Portraits of Paris #1

Portraits of Paris

  • 19 September 2013 19:30
  • BNP Paribas La Motte Street Tel: 875 655
  • FREE (Donations welcome!)
  • Cinema

The Alliance Française, together with le Cercle Français, are inviting you to 2 exceptional evenings of French documentaries introducing you to peculiar aspects of the French capital.

All the films will be shown in French with English subtitles. Snacks and drinks will be provided throughout the programme.

The programme consists of 2 evenings starting at 7.30 pm in the BNP Paribas facilities in La Motte Street.

Thursday 19th September, from 7.30pm :

“Sur les toits de Paris” (On the Roofs of Paris) by Olivier Lassu / color documentary, 2002 – 55 minutes.

The filmmaker captures Parisians who survey the roofs of the capital either for business or for pleasure. The passionate testimonials of these chimney sweeps, roofers, artists or “roofophiles” outline the portrait of a secret city, close to the sky and to dreams. A subtle commentary read by the actor Philippe Torreton accompanies these very beautiful images of a totally new Paris. This documentary leads its viewers along an urban and human path in the French capital, in search of a dimension as mythic as it is unexplored, between tin roofing and azure sky.

Thursday 26th September, from 7.30 pm :

“Jusqu’au dernier saltimbanque” (Up to the Last Street Acrobat) by Laurent Canches / color documentary, 1999 – 52 minutes.

The film sketches the portrait of street artists who have been working in the plaza in front of Beaubourg since the 1970s. It also analyzes the unique role that the “empty square” plays in the life of the neighborhood and includes testimony from Renzo Piano, Beaubourg’s architect.

“Au fin Moka” by Boris Joseph / color documentary, 2005, 53 minutes.

At the foot of the Montmartre hill (18th arrondissement), is “Au fin Moka”, an old-fashioned bistro run by the valiant octogenarian, Georgette, and patronized by a certain 75 year-old regular named Fernande.

Georgette talks about her Paris and about Montmartre. She waits for her clients, for her neighbors and for the neighborhood to liven up. As time goes by, the old ladies watch the world through their life experience, through their memories of growing up in the Paris of yesteryear and with a critical eye full of humor. Boris Joseph’s empathetic camera presents Georgette and Henriette to us with great simplicity – two old ladies with strong personalities, sometimes making light of the camera which wins them over. Aside from some quick exterior shots, the single set (Au fin Moka) and the numerous close-ups of the two protagonists give this documentary an intimacy and a proximity which makes these two women engaging. The dialogues are also full of humor and lucidity.