Last Chance: the Festival d'Automne

photo: resto chez clement
If the Drugstore is full, try Chez Clément, just
down the avenue.

A Well-Kept Secret

Paris:- Saturday, 5.December 1998:- You wouldn't know it to read Metropole, but there actually are US and US-style fastfood joints in Paris; Hollywood movies play to full houses all over town, radios play US pop music all the time and record stores sell the discs like hotcakes, half the people on the street wear US-inspired clothing, some cafés have US beer and some cars may be US designs.

Somehow - and it isn't easy - most of this escapes being in Metropole. I've been coming to think that readers may arrive here after getting an idea of Paris life from me, and go into terminal cultural shock when they see what is really happening.

Paris and France are still left, so don't worry - but don't get too upset to see a McDo's on the Champs-Elysées - or the Hard Rock Café. When 'Rocky' came over to open it some years ago I was pretty dubious about it. Since then I've stepped inside one and a half paces. It looks like a slot parlor. I suppose there is a café in it somewhere.

The one I'm thinking of is between the Virgin Megastore and the fnac outlet on the Champs-Elysées, where eager customers can stop off for a cool 'Bud' between hot record buying. But I now see the poster I have is for another location, in the boulevard Montmartre. On Thursdays, this branch of the Hard Rock Café has live bands, that plug in and turn on around 22:00. Concert and a drink for 40 francs is not bad.

If you feel a sudden need of a shot of the good old USA, try the Hard Rock Café, at 14. boulevard Montmartre, Paris 9. Info. Tel.: 01 53 24 60 00.

This is a totally accidental and unsolicited plug. I had a chance to do one for 'Joe Allen's' last week and I tossed it; thinking it is neither French nor American. It is just a place that has been around for a very long time, and this is always a sign of some quality regardless of its label.

La Chine au Festival d'Automne

This 'festival' has been in existence since 1972 and I have blissfully managed to be largely unaware of it. Since I am largely unaware of a great many other things too, a stray festival or two hasn't bothered me before now.

But every time I set about doing this weekly 'Scene' column, I find that I have yet another 'Festival d'Automne' event and it is slowly - ever so slowly - dawning on me that the entire press package for it may be about the size of the Latin Quarter's telephone book.

The festival always has had a theme of sorts. This year's is focused on eight centuries of Chinese Opera. These are in turn focused at the Grand Halle de la Villette, the Théâtre Paris-Villette, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Opéra National de Paris, and by the MC93 at Bobigny - which is mentioned below.

The problem for me has been that the Festival d'Automne has more than just a Chinese part; there is also a European cultural half, which includes contemporary music, theatre and dance.

Now realizing that I've blown putting up a semblance of a program for this year, I'll be a bit more on the lookout for it next year. I had better be on the 'lookout' for everything next year - which starts 25 days from now. Gahzooks!

The Year 2000 Itch

Our Franco-Germano cultural TV channel 'Arte' thinks weposter: 2000 vu sur - arte may be getting worried about moving from the old and nasty 1900's to the wonderfully new 2000's, so they are putting on a program called '2000 Vu Par...' which is a series of films about the future - made by 10 directors from four continents.

Scared yet? Well, although TV is for local consumption, you might come across a glotze-box in a hotel room, and if you bother to turn it on you may as well watch something good. 'Chez Walter,' by Romuald Karmakar will be - ooops! was broadcast a week ago. The series continues... '31. December 1999: Avec Qui Serez-Vous?' And I'll try to remember to read the posters before putting them in here, in 2000.

Tropiques Métis

It is difficult to tell whether France belongs to its former colonies or the other way around; for they are very much present in everyday life. Guadeloupe, Guyane, Martinique and Réunion export not only people to France, but music, art, folklore, lifestyle and food too.

There are also a series of concerts, held in the auditorium of the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires, including a 'Chanté Noël' on Tuesday, 23. December, from 14:00 to 16:00, and this will be followed by a film, 'Les Avants de Noël.' There is a program of plays and Carnaval workshops for the young, on Wednesdays in January and March.

Toss in a bit - 400 years - of history, and you can find it all in one place until 12. April, at the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires. 6. avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris 6. This is inside the Jardin d'Acclimatation. Métro: Sablons, in Neuilly, plus a seven-minute walk. Open daily except Tuesday, from 9:30 to 17:15. Info. Tel.: 01 44 17 60 00.

Crime et Châtiment - by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, is presented by L'Equipe de Création Théâtrale of Grenoble, and is directed by Chantel Morel. At the Théâtre de la Tempête, in the Cartoucherie on the route du Champ de Manoeuvre, Paris 12. On until Sunday 20. December, at 19:30 and on Sundays at 16:00. No shows on Mondays and Tuesdays. Info. Tel.: 01 43 28 36 36.

Glaz'Art Goes Up-Market

First off, Glaz'Art has moved its publicity from photocopies to printed posters, and it now has a program of sorts - the current one is 'Chante & T'es Toi' and it continues untilposter: chante & t'es toi either 11. December or 15. December. The Festival 'Latcho-Drom' follows, and continues until Christmas Day.

You've got time to catch 'Les Escrocs' tomorrow and 'Casse-Pipe' on Thursday, and 'Theophile Minuit' on Friday. 'Boris et les Quincaillers' and 'Nery' launch the festival which follows, on Wednesday, 16 December.

By the way; this is Paris' Afro-Funk-Techno-World-Rock and very live and loud. At Glaz'Art, 7 to 15. avenue de la Porte de la Villette, Paris 19. Entries are 50 to 70 francs. Métro: Porte de la Villette. Free parking! Info. Tel.: 01 40 36 55 65.

Salon Nautique '98, Revisited, Again

When I wrote another plug for the Salon Nautique last week, I thought that would be the end of it for me. I need to see big, shiny boats that I can't afford about as badly as I need two snow shovels.

Instead TV-news has been showing me what I'm missing. Two minutes of this and I find the télécommande - the TV-zapper - is missing too, under a pile of 4,782 Lego bricks. When I do find it, off the dream boats go and I settle down to reality again.

Totally unreal, but not entirely by coincidence, the alert Bernard Bouygues wrote to tell me that a friend turned up Metropole's 1996 coverage of his project, the 'France II Renaissance.' He said, "I want you to know that we are working like buffalos to make things go through and it is moving nicely ahead."

For those of you who will not 'work like a buffalo' to hit all the hyperlinks above, the 'France II Renaissance' project can not be put into a nutshell because it involves a five-masted sailing ship - and you can buy a 'share' of it. This is not a common, everyday sort of offer, so before you ash-can it, think it over - look it over - carefully.

38th Salon Nautique International de Paris
At Paris Expo, Paris 15. Métro: Porte de Versailles. Until Monday, 14. December; from 10:00 to 19:00 daily. On 11. December, until 23:00 and closes at 17:00 on the last day. Entry: 60 francs; half fare, 30 francs.

Galleries Louise Weiss

The modern art galleries grouped in the rue Louise Weiss, Paris 13, are planning a new collection of exhibitions. The new series runs through to Saturday, 23. January - with a break from 24. December to 4. January for hols. Opening hours are usually from 14:00 to 19:00 daily, except for all of them being closed on Mondays. All galleries: métro Chevaleret.

Russian Icons

Russian soul - Russian icons, from the collection of the Kolomiensky Museum in Moscow; featuring about 50 icons and other items on view outside Russia for the first time. An added attraction of this exhibition is that it is located on the top of the Grande Arche at La Défense, and the entry price of 60 francs includes the elevator ride up to the top. Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, until 31. January. Métro and RER: Grande Arche de la Défense. The view is free.

Biennale Internationale du Film Sur l'Art - 6th

This festival usually takes place in the Centre Georges Pompdiou, but it is closed and the Ville de Paris 'Forum des Images' is open. This edition has a series of 'desert' films, starting off with Bunuel's 'Simon de Désert.' Another series is on 'art,' by Alain Resnais. There are also films in competition and a 'Panorama du Film Sur l'Art.' A full program, in other words.

For the complete program and other information about this festival, call Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 43 60. There will also be a debate, entitled 'How to Film Art' in salle 100, on Saturday, 12. December, from 11:00 to 12:00.

Forum des Images - CyberPort
Videothèque de Paris, Forum des Halles, porte Saint-Eustache, Paris 1. From Tuesday, 8. December to Tuesday, 15. December. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

Early Picasso - 1901 to 1909

I wasn't aware that Picasso has his own 'national' museum - as opposed to city museum - in Paris. Not many people born in Malaga have anything like it here, or in Malaga itself. On top of this, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has lent the Picasso museum in Paris ten paintings and 15 designs - to which are added 20 designs from this museum, to make a complete Picasso exhibition.

Musée Picasso, Hôtel de Salé, 5. rue Thorigny, Paris 3. On view until Monday, 25. January. Info. Tel.: 01 42 71 25 21.

Livre des Timbres '98

For the holiday season - and for philatelists - the Poste is offering a new book. From what I can gather, it contains illustrated histories surrounding the new stamps issued in 1998. In addition, it contains 323 francs' worth of actual stamps. If ordered before 7. December, the price is 419 francs: after that it costs 459 francs. The book comes in a prestige box.

'La Poste's services for philatelists are accessible by the Web to interested collectors. Although it is not explicit that La Poste takes foreign orders, it does offer information about its subscription service in English, German, Spanish and Italian, in addition to French. La Poste also accepts payments made with Visa or Mastercard.

The 'Peony Pavillon' - Again

This is a 'detail' from theposter: chine - fest automne ongoing 'Festival d'Automne' and it is at MC 93 Bobigny - in Seine-Saint-Denis again! - production. Along with it being an 'Italian Autumn' in Paris, it is also a bit of an oriental one.

The cover of the Festival d'Automne brochure; for just the 'Chinese' part.

Thus 'Peony Pavillon' has a Chinese author - Tang Xianzu - an English translator - Cyril Circh - with music by Tan Dun, and the director is Peter Sellars; who I am pretty sure is French. In very tiny print, a note says it is in Chinese and English, with French 'over-titles,' whatever these may be. This may be Chinese opera as many of the performers are Chinese and some of them are tenors. Two of the musicians are Chinese too.

This show runs from Friday, 4. December until Monday, 22. December.

The MC93 in Bobigny is a busy place. Also playing is 'Aimer Sa Mère,' directed by Alfredo Arias, with Mairlú Marini. One day Mr. Arias saw a graffiti which said, "Mange tes parents" and this piece is the result. It runs until Sunday, 20. December; from Tuesday to Saturday, at 20:30 and on Sundays at 15:30. Reservations and Info. Tel.: 01 41 60 72 72.

The MC93 in Bobigny is also alert. Last week I couldn't find its exact location - where is Bobigny? - but MC93 found me. Their address: 1. boulevard Lénine, 93000 Bobigny.

Paris' Mois de la Photo - 10th Edition

This annual event kicked off late last month, starting with Edmond Bacot and Olivier Mériel's photos of Victor Hugo, which can be seen at the Maison de Victor Hugo in the Place des Vosges, until 24. January 1999.

'Personne n'a Vu Tout' - Andersposter: foto anders peterson Peterson has been taking photos a long time and is present for Paris' Mois de la Photo, with what may be some disturbing images - of psychiatric patients. Exhibition at the Centre Cultural Suédois, 11. rue Payenne, Paris 3. Métro: Saint-Paul or Chemin-Vert. Open Tuesday to Friday from 14:00 to 18:00, Saturday and Sunday from 14:00 to 19:00; until Sunday, 3. January. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 80 20.

Photo © Anders Peterson

Photos and Books for Kids: - originals of photos or sculptures done to illustrate children's books, by authors such as Franck Horvat, Véronique Willemin, Joëlle Leblond and Nathalie Rizzoni.

Until Saturday, 12. December, at the Bibliothèque André Malraux, 78. boulevard Raspail, Paris 6. Métro: Rennes or Saint-Placide. Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 53 85.

'Paris, Ici et Là - le Paris des Quartiers' - An exhibition, mostly of photos, of Paris and its 'quarters' - which some have likened to 100 villages. With this show, you get to see a lot of Paris away from the main sights, and get to see them in the comfort of the Hôtel de Ville's reception office.

The 'Paris des Quartiers' exhibition continues until Saturday, 16. January and is open from 9:30 to 18:30 except on Sundays and holidays. At 29. rue de Rivoli, Paris 4. No entry charge.

'Ceci est Paris,' another theme show, is in the city's own home of cultural affairs, at their hôtel at 31. rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the fourth. Until Wednesday, 25. November.

Altogether, during November there will be 79 photo exhibitions at 61 locations around Paris. This will not be entirely 'Paris-in-love- with-itself' - there will also be photos of old Moscow, and an exhibition of soviet views of themselves from 1917 to 1981.

There are too many individual events and locations for them to list here. Luckily we have the Web and the Mois de la Photo has its own site, where there should be a complete program.

If you are in Paris, some of the contents of the Web site above can been seen hanging on walls at the Maison Européenne de la Photo, 5-7. rue de Fourcy, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul or Pont-Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 44 78 75 07.

Another Photo-Web sites worth a visit is Centre National de la Photo, which is located in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11. rue Berryer, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 53 76 12 32.

Paris' L'Automne Italien

Sauver Assise!

Assisi was shaken to bits by two earthquakes on 26. September 1997, and the Saint-Francis church - opened in 1253 - was severely damaged. This exhibition shows the extent of the damage; plus thereposter: crime et chaitiment are 60 artworks from Assisi, dating from the 12th to 15th centuries. For the restoration, the entry to this exhibition is free, but donations are welcome.

Musée du Petit Palais
Avenue Winston-Churchill, Paris 8. Métro: Clemenceau. Except Mondays, open from 10:00 to 17:40. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 12 73. This exhibition continues until 14. February 1999.

Paris' Italian autumn has already started, with Tiepolo in the Petit Palais. Thirteen paintings by Tintoretto are being displayed in the Salle des Fêtes in the Mairie of the 5th. At 21. place du Panthéon, Paris 5. Until Wednesday, 13. December. Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 17:45 and on Sundays and holidays from 14:00 to 17:45. Info. Tel.: 01 43 29 21 75.

Two Big Painters; Millet and Van Gogh

Lightning hit Vincent Van Gogh at an exhibition of Jean-François Millet's designs and pastels in 1875, just a few months after the death of the latter. This exhibition places similar paintings by the two artists side-by-side, showing the inspirations Van Gogh drew from Millet; to finally gain his own identity - showing also how artists learn from each other.

All the business of making advance reservations applies because this is a very popular exhibition. Entry charge: 40 francs, reduced: 30 francs. Catalogue: 190 francs.

Musée d'Orsay
1. rue de la Légion-d'Honneur, Paris 7. This exhibition continues until Sunday, 3. January 1999. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 18:00; on Sundays from 9:00 to 18:00 and on Thursdays until 21:45. Info. Tel.: 01 40 49 48 73.

Paris' Overwhelming 'Scene'

Each week sees new items added to this feature, and it gets longer and longer. Rather than entirely drop some items which are still running, their headlines are retained in this issue. For more details about these, please see the 'Scene' columns in issue 3.48, issue 3.47 and issue 3.46, then return here.

Issey Miyake: - the pioneer of 'métissage,' but otherwise known as one of the most inventive clothing designers we have at the end of this century.See last week's 'Scene' for details.

L'Idiot - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky wrote to his niece in 1869 to say he thought this story might be a total failure - with a near seven-week run booked for it, it looks like the producers think otherwise. At the Théâtre 14 J. M. Serreau.See last week's 'Scene' for details.

Gustave Moreau and Lorenzo Lotto - Exhibitions at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - until Monday, 4. January and 11. January 1999.

Lydie Arickx: - has an exhibition which can be seen at the Convent des Cordeliers.

Jacques Offenbach's 'Monsieur Choufleuri - Mesdames de la Halle' is playing at the Studio-Théâtre d'Asnières-sur-Seine and at the Centre Culturel de Boulogne-Billancourt.

Pierre Mantra - has an exhibition at the Galerie Selmersheim.

Cashemires Parisiens: - Because Josephine liked to wear cashmere shawls, you might like to know more about their manufacture and history. Exhibition at the Musée Galliera - Musée de la Mode et du Costume de la Ville de Paris.

Le Passé Recomposé: - An exhibition of multimedia projects, which show the re-constituted past - that is, the historic past. At the Trianon de Bagatelle.

Giacometti, Richier, Gutfreund: - Exhibition 'Bourdelle et Ses Elèves,' at the Musée Bourdelle.

Architectural Genius - François Mansart - Exhibition at the Hôtel de Rohan, until Sunday, 17. January 1999.

Sur les Quais: - This exhibition, shows the Seine quai's history, and their actual state as well as urban plans for the future. At the Pavillon de l'Arsenal.

Suzuki Osamu: - Exhibition at the Espace des Arts Mitsukoshi-Etoile.

Remembering Cocktails: - is a poster exhibition at the Bibliothèque Forney which continues until Saturday, 5. December.

Laves Emaillées: - Exhibition in the atelier of Ary Scheffer, at the Musée de la Vie Romantique, until Sunday, 17. January.

Traipsing Through Fancy Hotels - From 'Palais' to 'Palace' is the name of this exhibition about Paris' grand hotels, which is in the Musée Carnavalet, until Sunday, 24. January.

Rites et Festins de la Chine Antique:- are the 'Bronzes du Musée de Shanghai, at the Musée Cernuschi, until Sunday, 10. January.

Mémoire d'Empire: - the 'Trésors du Musée National du Palais, Taipei' is an exhibition at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, until Monday, 25. January.

For more details about the above, please see the 'Scene' columns in issue 3.48, issue 3.47 and issue 3.46, then return here.

Cluny - Musée National du Moyen Age

Musée National du Moyen Age - Thermes and Hôtel de Cluny 6. place Paul-Painlevé, Paris 5. Métro: Cluny-La Sorbonne. Open daily except Tuesdays, from 9:15 to 17:15. Closed 25. December and 1. January 1999. Early closing at 16:00 on 23. December and 31. December. Best times for casual visits are between noon and 14:00 and after 15:30. The library is open until 18:00. Info. Tel.: 01 53 73 78 16.

Les Quatre Théâtres des Sens - Palais de la Découverte, avenue Franklin-Roosevelt, Paris 8. Métro: Franklin-Roosevelt. The current show runs until Sunday, 3. January 1999. Open from Tuesday to Saturdays, from 9:30 to 18:00; on Sundays from 10:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 40 74 89 00.

Paris' Art Deco museum, is the Musée des Arts Décoratifs - at 107. rue de Rivoli, Paris 1. Métro: Palais-Royal or Tuileries. Entry for disabled persons is at 105. rue de Rivoli. Except Mondays, open from 11:00 to 18:00; on Wednesdays to 21:00. On weekends, opens at 10:00. Info. Tel.: 01 44 55 57 50. Also find at this location: Musée de la Mode et Textile and the Musée de la Publicité.

The Artdéco museum has a branch office at the Musée Nissim de Camondo, at 53. rue de Monceau, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers or Monceau. Info. Tel.: 01 53 89 06 50. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:00.

The Pompidou Centre - Here's Beaubourg:

The interior of this museum has been undergoingposter: hardrock cafe interior renovations since October 1987. Many of the museum's collections will be on view at other museums in Paris, at other cities in France and other countries - until the renovations are completed.

The Hard Rock Café has regular live acts. See item above.

In front of the museum there is a tepee, which has information about the centre, presented in a multimedia form. The public library remains open at 11. rue Brantôme, just to the north of the museum. David Hockney arrives in January 1999. The Atelier Brancusi also remains open.

Musée d'Art Moderne

This Ville de Paris museum is showing a selection from Beaubourg, through to 19. September 1999. Currently, the 1920's are represented by Braque, Masson, Miro, Magritte, Ernst, Derain and Fautrier. In November a new cycle starts with Nouveau Realisme and Arte Povera.

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11; avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16. Open Tuesdays to Friday from 10:00 to 17:30; Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 18:45. Special openings on 1. and 11. November. Info. Tel.: 01 53 40 00.

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