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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

The BBC have just screened a documentary on the fire at Notre Dame which had me on the edge of the sofa.

When the raging fire started in the 14th century cathedral on 15 April 2019, there were fears that the priceless structure would be burned to the ground. The pompiers arrived fast and viewers shared their efforts to prevent catastrophic damage to the building’s interior. This documentary analyses how the fire began, featuring footage from film-makers the Naudet brothers and testimony from the firefighters themselves.

The head of the Paris Fire brigade was shown making literally life-or-death decisions; we saw a young pompier only just qualified, on her first call-out climbing the tight spiral staircase in intense heat with 30kg of equipment on her back; the arrival of a shell-shocked President Macron was filmed; and we witnessed the complex saving of relics which included Christ’s crown of thorns.

The pompers wielding high-pressure hoses eventually saved the church from complete destruction and the spontaneous applause of the crowds as they drove back to base was so moving.

‘Storyville: the Night Notre Dame Burned’ is 90 minutes of excellent documentary-making.  Available on BBC i-Player for the next year.  English subtitles for all French interviews.

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In search of a French film to watch this week, I happened across ‘Un + Une‘, a Claude Lelouche movie from 2015.  It stars Jean Dujardin (tick) and the action takes place in India (tick, tick), perfect for lockdown escapist viewing.

Jean Dujardin plays a famed film composer who travels to India to create a score for a Bollywood romance. He is pursued by his pianist girl friend from Paris but has become dazzled by the wife of the French ambassador to India, respectively Elsa Zylberstein and Christophe Lambert. It’s a good cast and the action takes them around reliably photogenic bits of India.  Relax with a big pack of Bombay Mix, a glass of Cobra and escape to India with this undemanding and enjoyable French film.

On Netflix. English subtitles, bien sur.

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Aix’s first cinema, the Cezanne opened with one ‘salle’ seating 1200.

Aix is France’s most cinephile town with 15 screens in its 3 cinemas.  So how are they coping this year so far? (more…)

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Aix – At the Cinema

Windy weather right now with rain coming through – a good time to scurry into one of the Aix cinemas.  Quite a programme to look forward to.

  • Two classic adaptations from EM Forster novels showing at the Mazarin: ‘Room with a View’ and ‘Howards End’, both with excellent casts.  VO.
  • ‘Scandale’ in VF and VO, inspired by a controversial US TV news channel with Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron.  At the Cézanne
  • Awards nominated films continue: ‘1917’ and ‘A Couteaux Tirés’ or Knives Out.  Thanks to all the friends who recommended the latter to me, easy to see why it is Oscar-nominated for best screenplay.  ‘Little Women’ or ‘Les Filles du Docteur March’ continues too.

Coming up, two special events both at the Cézanne:

  • ‘An American in Paris’, 3rd Feb, preceded by dance from the juniors at the Pavillon Noir
  • ‘Le Prince Oublié’. This preview will take place in the presence of director Michael Hazanovicious, and actors Berenice Bejo and Omar Sy.

Details https://www.lescinemasaixois.com

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This Week at the Cinema

It won at the Golden Globes and now we have the opportunity to see it – 1917, directed by Sam Mendes, and by all accounts an overwhelming experience of life in the WW1 trenches and behind enemy lines.

Also this week, the chance for catch-up as some of the top films from the past year are being featured at the annual Telerama festival.  For instance two films tipped for Oscars are on show at the Renoir, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ (Sunday) and ‘Parasite’ (Saturday).  The latter looks intriguing but unless you are a Korean-speaker, you will have to contend with fairly fast French subtitles.  More here: https://www.lescinemasaixois.com/films/23e-festival-telerama

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‘Little Women’ was a brave choice for director Greta Gerwig to tackle (more…)

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Feminism Rocks the Cinema

At last, ‘La Reine des Neiges’ or ‘Frozen 2’ hits the cinemas in France tomorrow.  It’s been 6 years since the first instalment thrilled young girls around the world with its powerful messages of self-reliance and independence: at last female characters weren’t sitting around waiting for a prince to rescue them. ‘Frozen‘ is the top animated film of all time with box office takings of $1.27bn and the trigger for a tidal wave of themed merchandise. (more…)

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….the Cézanne cinema to be specific to the delight, no doubt, of its many TV followers.  In the film, we rejoin the Crawley famly and their staff, busily preparing for an unexpected visit from King George and Queen Mary, exacting guests.   But trouble soon arises when Mrs. Patmore, Daisy and the rest of the servants learn that the king and queen travel with their own chefs and attendants — setting the stage for an impromptu scheme and other shenanigans.

Starts Wednesday 25th September. VO.

Details https://www.lescinemasaixois.com/films/downton-abbey

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If you were in Aix in 2013, you will remember the delightful January day when (more…)

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Both PARADES in the cours Mirabeau, which opens the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Parade Pique-Nique, part of MPG2019, are all booked out, (June 30th), but it’s always nice to wander in town around these events.

It’s very much the beginning of a packed summer of events in town, and also throughout the region, so what you need is a copy of ‘Le Guide de l’Eté’ published by La Provence. (more…)

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