Movie time again

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Paris is a fantastic city if you like cinema. You can catch all the big new American movies here (in English with French subtitles) along with plenty of classics you’d be hard pressed to find playing in the theater anywhere in the States. Last night I took in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon from 1975.

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Lots of Kubrick offerings at La Filmothèque in the Latin Quarter right now.

I’m by no means a Kubrick junkie, but the best thing about his films is seeing them on the big screen. And for nine euros, why not? His movies are all epics, so at three hours, I was getting some good entertainment bang-for-the-euro (hmm, that doesn’t have quite the ring I was going for…). Especially compared to the mediocre cappuccino I had the other day that set me back 6€70–ugh!

La Filmothèque turned out to be a shoebox of a theater; perhaps 80 seats or so and a screen smaller than what you get at the multiplex. But it didn’t matter. It was a classic film, in English, on the screen, playing for a room full of cinephiles.

On Friday, Ridley Scott’s Alien will be screened at multiple theaters. Seriously: eight different theaters will be showing it! A tempting opportunity. Especially since I somehow missed it on the big screen when it originally came out. (Oh, that’s right, I was seven at the time.)

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Lights, camera…

The great thing about cinema in Paris? Loads of movies in English. All the recent big hits, including things you can’t see in America yet—at least for a few more days—like Captain America: Civil War (go see it when it comes out in the States; it’s not Citizen Kane, but it’s fun).

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Yeah, it opened April 27 in France. Go to Marvel.com for all your Captain America needs.

We even saw the recent Star Wars before it opened in the U.S. I was on my way to the market in the afternoon on opening day, noticed that the theater around the corner from our apartment was showing The Force Awakens in English, jumped in line behind just one person, snapped up some tickets, went shopping, got home, and told the kids to bang out their homework ’cause we had plans!

And that’s not all. A few months ago I took in Blade Runner—a pristine digital showing in a packed theater—and before that, Soylent Green (it was a bad print, probably from the original showing in 1973, full of scratches, skips, and moments when the sound dropped out, but hey, it was Chuck Heston on the big screen, and I’d never seen it before).

Plenty of revivals are on tap every week in Paris. Years ago I saw Vertigo on one of my visits. This week you can see An Affair to Remember, Chinatown, Forrest Gump, Full Metal Jacket, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Exorcist, and a few dozen more, including Purple Rain. At last count, in addition to the current crop of Hollywood fare, 46 different movies in English made before 2015 were showing in Paris!

Surprisingly, in this expensive city, cinema is generally a good value. Adult tickets are about the same price as back home, and they offer both student and children’s discounts, so we end up doing better than in Seattle. We’ve even been able to use discount promotions on major blockbusters during opening week; seems like in the States, passes or discounts are never valid for any movie you actually want to see.

The bummer of cinema in Paris? Continue reading