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Monday, 2 July 2018

A day in Lyon - home of the Lumiere Brothers and....

We were warned. 

There’s nothing in Lyon.

But… Gericault’s The Mad Woman or The Obsession of Envy (left) is a bit more than nothing as is Rubens’ Saint Dominic and St Francis Protecting the World from Christ’s Wrath  and Picasso’s Woman Sitting on the Beach.  “C’est grand, non?" Said the obliging attendant at the fine Musee des Beaux-Arts who helped track down the remarkable Gericault with the green faced woman and her deranged look…

…and there’s Librairie La Bourse (above) the best organised DVD shop I’ve ever been in, and that was to only one of its three locations near the Hotel de Ville. Oh boy. 

Fortunately French DVD and Blu-ray distributors are largely indifferent to putting subtitles on their movies, even French subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, so some money stays in the pocket when you pore over the racks. The man behind the counter just shrugged. “Je sais, je sais… De quel pays venez-vous….oooh”. The organisation ran to genre, director’s name, actor’s name, country and more, and more.... and more box sets than I've ever seen in one place. “It takes patience” said the man behind the counter. Campion, Weir and Luhrmann all got their own card in the directors’ section. 

….And at the end of the Impasse Saint-Polycarpe, near the Hotel de Ville a sign on a door tells you that here is Le Cinema a forty seat black hole with digital projection screening 8 films today including Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (Alexandra Dean, USA) for 4 for old folks, who constituted the audience for this film, and, by a sighting of the small group in the foyer awaiting the next, the next as well. Bare is not the word for this establishment. As a matter of interest the film’s title has been changed, in France at least, to Hedy Lamarr: from Extase to wifi.

The Institute Lumiere, occupying the site of the Lumiere family home and the adjacent factory (left) where the first film of the workers leaving was shot, is closed today but will receive attention tomorrow. 

The local Metro station is also named after the famous brothers who ‘invented the cinema’ on this very spot. I’m sure we can expect Gladys Berejiklian to insist on a Raymond Longford stop if Sydney ever gets its tram. …and a Lotte Lyell stop as well of course. Sometimes it will be before Raymond's and sometimes after, depending on whether you are coming or going...

...and news comes from the Antipodes through that loyalty and dedication have been rewarded with Al Cossar's appointment as the director of MIFF....

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