A look at Paris in 1928 in black and white and then color sequences filmed in the same places in 1959.


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Cast overview:
Récitante / Narrator (voice)
Jacques Prévert ...
Gazelle Bessières
Marcel Duhamel
Max Morise


In 1928, Pierre Prévert with his brother Jacques and with Marcel Duhamel and under the supervision of Alberto Cavalcanti, began a film which remained incomplete. "Memories of Paris" or "Paris-Express". In 1959, color sequences shot at the same places are added to these black and white pictures to create the documentary Paris la belle. Written by Anurag Garg <garo@cs.ucla.edu>

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Plot Keywords:

paris france | See All (1) »


Short | Documentary





Release Date:

May 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Paris the Beautiful  »

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Featured in Max Ernst: Mein Vagabundieren - Meine Unruhe (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Belles De Paris
11 March 2012 | by See all my reviews

Written by poet/screenwriter Jacques Prevert ,directed by his brother Pierre and narrated by Arletty ,the star of the Prévert/Carné heyday. it's a short which begins with a postman bringing the mail in a small village of Provence overcome by the heat in an almost Pagnolesque atmosphere.

Prevert opens an album and begins to talk about Paris to the postman and some children who have never been there :the beauty of the capital and of its women.The poet blends present and past ,showing pictures of the era before (and even long before) WW2 and after ;Prévert's anti militarism occasionally surfaces ,as Arletty's voice ironically points out: now that hostilities are over,they could not call "La Rue De La Paix "(peace street) "Rue De La Guerre" (war street);some things never change but some do : Prévert and Arletty feel nostalgic for things from the past.

What is fascinating for the 2012 viewer ,it's that THEIR present (the old juke box which fascinates a young girl)is now the past ,and Paris of the sixties seems remote ,as remote as the "Fortifications where the adventures of Fantomas and "Les Vampires " took place .

A short which proves that we had not heard the last of the old wave.

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