Films de Mars

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The Champ de Mars is one of Montreal’s most storied places. It derives its name from the French colonial era, when it was a military parade ground, but in the eighteenth century it was the site of the city’s northern wall. After the wall was torn down in the early nineteenth century, the Champ was used as a farmer’s market. Eventually, in the twentieth century, it was converted into a municipal parking lot.

While the field was restored and converted into a public park in the 1980s, it still maintains the essence of the parking lot it once was. Despite its stunning view of the downtown skyline and its location next to City Hall and the tourist hub of Place Jacques Cartier, the Champ de Mars feels like it isn’t quite living up to its potential. Something needs to be done to make it relevant, once again, to Montrealers.

Just a couple of ideas ago, I was walking through the Champ with my friend Sam, and he proposed a great idea: why not project movies on the blank concrete wall of the Palais de Justice? Free film projections are already a big hit at Place des Arts during the World Film Festival, and thanks to Montreal’s liberalism, we wouldn’t be stuck with a bunch of family-friendly schlock. It would be a great way to bring people together while highlighting one of the city’s historically significant public spaces as well as some of its best views and architecture.

They could even be war films. How appropriate.

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Thursday May 08 2008at 11:05 pm , filed under Canada, Film, Public Space, Society and Culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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