Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

DEBATE

Clone of Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put the test (Part One)

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

  • UN backs inquiry of IS group’s alleged crimes in Iraq

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Tripoli under control of militias, says government

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

Culture

Paris gets world's first dedicated 'Cinema Street'

Latest update : 2008-12-02

Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe will officially rename a street the "Rue du Cinema" in the historic centre of the French capital as the cinematheque is to reopen on Friday after three years of multi-million-euro renovations.

AFP - Paris is about to get the world's first dedicated "Cinema Street", with Europe's busiest cinema at one end, a major film library in the middle, and at the other end a revamped cinematheque that innovates the way viewers watch movies.

The Forum des Images, as the cinematheque is called, is to reopen after three years of multi-million-euro renovations on Friday when Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe will officially rename an underground street the "Rue du Cinema".

The Forum, best known internationally as the movie centre that launched the world's first film festival for movies made on or for mobile phones, lies deep in the bowels of the historic centre of Paris known as Les Halles.

Cinema Street, one of the maze of streets that form a giant subterranean shopping mall, begins with the 16-screen UGC cinema multiplex, which with its three million punters a year makes it the top scorer in Europe.

Next is the brand-new Francois Truffaut library, whose collection boasts 17,000 books, including practically everything that has ever been written in French on the seventh art, and 10,000 DVDs for lending or in-house consultation.

And then comes the Forum, which claims to be unique in the world on two counts.

"This is the first time that a city has said to itself that its memory does not only exist in books but also in images," said its director Laurence Herszberg.

"No city in the world and no capital in the world has like Paris built up a collection of thousands of films, exclusively films where the action takes place in Paris, which talk about Paris, which evoke Paris," she said.

There are documentaries, fiction films, television ads and archive images among the collection of 5,500 films, which the Forum has just transferred to digital format at a cost of five million euros (6.4 million dollars).

The Forum's other claim to innovation is the way visitors can view films they select from the extensive archives.

There are five standard screens catering for audiences of 30 to 450 people, but the centre's unique selling point is its trendy viewing "lounge," said Herszberg.

"Usually in video libraries everything is centred on individual consultation, each person is in a little box with a little screen to watch the film. But here we think that that this should be an act of cinema," she said.

In the dimly lit lounge, the black walls and roof are offset by red and pink sofas on each of which two head-phone wearing people can sit together and watch a movie on a small screen.

Lining the walls are a handful of alcoves with individual viewing stations. There are also two sections cordoned off by glass walls where up to seven people can book the space for a modest fee to together watch a film of their choice.

In total the lounge can cater for 80 people at a time, with a space where teachers can take their classes for lessons in cinema.

Education is another focus of the new Forum, which before it closed for renovation was getting 300,000 visitors a year. Cinema master classes are now to be delivered every month by a major figure from the world of celluloid.

James Gray, the US director of "Little Odessa," "We Own The Night," and most recently "Two Lovers," will be the first to deliver a master class at the Forum later this month.

His intervention is also part of the first themed film festival to be presented at the revamped Forum. One hundred and fifty films will pay homage to the world's most filmed city, New York, in a series that will continue until next March.

The following cycle of films will be on the theme of desire, followed by a couple of months of movies that focus on vengeance.

Rushed Parisians will also be able to whisk into the Forum during their lunch break for a half-hour burst of cinema in the form of short films, after which they can lunch on Mediterranean cuisine in the centre's brand new and very trendy cafe-restaurant.

A major advertising campaign has been launched to woo back the centre's former clientele -- who have not been able to attend during the renovation work that went a year and a half over schedule -- and to win over new audiences.

As well as a street poster campaign, a 50-second animated film will be aired in Paris cinemas, made by Michel Gondry, the director of films such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Be Kind Rewind."

It is titled "The History of the Universe by Michel Gondry", begins with the big bang and ends with the reopening of the Forum.
 

Date created : 2008-12-01

COMMENT(S)