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Scarlett Johansson sues French author over novel

Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson launched a court case on Wednesday seeking damages from a French author whose novel features a character that closely resembles her.

Scarlett Johansson sues French author over novel
Scarlett Johansson is suing a French author over a novel that features a lookalike of the star. Photo: Carlo Court/AFP

The star, who recently moved to Paris with her French boyfriend,  is suing for €50,000 ($70,000) in damages from the author and his publisher JC Lattes over the best-selling 'La premiere chose qu'on regarde' (The first thing we look at).

The book's heroine, Janine Foucamprez, is described as strongly resembling Johansson, who is due to attend the Cannes film festival this week.

The first part of the novel is told through the eyes of a garage mechanic who "resembles a better version of Ryan Gosling" and thinks Johannson has turned up on his doorstep.

The actress alleges the writer and publisher used her image and fame to publicize the novel, which has sold 100,000 copies since it was published in March 2013, and is seeking an injunction to stop it being translated or adapted for cinema.

The novel features amorous relationships that "never existed", said prosecutor Vincent Toledano. "It does what the tabloids do, it says anything."

"Creative freedom" does not mean the author can use Johansson's intellectual property rights without authorization, he added.

But Anne Veil, for the defence, said no invasion of privacy had been committed, arguing that the book evoked mere "fads" and "flirts" but no relationships.

If Delacourt knew that Johansson would have "kicked up such a racket, he would have chosen someone else," she added.

The tribunal is due to hand down its judgement on July 2nd.

In January Johansson hit the headlines when she gave an interview in which she talked about experiencing Parisian rudeness since moving to the city to be with her boyfriend, French journalist Romain Dauriac.

Speaking in an interview on The Late Show with David Letterman, Johansson said that “the stardust twinkles” had started to wear off since she moved to the capital.

The star, famous for her roles in the films 'Girl with the pearl earring' and 'Lost in Translation', recently moved to Paris to be with her French journalist fiancé Romain Dauriac, who is the former editor of the French urban art magazine Clark.

While she describes the city as “great”, she did have a few complaints to share about the behaviour of Parisian residents.

“I was like, 'People aren't rude, they're wonderful!' That was before I was a mainstay there and then people decided that once I wasn't going away, they could just be rude to me!"

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FILM

French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be reserved here.

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema.

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