The French Louvre which houses such world renowned works of art as Da Vinci's Mona
Lisa, has had an 800 year history of incarnations ranging from a fortress in the 1200's to
the royal residence in the 1300's and a government building formerly housing the Ministry
of Finance. The Louvre Museum in Paris, first opened to the public during the French
The magnitude of the operations at this Grande Dame of world museums is on the scale of a
small city, as depicted in the documentary LA VILLE LOUVRE (CITY LOUVRE), which goes
inside to reveal the treasure trove that IS the Louvre, from fascinating art restorations,
to bureaucracy, to sheer joy of discovering the beautiful fine art and antiquities of the
The Louvre has captured the imagination of many filmmakers, often serving as a film
location, from the famous visit in BAND OF OUSTSIDERS, to BELPHEGOR and the documentary LA
VILLE LOUVRE that captures the behind-the-scenes life of this gigantic museum. The Louvre
was also prominently featured recently in the blockbuster THE DA VINCI CODE. Catherine
Sueur, Deputy Chief of Le Louvre In Person, for a guided tour to the world's most
visited museum and parents can introduce their young one to the charm of French Cinema
with matinee of the long out of circulation, children's classic, THE RED BALLOON,
screening in a restored print! Films are in French with English subtitles.
The Palais du Louvre,
which houses one of the most stunning collections of artworks in the world, is known first
and foremost as a museum. Yet for almost seven hundred years the buildings constituted one
of the principal residences of the kings and emperors of France.
Built shortly after 1190 by King Philippe Auguste as a defensive fortress, by the 14th
century the Palais du Louvre had become a pleasant residence that occasionally served as a
royal home. Francis I chose to turn it into a Renaissance "palace". Over time, a
royal estate gradually developed. Henry IV ordered the château built by Catherine de
Médicis in the Tuileries to be linked to the Louvre palace by a "grand gallery"
bordering the Seine. Louis XIV, who resided at the Louvre until his departure for
Versailles in 1678, completed the Cour Carrée (Square Court), which was closed off on the
city side by a colonnade. When the court moved to Versailles, French monarchs lost
interest in the Palais du Louvre.
In 1793, the Louvre became a museum, and has been given over ever since to the
conservation and presentation of thousands of artworks and legacies of past civilizations.
In the early 19th century, sovereigns transformed the interiors but carried out little
building work. But from the mid-19th century onward, the Louvre underwent the largest
phase of extension in its history. Napoleon III completed the unification of the Palais
des Tuileries and the Palais du Louvre by building the Aile Denon (Denon wing) on the
Seine side and finishing the Aile Richelieu on the rue de Rivoli side. In 1871, the Palais
des Tuileries burned down. Thenceforth, the Louvre opened onto the great perspective
facing western Paris.
The Grand Louvre project, launched by President François Mitterand in 1981, modernized
the museum and extended it, with the opening in 1993 of the Richelieu wing, which formerly
housed the Ministry of Finance.
Join Catherine Sueur, Deputy Chief of Le Louvre In Person for a guided tour to the
world's most visited museum. (Henri Loyrette, the Director General of the Louvre, will not
attend as originally announced.)
In French with English subtitles.
Thursday, April 10 7:30 PM
LA VILLE LOUVRE (CITY LOUVRE), 1990, Kino, 83 min.
French filmmaker Nicholas Philibert (IN THE LAND OF THE DEAF, TO BE AND TO HAVE)
chronicles the behind-the-scenes operations of the Louvre in this fascinating documentary.
From the discovery of hidden artworks to more routine matters of bureaucracy and
operations, this film provides a glimpse of the "city within a city" that the
public rarely sees. Discussion following with Catherine Sueur, Deputy Chief of Le Louvre.
Friday, April 11 7:30 PM
BAND OF OUTSIDERS (BAND A PART), 1964, Rialto
Pictures, 97 min. French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard told his backers he was
delivering a sequel to BREATHLESS, but instead he created this offbeat meditation on
politics, philosophy and the American gangster movie. Combining playful slapstick with
sudden bursts of violence, this tale of three bumbling thieves (one of whom is played by
Godard's then-wife and muse, Anna Karina) is one of the director's most original
and entertaining works. Godard concludes the picture with the following narration: "My
story ends here, like in a pulp novel, at that superb moment when nothing weakens, nothing
wears away, nothing wanes." Musical score by Michel Legrand. With Claude
Brasseur and Sami Frey.
BELPHEGOR, LE FANTOME DU LOUVRE, 2001, Canal Plus, 97
min. When a collection of rare artifacts is brought to the Louvre for examination, a
ghostly spirit escapes from the archaeological find and enters the museum's electrical
system. Before long, the evil spirit Belphegor is wreaking havoc in the famous museum in
director Jean-Paul Salome's fantasy film, which stars Sophie Marceau, Michel
Serrault and Julie Christie.
Saturday, April 12 - 4:00 PM
Newly Restored! THE RED
BALLOON, 1956, Janus Fims, 34 min. Dir.Albert Lamorisse.
Newly restored and available for the first time in almost a decade, Albert Lamorisse's THE
RED BALLOON remains one of the most beloved children's films of all time. In this
deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon that seems
to have a mind of its own. Wandering through the streets of Paris, the two become
inseparable, to the surprise of the neighborhood and the envy of other children. Winner of
the Palme dOr at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, the film has enchanted the
youngand the young at heartfor decades, and it will surely find a new
generation of fans with this rerelease.
Newly Restored! WHITE
MANE, 1953, Janus Films, 40 min. Dir. Albert Lamorisse. In the south of
France is a near-desert region called La Camargue. There lives White Mane, a magnificent
stallion and the leader of a herd of wild horses too proud to let themselves be broken in
by humans. Only Folco, a young fisherman, manages to tame him. A strong friendship grows
between the boy and the horse, but they must elude the wrangler and his herdsmen to live
freely. (White Mane is presented in a new English translation, faithful to the original
French voiceover and dialogue, spoken by Peter Strauss.)