The French love classic Hollywood. That became obvious when I visited the Cinematheque Francaise ( the equivalent of the British or American Film Institute ) in Paris recently.
From October the 3rd to 22nd November,2014, the Cinematheque are running a PHIL KARLSON retrospective – and it’s thorough – 40 films including 99 River Street, Dark Alibi,Behind the Mask,The Big Cat,Tight Spot,Hell’s Island,Scandal Sheet,Wife Wanted,Bowery Bombshell.
Sadly my trip ended before I could catch any of the KARLSON titles.
The Cinematheque museum includes a donation in 1961 from Alfred Hitchcock – the head of Madame Bates!
There’s also a headdress worn by Mae West ( in the shape of a snake) but I can’t recall the film it’s from.
In the museum bookshop, I couldn’t resist a North By Northwest flip book ( Flip the pages and you see Cary Grant running from the crop duster!). It’s available from Fliptomania.com.
The best place in Paris for dvds is Gibert Joseph (26 Blvd.Saint-Michel). There are racks and racks of vintage Hollywood titles ,with an average price of £12. All the Warner Archive titles, and pre-codes too. There is nothing to compare in the U.K.
Part of the dream sequence in An American in Paris featured a replica of 2 monumental fountains in the Place de la Concorde which I visited. Sadly, according to TCM, Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron only had two days of filming in Paris, and in the end, very little Paris footage was used.
Still. I could stand at the fountains and think of their dance.
Another interesting building in Paris is the Grand Rex cinema which opened in 1932 and still has the largest single cinema auditorium in Europe – 2800 seats. It has a lovely Art Deco style tower.
Of course I did all the usual tourist things and am proud of this picture I took of the EIFFEL Tower.
Paris is a beautiful city.