- The Race 2010
- All about the race
The International Women’s Film Festival saw the light of day in 1979 at a time when women’s directors were struggling to make movies. The idea of the festival was to support them in their projects from the shooting to the release in cinemas. While women directors were only 2 pc in Europe at the time, the figure rose to 12 pc in 2008. The festival founders, Jackie Buet and Elisabeth Trehard were among the first to anticipate such a breakthrough. In the ten days of the festival, some 150 films are shown at the Maison des Arts from noon to midnight every day. Some 50 new films take parting the official competition, including ten fiction films, ten documentaries and 30 short films.
Each edition displays the self-portrait of an actress through ten films she chose in her career: Charlotte Rampling, Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, Irene Papas, Jane Birkin, Agnes Varda, Catherine Breillat, Nathalie Baye, Margarethe von Trotta, Dominique Blanc, Maria Schneider, Carole Bouquet, Monica Vitti were among those invited to play the part.
The festival also lets the public express themselves in forums organised around the main themes of each edition and bringing together professionals and fans. A workshop held before the festival also helps women direct their fist videos, which are shown during the festival.
Outside the dates of the festival, a database on women’s cinema called Iris is available for searchers and students.
In the 2009 movie Tellement proches, Creteil’s cauliflowers stole the show from actors Vincent Elbas and Isabelle Carre. It must be said that the ten round towers cannot go unnoticed and became, 40 years after their construction, a symbol of Creteil.
Les Choux de Creteil (Creteil cauliflowers), also called corn ears, are huge architectural complex built by Gerard Grandval between 1969 and 1974. They were labelled by the French culture ministry as part of the 20th century architectural heritage.The ten towers look like cauliflowers because of the balconies, and the area is now known as Les Choux. The original idea was for the balconies to be filled with flowers and plants in order for the seasons to change the outside perspective.
“At the time, everything looked the same. In Creteil, there was a wish to break with the non-descript aspect of most buildings. I had the idea of big balconies which, in my mind, should be protected from outside viewers. Hence the idea of their petal shapes,” architect Gerard Grandval said.
But his idea of suspended gardens never really took place.
Subject of criticism at first, the Cauliflowers now belong to the region’s skyline.
The Tour de France came to Creteil three times and the most remarkable day was in 1983 when Dutchman Frits Pirard won the stage starting from Nogent-sur-Marne. Three weeks later, the name of Creteil was still honoured with the final victory by Laurent Fignon, who rode for the local cycling club. US Creteil was also home to Greg LeMond and such prestigious track riders as Olympic champions Morelon, Trentin, Colas, Dagorne or current sprint world champion Gregory Bauge.
|5th century||A church exists in a locality known by the Merovingians Vicus Cristolium.|
|12th||Construction of St Christopher church.|
|1406||Creteil becomes the common name of the town (after Cristoill (1278), Cristeuil, Cresteul and Creteuil).|
|1418||The village is destroyed in the Hundre Years War.|
|1471||Opening of the Creteil Hotel Dieu (hospital).|
|1548||Jean de Bellay, bishop of Paris, becomes lord of Creteil.|
|1602||Henri IV stops in Creteil and eats in a local inn.|
|1646||Exploitation of the stone quarries.|
|1791||Voltaire’s ashes stop in Creteil.|
|1841||Inauguration of a bridge on the Marne linking Creteil and Saint-Maur-des-Fossés.|
|1968||Créteil become the prefecture of the Val-de-Marne department.|
|1972||The Paris XII university opens.|
The crypt dates from the 8th century and the fortified bell tower from the 11 th. The rest of the building is more recent and mixes Romanesque and Gothic styles. The crypt houses relics from St Ahoard and St Agilbert in its northern part.
Discovered in the early 20th century, it is a two-ton block of sandstone used at the time to sharpen stones. Its dates from 5000 BC.
Val de Marne, with its 47 communes, is one of the smallest departments in France. It is dubbed the water department, namely because it is located at the junction of rivers Seine and Marne. The department saw the light of day in 1964 when it was decided to create new departments around Paris. In the Val de Marne department were included towns from the former Seine department and from the defunct department od Seine-et-Oise.
With 1.3 million inhabitants, it is the least populated department in the Parisian region. It is also a young department with 30 pc inhabitants aged under 25. The economy, centered around the Orly airport, relies increasingly on services.
Households settled from the 10th century on a land belonging to the St Maur Abbey. The life of the population was centred around the proximity of Creteil and the importance of the Charenton bridge. In 1885, Maisons-Alfort lost a portion of its population with the creation of Alfortville.
Among the celebrities linked to Maisons-Alfort are basketball player Tariq Abdul Wahad and judo wrestler David Douillet, who fought for the local club.
The veterinary school
The Maisons-Alfort veterinary school was created in 1765, four years after a similar establishment in Lyon. It is the oldest veterinary school in the world still on its original premises. The school was founded upon request from lawyer Charles Bourgelat, in charge of the Lyon Equestrian Academy, who asked King Louis XV to open a second veterinary school near Paris. First installed in Paris proper, in the La Chapelle area, the school soon proved too small. The lands of the Alfort castle were more appropriate and Bourgelat imposed a strict discipline on his pupils.
Today, the school employs some 1,000 persons, students, researchers, teachers and clerks.
The Fort of Charenton
Once hosted military units and later became the headquarters of the Gendamerie training schools until 2000. Built between 1841 and 1845, it now houses several Gendarmerie services.
Founded in 1885 following a split from Maisons-Alfort, Alfortville is a residential town on the outskirts of Paris, which grew with the capital. It his notably home to an important Armenian community.
Alfortville holed the start of a Tour de France fstage in 1983.
Alfortville shelters the Chinagora tourist centre, built in 1992 at the junction of the Seine and Marne rivers. It used to host a hotel, a restaurant and a commercial mall but only the hotel remains today after the rest f the facilities closed down in 2008. Chirnagroa is the starting point of cruises on the Seine towards Ile aux Cygnes. In the summer, shuttles also link it to the Pont Marie bridge.
Vitry-sur Seine is the biggest town in Val de Marne and is an important residential and industrial area. Its 12th century St Germain church was built by the same architect as Notre-Dame de Paris. Vitry also pioneers modern art with 100 works scattered around town and the brand new Mac/Val, the department’s museum of contemporary art. Among the celebrities linked to Vitry feature football players Jimmy Briand and Jeremy Menez.
St Germain church
Its construction started in the 12th century and was completed by the 14th at the same time as Paris Notre-Dame. Similarities between the two building lead to the belief that the same architects and workers worked on both buildings. St Germain is a fine example of Romanesque and early Gothic styles. A triple nave, prolonged by a chancel and luminous chapels underline the purity and sobriety of the Gothic style. The church was recently restored and recovers its three bells, 12 gargoyles and the golden rooster at the top of the spire.
Ivry was mentioned for the first time in a 937 charter of King Louis IV. The property of Notre-Dame since the 9th century, the land of Ivry passed under several religious and secular rulers who gradually took over the monks belongings. In the 17th century, a single lord ruled over the whole territory. The St Pierre-St Paul church was built in the 12th century.
The 19th century turned the city from a rural area into an industrial district. The Seine, the Paris-Basel road and the railway boosted the implantation of several factories. A glassworks settled near the railway station and was soon followed by tileries, distilleries and breweries, rubber factories and warehouses. The population grew considerably, rising from 1,041 in 1806 to 13,239 fifty years later. From WWI, the town became a communist stronghold and the circonscription of communist leader Maurice Thorez. One of his closest aides, Georges Marrane was the town mayor until 1965.
The town architecture evolved in this period with a renovation plan led by architects Renee Gailhoustet and Jean Renaudie.
Sportswise, Ivry is known for its handball team.
The Villejuif parish was probably funded at the end of the Carolingian era in the 9th century. The lands belonged at the time to religious congregations, whose serfs ploughed the land for their profit. The population grew in the 13th century and a church was built on the current site of the St Cyr-Ste Julitte church, but it was destroyed during the Hundred Years War. The St Nicolas du Chardonnet seminar installed a rest house in what is now the Town Hall. In the 19th century, the exploitation of plaster became the town’s central industry. The growing urbanisation went along with the increasing influence of the French communist party , which ruled the city from 1925.
Until the 18th century, the history of Kremlin-Bicetre coincided with that of the domain which became its castle and finally the Bicetre hospital. It was probably for long the only building in the area. From the 17th century, the hospital was used as an orphanage, an hospital, a state prison and a madhouse. The living conditions were horrendous. The fate of the detainees improved in the 18th century thanks to the action of Philippe Pinel and Jean-Baptiste Pussin. The Revolution allowed the release of all the detainees held without trial. In the early 19th century, an inn called the Kremlin gave its name to the locality which developed around the hospital.
Joinville was originally linked to the Abbey of St Maur, whose abbot Odon de Sully built a bridge on the Marne known as Pont Olin. Inns developed to host travellers and boatmen. The St Leonard chapel was built for the boatmen and the town became known as Branche du Pont de St Maur. It became a commune under this name. In 1830, King Louis-Philippe accepted that the town be renamed Joinville in the honour of his third son Francois of Orleans, prince of Joinville. The town has been known since the 19th century for its “guinguettes” (dancehalls) on the banks of the river Marne. The Parisians used to come to Joinville to lunch and dance by the railway line now turned in the A line of the RER.
Under Clovis II, an abbey was built in 639 on the land and named St Pierre du Fossé (St Peter of the ditch) because of its location on a slope leading to the Marne river. In 868, the abbey received the relics of St Maur and miracles started to take place, attracting pilgrims from the whole of Europe. The site was renowned to cure epilepsy and gout.
In the 16th century, cardinal Jean du Bellay built a castle overlooking the abbey. The castle later belonged to Charlotte-Catherine of La Tremouille, who married the Prince of Conde, then to Catherine of Medici. It was destroyed during the Revolution. The abbey was dismantled at the same time and only parts of it like the Rabelais tower remain.
In the 1870 war, the almost entire population was transferred to the 12th arrondissement of Paris to be saved from massacres by the Prussian army.
La place des marronniers (Chestnut-tree Square)
It is the second largest square in the Paris area after Place de la Concorde. The Notre-Dame du Rosaire church is built on it.
A Gallo-Roman named Campinus might have given his name to the town while the word champagne is usually applied to chalky soils covered with vine. Champigny was under the influence of the St Maur Abbey until the mid-18th century. The vine was for long the town’s main resource and the local wine, known as piccolo, was a Parisian favourite. Yet the taxes were so high to sell the wine in the capital that inns developed locally and became known as “guinguettes”. They soon became very popular among the locals and Parisians alike, who came by train in the 19th century to lunch, fish, boat and dance.
The Pigs Fair, still held in November, was conceded in 1563 by King Charles IX.
In 1870, Champigny was the site of a bloody battle against the Prussians. Paris growth in the 20th century turned Champigny into a residential city.
The name Bry came from a Celtic word meaning bridge.
First mention of the city was made in 861 in a charter of King Charles the Bald.
Between 1694 and 1696, Nicolas de Fremont, marquis of Auneuil built the Bry castle, still visible today. The building was restored by Francois Franque in 1759 for finance controller Etienne de Silhouette. The 1870 war led to another reconstruction which altered the castle’s original appearance. In 1802, Prince Talleyrand rented the castle and lived in it for seven years.
The 20th century transformed the city. The castle’s park and the gardens became new quarters. The arrival of the railway and the construction of the St Camille hospital brought a new population while industries and shops furthered the town’s development.
A pioneer of photography, Louis Daguerre settled in Bry-sur-Marne in 1839 and became a town counsellor. He is buried in the town cemetery. In 1842, he painted for free in the local church a huge “diorama”, a trompe-l’oeil painting picturing the nave of a cathedral. The work is Daguerre’s only remaining diorama in the world. Recent studies showed it was in an urgent need of restoration.
Le Perreux was originally an independent fief of the St Maur Abbey, mentioned for the first time in 1284. A manor was built on the site in the 13th century and it belonged to several nobles, Paris merchants and members of Parliament. In 1760, Robert Millin, the King’s secretary, bought the domain. His son Jerome-Robert was guillotined in 1794 while his own son Alexandre was fighting for the Revolutionary armies. Alexandre was handed the castle back but sold it. The land was then split between several owners and disappeared to be replaced by houses as Le Perreux developed into a Parisian suburb.
The first mention of Fontenay dates back to 847. It belonged at the time to Notre-Dame de Paris. In the Middle-Ages, the land of Fontenay belonged for the most part to Paris most renowned abbey, St Victor. Vine growing was then the main activity.
In 1767, Jacques Maquer became lord of Fontenay when he bought the abbey lands and the other castles on the territory. At one end of Fontenay, close to Montreuil and Vincennes, a leprosarium existed for lepers from the area.
Throughout history, the wood of the Parc de Vincennes posed the town a serious problem of accessibility and Fontenay had to wait until 1961 to be allowed to enlarge the main road leading into the city.
Now a modern, active city, Fontenay was home to several celebrities, among them three-times Tour de France winner Louison Bobet, who lived in town. A street is named after him.
A royal residence from Philip Augustus to Louis XIV, the Vincennes castle progressively added elements to reach its actual size and appearance. The medieval buildings, especially the keep and the great wall are the only royal residence left from the Middle Ages in France.
In 1162, Louis VII enclosed a portion of the woods and built a hunting lodge.
In the 13th century, Philip Augustus and St Louis turned it into a manor; After the death of St Louis at the crusades, Vincennes became the main residence of the Kings of France. From 1270 to 1350, Philip III and Philip III were married in the castle while Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV, dubbed the “Accursed Kings”, died in it.
Near the end of the Hundred Years War, Vincennes was in favour again and Louis XI, Francis I and Henry II stayed in the castle. After the death of King Louis XIV in 1714, Vincennes was no longer used as a royal residence. Versailles or Loire castles like Chambord or Chenonceaux became the favourite lodgings of the successive sovereigns.
In the 18th century faience and porcelain factories settled inside the castle.
With the construction of the Fort Neuf in 1841, Vincennes became a military town.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Vincennes grew to reach 50,000 inhabitants in the mid-1950s. The castle and the wood remain the main assets of the city but wonderful Art Deco houses in the centre also make Vincennes one of the most pleasant towns on the Eastern outskirts of Paris.
Vincennes has a major cycling history as the home of La Cipale, officially known as the Jacques Anquetil Velodrome, the cycling track on which he Tour de France finished between 1967 and 1974. The Vincennes wood also hosts the French National Institute of Sports and Physical Education (INSEP) in which were trained several famous cyclists.
St Maudez was a Breton-born abbot from the 6th century. His relics were brought to the future site of St Mande in the 10th century and a chapel was built in his honour.
In 1654, Fouquet, King Louis XIV finances superintendent, bought the property of Catherine of Beauvais, the chambermaid of Queen Anne of Austria, who also initiated the young king to the art of love. The luxury house was an inspiration to Fouquet’s future castle in Vaux-le-Vicomte. All the great names of the time, sovereigns and artists, were invited in it: Cardinal Mazarin, the Duke of Orleans, Henriette of France, Henrietta of England, Louis XIV, La Fontaine, Madame de Sevigne, Corneille or Moliere. When Fouquet was arrested by Colbert in 1661, the domain was plundered and sold in 1705 to a religious community. St Mande is now a peaceful and cosy Parisian suburb.
National Geographic Institute
The National Geographic Institute (IGN) owns one of the most important cartographic database in France and a collection of more than 3.5 millions aerial photographs taken from 1921 to the present day.
The government and local authorities are joining forces to achieve the Grand Paris project, bidding to turn Paris into a more human city but also a more global one, like London or New York. Often seen by Parisians themselves as a mere plan to improve the transports network, the Grand Paris project reaches much further. With a sixth of France’s population and a third of the national revenue, the Paris region can no longer be content with a national role and must strengthen its international attractiveness. Around the river Seine, the urbanisation will be completely reconsidered to build a lasting and pleasant city. Grand Paris will develop around poles and will not be as centralised as it is today. Depressed or isolated areas are a key concern and suburbs will be integrated to a Parisian project as a whole the way the old faubourgs became an integral part of the town in the 19th century.
As from 2011, the ministry of Town will create a Grand Paris label to help the general public identify what is being done. Architectural programmes are already underway like a new City of Justice in the 17th arrondissement.
Paris is called the City if light because it was the first to use lamp-posts in the streets of the city. They were introduced in the 17th century by Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie, the first lieutenant of police of Paris. La Reynie’s motivation was not to bring more comfort to his fellow-Parisians but to curb criminality. He had been named as a result of an edict by Louis XIV Prime minister Colbert reorganising the police: “The police consists in securing the rest of the public and the individual and to protect the city against trouble makers”, the edict read. La Reynie, who stayed in office for 30 years between 1667 and 1697, was a firm-handed man. His methods turned Paris into the cleanest city in Europe at the time and the decisions were financed by a tax known as the “mud and lanterns tax”. Among his other innovations were the first traffic and parking regulations, the paving of streets and water supply. In 1892, a street of the 4th arrondissement was named after La Reynie.
France’s capital city and a legendary stage on the Tour de France, Paris is also the world capital of cycling, as it is within the confines of this city or within immediate proximity to it that the sport of cycling was developed and moulded to boast its present day splendour. Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, Paris-Bourges, Paris-Brussels, Bordeaux-Paris, Paris-Brest-Paris, Paris-Marseilles, les Six jours de Paris, such is the wealth of illustrious cycling races, existing or extinct, that have been launched from or finished in the City of Light.
It is moreover within the urban area of Paris, in the Saint-Cloud Park, that the first road cycling race was officially recorded in 1868, won by the English rider James Moore. Six months later, the first inter-city race took our pioneer riders from Paris to Rouen. It was once again an English rider, G.P. Mills, who won the race.
Originally, races were largely confined to tracks in specially-constructed ve¬lodromes that flourished in and around Paris: the Buffalo in Neuilly; the Parc des Princes, where a certain Henri Desgrange set the world’s first one hour cycling record in 1893; the Cipale at Vincennes, the only cycling track that still exists today in the capital…
It was even in Paris, opposite the head offices of “L’Auto” sports newspaper, at number 10 rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, that the International Cycling Union (UCI) was created, by the very same two people who were to dream up the Tour de France two years later.
Henri Desgrange, editor of “L’Auto”, and Victor Goddet, the magazine’s treasu¬rer, already directed events at the Parc des Princes. They were soon to manage the Winter Velodrome. But in 1902, sales of “L’Auto” were scraping along and suffered from fierce competition with rival publications the “ Petit Journal ” and “ Vélo ” edited by Pierre Giffard. The idea of the Tour was concocted in a brasserie called the Zimmer, “Place du Châtelet” (Chatelet Square) in Paris, where the two managers had invited Géo Lefèvre, the magazine’s chief cycling reporter, to join them. It was Lefè¬vre who casually suggested the idea. For this threesome, soon to loop around the entire country of France, and eager to see the cyclists so fêted by the press, converting Paris to their cause was not an easy task.
Indeed, it was from Montgeron that the first Tour was to be launched in 1903, and in the town of Avray that the finish was staged. In fact, the Prefect (of Police) Lépine had banned cycling races in the capital: the originator of the competition for inventors that was to be named after him was a friend of Pierre Giffard, who could not tolerate the idea that a great race be launched from in front of the head office of a rival newspaper.
In reality, Louis Lépine was far from being opposed to cycling: he created police bike squads and developed the “Tiger Brigades” that were to become so popular on television. He invented the driving licence and city speed limits too (12 km/h in 1896!), but also banned women from cycling in Paris, which was considered most unladylike. To this day there exists an underground velodrome, in a furniture shop near to the Opéra district of Paris, where these ladies were able to cycle to their heart’s content, far from prying eyes…
|Around 300 AD||Lutetia was renamed Paris.|
|451||Attila and the Huns approached Paris. Saint Geneviève (around 422 - 502) organised the city’s defences. Attila avoided Paris.|
|486||Saint Genevieve refused to allow Clovis to take Paris unless he converted to Christianity. Clovis converted to Christianity in 496. France became “the church’s eldest daughter”.|
|508||Clovis chose Paris as his capital.|
|1345||The construction of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was completed after 182 years of building work.|
|1370||The foundation stone for the Bastille was laid.|
|1572||Saint-Bartholomew’s day Massacre: 2,000 died.|
|1594||Henri IV entered Paris.|
|1634||Founding of the Académie Française.|
|1658||The biggest flooding of the River Seine with a record 8.96 m registered on the Austerlitz scale.|
|1708-1709||A bitterly cold winter. Record temperature of –26 degrees in Paris.|
|1789||Storming of the Bastille on the 14th of July.|
|1804||Napoleon was crowned Emperor at Notre-Dame.|
|1836||Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe.|
|1837||Opening of the first French passenger railway line from Paris to Saint-Germain-en-Laye.|
|26 mars au 22 mai 1871||The Paris Commune.|
|1889||The Eiffel Tower was erected.|
Initially called the 300-Me¬tre Tower, this puddle iron tower was built by Gustave Eiffel and his engineers for the 1889 Universal Exhi¬bition. The Eiffel Tower is the most familiar landmark in Paris and is recognised world-wide as the symbol of France. It is the ninth most visited monument in France, and the most visited fee-paying monument in the world, with 6,893 million visitors in 2007.
Is considered to be the most beautiful avenue in Paris and the most beautiful avenue in the world by Parisians. The name is French for “Elysian Fields”, the place of the blessed in Greek mythology.
For the last stage, the peleton ride across the central part of the Paris Basin along a south-east by north-west line. They ride over limestone, sand and clay, which form the geological underground of the region. Limestone was exploited in underground quarries to extract the building stones for Parisian monuments. Part of the gallery network was preserved and is now known as catacombs.
On the surface, natural erosion shaped the landscape, digging the terrain to form hills like the Chaillot hill, the Buttes Chaumont or Montmartre, the highest point in the capital at 130 metres high. The peloton will only climb the Champs-Elysees, a limestone mound on which rests the Arc de Triomphe.