A dive into French Underground through its bookshops and by extension, what is spread there.
Since1972, several generations of seekers have spent time in the Parallèles bookshop. It took root in May 68 and has sowed good seeds, which are still being reaped today.
It’s the narrative arc of a French counter-culture epic, from the late 50’s « prehistory » with the first committed bookshops up to new booksellers who inherited this libertarian state of mind.
A tribute to insider’s places, haunted by leading characters, whose singularity is embodied through its free press, its publications, its fanzines and tapes.
Or, how to lead a Parallel(es) life and to relay thoughts and an aesthetic beyond the mainstream?
There are a few books, but no film about what was called parallel press in the 70s, even less about Parallèles booshop. Nevertheless, in about half a decade, Parallèles bookshop became a symbol of French underground, an antidote to a gentrified and museum-alike Paris. Making that film is a political act, etymologically speaking it’s about the City’s matters, a mini-world where micro societies keep on mixing, differently, discreetly, surely, actively.
France is not only the land of gastronomy and fashion, it is also the country of a critical thought, still in movement. Parallel to the yéyés, we have had a large pan of underground music –which partly embodies the documentary’s soundtrack. Parallel to the innovative Anglo-Saxon Free Press and mainstream press, we have had a parallel press whose Actuel is the most famous side, but have you ever opened a Parapluie (umbrella)?
A Parallel(es) Life is here to help you time-travelling in an invigorating way, to the70’s ‘till now. To reproduce a French map, filled with alternative places, first Punk fiefdoms, trailblazers US comics’ publishers.
Those places are a different and unseen way of living in the city, creating bridges between people and places. A way of making the space more dynamic – even, more dynamite.
A documentary in tribute to all those purveyors, above all, the booksellers, true alternatives to formatting.
Whoever says “mentor”, says filiation. It exists within movements: punk being in some way the heirs of situationism, the anti-imperialist approach of the young Quilombo joining the anti-colonialism of François Maspero’s historic bookseller, La Joie de Lire, the hippies being the precursors of the current ecological movement…
This film is for all those who wish to get off the beaten track, for the curious, the strollers, all those who wish to lead A Parallel(les) Life in which Time is dilated, curiosity a concrete fact and profitability, an abstract notion.
Telling this parallel history and stories, sums up ‘round 70 years of French counter-culture. Those bookstores are shelters against the race for efficiency, dens where the stroller is supplied with ideas and discussions.parallel circuits