Films by the Louvre

Musée du Louvre


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Detailed description :From palace to museum

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The Louvre City

"The Louvre City is anything but a documentary about the museum—it's a work of science fiction, a musical, a political pamphlet, an action film, a comedy, and plenty more besides! […] The Louvre City […] is a love song, a hymn of gratitude to the French Revolutionaries who opened the King's palace, thereby allowing the public access to artworks that had previously been reserved for a privileged elite. This is the essence of Nicolas Philibert's film, though his approach is strictly materialistic—an account of procedures and practicalities, organization of time and material, the everyday experience of the men and women who make great ideas real."

Jean-Michel Frodon, text published in "Histoire de produire, Les Films d’Ici", for the retrospective devoted to Les Films d’Ici at the Infinity Festival, Alba (Italy) – March / April 2004.

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The Louvre City

Director(s): Nicolas Philibert

Day has yet to dawn. The beam of a torch moves over paintings and sculptures, illuminating details and highlighting expressions... What does the Louvre look like when all its visitors have gone home? For the first time, a camera goes behind the scenes at a major museum to film the hanging of paintings, the reorganization of galleries, the positioning of artworks… Various characters appear, their paths cross and they interact, weaving the threads of a narrative within the vast network of underground passageways and storerooms that the public never sees. Here is a city within the city, with its blend of the banal and the extraordinary, the ridiculous and the sublime, the commonplace and the fantastic. It was almost by chance that Nicolas Philibert came to film the Louvre's reorganization in 1988 when work on the Grand Louvre began, prior to the inauguration of the Pyramid...He ended up staying five months.


Available for sale on the publisher's website.






85 minutes


Serge Lalou, Les Films d’Ici ; Dominique Païni, Musée du Louvre


La Sept/Arte, Antenne 2

Selections / Awards

Europa Prize for the best documentary, 1990; Intermédia Prize, Cinéma du Réel, Paris, 1990

DVD edition

Éditions Montparnasse,

Commercial distribution

Les Films d’Ici

Non-commercial distribution

Heure Exquise

Images de la Culture – CNC

Ministère des Affaires étrangères – Cultures France