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Posts Tagged ‘La Ciotat’

Lots going on. Even if these events are not to your taste, it’s worth knowing about them so you can steer clear of traffic and crowds if need be!  We once set off for Arles and met police road-blocks – we hadn’t realised there was a feria taking place: not the best day for a peaceful walk around the old town!  Here are some events to enjoy or avoid as the mood takes you… (more…)

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Today in La Ciotat, the oldest cinema in the world, the Eden, is re-opening.  I can’t wait to see the restored building.IMG_2488   This photo shows the dilapidated building back in the spring of 2012 when we walked past there.  A dedicated group of locals was determined to save the cinema and the MP2013 programme was key to making it happen.  The 6m€ budget came from regional authorities and the Ministry of Culture: the centre is part of drive to capitalise on the attractions of the area, not only for tourists but also for film-makers.  The opening ceremony tonight with Juliette Binoche as MC will be showing the Lumiere Brothers’ film of a train arriving in La Ciotat which so terrified the very first audience back on 21st March 1899.  Lots of background on the cinema itself and surrounding activities here http://www.mp2013.fr/evenements/2013/10/re-opening-of-the-eden-theatre/?lang=en

Right up-to-date now, the Renoir is showing from today, La Vie d’Adele which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. This love-story between two young girls garnered fulsome praise from the UK critics – I wonder what the Lumiere Brothers would have made of it!  

Tomorrow afternoon, the Renoir has a 4th showing of Pompei, the film of this summer’s blockbuster exhibition at the British Museum in London.  It’s such an easy way of seeing an exhibition – no wonder the first 3 sold out – Thursday 10th at 15:40.

last daysFriday, Saturday and Sunday are the last days of the Grand Atelier du Midi exhibition at the Musée Granet (Aix) and the Musée Longchamps in Marseille.  The Granet is going to be open until 23:00 hours on those days for the retardistes as they charmingly call those of us who haven’t seen it.  Both of these exhibitions are lovely and well worth a last minute viewing.

Now on to things opening: The ‘Le Corbusier and the Question of Brutalism’ expo begins at the J1 gallery in Marseille on Friday 11th October.  It will show 250 original works and runs til 12th January; while in Aix, the 3rd in the series ‘Tisser des Liens’ entitled ‘A Fleur de Peau’ starts on Saturday at the Pavillon de Vendome.

And finally – for something completely different – the Fete de la Courge at Rians.  I’m sorry to be missing it this year as it’s such a fun event. Rians is a very untouristy Var village which has lots of community events – a good chance to see a ‘normal’ Provencal village at play!  There are stalls of courges, squashes, pumpkins – not sure of the difference but had no idea there were so many types.  In the Salle des Fetes they display the largest courge, the strangest shaped courge etc – and outside at long tables, serve soup made from…. You got it!  It’s well organised with easy parking in an adjacent field.  They even have a fun courge-y website: http://www.fetedelacourgerians.fr/

Enjoy it all!

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La Provence have called this boat ‘le plus impressionnant de la planete’ and this month it’s at Compositeworks at La Ciotat for an overhaul. It’s name is A, reflecting the billionaire owners Russian Andrey Melnichenko and his Serbian wife Aleksandra Nikolic.

Designed and fitted out by Philippe Stark, its mastersuite is complete with a rotating bed so the inhabitants get the best possible view as they sail around the Med.  There are suites for 6 other couples who can enjoy the 3 swimming pools, the onboard discotheque and the attention of the 42 staff.  But life isn’t all plain sailing.  This baby costs 16m euros a year to run and 400,000€ to fill up with fuel – the cost of a villa each time………..

I read in the British press that the rounded shape, and lack of decks with rails is to make life impossible for pirates.  I suppose you can’t be too careful with 3 Monets on board!

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As the rich and the famous of the film industry gather this coming weekend in Hollywood for the Oscar ceremony, I wonder how many of them would recognise this dusty little building on the sea-front at La Ciotat?  Incredibly it’s the world’s oldest cinema.

When the lights first went down on the evening of 21st March 1899 at the Eden cinema, la Ciotat locals enjoyed the the world’s first public film show in a cinema.

It was organised by the wealthy Lumière Brothers – Auguste and Louis – whose father had a photographic factory in Lyon.  The brothers’ first film was of the workers leaving the factory – under one minute of footage, and shown in a café in Paris in 1895.  The family had moved to live in La Ciotat at the Chateau du Close des Plages, a sumptuous house with90 hectares of land next to the sea.

At the Eden, locals could see other one-minute films developed by the Lumières.  ‘L’Arrivée du Train en Gare de La Ciotat’ startled the audience as the train moved towards them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dgLEDdFddk

  ‘L’Arroseur Arrosé’ showed the family gardener tricked by a small boy who stood on his hose – and then squirted him with water – the world’s first comic sequence on film.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd4jSTBhYDw

And there was a very sweet film of Auguste and Marguerite Lumière feeding baby Andrée in their garden at La Ciotat.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ2mLwv7pOM

We had just had lunch in a backsteet café in the town and watched a young couple spooning food into their little one.  Over one hundred years later, some family basics haven’t changed at all.

The Eden was rescued from squatters, then developers who wanted to build flats, 30 years ago.  Now it is listed as a historic building and is being restored as part of the MP2013 Year of Culture programme.

The Lumiere brothers

Image via WikipediaImage via Wikipedia

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