Art and culture to see in Paris this summer
Say coucou to blockbuster exhibitions, massive film festivals, intimate galleries and the best of the city's summer stages
Break out your soda pop and prepare to snuggle: it's the biggest drive-in cinema ever in a capital city. OK, so the 1,000 film fans who can fit into each screening at the glass-roofed Grand Palais will be seated in pre-parked Fiat 500s, but who wants to drive in Paris? With roller discos, food stalls, games arcade, a concept store and a brief to expand worldwide, this is going to be huge.
Opened in 1921 and once a temple of silent cinema, the Egyptian art deco Louxor fell on hard times after WW2 and became a drug den, ’80s club and gay disco before being left abandoned for 25 years. It re-opened triumphantly as a cinema in April 2013, with a new brief to promote cultural, artistic and educational projects. At the very least, admire the fabulous architecture from the third floor bar.
- 170, Boulevard Magenta, 10e
The French film scene is massive and so is this festival, with over 200 French and international films on show – classics, premieres, Cannes winners and more, presented by a raft of hip French auteurs. Parallel events include the hugely popular Brocante Cinéma – a film-themed flea market – outdoor screenings and giant Ciné-Karaoké events.
Global in outlook, ambitious in scope, citywide and often free, the Quartier d'Eté festival offers a fantastic summer programme of dance, theatre, concerts and circus. Previous years have seen open-air films, gypsy music, ballet by Merce Cunningham, and an opera composed for the occasion by Youssou N'Dour.
Outdoor movie going at its finest, with international films screened for free at sundown in Parc de la Villette, the cutting edge architectural, music and art hub that's a big part of the recent buzz around north-eastern Paris. Expect everything from 'Ocean's Eleven' to Kaurismaki gems, and an easy-going crowd of happy, summery Parisians and visitors.
Celebrating dance and music from all over the world, Le Festival de l'Imaginaire covers everything from Balinese dance by Topeng Shakti to lute music from Abbas Righi – the only Parisian event with such a broad outlook. Expect Kyôgen at the Théâtre du Soleil, Iraqi maqâm at the Institut du Monde Arabe and Breton fest noz (night party) at the equestrian theatre Zingaro.
This former hunting pavilion has become a significant repository of Impressionist art thanks to bequests from the daughter of the doctor of Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley and Renoir and by Monet’s son Michel. Its Monet collection, the largest in the world, numbers 165 works, plus sketchbooks, palette and photos. A special circular room was created for the breathtaking late water lily canvases; upstairs are works by Renoir, Manet, Gauguin, Caillebotte and Berthe Morisot.
- 2 rue Louis Boilly, 16e
Every year, the sumptuous central concert hall Théâtre du Châtelet brings a major dance company from overseas to Paris. Most theatres in Paris take a break over the summer, so it's one of July's few opportunities to see classical ballet. This year's showcase: the Vienna National Ballet doing Don Quixote, and a special tribute to Rudolf Nureyev.
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