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Posts tagged ‘Julie Gayet’

No. 153-154: Cinemas and the UGC Illimité


I love going to the movies. I always have. My daddy was a big filmgoer and I have many fond memories of us watching movies together. One of my best memories with him is sitting through JAWS three times on Denver’s largest movie screen in the summer of ’75 and, by the way, still being scared out of our wits when the credits rolled for the final time.



Well, luckily for me, I now live in a country with the highest number of movie screens per million inhabitants: 89…versus 60 in Germany, 56 in the UK, and 24 in Japan. In Paris, the weekly what’s-on-in-Paris guide, the PariScope, usually has 50-60 pages listing all the films showing in the city. That’s a lot of movies, my friends.

The number of Art Houses in France also seems much higher than other places I’ve lived and there are lots of exciting film festivals held around the country throughout the year.

And here’s a small bit of history that I just discovered: France is also home to the world’s oldest surviving cinema. The Eden Theatre in La Ciotat (in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region near Marseille) just re-opened a few months ago after a massive and spectacular overhaul. The Eden is the theatre where the Lumière brothers showed the very first moving picture to a dazed and frightened audience in 1899. The 50-second black-and-white silent movie, filmed in 1895, shows a train pulling into la Ciotat station and passengers getting on and off. The audience was so spooked by the train hurling towards them that they dove from their seats in horror, at least that’s how the story goes…

…oh, the French, they do love their stories and films (and everyone else’s too)…and boy have we’ve come a long way, Baby, since that first chugging choo-choo.

In 2014, we English speakers in France have to be patient as we wait for the new releases from the US and the UK to arrive, but eventually most everything comes our way. They’ve even started running French films with French subtitles for the hearing impaired, or the linguistically challenged (comme moi).

On top of that there are several cartes de fidélité which allow you to watch as many films as you want to (or are able to) for a monthly subscription. The best deal I’ve found is the UGC Illimité. Every month for a 20€ inscription, I can see a movie at one of 600+ different salles in Paris, as well as use my card when I’m traveling throughout France.

C’est super, génial, formidable, et chouette, n’est-ce pas? It’s hard not to become a film fanatic in France.


cartes de fidélité: frequent viewing/buying cards

C’est super, génial, formidable, et chouette, n’est-ce pas! That’s super, great, terrific and cool, don’t you think?

comme moi: like me

n’est-ce pas: isn’t that so/ don’t you think

salles: room, hall, screening room

And, by the by….


les Césars (the French equivalent of the BAFTAs and Oscars) are being handed out in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet as I publish this. François Cluzet (Intouchables) is hosting and there’s lots of French political drama unfolding as Julie Gayet the new “First Girlfriend” (sort of?) to the President  is up for a supporting actress award for Quai d’ Orsay. Stay tuned.

No. 132: Franglais

My swell friend Julie brought this hillarious Franglais story about the sexual scandal involving France’s President François Hollande, his (now former) First Girlfriend and the (now) First Girlfriend in Waiting. It is old news, but I came across it in my email box again tonight, and laughed so hard (encore), that I thought it was worth sharing. It first appeared in the Daily Telegraph on January 16, 2014.

Even for those of my readers who don’t speak a lick of French, you should be able to figure this out, and it will give you all a pretty good idea of the level of French that I (sadly) deal in on a daily basis. Amusez-vous!

hollande helmet

François Hollande est dans un spot de bother. Il est dans un pickle. Franchement, il est dans l’eau chaud. Selon un magazine français, le président a been having une affaire très steamy avec une femme improbably belle. Et hier, slap bang dans le middle de cette scandale, il devait give un grand press conference.

Quel luck rotten!

Quel luck rotten!

Mais il y avait un peu de bon news pour le pauvre homme: il est français. Et les français, apparently, ne care pas about les affaires steamy. En fait, un nouveau poll shows que depuis la scandale broke, le président a become plus populaire! En France, vous voyez, c’est seulement une scandale si un homme n’a pas une affaire.

En Paris, le press conference était complètement packed. En angleterre, les journalistes anglais ont regardé l’action à la télévision. Ils n’ont pas pu wait to écouter le gossip juicy about l’homme important et son bit sur le side.
En fin, le président – un petit fellow qui apparently a seulement un pair des chaussures – est arrivé. Pour once, il n’a pas porter son motorcycle helmet.


Sans further ado, il a commencé parler about l’économie. Il a parlé about it pour un très long temps. Cinq minutes, dix minutes, vingt minutes, trente minutes – tout sour l’économie!

Francois Hollande at his press conference.
C’était tout terribly intéressant, mais je n’ai pas pu help but feel qu’il y avait un éléphant dans la salle.

un éléphant dans la salle….

un éléphant dans la salle….

Mais still il a continué de parler about l’économie, et le banking, et le social security, et so on et so on. Zut alors! Monsieur le Président certainement avait beaucoup à dire about sujets that a rien to do avec le steamy hot shagging.
“Je suis desolé pour going into such detail,” a dit le président. Il est such un tease.

Finalement il a fini parler about son dratted économie. Donc! C’était temps pour some questions about les sujets plus importants, such as le hanky-panky! Naughty Monsieur le Président a been jouer au Cachez le Saucisse! Les journalistes français would avoir beaucoup de choses à dire about ça!

...les sujets plus importants, such as le hanky-panky...

…les sujets plus importants, such as le hanky-panky…

“Excusez-moi, Monsieur le Président,” a dit un petit journaliste, très politely, “mais pouvez-vous possiblement tell nous, si ce n’est pas trop much trouble, qui at le moment est la ‘Première Femme’?”

“Non, je ne jolly well could pas,” a dit le président.

Et ça, apparently, était ça. Pas de further questions sur le rumpy-pumpy. Les journalistes français just voulaient to ask about le silly économie. Quel waste de temps ça was.