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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

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Today’s Guardian has a good piece on Marseille today: its overview of the city’s culture is underscored with links to books, films and TV series, precious memories for those of us who are, at present, far away from this vibrant city: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2021/feb/05/marseille-virtual-tour-books-film-food-music-photography

Most visitors to the city will soon feel the passion for the local football team, the legendary Olympique de Marseille.  In fact bars right across Provence are decorated with scarves and mascots in the team’s colours.  But there’s trouble at the Velodrome right now – so much so that it’s knocked the global pandemic off the front pages of La Provence this week, with words like ‘catastrophe’ peppering its prose.  I’d lost the plot so thanks again to the Guardian for sportingly providing a resume today.  https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/feb/03/marseille-title-contenders-chaos-andre-villas-boas-ligue-1

I hope Marseille soon gets back to a team they are proud of….Allez l’OM!

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‘Lupin’ is a French crime drama starring Omar Sy as a Parisian janitor who hatches a plan to steal Marie Antoinette’s necklace from the Louvre.  The five-part series follows Assane Diop (Omar Sy), who was inspired by the stories of fictional thief Arsène Lupin, to organise the theft to avenge his father’s death 25 years beforehand. It’s very fast-moving, witty and engrossing television (the trailer below will give you a taste). (more…)

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Just after my post on Thursday about hopes that ‘Wonder Woman 1984s’ release on 16 Dec will pull in crowds to Aix’s newly opened cinemas, Warner Bros announced that all 2021 releases would be streamed on HBO Max at the same time as their cinema release.

Starting with Wonder Woman, the move will enable film fans to stream the forthcoming sci-fi epic Dune, the Matrix sequel, Godzilla vs Kong, Mortal Kombat and The Suicide Squad instead of travelling to the cinema. (more…)

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The three Aix cinemas will re-open on 15th December with the programme that was showing when the new lockdown came into being. But hopes are pinned on a blockbuster to draw in the crowds, and ‘Wonder Woman 1948’ may just be the ticket.

And talking about tickets, you should hang on to yours if you go to a film in the evening as it will serve as an attestation to get you home: the cinemas can stay open til 21:00hrs. (more…)

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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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