Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Nerd Wave Paris of Spring 2009

I am a Jean-Luc Godard fanboy, so as any good Jean-Luc Godard fanboy would do, I made a little list of things referencing the great director while I was in Paris.

1. In Paris, you can walk along the Seine and find open-air bookstands selling books on Godard, along with postcards depicting scenes and posters from his films. Some of them carry a few Godard dvds as well.

2. In Paris, dvd stores tend to have entire sections devoted to Godard. All of his films have many different editions on dvd, and most of them carry beautiful designs, often utilising the original poster art.

3. In Virgin Megastores, the G sections are broken up by a Godard section slammed right into the middle. dvds are typically ordered by director, as they should be -- after all, if bookstores arrange books by author, why don't our stores arrange dvds by the authors of the films?

4. In Paris, you can flip through tv channels to find a Spanish station broadcasting random clips from Godard films, with little commentary, for about an hour.

5. In Paris, you can go to the Louvre and quickly find the hallway which the Band of Outsiders ran down. You can't run down this hallway, but you can take a picture of yourself pretending to run down it.

6. The Champs-Élysées is about the same as it was in Breathless. Walking down it with your wife, you have to resist the urge to shout those immortal words: 'New York Herald Tribune!'

7. In Paris, you can watch the French Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, and one of the answers to a question will be Jean-Luc Godard.

8. In Paris, you can step into the Shakespeare & Company and almost immediately come across books on display on the French New Wave. The covers to these books depict scenes from Godard films.

9. At the Charles de Gaulle exhibit in the Hôtel des Invalides, there is a room devoted to the 1960s which is comprised of glowing screens. One of these glowing screens is a photograph of Jean-Luc Godard.

10. At the Cimetière du Montparnasse you can visit the grave of Jean Seberg.

11. The Cinémathèque Française has a 1968 poster of an Une Femme est une femme / Vivre sa vie double bill, along with a looping projection of an early scene from Breathless.

12. The Trafic portion of the Jacques Tati exhibit at the Cinémathèque Française has a screen showing the traffic jam sequence from Godard's Weekend.

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