Wednesday, August 18, 2010

“City of Light in the dark: Theatres and films in Paris paradise for movie-lovers - Canada East” plus 3 more

“City of Light in the dark: Theatres and films in Paris paradise for movie-lovers - Canada East” plus 3 more


City of Light in the dark: Theatres and films in Paris paradise for movie-lovers - Canada East

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 12:18 PM PDT

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

PARIS - It may seem backward to travel to one of the most beautiful cities in the world and sit in the dark.

This July 27, 2010 photo shows Le Rex theater in Paris. In Paris, there are seemingly endless rues and quais and museums and cafes to explore, which means visitors often hurry past one of the city's greatest attractions: its cinemas. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

In Paris, there are seemingly endless rues and quais and museums and cafes to explore, which means visitors often hurry past one of the city's greatest attractions: its cinemas.

They're found throughout the French capital — and in particular the Latin Quarter. No city in the world boasts such a bevy of independent theatres, where vibrant repertory series and exciting selections play nightly.

New York might quibble, but most of its independent theatres long ago shuttered. Manhattanites can proudly claim the essential Film Forum, but Parisians can stand on the Left Bank and have nearly a dozen similar options within a five-minute walk.

Spending an entire trip among flickering projections would, of course, be extreme. But it does occasionally rain in Paris and sometimes a cool night at the movies is just the ticket after a day of traipsing around the attractions. And, unlike many destinations in Paris, no one — or perhaps everyone — is a tourist at the movies.

Your first move is to pick up your moviegoing Bible: the weekly Pariscope, which can be had for less than a euro at any newsstand. In it, you'll find a detailed listing of every showing that week. It's in French, but addresses, movie titles and show times are easily understood.

A key point: V.O. signifies version original (with French subtitles), whereas V.F. means version francais (dubbed in French). Now, if your French is poor, you are limited to movies in English, but this is only a slight impediment. Great old American movies are plentiful and the odds are good that at any moment, a flick with Humphrey Bogart or Woody Allen is showing somewhere is Paris. As with jazz, the French are ardent celebrators of American filmmaking.

This is, after all, a birthplace of cinema. Here, it is the seventh art. So some history is in order, which means a trip to the Cinematheque Francaise.

Any film buff is well aware of the Cinematheque's significance: Formed from Henri Langlois collection in the '30s, its archives and constant screenings have long served as a kind of home base for Paris' film scene. Many of the famed directors of the New Wave, like Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, gathered here, though you can't imbibe this history from its original location. It moved in 2005 to a beautiful, curvaceous building designed by architect Frank Gehry on Parc de Bercy in the 12th arrondissement.

Aside from several fine, modern theatres at the Cinematheque, you can also find the Musee du Cinema, which includes some truly magical artifacts from the history of cinema: Louis Lumiere's 35mm projector, Thomas Edison's kinetoscope, Robert Wiene's expressionist sketches for "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," a copy of the robot Maria from "Metropolis" made for the museum, and much more.

There are also rotating exhibits at the museum, and the collections — film excerpts, stills and props — will surely whet your movie appetite.

Turning to your Pariscope newspaper, the advice is simple: Follow the movies. See what's playing and go after what intrigues you.

I, for one, generally seek out the great films of the '40s and '50s, some of which found artistic renown through the French. The famed French film magazine Cahiers du Cinema, co-founded by Andre Bazin, was essential to trumpeting the artistry of American genre filmmakers like Howard Hawks and Nicholas Ray.

This is one reason Paris may be the best place to see a film noir, in all its black-and-white, moody, fatalistic grandeur. The films might feature fast-talking detectives in Los Angeles, but a film noir feels most at home in Paris.

The selection on any given week in Paris is usually exceptional. A recent week, for example, boasted an Alfred Hitchcock series, a new print of the Clark Gable-Marilyn Monroe film "The Misfits" (1961), an Al Pacino series, Charles Laughton's "The Night of the Hunter" (1955), the fabulous but lesser-known noir "Fallen Angel" (1945), Bogart's "The Enforcer" (1951), Robert Mitchum in 1947's "Crossfire," Sydney Lumet's "The Offense" (1972), the new, touring print of Michael Powell's "The Red Shoes" (1948) and much more.

You'll quickly notice some differences to the Parisian moviegoing style. Show times are often listed for when the ads and trailers start and for when the film actually begins. Popcorn is not something generally eaten at the art house cinemas: Moviegoing is serious business.

Certain theatres are worth seeking out. Le Champo, on the rue des Ecoles, is perhaps the quintessential Parisian art house cinema. First opened in 1938, its survival has at times depended on the support of protesters refusing to allow closure.

If you don't like the selections there, you can always try one of the other fine theatres around the block on rue Champollion. Many of Paris' independent theatres are only a stone's throw from here, including the nicely programmed Action Ecoles. After a movie at the Champo, walk up the hill for a drink outside at one of the cafes on the pleasant, restful Place de la Sorbonne.

One of the oldest cinemas in Paris is the Studio des Ursulines, near the Jardin du Luxembourg on the rue des Ursulines. It was built on the site of a Ursuline convent from the 1600s, and made into a silent film art house in 1926. It now shows first-run movies, but its plush red interior is hard to beat.

On the Right Bank, Cinema Mac-Mahon will always be dear to me, since it was where I first saw "Taxi Driver" on the big screen. It sits in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, just off the Place Charles de Gaulle.

Studio 28, opened in 1938, is a lovely Montmartre theatre and a good destination for "Amelie" fans. This is the place the beloved film's heroine frequented (and she did chomp on popcorn). If you can, time your visit to coincide with sunset, and from the top of Montmartre watch the lights turn on across Paris as the city dims.

There are other unique theatres, too, like the Pagoda on the rue de Babylone in the 7th arrondissement. True to its name, it's styled after a Japanese temple. If you want a more modern view of Parisian moviegoing, try one of the MK2 theatres. The MK2 Bibliotheque at the Francois Mitterand National Library on the Quai de Seine, has 14 theatres and a futuristic vibe.

The Grand Rex is a movie palace built in 1932 and its main auditorium can seat nearly 3,000. The biggest theatre in Paris, it's a common spot for flashy premieres, so the selection is typically first-run films. Its exquisite art deco design gives it a fantastical aura, like a grand, fairy-tale cinema.

All of these theatres beam out wondrous films every night. As you exit to the street rubbing your eyes, you might think that the best part of all about moviegoing in Paris is that the city awaiting you outside is hardly less of a dream than the movies.

———

If You Go...

CINEMATHEQUE FRANCAIS: Parc de Bercy. 51 rue de Bercy, 12th arrondissement: http://www.cinematheque.fr/

LE CHAMPO: 51 rue des Ecoles, 5th arrondissement: http://www.lechampo.com/

STUDIO 28: 10 rue Tholoze, 18th arrondissement: http://www.cinemastudio28.com/

CINEMA MAC-MAHON: 5 avenue Mac-Mahon, 17th arrondissement: http://www.cinemamacmahon.com/

LE GRAND REX: 1 Boulevard Poissonniere. 2nd arrondissement: http://www.legrandrex.com/

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Movie review: Nanny McPhee returns for another spoonful - Washington Examiner

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 04:22 PM PDT

By: JAKE COYLE
Associated Press
08/17/10 8:15 PM EDT

The Nanny McPhee movies may be principally for kids, but make no mistake about it: They are, quite literally, a parent's dream.

Overwhelmed single parents with unruly kids are rescued by a magical nanny who seemingly appears out of nowhere. And at no cost! For some older moviegoers escorting little ones, this premise might be impossibly alluring. And they said fans of "Avatar" were depressed when they left the theater.

"Nanny McPhee Returns" is the sequel to 2005's "Nanny McPhee." Both were written by Emma Thompson (who stars as the nanny in question) based on Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda books, which were published in the 1960s and `70s.

That McPhee owes much to P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins is obvious, and there's a whiff of familiarity to both Nanny McPhee movies that prevent them from being truly fresh. But there's still a warm, British naturalism to "Nanny McPhee Returns" and an old-fashioned cheerfulness uncommon to most of today's kids movies.

In the first installment, McPhee, a mean-looking witch clad in black, came to the aid of a widowed father (Colin Firth). This time around, she arrives to help Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal, with British accent in tow), a mother of three and wife to a farmer off fighting in World War II.

The particular war is never mentioned, but WWII is the film's clear setting. A young nephew, Cyril Gray (Eros Vlahos) and his sister Celia (Rosie Taylor-Ritson) have been sent from their wealthy home in London to their aunt's thatched-roofed farm house, an appalling development to their refined tastes. Eyeing the muddy farm, Cyril promptly declares it the "land of poo."

They immediately clash with Isabel's three children: Norman (Asa Butterfield), Megsie (Lil Woods) and Vincent (Oscar Steer). Isabel is drowning in the chaos, made worse by her ditzy candy shopkeeper (Maggie Smith).

McPhee arrives mysteriously, introducing herself ("little `c,' big `P'") as an "army nanny" who has been "deployed." The government pays her way, she informs Isabel, though one can bet that free, magical nannies would surely be among those to fall victim in Britain's current, deep budget cuts.

Thompson's McPhee is a fairly wonderful creation. With two large moles, an overgrown front tooth, a monobrow and a protruding, bulbous nose, she appears a mean crone. But it's all merely a facade to a deeply caring shepherd of misbehaving children: She's the fairy godmother of tough love. As the children learn each of her five lessons, McPhee's deformities disappear.

The main source of drama (for McPhee wins the kids over quickly) comes from Isabel's brother-in-law, Phil (Rhys Ifans). Dressed in a shabby blue pinstripe suit, he looks like an outcast from "Guys and Dolls." He has gambled the farm away, even though it's only half his.

It's worth noting that even in a cartoonish kids movie like this, what a great presence Ifans has. Since becoming known to most in 1999's "Notting Hill," he has steadily — and perhaps surprisingly, considering the jokiness of that early part — shown that he can enliven most any film and fill most any character. He has had a good 2010, too, appearing in the latest "Harry Potter," archly narrating the Banksy film "Exit Through the Gift Shop" and, especially, playing Ben Stiller's best friend in "Greenberg."

Capably directed by Susanna White (making her feature film debut after some notable TV work) "Nanny McPhee Returns" is slightly less scatterbrained than the original, but keeps its Day-Glo Victorian palette full of color and whimsy.

The predictable story turns (the father away at war is handled as you'd expect, with worry followed by a miraculous homecoming) and the infrequently funny dialogue keep the film from quite taking off. But one can quibble only so much with a family friendly film that so brightly preaches those not-exactly-hip tenets of country living and manners.

When McPhee and two of the children make a trip to London (awash in zeppelins and double-decker buses), they meet a former pupil of McPhee's, now a Royal guard soldier. It's clear that the country itself has been made from McPhee's mettle. Cut government services warily, Britain.

"Nanny McPhee Returns," a Universal Pictures release, is rated PG for rude humor, some language and mild thematic elements. Running time: 109 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

___

Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:

G — General audiences. All ages admitted.

PG — Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

PG-13 — Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

R — Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

NC-17 — No one under 17 admitted.

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Angelina Jolie Not Playing Marilyn Monroe in New Movie - AceShowbiz

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 08:03 PM PDT

August 18, 2010 03:06:23 GMT

George Clooney who is rumored to portray Frank Sinatra also denies the report, calling it 'totally fabricated.'

and have denied reports they're teaming up on the big screen to play and . The pair was rumored to be starring in a movie adaption of Andrew O'Hagan's novel "The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe".

Clooney was linked to the role of Sinatra, with Jolie said to have signed on to play the blonde bombshell in the tale of their friendship, as seen through the eyes of her dog, Maf. But Jolie is adamant she's not a part of the project - and hadn't even heard the rumors before she arrived in the U.K. for the premiere of her latest movie, "", on Monday, August 16.

She says, "I've just heard that for the first time. No (it's not true)... if I only just heard it!" And Clooney is not involved with the picture either - his representative tells GossipCop the reports are "totally fabricated".

In another news, Angelina Jolie has urged members of the public to donate to the flood relief effort in Pakistan as the death toll reaches more than 2,000. Officials at the World Bank announced plans to loan $900 millon to the country earlier this week after the nation was struck by its worst floods in 80 years.

Aid has been slow to reach Pakistan and fears are growing that the spread of water-borne diseases will claim yet more lives. Jolie, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations (U.N.), and her partner are preparing to hand over a chunk of their fortune to help those affected by the floods - and she's hoping fans will follow her lead.

She says, "I think as people completely understand the scale of it they will do more. I know that we've been talking to different people about where to put our money - who to give it to and when. I think maybe people are ready to give money... hopefully they're just waiting to understand what's the best thing to do."


 



 

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Scott Pilgrim vs The World London Movie Premiere Live - PRLog (free press release)

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 05:37 AM PDT

PRLog (Press Release)Aug 17, 2010 – Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will be attending the London premiere of their new film, Scott Pilgrim versus the World, in London's Leicester square.

This live webcam view will be watching the red carpet as the stars arrive for the London Premiere:

http://www.myworldwebcams.com/ uk/leicester_ square.html

Movie information:

After learning that popular actor and skateboarder Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), the second evil ex, is coming to Toronto to film a movie, Scott is forced to break up with Knives, who is devastated and tries everything she can to win him back. Scott successfully defeats Lee by tricking him into performing a dangerous skateboard stunt where he crashes and dissolves into coins. He encounters the third evil ex, Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), who serves as bass guitarist for Scott's ex-girlfriend Envy Adams' (Brie Larson) band, "The Clash at Demonhead." Todd initially overpowers Scott using his psychic vegan abilities, which are stripped from him by the "Vegan Police" after Scott tricks him into drinking coffee with half and half, allowing Scott to win the fight.

Cast:

Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Victoria Flowers
Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells
Ellen Wong as Knives Chau
Alison Pill as Kim Pine
Mark Webber as Stephen Stills
Johnny Simmons as Young Neil
Anna Kendrick as Stacey Pilgrim
Brie Larson as Natalie V. "Envy" Adams
Erik Knudsen as Luke "Crash" Wilson
Aubrey Plaza as Julie Powers
Tennessee Thomas as Lynette Guycott
Jean Yoon as Mrs. Chau

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