VINGT: The perennially popular Cinema En Plein Air has returned to the Parc De Villette, films are projected onto a gigantic inflatable screen every night until the 22nd of August. The films are shown in their original language, with French subtitles, and start when the sun goes down. It’s advisable to pack a picnic and get there early to guarantee some leg-room for the feature presentation. All screenings are free but a â‚¬7 deposit is required if you want to rent a deck-chair. The festival is in it’s 20th incarnation, reflected in this year’s theme – ‘Being 20’. All the films revolve around the promise and frustration of youth in some way. That being said not all youth will be welcome – this is the first year age restrictions will apply to some screenings. Having endured an uncomfortable couple of minutes last year sitting next to a 5 year old child while watching a naked Viggo Mortensen stabbing another man in the eye during ‘Eastern Promises’, this writer cautiously welcomes the decision.
The line-up is eclectic as ever, with a mix of established classics, recent favourites and rarely seen gems. There’s a chance to see Mike Nichol’s ‘The Graduate’ (25th Jul), ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Stanley Kubrick (31st Jul), Gus Van Sant’s ‘My Own Private Idaho’ (21st Aug) and ‘They Live By Night’ (28th Jul), Nicholas Ray’s 1949 couple-on-the-run archetype, forerunner of ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ and Terence Mallick’s ‘Badlands’ (Sat 24th). Some more recent stand-outs include the Dardennes brother’s ‘The Child’ (20th Aug), Fernando Meirelles & Katia Lund’s ‘City Of God’ (3rd Aug), Marjane Satrapi’s ‘Persepolis’ (7th Aug) and Jason Reitman’s twee but likeable ‘Juno’ (5th Aug).
For the committed cinephile there’s some obscure treats, like Barbet Schroeder’s ‘More’ (22nd Jul), featuring a soundtrack by Pink Floyd. Leos Caraix’s ‘Mauvais Sang’ (1st Aug) stars a young and inappropriately beautiful Julie Delpy and includes music from David Bowie. ‘Kids Return’ (12 Aug) is directed by Takeshi Kitano, whose fantastic exhibition at the Fondation Cartier runs until September 12th. Other highlights include Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Mystery Train’ (13 Aug) starring Joe Strummer, Jia Zhangke’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ (18 Aug) and Milos Forman’s 1967 breakthrough ‘Loves Of A Blonde’ filmed in his native Czechoslovakia.
Of course, don’t forget to check the weather forecast before heading out – all screenings are subject to it not lashing it down with rain and can be cancelled at very short notice!
CINEMA EN PLEIN AIR
17 July – 26 August
Parc De La Villette
211 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
Metro: Porte de Pantin
By Aidan Mac Guill on July 21, 2010