PRINT September 2005

International News

the Cinémathèque Française

AFTER TWO DECADES OF GRANDS TRAVAUX, PETTY quarrels, bureaucratic power plays and a latter-day Battle of the Ancients versus the Moderns fed by conflicts of ideas and personal interests, the Cinémathèque Française has seemingly surmounted the difficulties of being a living legend. On September 28, the venerable institution––founded in 1936 by Henri Langlois and three friends who wanted to rescue silent films from the onslaught of the talkies—will reopen in the whimsically postmodern Frank Gehry building originally designed in 1994 for the ill-fated American Center in the Bercy section of Paris. With its move from the nether regions of the incongruously neoclassical Palais de Chaillot, where it had been housed since 1963, the cinematheque is not simply trading its cinephilic aura for the topsy-turvy marquee over the entrance to its new home. The newly refurbished building—with its four

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