Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Aix: Award-Contending Films in Town

It’s good the annual run of film awards happens early in the new year – it always coincides with cold weather during January just when it’s so tempting to snuggle down in the warmth of the cinema.

First up, ‘3 Billboards, Les Panneaux de  la Vengeance’ or ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’ has just opened at the Renoir in VO  and it is every bit as magnificent as reviews have claimed. Lead player Frances McDormand is excellent as the grief-stricken mother looking for vengeance, up against her nemesis in the local police played by Sam Rockwell.  It is fascinating and surprising to realise that this quintessentially small-town American narrative was written and directed by a British/Irish film-maker, Martin McDonagh. What a talent.

Still playing, ‘Les Heures Sombres’, ‘The Darkest Hour’ is based on the true story of Churchill’s first days as prime minster in WW2.  It has had audiences standing up applauding in the US.  At the Cézanne.

Very much looking forward to ‘The Pentagon Papers’ or ‘The Post’ which starts in Aix on Wednesday 24th Jan. It was made by Steven Spielberg in just 9 months as he felt impelled to tell this story of press freedom as quickly as he could.  A partnership of Meryl Streep on screen with Tom Hanks for the first time promises to be electrifying.

In the meantime Aix audiences can enjoy the annual Télérama festival, a one-week showing for last-year’s best films.  Started yesterday – details below.



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‘It’ broke all records for a horror film on its opening weekend: based on Stephen King’s novel, the film made $179 million globally.  Called ‘Ca’ in French, there is an ‘avant-premiere’ in English at the Cézanne in Aix tomorrow (Tues 19th September) and is on general release the following day in VO and VF.

Call me a wimp but I couldn’t even cope with the trailer.  Take a look: http://www.lescinemasaixois.com/films/ca

Throughout the week, there are Stephen King adaptations each evening on TV – on HD1 or channel 20, at 21:00.  Tomorrow night they are showing ‘The Shining’ which must have put a generation of people off hotel corridors for life.

I’ll stick to another new release this week: ‘Gauguin Voyage a Tahiti’.

In French at the Renoir.


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The ‘myprovence’ website has sent out an excellent piece on the relationship between Provence and the cinema, working its way from the original film shown at the Eden Cinema at La Ciotat back in 1895, through the many movies filmed in the region.


One of the films listed is ‘Cézanne et Moi’, which was released last year in French. I have just learnt the date for the English-version DVD release: June 26th.  I loved the ambiance of the film and now look forward to understanding a bit more of  the dialogue! What with Cézanne’s passionate outbursts and Zola’s false beard, I did find the French version tricky……..

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… Lots to report from an action-packed Provence. (more…)

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Monday 24th April sees booking open for the next season of Opera transmissions from New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

This will be the 10th year of these transmissions which have proved to be a successful venture for Les Cinemas Aixois.

Here’s the link http://www.lescinemasaixois.com/evenements/opera

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Did you see ‘Cézanne et Moi’ when it was released in the autumn?  I loved

(c) Allstar/ G Films

seeing the local locations but (more…)

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Another in the popular ‘National Theatre Live’ productions will be aired in Aix next Sunday.  It’s the all-new Peter Shaffer production  of Amadeus.  The critics have raved, not just about the stunning performances of the actors but at the freshness and creativity of the production.
Vienna, music capital of the 18th century world.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives determined to make a splash.  Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it.  Seized by obsessive jealousy, he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God.
The production assembles and reassembles itself – a virtuosic whirl of bits of scenery, fantastic singers, excerpts from the operas that, in their aesthetic, become wittily and pointedly ahead of their time.
Says organiser Karen Wildau: ‘You get the picture; come join us.  The production is three hours long and during its interval of 20 minutes will feature a Viennese Cafe Gourmand: Sacher Torte and strudel, coffee or tea—for only 13 euros (in addition to your ticket cost).  Tickets must be purchased on line at https://www.weezevent.com/amadeus.     
Please print out your tickets and bring them along’.
Time: 14:30, Sunday 19th March
Venue: Hotel Renaissance, 320 Avenue Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Aix (and how cool is that address!)

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