Are sexualized hot dogs too crude for French children?

Could a sexualised hot dog bun or a crude and libidinous packet of cornflakes shock and corrupt teenagers? US cartoon "Sausage Party" led weighty French lawyers to consider this question Tuesday.

Are sexualized hot dogs too crude for French children?
Actor Paul Rudd and writer Seth Rogen attend the premiere of "Sausage Party". Photo: AFP
Two conservative Christian groups have launched a legal action arguing that the US production featuring foul-mouthed and sex-mad food as its characters should be pulled and then reclassified as an adult film.
Lawyers acting for Promouvoir and Action for Human Dignity argued it should be given a 16 rating, meaning it was banned for anyone under 16, rather than its current 12 rating.
Andre Bonnet, the lawyer for Promouvoir, said the trailer did not reveal the real content of the film and seemed designed to trick children into seeing things that were not suitable for them.
This case was a “question of civilisation and of protecting the whole of society,” he argued in court in Paris.
Since the film had received an 'R' rating for its US release in August, which excluded unaccompanied children under 17, France should follow suit, they argued.
He was particularly critical of “a staggering orgy” at the end of the film featuring fruits, condiments and other edible items which are depicted performing sex acts.
In one shot, a pack of cornflakes can be seen making “brutal back-and-forth motions”, he said, and is heard exclaiming “You like that, slut?”
Representing the culture ministry, Jacques Molinie objected that no one was being forced to see the film.
“One of the aims of the film is to criticise the consumer society in a humorous way,” he said, adding that religion had also been targeted.
“Yes, the language is crude but look at the protagonists,” he said. The “grotesque, crazy” tone of the film made it clear that it was not presenting itself as realistic, he insisted.
The US production, which features the voices of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Salma Hayek and Jonah Hill in the original version, was released in France on November 30.
Promouvoir has brought other cases to court in the past, objecting to the adult content of films such as “Blue is the Warmest Colour” and controversial Danish director Lars von Trier's “Antichrist.”
The court is expected to rule on the case on Wednesday.

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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.