Emilie Bickerton is the author of 'A Short History of Cahiers du Cinema' (Verso) and the screenwriter of the film 'Amnesia', which was released in 2015

The fearless gaze of Agnès Varda

An exhibition at the Cinémathèque française doesn’t shy away from the film-maker’s political side

2 Jan 2024

Sophie Calle takes on Picasso in Paris

In the year’s most unusual tribute to the modernist master, the artist is taking over the museum dedicated to him and filling it with her personal belongings

2 Oct 2023

The case for and against Werner Herzog

The Eye Filmmuseum highlights the madness of the director’s methods and how beautiful the finished films are – and leaves us to make up our own minds about it all

18 Aug 2023

The French culture minister who fell out of love with the arts

In her score-settling memoir, Roselyn Bachelot calls out ungrateful artists and time-serving bureaucrats

20 Jan 2023
Gene Hackman in The Conversation

Surveillance tactics – the art of spying on screen

The Cinémathèque française’s unsettling show about film-making and espionage reveals how much the two activities have in common

28 Nov 2022
Annette Messager photographed in her studio in Paris in August 2022.

States of play – an interview with Annette Messager

The artist’s wry installations include everything from cuddly toys to supersized versions of everyday objects. But her art is much tougher than it looks

24 Aug 2022
Secretary at West German Radio, Cologne (detail; 1931), August Sander.

How August Sander faced up to modern times

By turning social types into individuals, the photographer influenced many of his contemporaries and shaped how we see the 20th-century

10 Aug 2022
Still from ‘Voyage to the Moon’ (1902) by Georges Méliès: the astronomers’ vessel lands on the moon.

The magical films of Georges Méliès make him a name to conjure with

The film-maker deserves pride of place in any history of early cinema – as the Cinèmathèque française’s new display confirms

16 Oct 2021
Maggie Cheng in never-before-seen-footage from Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘In the Mood for Love’ (2000).

Wong Kar-Wai gets nostalgic

The director’s sale of unseen footage from ‘In the Mood for Love’ reminds us that the Hong Kong of his films is fast disappearing

21 Sep 2021
Henri Cernuschi photographed in 1876 by Count Stanislaw Julian Ostrorog (‘Walery’).

The failed Italian revolutionary who dedicated himself to Asian art

After his failure in politics, Henri Cernuschi succeeded in finance – and left an outstanding collection of Asian art to his adoptive city of Paris

4 Sep 2021
Magic roundabout: the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Tourist for a day – why Parisians really ought to climb the Arc de Triomphe

Most Parisians treat the Arc de Triomphe as a glorified roundabout – but by climbing it they’d see the city in a new light

27 Jul 2021
Church of Saint-Médard, 5th arrondissement (detail; 1900–01), Eugène Atget. Musée Carnavalet – Historie de Paris.

In lockdown Paris, the photographs of Eugène Atget suddenly feel eerily familiar

Walking around the city can feel like following in the footsteps of the famous photographer – but today’s empty streets are altogether more depressing

29 Mar 2021
Installation view of ‘The Ecstatic Eye: Sergei Eisenstein, a filmmaker at the crossroads of the arts’ at the Pompidou-Metz in September 2019.

At the movies, in the museum

What does it mean to make cinema – and film directors in particular – the subject of museum exhibitions?

11 Jul 2020
The inhabited Pont de Rohan (built 1510) in Landerneau, Brittany.

‘The arrival of a large cultural centre in Landerneau was a real coup’

The presence of the Fonds Hélène & Édouard Leclerc has raised the cultural profile of the small town in Brittany

24 Feb 2020
Jean Dubuffet in front of a sculpture by Émile Ratier at the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, in February 1976. Photo: Jean-Jacques Laesar; Archives de la Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne

How Jean Dubuffet brought outsider artists into the museum

The French artist is still the guiding spirit of the Collection de l’Art Brut, the museum he founded in Lausanne

21 Sep 2019
The Crocodile Room in the Africa Museum, Tervuren.

How the Africa Museum is facing up to Belgium’s colonial past

The museum founded by Leopold II has reopened after a five-year closure and rethought all its displays. Has it gone far enough?

2 Mar 2019
Sign indicating where the Venus de Milo was discovered in 1820; photo: Wikimedia Commons

In search of the Venus de Milo – on Milos and in Paris

The statue has been in Paris for nearly two centuries, but does it belong back on the island of Milos?

28 Aug 2018
Christian Boltanski in his studio in Paris in March 2018, photo: © Elizabeth Young

Christian Boltanski expands his repertoire

The French artist explains why organising a retrospective is like rustling up a meal

1 May 2018
Vivian Maier (1926–2009) often photographed her reflection in mirrors or windows, © 2018 The Estate of Vivian Maier

The double lives of outsider artists

Vivian Maier took thousands of photographs, but showed them to no one. Why are some artists so determined to keep their work secret?

8 Jan 2018
Andre Malraux holding a Khmer sculpture, Photo: © Bettmann/Getty Images

The many lives of André Malraux

Collector, dealer, novelist, art historian, culture minister, conservationist – André Malraux’s influence still looms large

26 Aug 2017

Has the French culture ministry lost its way?

The French state has always prided itself on its special relationship with culture. But its recent history has been a troubled one

27 Jun 2016