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A Parallel(es) Life

To make a Parallel(es) Life happens, here and always

About the project

A Parallel(es) Life is an epic about French underground, focused on strong characters, with quixotic auras. Our heroes are booksellers.

Parallèles booshop is the center of the story.

More than a film, a manifesto for a life, inverting the velocity race and the injunction of result.  A Parallel(es)Life.


Why is this movie necessary ?

There are a few books, but no film about parallel press, even less about that parallel booshop. Nevertheless, in about half a decade, Parallèles bookshop became representative of French underground, an antidote to a gentrified and museum-alike Paris.

Making that film is a political act, etymologically speaking : to speak of the City’s matters, a mini-world where microsocieties keep on mixing, differently, discreetly, surely, actively. 

Helping that independent film to exist is to debunk misconceptions : 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 will partly embody the documentary’s soundtrack.

Parallel to the UK-US  Free Press* and mainstream press, we have had a parallel press whose Actuel is the most famous side, but have you ever opened an umbrella/Parapluie (in the original version)?


Do you think yo now it All ?  Tout in the original version )

A Parallel(es) ife  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’s publishers

Those places are a a different and unseen way of living in the city, creating connexions between people  and places. A way to galvanise space.

It is no coincidence that Parallèles booshop, and that Open Market or Harry Cover records stores, have bursted into Paris 1st area, in the middle of le Trou des Halles (Hole of the Halles)*, yawning gap in the heart of the town, bound to be demolished.,


Le Trou des Halles- 1972



Since 1972, Parallèles bookshop has seen  many generations of inquiring minds. It takes roots into may mai 68 has sowed good seeds, still fertile nowadays


Through its story and the accounts of those who hung around there, this documentary explores a French counter-culture ‘’ab »  from the 70s ‘till internet’s appearance.

Or, how to lead a Parallel(es) Life and how to pass on a offbeat thought and aesthetics ?


Under the guidance of its  founders, Daniel and  Françoise Droulers, the booksphop, in the heart of Paris, becomes a hub for all the youngsters, libertarians,  beatniks and other people thinking differently.  Many musicians, journalists, writers went to  Parallèles, even sometimes, met there and founded their bands through the classified ads on its wall.

Telling  Parallèles’s story, is to sum up 50 years of French  counter-culture.

Parallèles is a shelter against the race for efficiency, a den where the  stroller is supplied withe ideas and discussions.

Parallèles in 1978- Gérard Aimé’s photo


Trigger for the  project

I’ve had the chance to spend some time in places, ran by committed people, such as Parallèles or a Un Regard Moderne. I got there, heart beating, aware of entering an essential mini Graal where rare informations were disseminated.

A quarter of decades later, my documentary Ex-TAZ Citizen Ca$h ( is released in Paris in 2016, in a mythical cinema, le Saint André des Arts, at the corner of the  cult booshop, Un Regard Moderne. I leave there some promotion flyers, about my film release, then a poster and a  DVD. Thanks to the nearness of the cinema, I see again frequently, Jacques Noël, soul of the place. I also leave some flyers at Parallèles bookshop and I am moved to meet again some bookseller that I bumped into two decades ago. And I feel there is an emergency to support those places, cause our lives are fragile and those bookshops are threatened.

Daniel Droulers, Parallèles’s founder, has disapearred in 2015,  Jacques, from Un Regard Moderne, died in 2016. Last April, one of  the bookseller from anarchist bookshop Publico was molested into his very shop. 

A documentary’s got to be in tribute to those passers of ideas and, mostly, their bookshops, true  aternative to the shaping of minds.

Saying passers, implies filiation which  is at the center of the  movements : the punk are, in a way, the situationnism’s heirs*(cf Glossary to follow, soon), the anti imperialist mentality of young bookshop Quilombo   is closed to the anticolonialism of  François Maspero’s la Joie de Lire historical bookshop ; the  hippies are forererunners of the actual ecological movement… And so on.

A transmission work thanks to the generations and also thanks to the archives that will  be very present in the documentary:  Free press,  fanzines, audio tapes….

Mariel Primois,  co-wrote with (her late husband) Jean-François Bizot, many books putting together some artices from Actuel’s magazines. Exceptionnally, she gives us free access to those rare archives. 

Parallèles bookshop (and its annexe : first, Alternative bookshop, then, Gilda)

Parallèles founders, Daniel & Françoise Droulers. They have met  under May 68’s barricades, have founded Parallèles by May 72  and have remained together until Daniel’s death in 2015. Françoise will give us an unique account on the bookshop first ten years.

Philippe Thieyre has been Parallèles’s  bookseller from 1980 to 2005. Rock & Folk Journalist, speaker on France-Inter radio, he wrote many works about music, especially a reference book on psychedelism.

Gilles Poussin-Gardot, bookseller in the 90s at Parallèles’s annexe : Gilda. He has written and distributed his fanzine Ogoun, co-author of a book about Métal Hurlant, ex bassist from various bands (including les Soucoupes Violentes…).

In about half a decade, a lot of people stood behind Parallèles counter : Georges Lebel, Jean-Claude Charles, Bud, Jacques Gros, Patrice Cresta, Stéphane Bahar….


Other counter-cultural bookshops, close to  Parallèle(s)’state of mind

Publico bookshop, has opened in 1959 in the 11th area, future fiefdom for alternative bookshops,.You can find books, leaflets and  texts about anarchism, antimilitarism, lfeminism,  revolutions… with  Radio Libertaire background, whose Publico is the headquarters.

Ferid has founded Thé Troc in 1982. Keen on  underground comics, rock’n’roll, crafts and  antiques, he has gathered al his passions under the same roof. He ‘s the one who published for the first time in France, the Freak Brothers, comics that Actuel magazine was fond of.

Jean-Pierre Faure has opened in 1992, Un Regard Moderne. Thousand of artists and international curious minds have rummaged through rare boos and fanzines’s magma.The death of its bookseller,  Jacques Noël, in 2016, roused a vivid emotion. O, joy :  it has reopened two months after thanks to  Jean-Pierre Faur, who is also a publisher and very advanced on  counter-cultural studies.

in 2009, by the age of 20, Jacques Baujard  has joined Quilombo, associative bookshop created in 2002, resistance’s  enclave into the literature landscape. It also includes Crash Disques, Marsu’s label and a room for speeches and concerts. A self-managed place, precarious alike all thoses bookshops, "even more because focused on social criticism" says Baujard.


Three key guides to dive into counter-cuture history

Philip Bone, co-writer of Catalogue des Ressources* (cf glossary to come), Parallèles’ s best-seller  He was involved into the swinging London, then importated Free Press in France since 1967 ; that’s how he met the  Droulers, Parallèles’s founders. A life devoted to the  l’underground, whereas he’s a DJ at the  Gibus club, an Internet pioneer…


Christophe Bourseiller, actor, author, radio speaker. He has written more  than 40 books about  situationnist and  counter-culture, expressing his  passion for the offbeat paths.  Since his 10 years old, he haunts Parallèles and all the underground places. He will be followed on the traces of revolutionnary bookshops, present and past.


Marsu, former- manager of rock and commited bands les Béruriers Noirs and Lucrate Milk. He was also in charge of Bondage and Oulala records label. His  actual, label Crash Disques, stands next to commited bookshop, Quilombo. He has sold records at Parallèles. He will be our  guide throug  actual bookshops, more focused on social criticism, then underground (times have changed)


Via Parallèles, we will travel through three stages:

• the 70S- Freaks, free press era with witnesses such as

Gérard Aimé, co-writer with Bone and Patrice Aoust  of Parallèlles’s reference book, le Catalogue des Ressources. Also, head of Alternative Publishings

Patrice Van Eersel, Actuel  magazine's pillar, author of many essays, he also worked as a bookseller at Parallèles.

Fox, leader of the band Crium Delirium, on the road since 1967. Tout ! Le Pop,  and other parallel  press have been written in his  studio.

Henri-Jean Enu has initiated one fo the most beautiful French Free Press magazinz, Parapluie and the cult band  Fille qui mousse.

•  80s’s committed rock era (le rock alternatif was its name in France)

Taï Luc,  from La Souris Déglinguée band. He went for the first time at Parallèles at 15 years old

Kim Ohio Fuzz  from Witches Valley, Mad River’s bands. She met their future members through classidied walls, seen on  Parallèles’s walls

Kiki Picasso has distribuated his  Bazooka magazine at Parallèles and at Un Regard Moderne which was named after a short-lived column he ran on Libé newpaper…

a fly over the  90s with

Virginie Despentes who has often buccaneered at Parallèles. Her fiction Vernon Subutex character is an avatar of  New Rose cult record-store boss.

Daniel Pari-Clavel  has crated  his own pop culture magazine in 1991,  being only 17. Chéribibi  still exists, spread by Parallèles and many onther underground French places that  Daniel knows we : he has been an independant distributor.

Lola Lafon was spreading feminist fanzines at Parallèles, before writing her acclaimed novels.


What are the funds for?

Film’s structure and mind

This  sociological-historical film is made in DIY  way (Do It Yourself), alike those trailblazers who created their own press, music, soaked Parallèles with it, plus their magazines, fanzines and tapes. Just like ways of communications  from that prehistorical era- before Internet and the smartphones, word of mouth and  solidarity privail.

There is a need to complete this  film freely thanks to that crowdfunding. A good way to mix « old school » ways of communication with the actual virtual ones. This project is dedicated to all of those who fancy walking out of the trodden paths, to the enquiring minds, the one enjoying wandering. To the ones longing for a Parallèles life, where Time is expanded, curiosity a vivid matter and profitability, an abstract notion.

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