Why Visit Paris in September

Post by Jenny Bailey

With the weather cooling down and schools back in session, it’s fair to say that come September, Paris is in its prime. From some great gigs to go to, to a number of festivals to attend, here’s our round up of late-summer and early-Autumn events around the capital that are well worth stopping by if you’re in town.

ladies in Paris

ladies in Paris by Dennis AB, on Flickr

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Why You Should Visit Paris in June

Post by Jenny Bailey
Pink Paris by Prête-Moi Paris
While the city offers plenty to do throughout the year, Paris in the summer is particularly pleasant. And it’s not just the weather that’s heating up – there’s a variety of events from festivals to frivolities to look forward to as well. Here are some favorites to catch if you get the chance.
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Gatsby Inspiration Board

Gatsby Inspiration Board
Yes, the Gatsby craze is coming to Paris as we impatiently wait for it to arrive in cinemas here.In the mean-time, I have created my own little inspiration board for fashion, accessories and home décor to fit the mood. Continue reading

Ville et Cinéma Film Festival

 I have recently been reading (no, devouring) several novels by Douglas Kennedy, who’s charachters are usually writers, often live in Paris for a period of time, and ALWAYS love the cinema. Those of his characters that come to visit the city of lights always find solace in the vintage cinema theaters of the 5th and 6tha rrodnissements. These are independant cinemas and they don’t play the latest blockbuster, but rather they play the classics, the vintage, the independant etc. films. Going to the cinema seems to be a vvery Parisian thing to do anyways! Continue reading

Le Prénom : fantastic French movie!

So the last time I blogged about a French movie was a while ago, 2010 in fact, about the movie Le Nom des Gens. Well, I recently saw another  film, called Le Prénom, that I felt was worthy of praise on my blog. What is it about French movies that have something about names in the title?!? LOL!

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Parisian Chic on a Budget

Post by guest contributor : Isabel Clift is a travel writer living in London. She tweets at @Isabel_Clift

Think Parisian chic can only be done on an unlimited budget? Mais non. Once you’ve got your cheap hotel in Paris sorted, here are eight places to go for chic on cheap in the City of Love…

Rue Michal (2)

Photo : Jean François Gornet

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Parisian Movie Magic

Post by Jenny Bailey

For centuries, Paris has been immortalised in the arts. From music to literature, theatre to poetry, artists and writers have long attempted to capture that indefinable beauty which bursts from the city’s every pore. Recent decades, however, have seen an explosion of Parisian representation at the movies, with Hollywood’s obsession with the City of Lights materialising in a number of block-buster films taking place on the beautiful streets of the French capital. Summertime in the city literally brings out the movie sets in full force. You can come across one several times durring a holiday in Paris. Below is a breakdown of 10 of the most iconic cinematic Paris moments, and how you can make sure you stop off at the locations on your Parisian holidays to re-create the movie magic.

10. Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge, of course, takes place at the infamous Le Moulin Rouge cabaret and music hall in the Pigalle district of Paris (close to, but not actually in, the Montmartre area, as it is depicted in Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 musical). The Moulin Rouge itself is located at 82 Boulevard de Clichy, directly opposite Blanche metro station.

9. The Phantom of the Opera

Although Joel Schumacher’s 2004 adaptation of the classic Gaston Leroux novel was filmed entirely in the UK, the action is set in the world-famous Palais Garnier, built in 1861, and home of the Paris Opera. Visit the still-magnificent opera house at Place de l’Opéra, directly adjacent to Opéra metro station.

8. Inception

Christopher Nolan’s 2010 psychological thriller has a large chunk set in the city, as Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) teaches Ariadne (Ellen Paige) the secrets of dream-stealing as they wander through the streets of Paris. Filming locations for this included le Pont de Bir-Hakeim, and various streets in the 15th arrondissement, including Rue Bouchut, and the Da Stuzzi Delicatessen on Rue César Franck.

7. The Da Vinci Code

This 2006 thriller, based on the novel by Dan Brown, featured a plethora of scenes filmed and set in Paris, most notably in the Louvre museum and the Palais Royal. The novel and film heavily feature the ‘inverted pyramid’ in the museum’s foyer area, which is interpreted as a chalice symbol, and the possible burial place of Mary Magdalene.

6. Midnight In Paris

Woody Allen’s 2010 film sees Owen Wilson as a young present-day script-writer who is transported back to the 1920s to fraternise with the best artists of Paris’ ‘lost generation’, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein, and Salvador Dalí. Filming locations include John XIII Square, near Notre Dame, and around the Panthéon.

[ Side note from Prête-Moi Paris : This film, although esthetically lovely with a perfect picturesque view of Paris, gravely lacked a reality check in my opinion, but then reality is probably not what Woody Allen was going for. Nonetheless I became more and more annoyed with the film as it gained more and more success; because fans of Paris regard this picturesque perfect view AS THE REALITY of Paris. Le sigh. Sadly, it is not the reality for everyone, nor is it the daily reality for those who do see this kind of Paris on occasion. But then…I wrote another post about that…) Back to the movie list!!! ]

5. Ronin

Starring Robert De Niro and legendary French actor Jean Reno, this 1998 crime-thriller is famed for its lengthy climactic car chase through the streets of Paris. The final scene, which reportedly used over 2,000 extras, was filmed at the Zénith de Paris, in the 19th arrondissement.

4. La Haine

Mathieu Kassovitz’ explosive crime drama follows three troublesome teenage kids (one of whom played by a young Vincent Cassel) as they travel around Paris over the course of a day and a night, getting into trouble with the police and local gangs. One notable filming spot is Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, in the 16th arrondissement, which is the location of the apartment of Asterix, one of the gang’s drug-dealer friends.

3. Amélie

Cafe des 2 moulins by Jeremy Pearson

This 2001 film showed a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, with Audrey Tatou playing the eponymous waitress who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better. The café where she works in the film is a real place – Café des 2 Moulins, at 15 Rue Lepic in the Montmartre area – and has since become a popular tourist attraction.

2. The Devil Wears Prada

This popular American film features a fashion trip to Paris as one of the major plot points, although filming in Paris was in fact limited. At one climactic point, Andy (Anne Hathaway) defiantly throws her phone into a fountain, signalling the end of her cloying for Miranda’s (Meryl Streep) approval. The fountain in question is located on the Place de la Concorde.

1. A View To A Kill

In one of the best Bond films, Roger Moore plays Bond as he chases May Day (Grace Jones) through Paris as she parachutes from the top of the Eiffel Tower into a boat in the Seine. Bond’s jump off a Paris bridge onto the roof of a passing boat takes place on the Pont Alexandre III.

And voilà! – your own little slices of big-screen magic to make your Paris holidays feel all the more cinematic. This way, no matter how frugal your cheap holidays to the French capital are, you can still feel like a movie star as you recreate all your favourite film moments with this handy guide, for free!

Friday en Français : Se faire une toile

Le concept : traduire un ancien billet et français, déjà pour pratiquer mon français à l’écrit mais aussi pour faire un geste envers mes lecteurs et lectrices francophones!

The concept : translate an old post into French, first in order to practice my written French, but also to be a bit more welcoming to my francophone readers!

(The Original Post In English)

Ce post a été posté en anglais le 6 octobre 2009 :

Photo du site web http://www.freepstar.com

J’ai vu récemment le documentaire, The September Issue, qui racconte les préparations du numéro le plus important de l’année pour Vogue USA… cela m’a donné une envie de mode. Mais puisque mon budget fashion ne me permet pas des fringues Galliano et Gaultier, j’aime chiner des articles pour “mystèrialiser” (mon nouveau terme) mon garde-robe aux fripes qui se trouvent principalement dans le Marais.

Free’P star a deux addresses, toutes les deux dans le 4ème. Comblés des tas et des tas de fringues vintage, d’occasion, certains que tu n’aurais jamais mis même au lycée, et d’autres qui sont parfaites pour les déguisements d’Halloween! Mais il est souvent possible de trouver LE vetêtment qui FAIT l’ensemble. J’y ai trouvé une chemise noire style régence du 19ème siècle, avec des dentelles delicates et des coutures très bien faits, à très bon marché!

Amusez-vous à chercher vos propores trésors…

Photo du site web http://www.freepstar.com

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

I get really excited when I see a modern French movie that I thoroughly enjoy… so I considered it an important enough event to share this one with you, because not only did I enjoy this movie but I laughed out loud several times in the movie theater… not something I do at most films, even if they are funny.
Le Nom des Gens, directed by Michel Leclerc

Starring Sarah Forrestier as Bahia Benmahmoud who is pretty much half nude or nude throughout the entire film, but it’s not offenssive or disagreable by any means, plays a young extrovert and rather chaotic woman who has an interesting use for sex. She uses it to convert politically right-wing men into liberals. She comes from a mixed-racial family that is uber vocal about & uber involved in, social rights movements for minorities.
She meets…
Arthur Martin, played by Jaques Gamblin; a sort of introverted guy who studies dead birds and aviary diseases. his mother was an orphaned child durring WWII whose parents we sent to Auschwitz. Her name was changed as a child, and she suffered great emotional trauma, but the family never talks about any of it. His life doesn’t seem to have much excitement or movement, until he meets Bahia.

The context of the film centers around people’s names and the prejudices that come with them. Arthur Martin being a very common name and Bahia Benmahmoud a very exotic name… the two characters enter into an exchange of ideas and ideals that try to break the boundries of a name.

This film touches on some contemporary and poignant social issues in France today with humor yet remaains tasteful and wildly entertaining. I hope it makes it to the USA theaters but fear it’ll be ruled out for its abondant nudity. I highly recommend this movie! In French theaters now.