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Like Paris’s movie theaters, museums and other cultural centers, the Cinémathèque Française was obliged to close its doors during the severe lockdown imposed by the French government. It kept a certain presence going through its site and on-line activities ranging from e-newletters, podcasts, and movie streaming. After several weeks, it reopened on July 15, one day after Bastille Day.
It’s opening on the lighter side, with an exhibition dedicated to France’s cinematic funnyman Louis de Funes. A broad comic, de Funes was more Jerry Lewis (another French favorite) than Jacques Tati. Films like La Grande Vadrouille, Captain Fracasse and The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob are beloved by the French public, though not very well-known abroad. (La Grande Vadrouille remains France’s most successful film ever.) The exhibition features more than 300 extracts from the comic’s films as well as artefacts, such as the costume sketches, inspired by Valasquez paintings, for La Folie des Grandeurs.
Lead photo credit : Photo: Corina Rainer, Unsplash