The planning, construction, scope and controversial reception of the Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture in Paris, called “Beaubourg” from the name of the land it occupies in the old Marais district. Filmed on location, the camera explores the building and the public that uses it. Arts writer and lecturer Rosamond Bernier examines the forces that shaped the enterprise, and interviews key players. Many paintings and other works are examined, as is the arts center's position and impact in the Marais district.
Sections include: talks with former presidential wife Mme Pompidou whose husband created Beaubourg; with Richard Rogers, the architect who won the international competition for Beaubourg; with Pontus Hulton, Director of Modern Art at Beaubourg; with Thomas Hess, New York Magazine art critic; with Elizabeth Baker, Editor of "Art in America" magazine; with architect Philip Johnson who sat on the jury that approved the design, architect Nick Grimshaw; Rosamond Bernier, art critic and lecturer.
Other themes: the public rooms (libraries, classes, research facilities), free language teaching center; visual arts (advertisements, posters, photographs), children painting, reading; Pierre Boulez conducting a student orchestra at the Center for Research into Music Possibilities, electronics; paintings including Delauney's Eiffel Tower, Biplane, Football Game, also Matisse, Leger, Bracque.