Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cinema En Plein Air

La Villette is a an area of Paris where one finds the mother of all exploratory museums, a music museum (something along the lines of EMP in Seattle), a huge parc, children's museum, concert venue, ect., ect., ect. And, today, I was going to hit all the attractions and stay for Cinema En Plein Air and An American In Paris. But, I got started kinda late... really late and by the time I made it across town the museums were closing. Instead, I explored the park-- which is right on a large canal, enjoyed the sun (shining brightly until around 9:30 p.m.), and hopped on the Metro to hit another canal. St. Martin is one of the more famous canals... and I was really unimpressed. Actually, I was a little pissed off-- it was a long, hot Metro ride to get there-- only to have to turnaround to go back for the show! I wouldn't want to spend any more time than I would absolutely have to in that area of town, and the canal itself wasn't particularly beautiful (I much prefer the canal at La Villette. You can bike ride along its curb, picnic in its park and soak up the sun); St. Martin is surrounded by dirty streets, shade trees and cheap shops.
I had bought a Carte Villette earlier in the day. It gets me into most of the parks attractions for free: free movies, jazz festivals, theatre sur l'herbe. Plus, I get free deck chair rental for all of the shows (they even come with blankets to keep me warm)!
I seated myself in the middle of the screen in the middle of the field-- right in front of the projection tower, and I waited, and waited, and waited. I only had my bright green Michelin guide with me, so I did my best to avoid looking like a complete idiot tourist reading my guide book by hiding as much of its cover as possible. About an hour before the show started, a man (kitty corner behind me) asked me to watch his stuff. He would be right back. No problem. When he returned, we struck up a conversation about the giant screen (which was a huge inflatable white rectangle-- not really a screen at all), musicals and Gene Kelly-- who is very popular in France. He was a really nice man, if his french a little too fast for me, and we had great conversation about movies.
I had seen An American In Paris before (I think I even own the DVD), but it's been quite a while. And though it's never been one of my favorites, it is a classic and I was it watching under the stars in Paris!
After the show, my new 'ami du cinema' and I returned our chairs and blankets, and he walked me to my Metro stop. This was not a romantic encounter, just a nice man who offered me a few hours of conversation (something I am seriously in want of now that I am living completely alone in Europe [that's a depressing sentence, isn't it). It was a wonderful night and I hope to repeat it tomorrow (Apocolypse Now: Redux--never seen it).


Blogger Serena said...

Photos of La Villette are coming soon. Keep checking (and waiting patiently :)

3:20 PM  
Blogger UrbanCannibal said...

Apocalypse Now has always been one of my favorite flicks. I look forward to your take on Redux, what’s more fascinating is the documentary “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse” from 1991, about the cursed production and so forth. Try and track down a copy to seriously enhance viewing pleasure the next time around :)

4:44 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

UC's comment reminds me:

If anyone has any Zone 2 DVDs they don't want, feel free to send them my way :)

6:16 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

Sounds like fun!

1:53 AM  
Blogger JgStephan said...

Alone in Paris? That sounds very sad, I hope that change and you have much fun in France.
The film Apocolypse Now-Redux is very good and I have the DVD in my collection.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Super SueAsian said...

Serena...Darling. I am waiting.

3:07 AM  

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