Just Above Sunset
September 19, 2004: This weekend's Techno Parade - and what to do with a really bad movie ...

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Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, is our man on the scene.

The Movie:


All the time I was writing 'other' news from Paris, I meant to write about Claude Lelouch and his new film. He didn't like what the critics wrote about 'Les Parisiens,' so on the day after it opened in France - 854 tickets sold in Paris - he offered it free, first-come first-served, at the 19:00 showing on Thursday at 400 cinemas throughout the country. Spielberg's film 'The Terminal' also opened in Paris on Wednesday and sold 2494 tickets. Philippe de Broca tried the 'free' ticket trick in 1966 for 'Le Roi de Coeur' and advised Claude against trying it. For de Broca, the film attracted fewer viewers the day it was free. However, cinema fans had good things to say about the new film, which is part one of a trilogy, 'Le Genre Humain.' Lelouch had to pay for the free entries himself. Happy ending - Lelouch has to pay for full houses. And the manager of the Grand Rex in Paris decided to let everybody in to see the film free at the following 21:30 showing.



Here’s the opening of the Reuters story –

French Director Shows Film for Free to Defy Critics
Friday, September 17, 8:01 AM ET


PARIS (Reuters) - French director Claude Lelouch decided to show his new film "Les Parisiens" free across France on Friday to try to prove wrong the critics who have panned it.

Lelouch, whose 1966 film "A Man and a Woman" starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimee won Oscars for best foreign film and screenplay, said he would bear the costs of the showings at about 400 cinemas across France.

"I've taken this decision following an unprecedented media lynching," he said in a radio interview.

"It's been years and years that the critics have regularly attacked my films and it's been years and years that the public has come to my rescue." ...


A rescue?  We shall see about that!

The Parade:


But do not let this detract from today's marvelous 'Techno Parade,' which launched from Montparnasse at noon. I didn't actually see anything like the 29 'floats' advertised, but the weather confounded the forecast by being sunny and warm - perfect for wrecking Paris' Saturday traffic from Montparnasse to Bastille.

The so-called 'floats' are flat-deck trucks with generators for running the massive sound systems. Most are only sketchily decorated, manned by a few chickies who bump and weave - for eight hours! - and some young dudes. There's a lot of boom boom boom, but not much else.

Contrary to how the beginning of the 'Techno Parade' looked, the middle and the end - thanks to TV-news - seemed to be much more successful. The TV-news reported that between 100,000 and 600,000 took part in the parade. I guess it depends on how many spectators took part in it.

One view of the Rue de Rennes, from Saint-Germain, showed it to be full of techno fans. Close-ups showed many in costumes, who either joined the parade in its rear staging area at Montparnasse or joined it after it started. Many would do this in any case, rather than all trying to gather at Montparnasse at the beginning.

The present Minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Varbes, said 'techno' is a good thing, and the forever former Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, who imported the idea from Berlin, said what he usually says. This year's 7th edition was without major causes other than 'faire la fête,' and to turn Paris into an immense dance club.


Photos by Ric Erickson of MetropoleParis - check his site Monday evening for more.

Note - This three-wheeled winged and bug-eyed sono-Vespa was also shown on TV. Since this photo was first posted on the daily web log As seen from Just Above Sunset around seven in the evening Paris time (ten in the morning out here in Hollywood), As seen from Just Above Sunset, Ric tells me, actually scooped France-2 TV.



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Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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This issue updated and published on...

Paris readers add nine hours....