Posts Tagged 'movies'

Lost in Frenchlation

The screening room at Studio 28. Photo courtesy of Lost in Frenchlation.


I arrived in Paris, just in time for a heatwave and the last round of legislative voting.

I also finally made it to an event I’ve been invited to for well over a year.

Rarely do I make plans for the same day I land (jetlag, anyone?), but the evening’s opportunity was too good to pass up.

The garden tea room at Cinema Studio 28. Photo courtesy of Lost in Frenchlation.

Lost in Frenchlation has a simple mission: bring renowned French films to a broader audience by screening French films with English subtitles.

The Franco-Australian pair behind Lost in Frenchlation, Manon and Matt. Photo courtesy of Lost in Frenchlation.

When you think about it, the idea makes total sense. Film is such an important part of French culture and there are so many international folks in Paris. Unless you’re completely fluent, it can be difficult to follow a movie in your non-native tongue. Lost in Frenchlation allows easier access to current French films, as well as providing a convivial cocktail before or after for a full social night.

Events are held at Studio 28, the oldest screening room in Paris.

I was happy to get a chance to check out LIF, whose popularity has grown quickly. They were right about there being quite a market for their offerings! (Lost in Translation is currently nominated for “best reoccurring event in Paris” by Expatriates Magazine. The young organization had also just held their first event in London the previous night.)

I admit it was the specific film and event that had me particularly intrigued and gave me the energy to fight the fatigue upon my arrival to attend.

On Friday, June 16, the film on tap was Le Concours, a documentary about the strenuous entrance exam to La Fémis, one of the most prestigious film schools in the world. The director of the film, Claire Simon, was on hand afterward for a Q&A.

The film’s trailer, (only available in French – see why Lost in Frenchlation is needed?)

Le Concours was great – I could do a whole separate post about the movie itself! But needless to say it’s quite an experience to get a truly inside look at the highly competitive selection process of such an institution (A thousand candidates applied for 60 spots).

A clip from the film – *with* English subtitles!

The film lends itself to all kinds of juicy questions about art, subjectivity, inequality, and elitism. (Simon made a compelling remark in the Q&A about France “constantly recreating a gentry” – whoa, we could dig into that one for ages!).

Continue reading ‘Lost in Frenchlation’


Paris Movie Walks – Free Giveaway!

I count myself lucky to have found home in two of the world’s best “cinematic” cities. Both New York and Paris have been captured on the silver screen myriad times. The thrill of recognition never fades for me. Each shot of a corner, street, or landmark that I know in real life makes my heart beat a little faster when I see it on film.

Author Michael Schürmann’s Paris Movie Walks: Ten Guided Tours Through The City of Lights! Camera! Action! offers detailed information for those of us who want to live the location, be on the set. Ten detailed itineraries follow in the footsteps of some of the most famous films that use Paris as backdrop.

Though is Paris ever just backdrop? We know it’s actually a star.

The author does, too, as he meticulously maps his way around the City of Light, pointing out everything from the major monuments to hidden gems that have appeared on the screen and putting them in cinematic context.

It’s hard to decide which the book makes you want to do more – watch all of the movies or take a stroll around Paris.

The book is really a great marriage of the two.

Besides specific and straightforward information on the movie locations, Schürmann also drops in short, useful sections like “May ’68: The Modern French ‘Revolution’” and “The Story Behind Sacre Coeur” to add to an already informative guide.

The publisher has offered to give away free copies of Paris Movie Walks to three lucky blog readers.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below or sign up to receive this blog by email if you haven’t already. Feel free to let us know your favorite French film, though a simple “I want to win” is always acceptable, too.

Entries are open through Sunday, May 29. I’ll announce winners on Monday, May 30.

Good luck!

For more information on the book and author, check out the Paris Movie Walks website. Word is that a Smartphone app for a few of the walks is also in the works!

Printemps du Cinema/Seeing Spring

Here’s another perk of living in Paris (or in this case, anywhere in France). Every March for three days, all cinema tickets across the country are only 3.50 euros. For any film, at any time, new release or not. This annual event is called “Le Printemps du Cinema.” Me likey.

Yesterday I went to see “The King’s Speech.” Yes, I’m one of the last people on earth to see this film, but I think I was rewarded for my waiting strategy.

You can imagine that with the 3.50 price tag, going to the movies suddenly strikes a lot of people as a good idea. There can often be long lines during these three days. Pick a flick that’s been out forever, though (and even better, go at an off-hour if you can), you’re more likely to beat the crowds.

And so I did. I slid right in, saw a great movie, and waltzed right back out, all for less than the price of a good hot chocolate (a key cost comparison).

On a random note, as I was leaving the theater, I was nearly knocked over the head with this reality: whoa! Paris is beautiful!

Avenue Carnot - Étoile

Oh, wait. That’s not original, is it? Let me clarify. I’m near-sighted and spend almost all day in front of a computer for which I don’t need my glasses. And I practically never wear my glasses out. Eh, I can see what’s in front of me, who needs to see far away, right?

I wear them when I go to the movies, though, and I kept them on as I was exiting the theater. And then I realized just how bad my eyesight must be, because the city seemed to be blazing with beauty – on fire with it, now that I could see clearly. I felt like I was in a film.

So, I guess I better admit that I’m getting older, eyesight’s growing poorer, and just wear my glasses more often. In return, the City of Light will delight me anew. Priceless.

paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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