GOSCINNY, THE GRAND
La Cinémathèque française is paying tribute to the French comic book writer René Goscinny the author of amongst other works Lucky Luke and Asterix, in an exhibition entitled Goscinny and the Cinema, Asterix, Lucky Luke and Company. The show, being held 40 years after his death, demonstrates the influence cinema had on his work as well as taking a look into the movies that he made himself.
The show underscores how the cinema and its most mainstream genres like westerns, peplums and burlesque, were parodied and magnified by a creator who drew inspiration from his immense knowledge of cinema. Before launching into filmmaking in his own right when he created the Studios Idéfix in 1974, Goscinny was the gagman for Bourvil, the scriptwriter for television dramas for Jean Rochefort and the screenwriter for his friend Pierre Tchernia for cult films like Le Viager and The Holes. With his own films produced at the Studios Idéfix like The Twelve Tasks of Asterix and Lucky Luke, he contributed greatly to the inception of the French school of animated cinema.
“I left for the United States with the hope of working for Walt Disney, but Walt Disney didn’t know it,” Goscinny once said,” I admire Walt Disney, it was his creations that inspired me to do what I do.” It was in Buenos Aires where the Paris-born Goscinny grew up that he discovered classics of American cinema like Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton.
The exhibition also shows how the characters of Goscinny and his fellow creators, among them Uderzo and Sempé continued their career on the silver screen through other producers and filmmakers turning characters like Asterix and Obelisk, Lucky Luke, Petit Nicolas and Iznogoud into international stars. Goscinny was nicknamed Walt Goscinny by his friend Gotlib and today one of the avenues that leads up to Disneyland Paris is named avenue René Goscinny. The exhibition is made up of five sections and takes the visitor on a journey into the artist’s life and works.
La Cinémathèque française is home to one of the finest collections and archives in the world devoted to film. It was back in 1936 that Henri Langlois, a French film archivist, cinephile and a pioneer in film preservation, created La Cinémathèque française to save from destruction films, projection machines, costumes, posters and other cinematic treasures. He would be given an Honorary Oscar in 1974, “for his untiring devotion to the art of film, for his massive contributions towards preserving its historical past and for his unswerving faith in its future.” Exhibition from October 4th through to March 4th 51 rue de Bercy (12th), 01 71 19 33 33 www.cinematheque.fr
The Twelve Tasks of Asterix by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, 1976. René Goscinny and John Wayne in the offices of the comics magazine Pilote, published in the 58th issue of Pilote on December 1st, 1960. Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny at the soirée for the premiere of Astérix the Gaulois at Maxim’s on November 15th, 1967