Art, culture in Port Grimaud :

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       Many stars and artists came to Port Grimaud. Some bought a house for a few years, like Robert DHERY, Jacques CHARRIER, Henry TROYAT, Paul Emile VICTOR, Prince NAPOLEON, Peter SELLERS, Charles ASNAVOUR, Joan COLLIN, Luc FERRY or René MONORY...

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Sets for TV shows, films or series :

      One of the first to visit Port Grimaud was
Brigitte BARDOT...
      She took advantage of the shooting of JC Averty's show "le Brigitte Bardot shows" where she had to sing on a boat entering Port Grimaud and in the Grand'Rue, to meet Monsieur SPOERRY...

BB aport grimaud

Show Bardot

      On Sunday 31 December 1967, Brigitte Bardot gave her admirers a sumptuous gift: a 50-minute show in colour. The show, broadcast on French television, left such a mark on its time (and on viewers...) that it quickly became a cult.
      At the end of March 2004, this show Bardot directed by François Reichenbach and Eddy Matalon, was finally re-released on DVD as part of an anthology that retraces BB's best television appearances. We can thus discover BB on her boat, sailing to Port Grimaud...

      In 1985, Louis REGO shot "Poulets-frites" (an ignominious turnip unfortunately) on the beach and the market place...

      In 1992, a TV movie which had a lot of audience "Les coeurs brulés" with Mireille DARC was shot, in part, in the lake city...

      The French television soap opera "Sous le soleil" created by Olivier Brémond and Pascal Breton, was broadcast between 13 March 1996 and 20 December 2008 on TF1. This soap opera was filmed for the most part in Saint Tropez and its region and in PORT GRIMAUD.
      The actors were housed in a residence in Port Grimaud whose rooms, according to Frédéric Deban, an actor in the series (Grégory), were rather cramped. They were all a bit surprised, as they were shooting in luxurious places...

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"The gendarme gets married" :

gendarme se marie a port grimaud

      In July 68, Jean Girault shot a scene from "Gendarme gets married" with Louis de FUNES and Michel GALABRU, place des 6 canons...

      The shooting of this film was marked by a long strike triggered by the events of "May 68";
      It was also mourned by the death of a stuntman, in front of the gendarmerie of St Tropez.

      For the record: It was because of a real-life misadventure that happened to Richard Balducci, that the latter imagined a comedy set in the gendarmerie of Saint Tropez. The script was written by Richard Balducci, Jacques Vilfrid and Jean Girault.

      Coming from Saint Tropez while scouting for a film, and having stopped in GRIMAUD to admire the panorama, Richard Balducci, director and scriptwriter, had his camera stolen from his car. Very upset, he rushes to the nearest gendarmerie in Saint-Tropez to report the theft and lodge a complaint. There, a rather indolent gendarme, who finds it hard to be bothered by this angry tourist who turns up at the sacred hour of lunch, tells him: "But it's not all that serious!" and tells him that the thief is known but that the gendarmes missed him a few days earlier and that there is nothing they can do about it now.

      Very upset by the nonchalance of this civil servant, Richard Balducci left the Gendarmerie, saying "I'm going to write something about you, because I've never seen that in my life!

And this is how the great adventure of Le Gendarme de Saint Tropez began to germinate and to be written...

gendarme a port grimaud gendarme se marie port grimaud

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Exhibition of MENDJISKY :

Serge Mendjisky

      The first exhibition in Port Grimaud, MENDJISKY's works (paintings and sculptures) took place on August 13, 1970 in the brand new hall of the Maison Commune (see the page dedicated to Serge MENDJISKY)

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Original exhibition by ZAROU :

Zarou a port grimaud

      At the same time, a very original exhibition took place on the water! That of the artist ZAROU (born in GASSIN in 1930) who fixed all his paintings on small rafts placed here and there, between the Chaussette and the Maison Commune.

      To see the paintings, you had to pilot a boat or be a good swimmer! (photo Afp photo presse)

      Zarou passed away on 20 November 2013 in Saint-Antonin du Var...
Expo de Zarou sur l'eau a PORT GRIMAUD

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Various :

port grimaud

      In the spring of 1970, filming of the TV film "Bel ami", based on the work of Maupassant (photo opposite)

      On July 8, 1970, a YOUTH CLUB was created in Port Grimaud: a room in the Place du Marché was made available to them. The first event of the club was a costume party.

      In July 1969, Jean Christophe AVERTY filmed Charles AZNAVOUR singing 'Que c'est triste Venise' in the few canals of PORT GRIMAUD, for his programme 'Formi Formidable' broadcast for the end of the year celebrations on the 'second colour channel' of the time!...

      And surely nobody at the time saw the ... deception'!


      In the spring of 1977, Alain SOUCHON and Laurent VOULZY retreated for several weeks to a flat in the Place des Artisans to compose the album "Allo Maman Bobo"...

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Coin Coin :

coincoin à port grimaud

      At that time, a real 'local star', a strange character, Coin Coin, was clowning around on a one-wheeled bicycle in front of Sénéquier's and on the port of Saint Tropez, to the great joy of tourists and residents.

      Escaping for a few hours from his privileged domain, Coin Coin came to Port Grimaud where, for a very good and long time, he was able to do his 'show', totally improvised, in the middle of a pleasantly surprised and delighted crowd...

coincoin à port grimaud

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'Les Biches' :

      In the film "Les Biches" by Claude CHABROL, Jean Louis TRINTIGNANT played the role of an architect who was building a lake city, a character directly inspired by François SPOERRY. Some scenes of the film were shot in Port Grimaud...

Expo de Bernard Spoerry

      This exhibition, created by Bernard SPOERRY, can be found in a beautiful book: "Port Grimaud is 50 years old", on sale in the Port Grimaud Press Houses 1 and 2

Livre des 50 ans de Port Grimaud

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      André QUELLIER, who died in 2010, was a painter who exhibited every year, first at the Chapelle des Pénitents in Ramatuelle and then, from 1982, at the Atelier du Ciel. He also participated every year in the 'Salon des Peintres de Saint Tropez'...

      The posters for his exhibitions very often featured a painting by the author representing Brigitte BARDOT. But for the 1991 exhibition, the poster featured a painting dedicated to the architect of Port Grimaud, François SPOERRY.

      On this rather strange poster one could see the effigy of the architect and an aerial view of the lake city with this dedication: 'Hommage à PORT GRIMAUD et à son Architecte'.

      Detail of the poster :


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Martine ALISON :

Martine ALISON

        « My world is full of dreams bordering on the naive, which leads me to a delicate sensuality» : This is how Martine ALISON defines her inspiration. Her paintings sparkle with colour and happiness. Flowers mingle with animals, cartoon characters, in the middle of which a pretty young girl walks, draws, contemplates the landscape, rests, hitchhikes or seems to pose in front of the painter...

        Born in 59 in Saint Etienne, she is very passionate about drawing and has a wealth of inspiration that is quickly found on these colourful canvases, and bubbling with life...

        « My painting is a technique developed through hard work, it is the expression of a whole life. It is necessary to have lived, to have accumulated experiences, to have stored images, to have discovered freedom, to have met happiness and to have accepted to say… to say with his brush… at the rhythm of beauty, the rhythm of his emotions. There is no secret, there is only authenticity, you don't have to search. You must BE… BE without reserve, without constraint. It is life that has sculpted me in this way, I don't invent anything, I execute. I observe and become aware of the abundance of life that surrounds me and I draw inspiration from it to create a work in the same vein, that is to say, an act of an almost theatrical nature where the imagination can propel the stage. »...

On peut la retrouver sur: son site internet ou sur son son Instagram.

His paintings can be seen and purchased on : le Singulart or on the website Artmajeur

    Quelques oeuvres... :

        With PORT GRIMAUD as the setting...

Martine Alison
Martine Alison
Martine Alison

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Le figuier de mon père

      Born in Gardanne, France, 80 years ago, to Armenian parents who survived the genocide of 1915. He considers that he has three homelands: France, Armenia and the Navy. He lives in Paris but has been a resident of PORT GRIMAUD for many years.

The book :

      A colourful portrait of a discreet, hard-working, supportive and warm community, these memoirs are the author's tribute to his own.

      To his mother, first of all, Mayrig, a woman with a big heart, a small figure dressed all in black, animated by a gentleness and an unparalleled energy, who knew how to inculcate in him the sense of effort and the value of work.

      To his father, too, Hayrig, who, having experienced the horror of Turkish jails, has nonetheless retained his joie de vivre and his capacity for wonder. A biblical character straight out of an oriental tale, brimming with wisdom, this father crosses the book with a lucid and tender look at his family, commenting on the habits and customs of this strange land of plenty: France.

      A true "apprenticeship novel", this story also follows the path of the young Vartan, noticed by his teachers at school, and retraces his extracurricular initiatives to earn money and help his parents, the humiliations he may have suffered because of his origins or his poverty, his training in the navy, and then his success as an inventor&hellip

      A beautiful lesson in optimism and a mine of information on a not so distant era.

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      Luc FERRY has been a resident of PORT GRIMAUD for several years, where each year he gives us a lecture on a philosophical subject related to current events.

During one of its annual conferences in PORT GRIMAUD...

Favourites :


      "Learning to Live" reconciled me with philosophy! The "Dictionnaire amoureux de la Philosophie" is an indispensable source for understanding the 3 axes of this science: wisdom, truth and ethics. Luc FERRY explains them to us, dissects them and links them to the essential questions of the present time...

Easy to read, fascinating, sometimes frightening, often optimistic and indispensable for understanding the challenges of artificial intelligence.
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Frederic VITOUX

      In the collection of short stories "Riviéra" by Frédéric VITOUX, published in January 1987 by Editions du Seuil, one of them "La nuit du 5 janvier", is set in Port Grimaud and more precisely in the district of La Chaussette and the place de l'Eglise...
Yann Parys

      A short novel, "Les canaux de l'infortune" by Yann PARYS published by Editions DERENNES (in 2008), tells the story of a meeting between Camille and Marius in Port Grimaud...

      A detective story by Michel LEBRUN, "Waiting for summer" is set in Saint Tropez and Port Grimaud...


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The monthly magazine 'LUI'. :

Les filles de Port Grimaud

      the 068th issue of the monthly "LUI" of September 1969, with Brigitte Bardot on the cover, presented an article entitled "Les filles de PORT GRIMAUD"...

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Les Girelles de Port Grimaud

      Port Grimaud seems to have inspired the followers of eroticism because after the monthly magazine 'LUI', a small erotic book by Léo LUSTIG with the sweet name of 'Les Girelles de Port Grimaud' appeared in 1971 in the collection 'Aphrodite' n° 247 for adults, published by EUREDIF.

      It is true that our lakeside city is very close to Saint Tropez where this kind of book was more appropriate !

      It is unavailable in bookstores and I don't think it's missing much...

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petanque a port grimaud
- Postcard from "Editions Archives": "PASSION...PETANQUE" - The comic strip -

      This postcard, which was on sale in the restaurant 'La Guitoune' and in the 'Maison de la Presse' of PG1 in the 90's, is no longer published today...
      ( One recognises Henri SALVADOR, then crouching, the former President of the Senate, René MONORY, again Henri SALVADOR, the famous Vartan BERBERIAN and the former owner of the LANSON Champagnes and the Corsican mineral water OREZZA François MORAT )

      This postcard was part of a comic strip entitled "Passion... Pétanques" telling the history of this game. Drawn by UDERZO :

Passion Pétanque
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Bulle AUGIER :

bulle Augier
Claudine Auger (the very first French James Bond girl for the film Opération Tonnerre -1965- but also Miss France in 1957, then first runner-up of Miss World 1958) passing through the nascent lake town (June 1967)

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The CRIME of little JORIS :

Francis Heaulme, le tueur...

      is 9 years old. He is Belgian and speaks only Flemish. He is on holiday with his parents at the Prairies de la Mer campsite in PORT GRIMAUD.
      That day, he disappeared at the exit of the campsite and nobody saw anything.
      Hunts are organised throughout the region to no avail.
      But 15 days later, a couple of tourists discovered the body of a small child near the road to Colobrière, 12 km from the lakeside town: it was the body of little Joris.
      The autopsy will reveal that he was strangled and killed with 83 stab wounds (actually with a screwdriver).
      In Port Grimaud, this heinous crime of a child on holiday is going to cause a huge trauma, because the culprit was still not arrested...

      A few years pass before a serial killer, Francis HEAULME, confesses to the crime.

      In April 1989, Heaulme was staying at the Fontonne psychiatric centre in Antibes, which reserved mobile homes for therapeutic stays at the Port Grimaud campsite.
      On 5 April, he met Joris at the entrance to the campsite and asked him a question. The child does not understand and answers in Flemish, which irritates the killer.
      It is because of this derisory motive that he will kidnap her. Traces of Joris' blood were found under the bridge that spans the Blaquière road. A small stele placed nearby continues to be decorated with flowers.

      Francis Heaulme did not drive. He was therefore not alone in disposing of the body behind a tank, on a carpet of ferns, some ten kilometres away.
      On the evening of his crime, Francis Heaulme returned to the psychiatric centre in Antibes. He was nervous and very distressed. He announced to the nursing staff that he had killed someone but they did not take him seriously.
      Strangely, no one from the centre contacted the police, preferring to hide behind medical confidentiality..
      Heaulme later admitted that he had gone out of the campsite with a nurse and that they had drunk beer near the campsite...

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F. SPOERRY and the electric car :

voiture électrique

       In 1975, while continuing the construction of Port Grimaud, François Spoerry invented this prototype of an electric car whose batteries were to be recharged at specially equipped municipal street lamps!

       the "Minicar", patented in 1975, can park perpendicular to the pavement.
       Its front opening allows direct exit onto the pavement and its two superimposed steering wheels control the front and rear wheels to facilitate driving in urban environments.

voiture électrique
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  the work of François SPOERRY...

© Yves Lhermitte 2021   Reproduction prohibited without permission...