A very happy new year to all Aixcentric readers! And I think it will be a full one for all of us who like getting out and experiencing all that this lovely part of France has to offer. MP2013 is about to burst upon us with masses of events – so in the lull before the storm which kicks off on 12-13th January, here are a few ideas.
The Epiphany procession – La Marche des Rois - in Aix is unmissable. It’s now in its 23rd year but in fact draws on centuries of parades in the town. The Fete-Dieus would last for days and processions always greeted incoming royalty or important visitors. Religious processions were especially important in times of plague, which was sadly often.
This one begins on Sunday 6th Jan in the cours Saint-Louis at 13.50 and winds its way down through the town into the cours Mirabeau, down to the Rotonde and then up to the Cathedral for the 16:00 service.
Last year was wonderful. All terribly well-ordered until the sheep and goats decided to quit. They were half-way down the cours when they suddenly veered left into the antiques market, then veered right on to the pavement on the other side, leaving parents leaping to pick up their little ones, and a very frazzled sheep dog trying to round up everything that moved.
But it’s great to have so many live animals and especially the camels to add authenticity. Love the magi on their mobiles. The costumes are all made by local volunteers who now have 1500 for all the historic reconstructions they take part in. Chapeau! After that, what better than to pick up one of the wonderful almondy galettes des rois to tuck into. Gosh it’s hard starting a new year’s diet round here!
The cinema is suddenly looking good this week. ‘The Life of Pi’ is an interesting film which I caught up with in England. The opening scenes in India are beautifully atmospheric as the rich colours are enhanced by the 3D – birds and butterflies seem to come right out of the screen. The shipwreck during which the hero and the zoo animals are washed over-board is incredibly realistic and then the film moves to the 200+ days when Pi is adrift on his raft in the Pacific with only a man-eating tiger, Richard Parker, for company. I did feel this could be edited as it goes on for what felt like a long time, but I think the cinematographers were having too much fun with various 3D effects – flying fish, whales, storms – to cut back. At the Cézanne so presumably dubbed into French.
In VO, there is ‘Anna Karenina’, and also Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ which, if it is anything like as good as ‘Town’, will be worth watching. I also plan to go and see ‘Renoir’, fittingly at the Renoir, which is in French but from the trailer looks too pretty to resist and hopefully easy to follow.
Have a good weekend!