Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let's Go to the Movies

I love going to the movies. Regrettably my language skills are still too weak to really enjoy the experience of seeing a movie entirely in French. If I want to watch a show where I only understand about half of what's going on, I can turn on the television for free. What I really need is a French film with French subtitles. Occasionally one of the MK2 theaters puts on such showings for the hearing impaired but these always seem to be gone by the time I get around to making plans. Happily for me, you can see American films here in VO (version originale) which means in English with French subtitles. Of course, if the characters start talking in Spanish or some other language, you'd better be able to read along. (Luckily for me, those urchins in Slumdog Millionaire who spoke only in Hindi weren't using very sophisticated language so it was no problem with the subtitles.) I've also learned the hard way that you have to get to the kids' movies in VO quickly because within a week or two, the only showings are dubbed. And the cartoons don't come out in VO at all.

I'm also intrigued by the release strategy. A number of films now in theaters were released in the States last fall (for example, Doubt and Frost/Nixon). Others receive a simultaneous release like this week's Duplicity with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. Paris also has an incredible number of repertory theaters that regularly play American classics such as Spellbound and Rebecca. Hmmm...I wonder what's showing tonight?

5 comments:

Grace and Bradley said...

I also have been looking for French movie with French subtitle. I am afraid to say, not very successful. I found it is the best way of learning this language. Especially like us, learning the language after we arrived in France, not from high school French lesson. By the way, I have been following your blog for some time now, and enjoy it. We used to be just like you, suddenly moved to France. That was 27 years ago. I stayed for 10 years.

Anne said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I doubt we'll stay for 10 years but then one never knows.

Starman said...

I've never been to a movie in France. Of course, I haven't lived there, so going to a movie wastes time that could be better spent doing things.

Starman said...

Just found this on another blog; thought you might be interested: M6 is a French TV station that normally shows 'fluff' kinds of shows - lots of reality TV and made-for-TV movies. Kind of like a combo between Fox & UPN. But they occasionally have interesting shows, including the one referred to above, entitled "Une de moins". The whole point of each one-minute segment is to cover a commonly-made error in French.

apg said...

We actually have been able to find animated films (at least new ones like Madagascar 2) in VO, but only in the evening. No matinees. Maybe French children have later bedtimes, or they assume only adults want to watch them in English?

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