Cultural events

Les Enfants du Paradis, the exhibition


  • Photography attributed to Roger Forster – Fondation Jérôme Seydoux- Pathé collection © 1945 – Pathé Production | Graphics : Roland Lecouteux © Cinéculture - La Cinémathèque française

    Photography attributed to Roger Forster – Fondation Jérôme Seydoux- Pathé collection © 1945 – Pathé Production

  • Practical information

  • Cinémathèque française
    51, rue de Bercy
    75012 Paris

    On Mondays and from Wednesday to Saturday :
    noon - 7 p.m.
    Opened at night on Thursdays until 10 p.m.
    On Sundays : 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    Closed on Tuesdays

    Full price : 10 euros
    Reduced price : 8 euros

from October 24, 2012 to January 27, 2013 Off-site

Les Enfants du Paradis, Marcel Carné’s masterpiece, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage document. From a screenplay by Jacques Prévert, the film is one of the most famous French films worldwide and has been arousing admiration since its release in 1945.

The film starts in 1830 on the Boulevard du Crime. We are in the middle of the Romantic era. The wonderful and fascinating characters invented by Jacques Prévert are carried away by a succession of events and a feverish atmosphere wavering between dream and reality. But Les Enfants du Paradis is above all the passionate and impossible love story between Garance (Arletty), one of the flowers of Paris streets and mime Baptiste Debureau (Jean-Louis Barrault), who makes the Théâtre des Funambules so famous.

Brilliant dialogues, crowd movements, desperate joie de vivre: all the film is nourished by the performance of the most talented actors of the time: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Maria Casarès, Pierre Renoir, Louis Salou, Marcel Herrand.

Marcel Carné’s production is impressive because of its fluidity and sense of balance. Cinema, theatre, mime, street performances and music combine harmoniously.

This major work was made in the midst of the Occupation, during a dark period in French history.

From the beginning of the shooting in the Victorine studios (Nice) in 1943 to the Francoeur studios in Paris and up to the film’s release on March 1945, the 15th, the filming experienced numerous vicissitudes linked to the political situation that France was going through during this period.

The exhibition presents rare and precious items from the Cinémathèque française and the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux – Pathé that allow to discover the story of this blockbuster: posters, drawings, photographs, costumes, cameras, stereoscopic views, scripts, correspondence, models, scenery pieces, advertisements...

The Cinémathèque française holds an outstanding collection of documents about Les Enfants du Paradis. This collection has been recently enriched by the acquisition of Boston Marcel Carné’s collection (2009) and by the bequest of Jacques Prévert’s original script (bequest from Eugénie Bachelot-Prévert in 2010).

The colourful and spectacular conception evokes the Boulevard du Crime. For example, the façade of the Théâtre des Funambules where mime Debureau started his career has been entirely reproduced. The exhibition is punctuated by numerous audiovisual excerpts (films, documentaries, news, music).

Owners of BnF reader passes or tickets providing access to BnF exhibitions benefit from reduced prices for this exhibition .

Tuesday, October 30, 2012