developed as The Fifth Element, one of his most popular movies; the film is inspired by the French comic books. Besson directed and co-wrote the screenplay of this science fiction thriller with the screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen. At 18, Besson returned to his birthplace of Paris. There he took odd jobs in film to get a feel for the industry, he worked as an assistant to directors including Patrick Grandperret.
Besson directed three short films, a commissioned documentary, several commercials. After this, he moved to the United States for three years, but returned to Paris, where he formed his own production company, he first changed it to Les Films du Dauphin. In the early 1980s, Besson met Éric Serra and asked him to compose the score for his first short film, L'Avant dernier, he used Serra as a composer for other films of his. Since the late 20th century, Besson has written and produced numerous action movies, including the Taxi and The Transporter series, the Jet Li films Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed/Danny the Dog, his English-language films Taken, Taken 2 and Taken 3, all starring Liam Neeson, have been major successes, with Taken 2 becoming the largest-grossing export French film. Besson produced the promotional movie for the Paris bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Besson won Best French Director for his film The Fifth Element, he was nominated for Best Director and Best Picture César Awards for his films Léon: The Professional and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.
French actor Jean Reno has appeared in several films by Besson, including Le dernier combat, The Big Blue, Léon: The Professional. Critics cite Besson as a pivotal figure in the Cinéma du look movement, a specific visual style produced from the 1980s into the early 1990s. Subway, The Big Blue and Nikita are all considered to be of this stylistic school; the term was coined by critic Raphaël Bassan in a 1989 essay in La Revue du Cinema n° 449. A partisan of the experimental cinema and friend of the New Wave directors, Bassan grouped Besson with Jean-Jacques Beineix and Leos Carax as three directors who shared the style of "le look." These directors were described critically as favouring style over substance, spectacle over narrative. Besson, along with most of the filmmakers so categorised, was uncomfortable with the label in light of the achievements of their forebears: France's New Wave. "Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut were rebelling against existing cultural values and used cinema as a means of expression because it was the most avant-garde medium at the time," said Besson in a 1985 interview in The New York Times.
"Today, the revolution is occurring within the industry and is led by people who want to change the look of movies by making them better, more convincing and pleasurable to watch. "Because it's becoming difficult to break into this field, we have developed a psychological armor and are ready to do anything in order to work", he added in this same interview. "I think our ardor alone is going to shake the pillars of the moviemaking establishment."Besson directed a biopic of Aung San Suu Kyi called The Lady, released in the fall of 2011. He worked on Lockout, released in April 2012. Many of Besson's films have achieved popular, if not critical, success. One such release was Le Grand Bleu. "When the film had its premiere on opening night at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, it was mercilessly drubbed, but no matter. "Embraced by young people who kept returning to see it again, the movie sold 10 million tickets and became what the French call a'film générationnel,' a defining moment in th
Samuel Shepard Rogers III, known professionally as Sam Shepard, was an American actor, author and director whose career spanned half a century. He won ten Obie Awards for directing, the most won by any writer or director, he wrote 44 plays as well as several books of short stories and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film The Right Stuff, he received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York magazine described Shepard as "the greatest American playwright of his generation."Shepard's plays are known for their bleak, surrealist elements, black comedy, rootless characters living on the outskirts of American society. His style evolved from the absurdism of his early off-off-Broadway work to the realism of plays like Buried Child and Curse of the Starving Class.
Shepard was born on November 1943, in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He was named Samuel Shepard Rogers III after his father, Samuel Shepard Rogers, Jr. but was called Steve Rogers. Samuel Shepard Rogers, Jr. was a teacher and farmer who served in the United States Army Air Forces as a bomber pilot during World War II. Shepard characterized his father as "a drinking man, a dedicated alcoholic", his mother, Jane Elaine, was a native of Chicago. Shepard worked on a ranch as a teenager. After graduating from Duarte High School in Duarte, California in 1961, he studied animal husbandry at nearby Mt. San Antonio College. While at college, Shepard became enamored of Samuel Beckett and abstract expressionism, he dropped out to join the Bishop's Company. Shepard found work as a busboy at the Village Gate nightclub when he arrived in New York City, in 1962 became involved in the off-off-Broadway theater scene through Ralph Cook, the Village Gate's head waiter. Steve Rogers adopted the professional name Sam Shepard.
Although his plays would be staged at several off-off-Broadway venues, Shepard was most connected with Cook's Theatre Genesis, housed at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in the East Village. In 1965, Shepard's one-act plays Dog and The Rocking Chair were produced at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club; this was the first in many productions of Shepard's work at La MaMa during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s. In 1967, Tom O'Horgan directed Shepard's Melodrama Play alongside Leonard Melfi's Times Square and Rochelle Owens' Futz at La MaMa. In 1969, Jeff Bleckner directed; the Unseen Hand would influence Richard O'Brien's musical The Rocky Horror Show. Bleckner directed The Unseen Hand alongside Forensic and the Navigators at the nearby Astor Place Theater in 1970. Shepard's play. Seth Allen directed Melodrama Play at La MaMa the following year. In 1981, Tony Barsha directed The Unseen Hand at La MaMa; the production transferred to the Provincetown Playhouse and ran for over 100 performances. Syracuse Stage co-produced The Tooth of Crime at La MaMa in 1983.
In 1983, the Overtone Theatre and New Writers at the Westside co-produced Shepard's plays Superstitions and The Sad Lament of Pecos Bill on the Eve of Killing His Wife at La MaMa. John Densmore performed in his own play Skins and Shepard and Joseph Chaikin's play Tongues, directed as a double bill by Tony Abatemarco, at La MaMa in 1984. Nicholas Swyrydenko directed a production of Geography of a Horse Dreamer at La MaMa in 1985. Several of Shepard's early plays, including Red Cross and La Turista, were directed by Jacques Levy. A patron of the Chelsea Hotel scene, he contributed to Kenneth Tynan's Oh! Calcutta! and drummed sporadically from 1967 through 1971 with the psychedelic folk band The Holy Modal Rounders, appearing on their albums Indian War Whoop and The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders. After winning six Obie Awards between 1966 and 1968, Shepard emerged as a screenwriter with Robert Frank's Me and My Brother and Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point. Cowboy Mouth, a collaboration with his then-lover Patti Smith, was staged at The American Place Theatre in April 1971, providing early exposure for Smith, who became a well-known musician.
The story and characters in Cowboy Mouth were loosely inspired by Smith's relationship. After opening night, he abandoned the production and fled to New England without a word to anyone involved. Shortly thereafter, Shepard relocated with his son to London. While in London, he immersed himself in the study of G. I. Gurdjieff's a recurring preoccupation for much of his life. Returning to the United States in 1975, he moved to the 20-acre Flying Y Ranch in Mill Valley, where he raised a young colt named Drum and rode double with his young son on an appaloosa named Cody. Shepard continued to write plays and served for a semester as Regents' Professor of Drama at the University of California, Davis. Shepard accompanied Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue of 1975 as the screenwriter for Renaldo and Clara that emerged from the tour. However, because much of the film was improvised, Shepard's work was used, his diary of the tour, Rolling Thunder Logbook, was published in 1978. A decade Dylan and Shepard co-wrote the 11-minute song "Brownsville Girl", included on Dylan's 1986 Knocked Out Loaded album and on compilations.
In 1975, Shepard was named playwright-in-residence at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, where he created many of his notable works, including his
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona