Science Fiction in Paris

This weekend we used up the last two days on our Eurail pass for a trip to Paris. We arrived via TGV late Friday night with plans to spend our entire Saturday at the Cité des Sciences de L’industrie.

And that’s just what we did.

Located along the Paris Périphérique in the 19th arrisdonisment, it is a must if you visit Paris with kids. We were there from the time it opened until almost closing (10-6). We didn’t see it all.

Of particular interest to me was the Science and Fiction exhibit which “reveals the rich dialogue between the sciences and science fiction and how they influence each other.”

Translation: It was really cool. Of course you know I’m a big fan of sci-fi and this collection of movie props, original storyboards, wardrobes, manuscripts, etc. was thrilling for me. Here we are posing in front of a Battlestar Galactica viper prop.

All of the displays were carefully designed – and on the topic of translation – everything was skillfully translated into English. More than just a collection on display, this exhibit outlined the connections between science (what we know) and science fiction (what we can imagine) and how they have influenced each other through the years.

It was interactive, too.

The kids loved talking to the robot. There were several movie collages running throughout the exhibit, so it took us by surprise when suddenly we found ourselves projected onto the screen.

(I’m the one on the left in case you couldn’t tell).

All of us (Mark especially!) played with the green screen effect for at least fifteen minutes. That’s the other great thing about our visit this weekend; it wasn’t crowded. We had more than enough time for goofing:

Being surrounded by all of this creativity and imagination is inspiring. This is my Louvre. Here is Sagan checking out the original story boards for the first Star Wars.

Okay, enough about the Science Fiction exhibit although I could go on and on. I really must hilight the Cité des Enfants which is located in this same building on the ground level.

It was the best children’s science museum I’ve ever seen.

One of many interesting and interactive exhibits was this world globe. It is literally buzzing with a hundred voices speaking in all different languages, and only when you “tap in” to a certain area on the map can you here the specific language spoken.

They also had a mini butterfly garden and a huge ant farm. Here Sagan sticks her head up through a clear glass shell surrounded by ants.

A lively presentation was presented (in French). Sagan enjoyed (and understood) every bit of it.

The large, chrome sphere located just outside the Cité des Science building is called Cerebro. Just kidding, it is the Géode and movies are shown inside of it. We didn’t see one this time around.

We did, however, see a movie.

Saturday evening we walked to the end of the canal in front of the museum where the new sci-fi flick X-Men: First Class was being shown in English. A VO (version originale) movie.

With VO movies, French subtitles are added along the bottom. This X-Men movie happened to have almost a third of its dialogue in a foreign language. Normally there would be English subtitles for the German, Spanish, Russian and French that was spoken in this movie, but everything that needed translating was done with French subtitles. Well, except for when they spoke French – then we got nothing!

It’s a good excuse to see the movie again once we get back to the States. We must know exactly what platitudes Kevin Bacon was saying in German and Russian.

We spent two nights at the Holiday Inn Paris La Villette. I would recommend it but be sure you print out your reservation including the part where it says “breakfast included” because they are ready to argue with you on that little detail, unfortunately. Didn’t our view even seem kind of sci-fi?


About marlashane

Artist. Explorer. Freethinker. Mother of two children.
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2 Responses to Science Fiction in Paris

  1. anaustin826 says:

    I just love all your reports. It makes me feel confident that I, too, will have these same experiences some day and will be able to use all of your advice first hand. HA! Well, one can dream. It is truly an amazing experience you are having and giving to your kids, and at this point, I’m sure your confidence in travel has just shot straight through the roof. Thanks for all that you are sharing with those of us stuck stateside. (It was 107 here in Austin yesterday, and a hot, hair dryer wind to boot.) Have a chocolate filled eclair for me!

    • marlashane says:

      I can’t wait to see you guys – if you’re not coming here then you should make plans for Wisconsin (Three Lakes has a high of 74 today, btw) and I’ll throw in an eclair.

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