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La Cinémathèque Française

Cinemas, Independent Bercy
Photograph: Cinémathèque

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Relocated to Frank Gehry's striking, spacious cubist building, the Cinémathèque Française now boasts four screens, a bookshop, a restaurant, exhibition space and the superb Musée du Cinéma. In the spirit of its founder Henri Langlois, the Cinémathèque hosts retrospectives, cult movies, classics, experimental cinema and Q&A sessions.

The Musée alone is worth the trip. As you wind your way through its shadowy rooms, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re being watched – everywhere you look, there’s a hundred-year-old camera or projector staring back at you. The exhibition takes you from the birth of cinema in 19th-century ‘magic lanterns’ and optical illusions through to the first golden age of the Hollywood studios in the 30s. Along the way, you encounter looped projections of silent films, a panoply of Kinetoscopes and Mutoscopes (just wait and see), and a treasure trove of movie memorabilia collected by Langlois over the course of his eventful life. Captions are mostly in French, but the English audio guide helps. In any case, these wonderful exhibits and moving images speak for themselves.

Museum opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-7pm; Sun 10am-8pm.
Full price: €5. Discounted: €4. Under 12s: €2.50. Entry + film ticket: €8.

By: Alex Dudok de Wit



Address: 51 rue de Bercy
Price: Films €6.50; €3-€5 reductions. Museum €5; €2.50-€4 reductions; free under-6s
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