episode 3: silver screen

In episode three of The France Project I take a closer look at the silver screen, from international movies set in Paris, to classic and modern French movies, as well as the culture of cinema in France.

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In Part One I chat to Michael Schuermann, the author of Paris Movie Walks, and in Part Two I delve into the culture of French cinema with two French people: the actor and writer PH De Baecque, and the well-known Parisian blogger, Matoo. In Part Three PH and Matoo give me some recommendations of classic and culturally important French movies, and I think about a few of the more famous international movies set in France.

Part 1: international cinema
in France

3-michael-2In the first part of this episode I chat with Michael Schuermann, author of Paris Movie Walks, which is both a guide book and iphone app which contains walking tours that lead you around many Parisian locations featured in the movies. He shares his thoughts on the great classics that have been filmed in Paris, along with some interesting behind-the-scenes secrets about famous movies, like an American in Paris with Gene Kelly, and we can’t avoid talking about the Queen of the Parisian movie, Audrey Hepburn! We talk extensively about why Paris makes such a great backdrop for international cinema, and discuss film locations at great length, from Two Days in Paris to French Kiss to The Bourne Identity.

Where we met: Le Soleil de la Butte – 32 rue Muller, 75018 Paris

Part 2: the culture of French cinema

3-ph-3In order to take a closer look at cinema culture in France, I start off Part Two by chatting to PH de Baecque, a French actor and writer who has a fascinating insider perspective on the industry and also happens to be a HUGE cinephile. We talk at length about whether France continues to play an important role in the international movie scene today, with influential actors and directors like Marion Cotillard and Luc Besson, and whether French movies are successfully tailoring themselves to international audiences whilst maintaining integrity for the local public. We chat about the  various strengths and weakenesses of French cinema and the future of the medium in France.

Where we met: La Conserverie - 37 bis rue du Sentier, 75002 Paris

3-matoo-3In order to get more insight about the importance of cinema in French culture, I enlisted the help of Parisian blogger Matoo. He explained how he learned about cinema while he was growing up, by watching famous programs like Le Cinéma de Minuit (read more here) and La Dernière Séance (read more here). We discuss whether the younger generations have the same affection for the classics, then get to talking about cinema as a tradition of art, and how things have changed over the years.

Where we met: Panfoulia - 7 rue Saint Croix de la Brétonnerie, 75004 Paris

Part 3: what to watch!

3-3Finally, I asked both PH and Matoo to share their thoughts on their favourite French films (as well as films that are reprsentative of French culture), and discuss some listener favourites from Facebook – both French films and international films set in or about Paris. You can read the entire list of their recommendations here.

 

Full picture gallery

  • Café on Montmartre
  • Café on Montmartre
  • The steps of Montmartre
    The steps of Montmartre
  • The steps of Montmartre
    Le Soleil de la Butte
  • Delicious, delicious cocktails at La Conserverie
    Delicious, delicious cocktails at La Conserverie
  • La Conserverie
    La Conserverie
  • La Conserverie
    La Conserverie
  • Matoo
    Matoo
  • Matoo
    Matoo
  • Matoo
    Matoo
  • Michael Schuermann
    Michael Schuermann
  • Michael Schuermann
    Michael Schuermann
  • Michael Schuermann
    Michael Schuermann
  • PH de Baecque
    PH de Baecque
  • PH de Baecque
    PH de Baecque
  • PH de Baecque
    PH de Baecque

Music featured in this episode

 

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5 Comments

  • Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Loved listening to this episode, especially the adorable accents of Matoo and P-H! Also, I think I finally understand the French obsession with spaghetti Westerns. And, now I have SO MANY movies I want to see. At the top of my list: Babette’s Feast — how have I missed that one?! Merci tout le monde!

    • katia
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Ann! And I was like you – when Matoo explained how he used to watch those types of spaghetti westerns on a Tuesday night I felt like I could HEAR the penny drop ;)
      I hope you enjoy Babette’s Feast!

  • Alain Hickey
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Hey,

    Another fabulous episode. Well done!

    “The Day of the Jackal”

    ‘machine gun fire in the Paris suburb of Petit-Clamart’

    The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 Anglo-French film…

    Before my time but I really love this movie!

    Alain

    • katia
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Alain! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t seen The Day of the Jackal! And Petit-Clamart was just down the road from our old suburb – I definitely need to see it now!

  • stacy
    Posted October 25, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    loved it! fascinating – my italian and i discuss these things often, as he loves french movies. i learned so much more with the french insight and cant wait to share to share the recommendations with him!

3-coverpic
a podcast exploring
the je ne sais quoi
about life in France

created & produced
by Katia Grimmer-Laversanne
© 2012