Category Archives: film

Paris Film Library celebrates Dennis Hopper

Paris Cinémathèque, located in the beautiful building designed by Frank Gehri, is showing a retrospective of films played or directed by Dennis Hopper ( first part up to December 1), and a temporary exhibition :  Dennis Hopper and the new Hollywood.

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All the works presented in this exhibition come from Dennis Hopper’s personal collection ans he was involved in their setting.

This picture of a room shows two photographic portraits of Dennis Hopper, framing a billboard size self-portrait (Self portrait at the porn stand – 1962 / 2000 for the billboard enlargement and painting), in front of a large canvas :

Billboard Factory, Multi image of a woman’s face, Dennis Hopper 1964 – 2000

This very rich and varied exhibition gives another image of Dennis Hopper, besides the hippie byker of the cult film Easy Rider (which he directed in 1969) and his terrific performance of Frank Booth in David Lynch‘s Blue Velvet.(1986)

This Ready Made, Entrance (1963) is co-signed Marcel Duchamp/ Dennis Hopper.

The exhibition points out the close relation between New Hollywood and Pop Art.

Twice Dennis Hopper by Andy Warhol (1971)

Warhol with flower by Dennis Hopper ( 2000: billboard enlargement and painting of a 1963 photo)

Wilhold the Mirror, Dennis Hopper 1961

Chevy, Dennis Hopper 1956/2000

Hopper by Julian Schnabel 1991

Besides Hopper’s own production, his collection shows works by artists like Warhol and Basquiat, or Schnabel, who is also a film director, paintings by actors like Vigo Mortensen or Dean Stockwell.

Bijou Dream Ben Talbert 1965

And of course, precious film memories, like this gorgeous poster by B.L. Gary of Night Tide, an independant film directed by Curtis Harrington.

Or this autographed photo by Victor Skrebneski – who made many portraits of Dennis Hopper – showing Hopper sitting next to John Ford an John Huston. Historical and New Hollywood in the same bed in Palm Springs in 1971.

Exhibition Dennis Hopper et le Nouvel Hollywood, up to January 19, Monday to Saturday 12 to 19 (closed on Tuesday) , up to 22 on Thursday, Sunday 10 to 20, Cinémathèque Française, 51 rue de Bercy 75012 Paris, Metro Bercy. Price € 7. Information  33(0)1 71 19 33 33.

More information and Reservation on http://www.cinematheque.fr/

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Paris October 4 : a colorful wakeful night

If you stay in Paris next week-end, save your Saturday evening, and may be the whole night, to walk around Paris and discover the seventh Wakeful Night.

This year’s edition is mostly dedicated to video and film.

If you choose east Paris, on metro line 14 between Cour Saint-Emilion and Gare de Lyon stations, an editing of space conquest footages by Artavazd Pelechian will make feel like taking off at Bercy railway station :

and in front of Gare de Lyon, you’ll can watch the shooting of a Bollywood Film directed by Shaad Ali:

And if you’re in a romantic mood, go back towards the center, near Bastille, and stop at La maison Rouge 10 bd de la Bastille, to take part in Christian Boltanski’ work les archives du coeur, and have your heartbeat (and your sweetheart’s too ) registered on a CD.

From there, you may go towards Marais and see the Saint Jacques tower in a day and night light, thanks to Gu Dexin :

and though I have no preview of it, I would suggest, if you are walking in this area, to stop at the Museum of Judaism Art, 71 rue du Temple, and see snow falling all night : Gute Nacht by Christian Boltanski, Franck Krawczyk and Jean Kalman.

Many things to see and listen too around Montparnasse and Saint-Germain. For example, if you feel home sick, go to Saint-Germain Church  to listen to Patti Smith:

Many places to visit around Gare Saint-Lazare and Champs-Elysées, as Brillant Noise by the British  SEMICONDUCTOR, as well as around Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, where Pierrick Sorin might ask you to pose for a family portrait.

More information to plan your night trip on : http://www.paris.fr/portail/Culture/Portal.lut?page_id=6806

And if you’re travelling with kids, there is a special program made for you and them by Paris Mômes, including Nabaz Mob, cour Saint-Emilion, a choir of a hundred of Nabaztags composed by Antoine Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Birgé (starts at 20 PM) :

and crossing the Seine by passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, go up to rue Paul Klee, to watch “la danse de la fontaine émergeante” (the dance of the uprising fountain) :

For more information, you can upload this program on http://www.parismomes.fr/surprises/page_surprises.php?id=43

Let’s hope that weather will be on our side!

Have a great Nuit Blanche , and I’ll be back next week with some pictures and my report.


Paris Parc de la Villette : a place to visit this summer, for art, outdoor films and concerts

This summer, there are a lot of good reasons to go north up to Parc de la Villette, the largest of Paris gardens, offering a wide range of cultural and leisure activities.

The art event takes place in the beautiful glass Grande Halle :

Up to August 17, come in and discover a giant installation by Yayoï Kusama, who has been working on dots for forty years.

This artist, who was closed to Pop Art and Andy Warhol in the sixties, takes this pattern both light and seriously, declaring “My life is a dot lost among other dots”.

Tuesday to Sunday 14 to 22, free entrance.

And it goes with a workshop on dots for kids (from 2 years old). July Sunday 20, Wednesday 23 and Saturday 26 at 16.30. It’s one hour long, with a drink at the end, and costs € 7.  But you have to make a reservation, dialing 33(0)1 40 03 75 75.

Up to August 17,  you also have the opportunity to watch a film (in original version) sitting on a lawn, at Prairie du Triangle, Tuesday to Sunday at nightfall. Price € 2  . For € 5 you can book a deck chair and a blanket. Program on : www.cinema.arbo.com/index.php3?p=tous_films –

World musics every Sunday up to August 24 at Folie Belvédere : it’s scènes d’été (Summer Stages), July 20 and 27, August 3,10,17 and 24, one concert at 17.30 and one at 19.30. Free. Program and information on 33(0)1 40 03 75 75.

For all information on these events and detailed programs go to : www.villette.com/

Parc de la Villette, 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, Metro Porte de Pantin or Porte de la Villette

Magic Méliès : a magic exhibition at Paris Cinémathèque

It is a good opportunity to go to Paris Cinémathèque, enjoy its beautiful architecture signed Frank Gehry and its pleasant surroundings in the modern east Paris.

Just started on April 16, a new exhibition “Georges Méliès, magicien du cinéma“. Even if you’re not particularly interested in film archeology, you’ll be amazed and amused, and so will be your kids.

You can watch about eight films, made by Méliès between 1896 and 1912.

Here a man watches le mélomane (1903) next to a panel showing the illusion of motion made from still pictures of a walking woman.

a magic lantern

and Méliès first camera.

The ice monster in A la conquète du Pôle Nord (1912) on screen over a scale model of the studio, with the giant monster figure.

the vessel to travel up to North Pole, the link between theatrical machinery and film.

A television crew filming le voyage dans la lune (1902)

A photogram showing the scientific team visiting the moon.

A colorized film, les 400 farces du Diable (1906)

a dancing skeleton hanging next to Une partie de carte (1896) on screen. Melies humorous fantasy is mostly based on devils, skeletons, chopped heads…(laugh with death and fear).

Besides films, scale models, dresses, props and cameras, story boards, drawings and paintings of film sets are wonderful.

La cinémathèque française, 51 rue de Bercy 75012 Paris, metro Bercy Information : tel 33(0)1 71 19 33 33 and http://www.cinematheque.fr/

Exhibition Méliès : Monday to Saturday 12/19, up to 22 on Thursdays, Sunday 10 /20, closed on Tuesdays and May 1. Price 5 euros.

To see films by Georges Méliès, three programs : April 25, at 20, salle Henri Langlois, program 1 : colored pictures, May 4 at 16, salle Henri Langlois, program 2 : Méliès the enchenter, May 25 at 16, program 3 (untitled). With piano accompaniment.

Special programs for children “illusion in films” every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon at 3 PM, from April 30 to June 14. Also on Saturday May 31 and June 7, a workshop “illusion”, for kids between 6 and 8. More information on http://www.cinematheque.fr

A beautiful house for selected films : Paris Cinémathèque

Since September 2005, French Film Library has moved in the building created by Frank O.Gehry in 1993 for the Paris American Center.

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Frank Gehry used to call it “the ballerina pulling up her tutu”.

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It’s located rue de Bercy, next to the former Paris wine market, which for one part is now a shopping center set up in the ancient streets and brick houses, and for another a beautiful park. It’s doors open on a lawn that stretches to the Seine embankment.

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And if you prefer books to films, National Library is just across the river, related by Simone de Beauvoir footbridge. Film Library also houses a bookshop and a library dedicated to film. You can visit it’s permanent collection and usually very interesting temporary exhibitions. Finishing February 18, a great monography of Sacha Guitry, including posters, paintings, sound recordings and film excerpts.

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And of course, you can also watch films, now running a tribute to Jeanne Moreau (up to March 3) and a retrospective on African Cinematography (up to March 2)

Inside setting matches perfectly with the outside style.

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If you’re interested in the building, every first Sunday of a month at 11 AM, you can join an architectural visit. ( 8 euros)

La Cinémathèque Française, 51 rue de Bercy 15012 Paris tel 33(0)1 71 19 33 33. Metro Bercy. Exhibition Sacha Guitry “une vie d’artiste” up to February 18, Monday to Saturday 12 to 19, up to 22 on Thursdays, Sunday 10 to 19. Entrance 8 euros.

For more information and program, go to : http://www.cinematheque.fr/

Surrealist Night in Paris at Studio des Ursulines on February 9

Studio des Ursulines is a legendary Paris film theater, and one of the oldest to be still running, opened on January 21 1926. It showed “Entr’acte” by René Clair, and “Freudlose Gasse” (Joyless street) by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, introducing Greta Garbo.

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Then it became a famous “Art and Essay” film theater, and when the “Jules and Jim” trio by François Truffaut go to the movies, the scene is shot at the Ursulines.

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Next February 9 night, at 9 PM, celebrates the 80 birthday of the Homeric first projection, on February 9 1928, in the same theater, of Germaine Dulac film “La Coquille et le Clergyman“(the seashell and the clergyman), considered as the first surrealist picture.

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The film script had been written by Antonin Artaud, who probably wished to play the leading part, but for some reason, Germaine Dulac shot the movie as she indented too, without collaborating with him anymore. This premiere was attended to by André Breton, who read loud Artaud’s script while the film was running. Insults (by surrealists) and struggle (with the audience), as offended Germaine Dulac fainted, went on up to three in the morning in this usually peaceful little street.

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This year’s program includes a projection of “La Coquille et le Clergyman” – which is of course a silent film, with a musical score composed by François Hadji Lazaro, a former alternative rock musician who’s been playing in a number of films. It will be followed by a video called “Tumulte aux Ursulines“, narrating this stormy night.

I guess that February 2008 will be a less passionate and hectic night than February 1928, but it will certainly be fun and fascinating, which cannot be expected of that many night at the movies on this century.

Studio des Ursulines, 10 rue des Ursulines 75005 Paris RER B Luxembourg tel 33(0)1 56 81 15 20. Reservation (from Wednesday February 6 )for Saturday February 9 at this number or by mail at info@studiodesursulines.

All about this film theater on : http://www.studiodesursulines.com/

Paris Saint-Sulpice, Arcimboldo and le Café de la Mairie

Let’s say, for example, that you just get out Musée du Luxembourg after visiting the magnificent Arcimboldo exhibition. (I should advise you to make a reservation before noon or after 7.30 PM and avoid Wednesdays and winter vacations not to find exhibition rooms as crowded as a subway station at rush hour. But it’s definitely worth while.

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It’s sunny outside, and what better path to get to Saint-Sulpice than l’allée des Séminaires, where you haven’t got a chance to meet a seminarist. It’s a quiet art deco garden along rue Bonaparte.

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When you get place Saint-Sulpice, at first you might feel disappointed, for nowadays (November 2007) and likely for a few months, you won’t see much of it : a large tent covers the fountain during its restoration, and the church almost disappears under scaffoldings (north tower is being restored).

But there is still a place worthwhile visiting : at the corner of tiny but lively rue des Cannettes, Le Café de la Mairie and it’s sunny terrace are waiting for you.

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The upstairs room was the setting of a long treacherous seduction scene by Fabrice Lucchini on Judith Henry in “la discrète“, a 1990 french film by Christian Vincent .

The bar is the theater of endless speeches and day dreamings, dimmed by tobacco and booth haze in Djuna Barnes master piece “Nightwood” (1937).

In 1974, October 18 at 10.30 am, French Oulipo author Georges Perec sat there with a notebook, a pen and some change, and kept watching around until October 20 , writing ” Tentative d’épuisement d’un lieu parisien”. (Attempt to be exhaustive about a Parisian place).

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It’s a magic place, haunted by lovely ghosts, and it’s still a writers’ as well as a fashion addicts café.

Just sit down in the sun, rest and dream a while, have a drink and may be a fresh and nice snack.

Le Café de la Mairie, 8 place Saint-Sulpice 75006 Paris tel 33(0)143 26 67 82, open everyday 7 am to 2 am , Saturday 8 am to 2 am, Sunday 9 am to 9 pm.

Arcimboldo exhibition up to January 13, Musée du Luxembourg 19 rue de Vaugirard metro Saint-Sulpice : Monday, Friday, Saturday open 10.30 to 22, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10.30 to 19, Sunday 9 to 19. Tel : 33(0)1 45 44 12 90.

Reservation on : http://www.museeduluxembourg.fr/

If you haven’t read Djuna Barnes’ “Nightwood”, go to your bookshop or order it on http://www.amazon.com/books

You’ll find many books by Georges Perec translated in english, but not “Tentative d’épuisement d’un lieu parisien” published in french by Christian Bourgeois.