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A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

The Nahmias Family, Friends of Parler Paris, Following TraditionThe Nahmias Family, Friends of Parler Paris, Following Tradition

Rey, the Doll, with Slash WoundRey, the Doll, with Slash Wound

The Gaumont Palace, Paris, 1914

Amélie (2001)

Orson Welles - Happy Ending

Les Guardiennes by Lost in Frenchlation 

I wasn’t the only one to go see Star Wars on Christmas Day — friends wrote to say they followed the same tradition of movie + Chinese food on Christmas Day and also decided Star Wars was the proper movie to see on such a special day.

I fought to stay awake through the film, and when it was over, wished I had succumbed to sleep instead being bombarded by special effects and violence that manages to never end in death and if I recall, only one scratch on the shoulder of Rey (Daisy Ridley). No doubt, I may be the only person who doesn’t appreciate George Lucas’ three trilogies that were first launched in 1977 and are scheduled to be completed in 2019.

I wondered what they will do when the trilogies are done, this being the eighth of the nine, and discovered that they are not “done” at all — Rian Johnson, writer/director of Star Wars will be creating a whole new trilogy…but of course! So, to all you fans…no worries…there are more to come.

George Lucas and Rian Johnson, and the rest of us, need to be reminded that if it weren’t for France, Star Wars wouldn’t exist. Cinema was born in France in 1895 thanks to the Lumière Brothers. (Isn’t it interesting that their name means “light?” How apropos is that?) We are also to be reminded that: Paris has the most theaters per capita than any other city in the world. The first digital cinema projection took place here in Paris in the year 2000. Foreign movies are shown here as mainstream and non-American productions have the biggest share. France is the third largest film market in the world, in admissions as well as revenues (following the U.S. and Japan). France produces more films per annum than the rest of Europe and is the second largest exporter of films to the U.S. as first.

Let’s face it, the French love cinema as much as they love jazz, maybe even more. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit either, as I’m an avid movie-goer, too, but have never appreciated French films…in general. No doubt, again, I may be the only person who doesn’t, especially when one considers certain blockbusters like, La Cage aux Folles I (1979) and  La Cage aux Folles II (1981), La Femme Nikita (1991), Amélie (2001), The Artist (2011) and The Intouchables (2012). I do admit that I loved all of these, but generally speaking, I sleep through most French films whose stories don’t seem to ever go anywhere — I want more action, more story, less subtle emotion. I also hate that the actors look so “real,” instead of being perfectly coiffed with flawless skin, white aligned teeth and looking like what I’ve been conditioned to admire. Am I so American as to be desensitized to the subtleties and just want that good old fashion live action and “happy endings?”

For those of you living in France and wanting to see French films, but can’t fully understand the French, and really would prefer to have English subtitles (which aren’t normally shown in France for the obvious  reason), there is a solution for you: Lost in Frenchlation “breaks the language barrier and brings the best of French cinema to the international community in Paris.” The organization hosts screenings of French films with English subtitles at independent cinemas, “each with a convivial cocktail hour before the movie for catching up with friends.” The next one up is this coming Friday, December 29th at Studio 28, 10 rue Tholozé, 75018 Paris, playing Les Gardiennes, directed by Xavier Beauvois.

Make this your New Year treat, and see a French film to decide for yourself how they compare with the garden American variety.

Happy Holidays.


A la prochaine…






Adrian Leeds - Christmas in Paris, France

Adrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group


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P.S. Is making a change in your life on your list of resolutions? Might we suggest a move or at least a long stay in France? We can help you see this resolution to fruition. With over 20 years living in France, we have learned the ins and outs and the inside information on moving, living and working here. Have a look at our Working and Living in France page and contact us today!


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