Francophiles’ Guide to Après-Quarantine, V. III

Live (Distanced) Art, Theater, Music & Film

June 17, 2020By Heidi EllisonWhat's New Art & Culture
Paris restaurants are now open, inside and out, and have larger terraces for the time being. © Paris Update
Paris restaurants are now open, inside and out, and have larger terraces for the time being. © Paris Update

The excitement is palpable! Paris restaurants, which until now only had permission to serve customers on their terraces or sell takeout food, were finally able to fully reopen on Monday.

That momentous event, along with the reopening this week of most city-run museums and the imminent reopening of national museums (various dates, notably the Musée d’Orsay on June 23 and the Louvre on July 6), most monuments, and all cinemas (June 22), Paris is truly returning to normal, which means that Paris Update can also return to normal, with reviews of exhibitions, restaurants, films and more.

I have already booked a table in a new restaurant I have been dying to try, but not until Saturday – it seemed important to give the place a chance to get up to speed before critiquing (or, I hope, praising) its work. Watch this space for a review next week.

Parisians fleeing the Nazi advance in 1940. Photo: Carl Mydans/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
Parisians fleeing the Nazi advance in 1940. Photo: Carl Mydans/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Ongoing exhibitions at city-run museums that are now open and that we have already reviewed include “Parisian Exodus” at the Musée de la Libération de Paris–Musée du Général Leclerc–Musée Jean Moulin, and “The Strange Tales of Niels Hansen Jacobsen” at the Musée Bourdelle.

The Musée de la Vie Romantique is continuing its exhibition “Hearts: Romanticism in Contemporary Art” through September 13, 2020, and the Maison de Balzac is showing “The Human: Balzac par Eduardo Arroyo” through August 16.

The Petit Palais has opened a new exhibition, “The Power of Drawing: Masterpieces from the Prat Collection” (through October 4, 2020), which we hope to review for next week’s issue of Paris Update. The Musée Cernuschi will be showing off the recent rehang of its collection. Online reservations are required for all the exhibitions mentioned here.

Collaborative drawing by Colin Cook and Bill Shambaugh.
Collaborative drawing by Colin Cook and Bill Shambaugh.

The power of drawing is being demonstrated live at the Cinémorphe space in Paris’s 10th arrondissement, where American artist Colin Cook, who makes collaborative drawings with (mostly) non-artists of (mostly) nude humans, is not only showing previous work in the exhibition “Ribambelle!” (through June 28) but is also making new drawings on-site with the help of willing friends and visitors with all levels of drawing skills.

An audience with headphones follows the actors in C-o-n-t-a-c-t through the streets of Paris.
An audience with headphones follows the actors in C-o-n-t-a-c-t through the streets of Paris.

While mass events like large concerts, festivals and spectator sports are still out of the question, seeing a live theater performance is possible even though theaters themselves are still closed. To see director Samuel Sené‘s socially distanced play called C-o-n-t-a-c-t, spectators reserve online and download a smartphone app. The 15 audience members for each performance show up with their own headphones at a specified place in Paris and follow two actors through the streets, listening to their thoughts and dialogue through the headphones. 

Live music will also be a reality on Sunday, June 21, for the annual Fête de la Musique, when anyone is allowed to make as much (musical) noise as they want in the streets of Paris. This year, of course, the major concerts have been canceled, but music-making will be allowed, as long as social distancing rules are followed. Try as I might, I have not found any detailed info on what will be happening live (for streamed events, including a concert by Jean-Michel Jarre and a tribute to Boris Vian, click here), but I do know that the rock band led by the dynamic chanteuse and cellist Automne will be playing at a great bar in Menilmontan, Lou Pascalou, from 5pm to 7pm, and will be followed by Said Mesnaoui & Trance Gnawa. Otherwise, you’ll just have to take your chances as you wander the streets in search of musical stimulation.

That very night, one minute after midnight, on June 22, the cinema Les 5 Caumartin will be the first to throw open its doors to those who can’t wait any longer, to show the film Les Parfums, in the presence of director Grégory Magne and actor Grégory Montel (known for his role in the great TV series 10 Pour Cent/Call My Agent), at a special price of €4.90.

In case you missed previous weeks’ “Francophiles’ Guide to Quarantine” (French brain teasers, free films, audiobooks, art, music, comedy, SOS Help hotline, and more) read them here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. This is the third installment of Francophiles’ Guide to Après-Quarantine.” The last two can be found here and here.

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