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Ideas for MOVIES to watch about France?

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Jan 26th, 2013, 09:10 AM
  #1
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Ideas for MOVIES to watch about France?

Greetings everyone, when we plan for our trips we love to watch a few old movies that include the locations, the atmosphere, the history of where we will visit. Any ideas? Would love some book ideas too...

PARIS
VERSAILLES
GIVERNY
NORMANDY
OMAHA BEACH
AVRANCHES
ST. MONT MICHEAL
ST. MALO
AMBOISE
LOIRE VALLEY

Thanks,
Sunny
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Jan 26th, 2013, 09:44 AM
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Two obvious ones -- Midnight in Paris (Paris, Versailles, Giverny)and The Longest Day (Normandy, Omaha Beach, Avranches). I'm like you I try to absorb as much as I can before I go then review again when I return.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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For Paris you can start with "Midnight in Paris" and then on to Amélie.

For Omaha Beach and Normandy, try "The Longest Day", "Band of Brothers", "Saving Private Ryan".

For Versailles, try "Madame du Barry", "The Perfect Furlough", "Paris Blues" and any one of a hundred other films shot in and around Versailles.

For reading about Norman history, try reading "William the Conqueror" by David Bates and "1066: The Year of the Conquest" by David Howarth.

Don't forget "Claude Monet, painter of light", "Monet's Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism", Monet's Garden" and a few dozen other works on the artist.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 09:58 AM
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well, there are zillions of movies on France and set in Paris, so who knows where to start. Lots of films set in Paris are really about people or characters, so they aren't really like travelogues that much. Maybe Paris Je T'Aime is a good one to start as it is fairly recent and a set of vignettes. And I think it was supported by the French govt or tourism office, not sure. Lots o

There have been several good movies about Marie Antoinette in recent years, and I've liked them all. I liked the one with Kirsten Dunst and the more recent one that was French (think had Diane Kruger in the main role?).

TOns of war movies, but they don't give you an ambience about Normandy, in particular (nor at all, mainly about war). Private Ryan, etc., not so mention all the old ones.

I can't think of any films that immediately come to mind filmed in the Loire, although I'm sure there are some.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Quick response and ideas THANK YOU!

any old classics come to mind?

Sunny
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Jan 26th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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isabel, thank you, I just checked your lists... now too decide?
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Jan 26th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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When I saw the title of this thread, I wanted to suggest Alfred Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief," but you aren't going to the south. Aw, heck, see it anyway. It's a great movie.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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For ambiance, Breathless and Last Year at Marienbad. That last is set in the Czech Rep., but the film is very French, and the French language used is easy. Both on Netfilix.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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May I make a suggestion?

There are really glorious achievements in French cinema, and I wouldn't for a moment want you to miss a single great movie.

But why clog up your eyes with a lot of other people's views of France -- in particular sentimental SCHLOCK like Midnight in Paris or some other Hollywood nostalgia?

Just wanted to get that in. If you do watch Midnight in Paris, bear in mind that some of us cringe watching it (and not just because we can't stand Owen Wilson and Adrian Brody!)

A 2-minute Google search for "The 100 Greatest French Films" will pop up for you a list of truly great films that you will give you France as French cinema artists themselves have understood their own culture.

It really is a great thing to go to Versailles without preconceptions -- and certainly not to be pointing and saying: "That's where Mel Brooks stood!" His movies are great, but so is YOUR view of Paris.

Dare to be an original and go to Paris and have your own thoughts and reactions.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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Oh -- and the point of the D-Day invasion was not to save Matt Damon. Even he will tell you that. There really are better ways to go about this. Even Wikipedia is better.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 02:16 PM
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Lay you 8 to 5 ol' zeppole's back.
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Jan 26th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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But about old movies . . .

Saint Joan, A Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Three Musketeers (Richard Lester version), The Sorrow and the Pity, Children of Paradise, The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), The Grand Illusion, Gigi, Jules and Jim, The Return of Martin Guerre.

Quite a mix, from the sublime to the ridiculous, but it ought to keep you busy!
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Jan 28th, 2013, 07:46 PM
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Thank you all! I have a lot of movies to watch
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Jan 28th, 2013, 07:52 PM
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French Kiss-Kevin Kline, Meg Ryan (Hey, it's not Grand Illusion, but what is?)
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Jan 28th, 2013, 07:56 PM
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One interesting fact, many movies about Versailles and Marie Antionette is that most are not actually filmed at Versailles, the french do allow any film maker to just go and use the Chateau.. but , special permission was granted to Sophia Coppola , who directed the Marie Antionette with Kirsten Dunst in it, as the french highly regarded her father( who wouldn't) . So the scenes there are actually there and not a sound stage!
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Jan 28th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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Paths of Glory-One of the greats.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 08:57 AM
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Les Miserables would be my book recommendation. The current movie is fine, but the depth and breadth of the characters and the times, is much more developed in the book, naturally. On the other end of the spectrum (and even though you're not going to Provence), for a lighthearted and charming book, try Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence.

Movies? Do you mind subtitles? How about Jean de Florette and the sequel Manon of Spring? Also, we just saw The Well Digger's Daughter (again subtitles). Both wonderful.
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Jan 31st, 2013, 09:42 AM
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It's not set in any the towns you listed... but I still want to throw out "The Choir" (set in a boarding school in the French countryside) just because it's such a gem of a movie...
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Jan 31st, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Truffaut's Antoine Doinel series.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Doinel
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