Classic/cult movies in Paris

Jun 1st, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Classic/cult movies in Paris

Would love to see some classic/cult French or European movies when I'm in Paris at the end of June (don't mind if they're not subtitled). Which cinemas specialise in these? Thanks so much!
soisbelle is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 05:44 PM
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French people don't become attached to movies in the way that Americans do, so cinemas specialized in such things don't exist. There are a few cinemas that specialize in older classic films or art films, but that's as close as it gets. I know there's one in the Latin Quarter in Paris, and a few others whose locations escape me for the moment.

These days it's hard for any cinema to stay afloat if it's not a standard multiplex; I don't know how art houses and the like manage to pay the rent.

For what it's worth and by way of example, "adult" cinemas have pretty much disappeared from Paris—not because of any restrictive legislation, but simply because there are no customers. Everyone buys or rents DVDs these days, and the adult cinemas were the first to feel the pinch. Mainstream cinemas are feeling it as well (and the French were very early adopters of DVDs, so they were common here almost before anyone in the U.S. knew what they were).
AnthonyGA is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 05:45 PM
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Hmm … forgot to mention that you can always consult Pariscope (a small cinema magazine that comes out on Wednesdays) to find just about all the films in Paris, including classic or cult films, if any.
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Jun 1st, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Also, is there a DVD store apart from FNAC that specialises in selling classic European films? Thanks again.
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Jun 1st, 2006, 06:13 PM
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Thanks so much Anthony. It's true, even here in Sydney the two cinemas we had that showed wonderful classic, art house and cult movies had to close because of low patronage (but when they closed, there was an outcry - ah!). I'll definitely get a copy of Pariscope when I arrive.
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Jun 1st, 2006, 07:33 PM
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Movie houses are subsidized by the government. The French may not be strongly attached to a handful of (cult) films but they're highly attached to cinema. If movies don't have to be bad too be cult, then Woodie Allen qualifies here. Actually, in days gone by, so did Jerry Lewis.
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Jun 1st, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Come to think of it, the three hilarious "Les Bronzes" films are cult movies, most recently "Les Bronzés 3 - amis pour la vie," which packed theaters for months.
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Jun 1st, 2006, 09:52 PM
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Check the schedule at La Cinémathèque Française, recently reopened at the Frank Gehry-designed former American Center building in the Bercy quartier.

http://www.cinemathequefrancaise.com/
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Jun 1st, 2006, 10:02 PM
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I simply have to jump in here to disagree that "French people don't become attached to movies in the way that Americans do, so cinemas specialized in such things don't exist."

Paris is the birthplace of the Cinematheque, which rescued thousands and thousands of classic American films from the garbage can and preserved them. These films were shown almsot as tutorials to an entire generation of young French filmmakers -- such as Truffaut and Godard -- whose films are an homage to the American films they loved and to filmmaking itself.

The French riots of 1968 were to a great extent incited by the government's attempt to remove the director of the Cinematheque from his post. When the Cinematheque burned down some years later, the government (as a kind of retaliation) refused to rebuild it, and it has only recently reopened in much diminished form, despite the Gehry flash.

One of the reasons Paris does not have as many "arthouses" is because the Cinematheque was THE place to see movies and also because, unlike American cities, Parisians have never let the inner core of their cities deteriorate. "Art houses" spring up where there is cheap real estate. They have disappeared in New York and have never been really viable in Paris.
nessundorma is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 09:05 AM
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Among films that can be seen this week in Paris cinemas without even going to the cinémathèque: Singin' in the Rain, Amarcord, La Strada, The Barefoot Contessa, Arsenic and Old Lace, Ivanhoe, Gardens of Stone, The Godfather 3, The Mahâbhârata, etc....
kerouac is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 02:59 PM
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There are lots of DVD stores selling European classic films in Paris—after all, Paris is in Europe. The Virgin stores on the Champs and at the Louvre have large selections; so do most of the FNACs.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 09:22 PM
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Keeping in mind that a European DVD is zone 2. I don't think that the US is as used to de-zoning their players as the rest of the world is.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2006, 12:18 AM
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The original poster mentions being in Paris, so the capabilities of US DVD players would not be an issue.
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Jun 3rd, 2006, 09:10 AM
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When I was a student in Paris, Diva was certainly a cult movie. It played for over a year at one cinema. SOMEBODY must have been attached to that movie or the theatre wouldn't have bothered to show it for so long.
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Jun 3rd, 2006, 10:00 AM
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The Grand Action runs classic films:

http://www.allocine.fr/seance/salle.html?csalle=C0072

Also from time to time L'Arlequin has them :

http://www.allocine.fr/seance/salle_...lle=C0054.html

A good forum for art house cinemas if you read french:

http://www.silverscreens.com/index.php
MorganB is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2006, 10:20 AM
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I don't think the point of the poster was to sit and watch DVD's, Anthony.

BTilke -- Harold & Maude played in Paris for something like 12 years nonstop.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2006, 10:33 AM
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H & M for 12 years. That's not a cult film, that's an obsession!

I remember going to see H & M with my then boyfriend's 3 yo nephew. Not the best movie for a little kid. He was pretty freaked out about knives and other things for a while. Wonder if we scarred him for life.
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Jun 3rd, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Speaking of movies...where do they have the free outdoor films in the summer? Would they be listed in Pariscope?
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Jun 3rd, 2006, 10:49 AM
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The main free outdoor movies are at the Parc de la Villette and draw a crowd of anywhere from 3000 to 15000 depending on the weather and the movie. The crowd comes with blankets, picnic baskets, wine, beer and -- yes -- cannabis. This year's program is called "Bêtes et Hommes" (Beasts and Men) and runs from 4 July to 13 August. It includes films such as Imamura's "The Eel," Cronenberg's "The Fly," and Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm." Films start late (since it gets dark late) and never forget that it gets DAMNED COLD by midnight -- bring heavy sweaters and jackets.

The city of Paris also has an outdoor film program called "Cinéma au Clair de Lune" (Moonlight Cinema) at different locations all over the city. The general idea is to show movies concerning Paris in the locations where they were filmed (i.e. "Amélie" in Montmartre, "Hôtel du Nord" on the Canal Saint Martin). It should be able to find the programs on www.parisinfo.com which is the official tourist bureau website.

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Jun 4th, 2006, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm from Australia and my DVD player in multizone (most are or can be easily programmed), so that's not a problem.

The Centre Pompidou has a Godard festival at the moment, plus there are lots of interesting movies coming out, so I already have 3 I'd like to see. Not to mention the Paris Cinema festival (but the program hasn't come out yet). Egspa, there are a few open-air festivals and allocine (under Festivals) lists them with links to their own sites.
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