Spiritual Sister Cities


Many cities have been compared to Paris – Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Beirut, Lebanon- are the first that come to mind. Do you think that Paris is a spiritual city and if so, does it have spiritual sister cities?
As of yet, no one has had any comments about Paris being a ‘spiritual’ city. Maybe it isn’t – at all. But then – there was the Cinematheque.

The Cinematheque Francaise in the seventies was the heart and soul of French cinema and its core was Henri Langlois and his partner Mary Meerson. Maybe spiritual isn’t the right word at all, but there was something magical about the aura of the Cinematheque housed in a corner of the Palais du Chaillot.
Those who are lovers of film, those who could live and breathe nitrate will know that the Cinematheque was born from a passion for film, for collecting film and sharing film with an audience.
Since the seventies, much has changed. Henri Langlois died in 1977. Go to the Montparnasse cemetery to see his monument on a corner row not far from the main entrance. All his favorite films and film stars create a massive collage tribute in the shape of the Palais du Chaillot. Henri Langlois was bigger than life. His partner, Mary Meerson’s ashes, sit beside him and every now and then, someone leaves a telephone on the grave. Those who knew Henri and Mary will remember them on the phone, especially Mary who usually had four or five on her desk. Whenever someone leaves a telephone on the grave, it usually disappears.

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