Paris: a wild projection interrupted by the police

“Cut! Usually, on a movie set, it is the director who has full authority over this formula. But this Monday evening at 8:20 p.m., boulevard de Rochechouart, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, the order came from a police patrol, quickly reinforced by a dozen cars. Gathered on the central reservation, in front of the La Cigale concert hall, whose facade resembles furiously, in this night which preludes the tenth day of the curfew, to a vast white screen, a hundred people, all filmmakers adhering to the Society of Film Directors (SRF) express their annoyance.

“A political act, certainly, but poetic and joyful”

The SRF, which intends to “defend artistic and moral freedoms and the professional and economic interests of cinematographic creation”, was born in 1968. A date with hints of revolt, one-could not-be more doubly symbolic since the film that was offered “With the means at hand”, baffles hanging from the tree trunks, projector hoisted on a high stool, was a black and white medium-length film by Jean Vigo, “Zéro de conduct”, shot in winter 1933. The work, 44 minutes long, tells of the radical revolt of the students of a boarding school. She was immediately censored and did not get her exit visa until… 1946.

“It’s an idea that was created collectively on the evening of the announcement of the curfew,” observes Elise ( the first name has been changed ) who, without questioning the need for the fight against Covid-19, questions the motivations that she suspects “safer than health”. And to add: “Theaters and cinemas are not clusters”. The decision was taken to respond with “a political act, certainly, but poetic and joyful”. Problem: even if the Cinema Mission of the City of Paris had been informed of this process, without the possibility of producing a concrete authorization, it came up against the contingencies of the law.


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