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Gérard Depardieu set to play Stalin in new film

Larger-than-life French actor Gérard Depardieu is to play Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a forthcoming movie, his press representative said on Tuesday.

Gérard Depardieu set to play Stalin in new film
Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Depardieu – made a Russian citizen by Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin -will feature in a screen adaptation of a 2013 novel called “Le Divan de Staline” (Stalin's Sofa), the representative said.

The source confirmed a story in the movie business journal The Hollywood Reporter, which said the film will be directed by French actress and director Fanny Ardant.

The novel, written by Jean-Daniel Baltassat, is set in the Soviet Union of the 1950s, centering on a young artist who is commissioned to create a monument to Stalin but faces scrutiny by the KGB, the Reporter said.

The film will be produced by a French-Portuguese company, Leopardo Filmes, while the Moscow-based studio Mosfilm will provide costumes and props.

Depardieu, 67, is one of France's most successful actors, winning huge praise for his roles in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Les Miserables,” “Jean de Florette” and other films. He is best known abroad for the romantic comedy “Green Card.”

But he has repeatedly made headlines in his country of birth for stirring controversy and backing unpopular causes.

Depardieu was given Russian citizenship by presidential decree in 2013 after publicly criticising France's high taxes and taking up residence abroad.

In separate interviews this year, he has praised Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko – lashed for rights abuses by monitoring groups – as “a nice guy” and described the United States as “a people who have constantly destroyed others.”

“They fought each other, destroyed the Indians, after that they perpetrated slavery, then there was the civil war. After that, they were the first to use the atomic bomb… No, I prefer being Russian,” he reportedly said.

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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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