For some reason, while I thought I had published this post a couple of days ago, I did not! Here it is, Friday the 25th, and I thought I had posted this on the 23rd.
Anyway, here is what I *intended* to post on Wednesday, 23 September, 2009. 🙂
Peej and I went to see two movies last night. LOL. I know — seems excessive! Here’s the deal… We have movie passes, the UGC Illimté pour deux, which means that for 35€ per month, PJ and I can go and see an unlimited number of films at UCG and MK2 Theaters in Paris. It is very cool, seeing as American films are shown in their original language with French subtitles, and because Parisians are so hyped about cinéma, which was founded here in France by the Lumière Brothers in 1895, most popular American films are shown here. In fact, a lot of good cinema from indie showcases such as Sundance and Deauville play here as well. A minor glitch in the recent cinema works for me was with the film Inglorious Basterds, which I really liked, but which has three — no four! — languages in it: English, French, German, and Italian. The French parts of the movie, which I estimate take up about 30% of the film, were not subtitled (“Duh,” I can here Parisian moviegoers saying, “You are in France, where we speak French, so no duh! The French parts of Inglorious Basterds should not have to be subtitled!”), the English, German, and Italian portions of the movie had subtitles, but only in French (“Duh!” again speak the French moviegoers. “You are in France! We read French here, too!” All of this spoken with a strong, French accent.) You can imagine me, trying to follow the spoken French parts of the movie knowing as little French as I do, much less the German and Italian parts trying to read the French translations at the bottom of the screen, and then what with the Quentin Tarantino blood and violence and stuff, it was a bit of a headache. An homage to a spaghetti western, indeed. My head was spaghetti after that movie! I still liked it, but I really want to see it properly subtitled in English one of these days so I can understand the bits I was guessing at in the theater in Paris.
Last night was not so problematic. PJ and I went to see Julie & Julia, the recent Nora Ephron film based on blogger Julie Powell’s project to cook the 524 recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking as well as the Julia Child autobiography My Life in France. Film website is here: http://www.julieandjulia.com/ While it is a solid story, with marvelous acting by Meryl Streep as Julia, it is not a wildly brilliant picture. I think that Nora Ephron did a masterful job of weaving these women’s stories together, and Streep does her usual brilliant performing in the movie, but it had some shortcomings. Amy Adams’ acting is disappointing as blogger Julie Powell, and this makes for painful spots in the movie where I had trouble suspending my disbelief. Sometimes the pacing in the movie felt a little slow to me as there was not as much chemistry between Amy Adams and Chris Messina (who plays Julie’s husband, Eric) as there was between Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci (who plays Julia’s husband, Paul Child) and this contrast made the scenes with Adams and Messina seem to drag. All in all, though, the film is a fine look at what motivated two very astute and enjoyable women to do something in their lives and then to write about it and how they come to terms with themselves through their mutual projects.
If you have seen the movie, you can imagine that I was very taken with it, but even if you have not, from what I have written so far, I am sure you can see the parallels between what I am doing here in this blog and with the stories of Julie and Julia. Sitting in the theater watching Julia Child’s try to figure out what to do with her life in Paris and then see Julie Powell give birth to a blog was kind of like a surreal mirror for me. There I was, in the Georges V theater on the Champs Elysées in Paris, watching a movie about Julia Child finding herself and her passions in Paris, and watching a woman not much younger than me blog about her life. I felt a bridge being built between Julie, Julia, and myself while watching. Here I am: attempting to blog my life in Paris much as Julia tried to cook and write her life and much as Julie cooked and blogged after Julia.
I don’t know if I am actually conveying the weirdness (in a good way) that I felt in all this. Suffice it to say I found the movie deeply inspiring and as I watched I kept wanting to cry. I had to hold back the tears, though, as I had worn liquid eyeliner. (LOL. Yeah, any woman who has worn liquid eyeliner knows you DO NOT CRY when wearing it unless you want black streaks running down your cheeks!) Also, I did not want to be totally embarrassed in the theater by crying at such an obvious chick flick in front of a bunch of stoic Parisians. While perhaps some women in the theater might have wanted to sniff, too, they sure as pie would never have shown it. It’s not Parisian to show a lot of emotion in public places.
Anyway, I became really reflective during and after the film, and I wanted to write about it today because I was impacted by the experience.
I have to say since quitting smoking a week ago today, I have been a bit of an Emo Girl. Coming off of nicotine has made me very emotional, so I want to cry at just about anything! I am not wearing eyeliner today, lol.
An honorable mention on the second film as I prepare to go to a THIRD film tonight in about an hour! (It is a busy movie week this week.)
PJ and I returned to the 19th by about 8 pm, and we turned around to go out to the Quai de Loire MK2 Theater to see the movie 9 . I found the film visually exciting and there were a lot of great suspenseful moments. I enjoyed the dark, Tim Burton-esque feel to the film (Burton is one of the film’s producers). It was not a bad movie: n’est pas mal! For me, it was a two-and-a-half to three out of five stars kind of thing — a solid C. Passing thoroughly, but not raising the bar in film. I found that while the visual aspect of the film was great, the story and concepts in the film were a weird rehashed combination of Wall-E, The Matrix, V for Vendetta, and Star Wars. I’m sure I could draw further parallels of “this is where we have seen X before,” too, but those are just the ones from the top of my head. It broke no new ground in terms of storytelling at all, which was kind of boring and disappointing. I know, I know, all plots have basically been told and retold for millennia now, but it took no fresh look at archetypes even, and this kind of bummed me out. It was otherwise a visually-interesting, dark little film. I imagine a lot of Goth pre-teens loved it and now have bought the PeeChee folders for the new school year with logos and images from the film at Hot Topic. Yeah, it was that kind of a flick.
I am hoping to get over to the Canal Bio organic store here in my ‘hood before going to see District 9 tonight (lots of “9” movies in September, huh!). Canal Bio is just over near the Quai de Loire theater. This means I have to leave pretty soon if I am going to make it there. I’m not buying a lot — one thing I have to do this week is get myself back on an anti-candida diet (ACD), so that means no more goodies from the health food store, like the fig and buckwheat cookies I love. Okay, one more pack of them before I go ACD, lol, but that’s it. I need to be back on it.
I am going to, in the spirit of Julie & Julia, try to blog here more. In fact, Peej has a good idea for yet another blog where he and I might collaborate, and one kind of in the spirit of what Julie Powell did. I will keep you posted about it…
This is not a super-sexy post, full of lovely photos and so on, but it is ME, this is me, Paris Karin, living her life as best she can.
Until next time, then, over and out.