2000 Too Many

photo: pyramids at louvre

The pyramids in the Louvre's Cour Napoléon.

But Nothing Compared To What's Coming

Paris:- Saturday, 21. August 1999:- Since it is the last August of the century, and this is the second-last 'Scene' column in this particular August, I have not gone out of my way to find a ton of new events this week. The column is running 2000 words overlength anyway.

If Paris' own 'Paris 2000' program - see below - is modest in ambitions, then the national program 'Mission 2000' is even more sketchy. However, during the week métro stations in Paris filled up with billboards advertising it and its Web site - which is also hotlinked below.

The 'green meridian' idea of planting trees along the meridian from one end of France to the other and then having a Bastille Day picnic on it, is definitely programmed. Like watching the recent eclipse, this is something everybody can contribute to - without the worry of getting a crick in the neck.

The official '2000' Web sites for both Paris and France will give you more detailed information than I intend to present here. Millennium or not, other events go on. With the hoopla for the 'big show' they might get overwhelmed; so it is these that I hope to present here.

Lyon - Mode City - The PR folks at Jockey in Germany sent me an invitation to this lingerie and swimwear expo. Twobrochure+photo: lyon mode city & jockey things are strange about this: the invitation and brochure are addressed directly to me - before I've sent out any 'change-of-address' notices - and - why me? Am I known in the trade as an underwear booster?

Photo at right of brochure: ©Jockey, Germany

Since they've gone to the trouble to assume I am, I will tell you something I didn't know before. Jockey, in Germany at least, makes underwear for ladies. Did you know this already? You did? If so, now we both know why Jockey has sought me out. Minimal-clothes show of fabrics, lingerie and swimwear in Lyon, at Eurexpo-Lyon, from Saturday, 4. September to Monday, 6. September. Daily from 9:00 to 19:00. Info. Tel.: 01 47 56 32 32.

Billie Holiday's Last Blues - is a show devoted to Billie Holiday, her work and her life. Written by Lanie Robertson and directed by Georges Werler. The show starts on Tuesday and runs until 15. October, from Tuesdays to Saturdays, at 20:30. At the Kiron Espace, 10. Rue La Vacquerie, Paris 11. Métro: Voltaire. Info. Tel.: 01 44 64 11 50.

1st Festival des Arènes de Montmartre - five theatre companies present five different productions in the second half of this outdoor festival at the Arènes de Montmartre, at the top of the Rue Chappe, near the Funiculaire. Métro: Abbesses. Phone for times and titles: 01 48 40 62 49.

2nd 'Soirs au Village' - is a variety festival, staring Wednesday, 25. August and it is a bit out of town. In addition to music there will be cinema, dancing, craft workshops and a harvest fëte. Featured star is Manu Dibango with an evening called 'Salut Manu' on Saturday.

Some other events continue on Sunday, and patchwork lasts until 5. September. the 'harvest' is on Sunday. The 'village' concerned is Saint-Calais, which has a postal code of 72120, located somewhere between the autoroute A11, Tours, Orléans, and Le Mans. Best to call the Info. Tel.: 02 43 35 10 97. The municipal campsite has special rates for this date.

FIAC 99 - This modern art exhibition is mentioned below as a part of the 'Paris 2000' program but it is a regular feature on the Paris art scene. This year a great number of galleries and artists from South America will be here in person as well as exhibiting. From Wednesday, 15. September until Monday, 20. September. At the Pavillon du Parc, Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles. Métro: Porte de Versailles. Organized by Reed-OIP, Info. Tel.: 01 41 90 47 80.

Tours of the Jewish Marais - are organized on the occasion of the European Day of Jewish Culture, on Sunday, 29. August, by the Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme.

The visits include the Synagogue in the Rue des Tournelles, the Rue des Rosiers and the museum itself. The guided visits are free. The first, at 21 bis. Rue des Tournelles is from 10:00 to 12:00. For the Rue des Rosiers, tours are on the hour, from 10:00 to 17:00 and this is the same for the museum.

Musée d'Art et d'Historie du Judaïsme, Hôtel de Saint-Aigan, 71. Rue du Temple, Paris 3. Métro: Rambuteau. Info. Tel.: 01 53 01 86 53, or write to info@mahj.org for full details. Until the end of August, the museum also has a photo exhibition featuring European post-war Jewish communities.

The Fall Season and Paris 2000

Summer ends on Wednesday, 1. September and the fall season begins. Paris 2000 also begins. This is nothing more or less than Paris' 16 month 'Fête de Millennium,' slated to end on or about 1. January 2001. September's fall 'season only lasts one month. See the preliminary details for both below:

Paris In September - in past years, during the chaos of the 'rentrée' in September, I have managed to remain supremely unaware of early-early-September events.

'Les Fêtes de la Seine' - start on Thursday, 2. September and continue until Sunday. Last year I think this was only on one Sunday, but Paris is upgrading its river to be a water-sport-and-leisure attraction, so this year the festivities will last for four days - also a Paris 2000 event this year.

Starting as a one-day event, a 'Fête des Jardins' is scheduled, I think for the first time, for Sunday, 12. September. Keep watching this space for details. There will be something happening at every park in every arrondissement.

Paris Sheep Day - Feel like you've been clipped? Then see how French sheep like it on Sunday, 5. September, at the Ferme de Paris. This is just to the west of the Vincennes racetrack, in the Bois de Vincennes, by the Route de Pesage. Paris 12. Métro: Château de Vincennes or Charenton-Ecoles.

Une Capitale Poëtique, 1850 - 1914 - isphoto: street sign: eugene atget mainly a photographic exhibition. The works of Charles Marville fill in the second half of the 19th century and Eugène Atget's works begin this century about to end.

The photos are organized thematically around the poets Nerval, Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Appollinaire. This starts at the Bibliothèque Historique de Paris on Friday, 10. September and runs to Thursday, 7. October. Then it runs at the Bibliothèque Buffon until 10. November. Bibliothèque Historique de Paris, 22. Rue Mahler, Paris 4. Métro: Saint-Paul. Info. Tel.: 01 44 59 29 60.

Patchwork, Quilts and Textiles - 50 of the best contemporary French works have been chosen for this exhibition, which will later go on tour in Germany and the United States. See these modern needle-and-thread works, from Tuesday, 14. September until Saturday, 20. November. At the Bibliothèque Forney, 1. Rue de Figuier, Paris 4. Métro: Pont Marie. Info. Tel.: 01 42 78 14 60.

Messages from the Other-World - part of this show is from Lausanne's collection 'Art Brut;' some of the 30 artists represented are William Blake, Marguerite Burnat-Provins, Minnie Evans, Madge Gill, Heinrich Nüsslein, Laure Pigeon and Victorien Sardou. From Monday, 13. September to 27. February, 2000. At the Halle Saint-Pierre, 2. Rue Ronsard, Paris 18. Métro: Anvers. Info. Tel.: 01 42 58 72 89.

Latin American Artists - are a main feature of the FIAC show, with 30 Latin American galleries represented, from Mexico to Patagonia. In all 182 galleries will be presenting the latest from the art world. For the duration of the FIAC, its entry tickets will be also honored at Paris' Modern Art Museum. From Tuesday, 15. September until Monday, 20. September. FIAC, at Paris-Expo, Porte de Versailles. Métro: Porte de Versailles.

Festival Internationale de Danse - all I have are its dates; from Tuesday, 21. September until Saturday, 25. September. The location: Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

Sand - Musset: 'Les Enfants du Siècle' - this exhibition displays all the background involved with the making of the film 'Les Enfants du Siècle' by Diane Kurys.

The story is about the legendary passion between George Sand and the young Alfred de Mussat. On show are the storyboard by Maxime Rabière, costumes for the film by Christian Lacroix, decor by Philippe Turlure and photographs by Marion Stalens. From Tuesday, 21. September until 9. January, 2000. Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16. Rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Blanche or Pigalle. Info. Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

2000 in Paris

Once every millennium about this time, people start making plans to visit Paris, to be here when the tired old '99 rolls over into the brandnew '00.

Many of the planned events are coupled to occasions that Paris has long celebrated, but many more are special events - which Paris is officially characterizing as the 'choix du cúur' and has named it 'Paris 2000.'

Paris is in France of course, so there is also a national program of events and celebrations - if this is the right word - too. If these events are in addition to what Paris has planned, they are added below.

The World Wheel - La Roue Monde - from the beginning of August you have been invited to send an email message to The World Wheel about your thoughts for the future. The artist, Jean-Luc Vilmouth, is collecting the messages and thesephoto: musee d'orsay will be placed on ferris wheels installed along the Champs-Elysées, along with 24 other works of art - for display on 31. December.

The Musée d'Orsay dozes beside the Seine.

The Meridian Verte - imagined by the architect Paul Chemetov, the idea is for volunteers to plant trees along the old Paris 'Meridian,' from Dunkirk to Barcelona. Besides the trees, the best part of the idea is to have a picnic on the meridian on 14. July 2000.

The Balloon Goes Up - without even waiting for September, the tethered balloon at the Parc André Citroën took its first flight on Thursday, 1. July at 18:00, and now offers rides to the public when the winds permit. A brief overview:

September:
  • The giant sundial at the Place de la Concorde is in place, but it is so big that it can only be seen from the:
  • 'The Big Wheel' - 60 metres high - which is to be erected at the beginning of the month.
  • Les Fêtes de la Seine have been expanded from one day to three. From Thursday, 2. September until Sunday, 5. September. Water sports will be one of many features.
  • Les Champs de la Sculpture open-air exhibition is scheduled to begin in mid-September; to continue until mid-November.
  • Spaceship II Thousand - Le Vaisseau II Mille - is under construction by students from seven technological high schools in the Paris region. This nine-ton thingee will be complete at the year's end and be viewable at La Villette.
October:
  • Robert Hossein presents a huge spectacle entitled "The Man Who Said 'No'" - about Charles de Gaulle and his wartime followers. At the Palais des Congrès.
  • The first exhibition of 'Fauvism' in 30 years begins at mid-month at Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne. Over 200 works by Matisse, Derain, Marquet, Manguin, Puy, Camoin, Vlaminck, Van Dongen, Braque, Friesz and Dufy.
  • The theatre at Châtelet re-opens, with the opera 'Outis' created by Luciano Berio for La Scala, beginning in November. The 'Nutcracker Suite' - 'Caisse-Noisette' - follows in December.
  • Les Enfants du Monde
November:
  • The 20th Anniversary of the annual 'Mois de la Photo,' calls for a more ambitious program than usual - one that continues to the 'Month of the Photo' in November, 2000.
  • 4. November at Saint-Germain-des-Prés; the International World Tour of Sacred Songs, presents the first of eight concerts in historic Paris locations.
  • Paris, known as the 'City of Light' due it its early adoption of electric lighting, turns on many, many more lights, everywhere.
December:
  • From 20. December to 5. January 2000, Paris does its traditional Christmas season - see past Christmas issues of Metropole - with the addition of a new children's village at Trocadéro, to be packed with new snow daily.
  • 'Capitales' is a giant book 15 metres high, to be set up at Palais-Royal. On hand will be hundreds of authors and artists from all over the world. 31. December and 1. January.
  • 'Countdown 2000' calls for gathering mankind at the base of the Tour Eiffel to help the countdown time display reach zero. An extra 20,000 flash-lights have been added to the tower; set to blitz each hour until 1. January 2001.
  • 'Portes de l'An 2000' - 36,000 villages, towns and cities in France are set to have symbolic or real 'doors to the future,' around which the festivities of New Year's Eve are to be concentrated.
January 2000:
  • New Year's Day - Saturday, 1. January 2000:- 'The Great Parade of Paris.' Enjoyed by Montmartre for the past six years, this edition will parade through all Paris - with all of the world's marching bands invited.

These are only the barest details of some of the events of the 'Paris 2000' and the national 'Mission 2000' programs. Watch this space for additional information. Although seemingly modest, the 'Paris Lights Up' alone will be worth seeing.

The plans for Bastille Day 2000 call for the re-enactment of the history of France and Paris, to be produced by Robert Hossein - but without the entire original cast. Following the show, there will be three 'grand balls,' at Concorde, Invalides and the Champ-de-Mars.

Eclipsomania! Leftovers

''Ciel une Eclipse' - the Hôtel de Ville's reception area has been turned into an eclipse exhibit. The title of the exhibit either means an 'eclipse in the sky' or 'Heavens! An Eclipse.'

Salon d'Acceuil, Hôtel de Ville, 29. Rue de Rivoli,Paris 4. Métro: Hôtel de Ville. Open daily except for Sundays and holidays, from 9:30 to 18:00. No entry charge for the eclipse exhibition, which continues until 25. September. A free brochure about the eclipse is available.

Solaire - is a current, and free, exhibition at the Observatoire de Paris. It is a great chance to see the inside of this building which is open only rarely. Did you know our planet is speeding along in 'our' galaxy at the rate of 250 kilometres per second? Find out more about 'our' sun and the planets at the Observatoire de Paris, 61. Avenue de l'Observatoire, Paris 14. Métro: Denfert-Rochereau or RER Port Royal. Robot Info. Tel.: 01 40 51 21 74.

Elton John's Shades - is a musical comedy about rock-n-roll dreams of love and football, by ordinary people like you and me; by Davis Farr; adapted by Attica Guedj and Stephan Meldegg. Starting Monday, 23. August, at the Théâtre Tristan Bernard, 64. Rue du Rocher, Paris 8. Métro: Villiers or Europe. Info. Tel.: 01 45 22 08 40.

Mariage / Marriage - fashion illustrates the sentimental history of marriage, from the Middle Ages to our times. Like a fiction with the wedding costume as its leading prop, thisposter: fiac 99 exhibition tells all about the ritual, until Sunday, 29. August. At the Musée Galliera, 10. Avenue Pierre-1er-de-Serbie, Paris 16. Métro: Iéna. Info. Tel.: 01 47 20 85 23.

Viaduc des Arts - the 46 artists and artisans who have showrooms in the Viaduc des Arts are showing a selection of costumes, wigs, and accessories in their windows - all made by the ateliers of the Paris opera and ballet during their first 10 years of production. Until Tuesday, 31. August. Viaduc des Arts, 9-129. Avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12. Métro: Ledru Rollin or Gare de Lyon.

Don't Walk Around Naked - by Feydeau, is called 'Mais n'te promène donc pas toute nue!' in French, and is called a 'Boulevard Comedy.' Never on Sundays, but otherwise at 20:00, at the Théâtre Lucernaire, 53. Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Paris 6. Métro: Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Info. Tel.: 01 45 44 57 34.

Le Parc de la Villette - in Paris' northeast 19th arrondissement has a variety of summer-only attractions in addition to its year-round Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Grande Halle, Zenith concert hall, and the Cité de la Musique. It doesn't like itself to be referred to as an 'amusement park' but that is exactly what it is - even if it leans towards Science! Industry! Culture! Serious Music! in all has Rock and Circuses! Find details in issue 4.31's 'A HREF="/1999/431/431.vilet.html">A Multi-Theme Park.'

Paris Quartier d'Eté - is all over town with at least a dozen live-performance events daily. Watch for signs of it wherever you are in the city. More than good enough to keep us away from cablo-TV re-runs and new TV game shows.

Août au Ciné - is a special deal that starts on Sunday, 1. August. It allows the under-25sphoto: movie 'une laision pornographique' entry to 150 independent cinémas in Paris for 25 francs. Find the little brochure at any one of Paris' 21 city halls, stick your photo on it and hide out watching the movies and eating popcorn until Tuesday, 31. August.

Etoiles Filantes - cinema figures never die, but this cycle of films features actors and actresses who had their rising careers cut short for various reasons. Some foreign, some French; some well-known, some not so. Also, beginning on Wednesday, 18. August, there is 'L'Etrange Festival' - its 7th edition - with wonderful features such as 'Mondo Trasho.' Both series run until 31. August, with as many films being screened daily. At the Forum des Images in the Forum des Halles. Grande Galerie, porte Saint-Eustache, Paris 1. Métro: Les Halles. Info. Tel.: 01 44 76 62 00.

Du Rififi Chez les Hommes - is a 'B'-type crime movie made by Jules Dassin in 1954 which falls into the 'film noire' or 'polar' category. Re-mastered in black and white, for showing in Paris, starting Friday, 13. August. This is supposed to be a 'classic' film so don't miss it if you can help it.


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