POTEMKINE is a simple story, an adventure driven by desire, conviction, the pleasure of bringing pleasure, and a touch of folly.
It all started in January 2006 with a DVD store, which opened in Rue Beaurepaire, Paris, near the Canal Saint-Martin. The following year, this was followed by a select video publishing label. A third activity was launched in 2012 with theatrical distribution. Today, the label is divided into two structures:
POTEMKINE FILMS (video publishing, theatrical distribution) - Paris 12th arrondissement
Faced with the difficulties of screening films theatrically due to concentration in the movie theater sector in Paris, the lack of availability of certain masterpieces on DVD, and a burning desire to bring forgotten gems to a fresh audience, we decided to launch our video publishing arm in 2007. We embarked on the adventure with a single objective: To offer top-notch editions of films that fire the imagination. In 2008, POTEMKINE joined forces with agnès b. DVD (via the designer's movie production banner, Love Streams agnès b. Productions). Since then, the two companies have published their titles jointly. Our editorial line is simple: Find movies we love; enhance them with explanations, analysis, and short films; package them with care; then share them with audiences. Our first release, "Come and See", an outstandingly fiery Russian film directed in 1985 by Elem Klimov, can be seen as the cornerstone of our catalog. Its directing and cinematography reflect a searingly uncompromising approach to cinema. Our catalog is very eclectic. We do not limit ourselves to any particular genre or period, and we want to have our say on the overall history of cinema. That means you can find some highly esthetic films, such as "Mother and Son" by Sokurov and the complete works of Tarkovsky; a documentary collection which brings together films with varied and stimulating approaches; virtuoso animations by Barry Purves and Masaaki Yuasa ("Mind Game"); French classics by Rozier and Rohmer; music films like "The Harder They Come" and "Orfeu Negro"; visionary silent movies such as "Haxan" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Jean Epstein; along with unclassifiable and little-known gems like the films of Alan Clarke or Gleb Panfilov, plus the best of contemporary cinema with works such as "Melancholia" by Lars von Trier and "Holy Motors" by Leos Carax. We have a very inclusive attitude to cinema! Since 2012, we have been defending the future generation of cineastes through theatrical distribution. This is an opportunity to extend and enhance the job of publishing by putting the spotlight on singular careers through specific and extensive efforts.
POTEMKINE (Paris store and online sales) - Paris 10th arrondissement
When it first appeared, the DVD was seen as revolutionary, heralding an upheaval in our relationship with cinema. This revolution did indeed take place, but more on the level of technological fascination, driven as much by commercial over-exploitation (a deluge of bonuses for films which didn't deserve as much, the release of "collector" versions, followed by "definitive", then "ultimate" versions, etc.) as by the simple discovery of movie history. To us, it seemed as though something fundamental was at work here. With the growing number of re-releases of films that disappeared without trace on their original release came a total re-evaluation of cinematic history. The moment seemed propitious with regard to the aim we had set ourselves - to titillate the dulled gaze of spectators, and to awaken the emotions and sensations that commercial movies fail to inspire. We propose a huge choice of great films covering the full sweep of cinema, along with some rarities and movies that have been overlooked in the "official" history of the art. We strive to break down genre barriers by associating dance films and animations, experimental films and docudramas, probing new forms while at the same time comparing them to established ones. POTEMKINE invites you to reappraise movie history, and to discover, or rediscover, images from all horizons. POTEMKINE thus offers a vast catalogue comprising the complete works of Eisenstein and Fellini, as well as the movies of Kenneth Anger and Jan Svankmajer, experimental films by Stan Brakhage, the docudramas of Peter Watkins, and a multitude of other gems. In an age when online distribution is in the ascendancy, we put the emphasis on premium editions combining curated content with select presentation, whilst working closely with quality publishers like Criterion in the USA and Carlotta in France.
POTEMKINE is also about a distinctly political as much as a poetic wish to breathe fresh life into a vital creative area. Cinema has not been killed off by the DVD; on the contrary, it has gained a new lease of life.
Please contact us if you have films that you'd like to see published and/or distributed: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope that you enjoy our films and appreciate our editions - if not, please tell us! See you soon, in the boutique or elsewhere.
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